Makena’s Gifts of Joy

Makena Corbin just turned eight years old.
Like many children, she received money for her birthday, but how she chose to spend it is unusual.
Makena used her money to buy Christmas presents for ten residents at Villa Georgetown.
“There are a lot of people without families in the nursing home that didn’t get gifts from their families,” Makena said.
The Corbin family purchased and wrapped the gifts and took them to the villa where they were passed out to residents.
Her mother Ashley said she was touched by her daughter’s gesture.
“It made me feel proud of her to see what a big heart she has.  She came up with this idea on her own because she knew it was a nice thing to do for others.  She just wanted to make other people happy.”
Makena originally bought presents for four residents on her shopping trip, but she still had some cash on hand.
“When she has some money left over, I told her that she could go buy something for herself for her birthday, but she said she wanted to buy presents for more residents because she thought that would make them happy,” Ashley said. Makena ended up buying presents for six more residents.
Her father Zac Corbin said that Makena got the idea last month, coming home with the idea after attending a Veteran’s Day ceremony at Georgetown Elementary.
“She had a great grandfather who was a veteran of World War II who was in the veteran’s home.  He passed away last year and she was pretty close to him.  We went and visited him a lot, so she has been around nursing homes.  I think maybe thinking about her great grandfather on veterans day made her want to do this,” Zac said.
Janice Thompson, Activities Director at Villa Georgetown, said that Makena’s generosity certainly had an impact on her.
“I thought, if an eight year old can give up her entire birthday money, why couldn’t we do the same for someone?  So I took an angel off a giving tree at the West Union Wal-Mart and just had a field day shopping for one little girl because I was inspired by Makena,” Thompson said.
Megan Dunkin, Director of Business Development at Villa Georgetown, said she was also touched by the gesture.
“You get so overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the ‘Santa’ version of Christmas that it brings it back into perspective why Christmas exists.  It’s possible to give to others who may need something more than you do,” Dunkin said.
Zac Corbin said that he and his family were deeply affected by his daughter’s actions.
“It makes us incredibly proud of her that at her age, for her birthday, she did not hesitate to do for others and make them happy.  We are excited to see what kind of things she is going to do in the future,” Corbin said.
Thompson said that the effects of Makena’s generosity will linger long after the Christmas decorations come down.
“I don’t think she realized the impact she had on the adults.  It was very touching and sweet to spend a few minutes talking to her about this,” Thompson said.
Makena herself simply said that buying the presents for others made her happy and that “Other people should do this because it makes the people they adopt from the nursing home really happy and makes them feel good.”