“A friend once said to me, ‘If you have the ability to do it, you should do it.’ This is something I can do and feel good about.”
So far Michelle and her family have covered almost all the cash outlays themselves, but supporters who’ve found them through the website or their ads on craigslist have helped out with cakes and gifts—including clothes, toys, and theater tickets (contributed by Wild Swan). She says they’re committed to offering the parties through 2009.
What about requests that aren’t legitimate? “I give to the needy and not the greedy,” Michelle replies with a chuckle. Luckily, the greedy are “pretty easy to spot: they send me a long wish list of expensive gifts. One woman asked for a Nintendo DS—forget it! I tell people not to expect much. And most parents just ask for warm clothing and a small toy for their kid.”
[Originally published in March, 2009.]