PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Belle Vernon family will have a very merry Christmas thanks to an act of kindness that began with a coupon.
It’s hard to count all of the gifts under the Christmas tree at J. C. Penney in Ross Park Mall.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming?
They’re for Michaela Jericho and her 10-year-old brother. Two weeks ago, 12-year-old Michaela was shopping for a dress with her grandfather at J. C. Penney, when she met Amanda Deforno. Michaela shared with Deforno that she’d recently lost her grandmother, who’s raised Michaela since she was 3 years old. Wanting to help, Deforno gave Michaela’s grandfather, Ritchy Spann, a coupon.
“He turned to me and that’s when he said, ‘Ma’am, you just don’t understand, we lost my wife after a three-year battle to cancer and the cancer not only took my wife, it took all of our finances,'” Deforno said.
Deforno wanted to do more, so she reached out to the general manager at J. C. Penney in Pittsburgh’s Ross Park Mall, Diane DiGregory, who not only agreed to donate, but also give the family a day of fun – including lunch, haircuts, even princesses and a balloon artist.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Transportation Funding Report Could Launch Years Of Debate
“I said, if it’s fate that you met Danny [Ritchy Spann] and [Michaela], and you want to help, then it’s fate you’re standing here and we’re going to help as well,” said DiGregory.
Deforno’s goal was to raise $500 in gift cards, cash and presents for the family. She surpassed that, getting more than $5,000 in donations.
“She’s like an angel, because I didn’t think I was going to have a good Christmas this year,” said Michaela in tears, “because it wasn’t going to be the same.”MORE NEWS: Active COVID-19 Cases On The Rise In West Virginia’s Largest County
Now Christmas will be merrier than Michaela ever imagined.