The Chivers’ generosity brings Christmas to the Wilson Family (37 Photos)

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Two days ago I set out on a journey from my parent's home in Ft. Wayne, Indiana to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to keep a promise I'd made to a very special Chivette. It all started months ago with a fundraiser for a little girl, Lilli Wilson, that went better than expected...

Lilli has Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS), a developmental and sensory disorder that affects the 17th chromosome. SMS causes intellectual disability, delayed development, sleep disturbance, and extreme behavioral problems. One of the more hellish aspects SMS is that Lilli is given to fits of prolonged 'meltdowns' that can last many hours. During these meltdowns, Lilli will inflict serious self-injury on herself. Lilli's mother Brandi was told that SMS was so rare, only 600 people worldwide had the disorder.

Just a few months ago, Lilli was sleeping in a regular bedroom. Every toy, door, and wall was a potential hazard. Children with SMS are often referred to as 'Little Houdinis'. The night Brandi contacted me Lilli had snuck out of her bedroom, crawled to the end of the hall, and flung herself down the stairs. The family was too poor to afford a custom made 'safe space' that would serve as both Lilli's bedroom and a place to keep Lilli safe from harm during her meltdowns.

The Wilson's needed the Chivers' help.

theCHIVE organized an online fundraiser. The goal was to raise $17,000 to for Safe Spaces in England to create a custom bedroom for Lilli to keep her safe from harm.

I remember that morning vividly. After launching the post, the donations began pouring in quickly. In fact, we hit our goal of $17,000 in less than an hour!

It was a great moment at theCHIVE offices. I updated Lilli post announcing we'd hit our goal and thanking the chivers for their overwhelming generosity. We cracked open mid-day Budweisers to celebrate, relax, and play video games. However, Mac the Intern continued to stare at his computer. After 10 minutes he finally spoke up,

"Guys, you should see this. The Chivers are still donating."

"I'm sure a few donations will continue to trickle in, Mac, let's play some Call of Duty."

"Guys, the donations are coming in even FASTER since we hit our goal."

What? We'd done it, the room was paid for, achievement unlocked. But the Chivers had simply refused to stop giving. Over the course of the next few hours we watched, collective jaws dropped, as the chivers blew past $25,000 then $30,000, When the dust finally settled on the day, the Chivers had donated $34,000 to Lilli. Unreal.

What would we do with the extra money raised? I set Brandi to task, she put together a list of every sensory toy Lilli would ever need. These custom toys are not only soothing to Lilli's senses but they also foster her development. But even after we ordered every sensory toy known to man, there was still money left over.

I immediately thought of Lilli's two amazing brothers, Sid and Jack. Sid and Jack are not your average 5 and 3 year olds. They are Lilli's guardians, watching over her every minute of the day. Two more selfless and caring children I have not met. They possess the wisdom not present in most adults. I thought Sid, Jack, and Lilli deserved a very special Christmas.

So I traveled to Sault Ste. Marie Canada because of you, because you refused to stop giving. Tonight, the Chivers have brought three deserving children the greatest christmas they've ever had.

This is your Christmas story...

The kids went to bed early this evening, perfectly exhausted from playing all day. Somewhere in between the twilight and their dreams, they were smiling… because of you.

Merry Christmas, Chivers.

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  • arturo

    dude, my respects what you did is amazing!! chive on!!

  • Dan Paulson

    If this isn't the perfect example of Christmas, then I don't know what is. Simply amazing.

  • Emilime

    Merry Christmas indeed! Wonderful community to be a part of :)

  • anon

    I have to admit, I thought the chive was going down hill a bit over the last few months. Thought it was trying too hard to involve viewers and trying to cash in on that direction. I take it all back after seeing this post. Guys, you are an unbelievable credit to yourselves. This was amazing. Manly tears all round. Merry Christmas guys.

  • Anonymous

    That is an Awsome story! Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas to all.

  • Ashley Davis

    This is absolutely amazing, I cried!! What a great way to share the holiday spirit! Just fell in love with the chive even more, and I didn’t think that was even possible. Chive On, and Merry Christmas from Memphis!

  • naluukti

    #23 #27 Awesome. Just awesome!

    • naluukti

      #24…my mistake. not that 23 isn't cool.

  • Tom

    Brought a Firefighter to tears…

  • Pray4Snow

    You have the best job … ever.

  • tangoNine

    Just shared this with about 300 people on the overhead projector at our Christmas get together.
    Not a dry eye anywhere.
    So we can add 299 more Chivers and Chivetts to the ranks of the willing and ready to answer the call as well.

  • SRF

    Only word that I can think of right now: Beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    Chive, you guys are not probably the best site on the intenet, you are the best site!!! No other site brings so much happiness to people of all ages and differences! Chive on!!!!!

  • @jennytroy1

    Merry Xmas!!
    I am a 35 years old CEO, rich and strong but still single … now Christmas is coming!!! I wanna find my lover to enjoy this wonderful time together. I am seeking a good woman who can give me a real love, so I joined in the casualloving.c''s the first and best club for man and woman finding their intimate encounters. Well, you do not have to be lonely ,for you can meet the Mr. or Miss. Right there.

  • jimmy choochoos

    Fantastic, outstanding work Chive.

  • CosmoKramerTheAssMan

    Proud to have been a part of this. Hopefully the Wilson family will continue to see the benefits of theChive's giving spirit. After spending Christmas with my own kids and family, I realize I am truly blessed…and crying like a child. And rightfully so. Great story.

  • Finalstrike

    Dammit John, I am tearing up and it isnt sand in my eyes.
    You go Chive. Some men spend their lives wondering if they made a difference. I dont see you guys having that problem. Carrie on.

    – A Marine.

  • Jimmy

    wtf!!! every time I think that this site couldn't get better, you guys do something amazing like this. You guys are awesome

  • golfn9

    Fantastic! Not much else summarizes all you have done for that family. What an awesome community and the reward of seeing those children so happy is priceless.

  • wulf001

    Damn…………….Wish I could find that other box of Kleenex through my teary eyes…..Great job Chivers!

  • rick

    damn it made me cry. great congratulations man

  • @vargas7

    As I see this post it only makes me mad not having been part of this, but it is really hard to be when you don't live in the US. But I am a proud of THE CHIVE. Thanks to everyone who proved the true spirit of Christmas. May you and your families be blessed for generations. CHIVE ON!

  • Frankers

    #30 John also gave the dog chive green laser beams eyes, Holy shit! He looks pissed!

    • Brandi Froggett Wilson

      LOL SHE (aka Pearl) didn't like being in her crate for all the fun! poor puppy, but she got a BIG bone to make up for it!!! lol

  • Goldenage_Geek

    Damn, sure is dusty in here. *sniffle*

    I'm so proud to be part of such an amazing community of people! :)

  • Kate

    #37 John & all the Chive/Berry/Throttle/Brigade staff – you guys are simply amazing. ALL of these photos just bring pure joy to the world. I love everything you guys do. Happy Holidays and an amazing New Year!

  • um_yeah

    I was born and raised in SSM Michigan (which of course you drove through) and I live in FW now. Very cool to see you helping people no matter where they are, Thanks for the heart warming story that hit home!

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