PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A Pender County woman, thankful for what she has, decided to help others this holiday season. She did it by posting an online ad.
She never expected to get dozens of responses.
Jewell Horton has a binder filled with emails from desperate families who need help this holiday season. Here's a small sample:
"There is only one thing that I need and that is one baseboard heater. Keeping my grandson warm is the only christmas gift we need."
"My husband got hurt at work in April and is now partially disabled. I have 2 boys, 13 and 10 that I can't afford to buy anything for."
"We are so far in the hole that our Christmas money now is going to be bill money. I just want to cry. If you know of anyone that has a prelit tree for us, I would be ever so grateful!"
These emails are only the tip of the iceberg. Many families asked for basic necessities.
"I think we take for granted just how lucky we have it and we don't think about what it would be like to be in a position to ask somebody for toilet paper or size 8 underwear and things like that," explained Jewell Horton. "It just really brought tears to our eyes and inspired us to do something."
The emails are the result of an ad Horton placed on Craigslist, offering to help families in need. She never expected to get 66 replies. Now she's on a mission to try and help each person who replied.
"I emailed everyone back, tried to tell them who I was, that I wasn't a millionaire and that I wasn't going to show up on their doorstep with a tv camera and give them everything they dreamed of, but that I was gonna try my best to get things they needed this holiday season," Horton said.
Horton spread the word. Soon, family, friends, church groups and coworkers stepped up to help.
"When Jewell mentioned she was doing this, we felt that it's our way to give back to the community and to thank God for all he's given us this year," said co-worker Joni Gynp.
A community that might have a merrier Christmas, thanks to one woman who thinks its better to give than receive.
Many families also asked for used items, like mattresses and clothes. Others wanted baby formula. Jewell still needs help fulfilling these wishes.
If you can help, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org