STORY #4 By Katherine Fluor 📕

The College Student Who Found Her ‘Home Away From Home’ for Christmas

While all her classmates were eagerly making plans with family and friends for their trips back home for the holidays, Jackie Turner, a junior at William Jessup University near Sacramento, was worried she would be the only student left on campus for Christmas. “

“This time of year is hard,” Jackie said. “Everyone is talking about their cousins, their families, all the things that make up Christmas.”

But Jackie says she doesn’t have any of that — and never did. She told CBS News that her childhood was abusive, and she never shared in any of the experiences she heard her classmates talk about.

Instead of feeling sorry for herself, the straight A-student posted an ad on Craigslist offering $8/hour to rent parents for the holidays. “Maybe for like a couple hours,” she said, “just be, like, the light of their life for that moment.”

She got dozens of responses to her ad — about half from parents who wanted to help, for free of course — and about half from other young people who felt the same way she did. So, she held a meet up Christmas potluck dinner.

“People are hurting and broken and we need each other,” Jackie said. “We need to be loving people. And I think that’s what tonight’s about.”

Jackie not only found a mentor for herself that holiday season, but matched the needy with the needed. She continues to host yearly meet ups with a potluck Christmas dinner, because no one should ever feel alone on Christmas.

No matter how small or large your gift may be, Christmas is about filling hearts around us with peace and joy, and giving to those that may be less fortunate.

There is a song we sing with the following words: ‘You came from heaven to earth, to show the way’. Jesus is an example of how God wants to reach down to us and meet us at our level with a plan to change our lives and situations. Let Him into your heart and life today.

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