Mikah Frye has always been the sort of kid who would give others the shirt off his back. When he was younger, his parents wondered why his school lunch account kept emptying out so quickly, only to find out that the generous elementary student was buying lunches for kids who couldn’t afford to eat.
Now that Mikah is nine, he’s finding even bigger ways to help those who are less fortunate than himself. Thanks to one act of generosity that went viral in his community, the Beachwood, Ohio youngster is being praised by none other than the Microsoft Corporation.
In the days before Christmas, Mikah was excitedly thinking about the big present he was hoping to receive that year, a $300 Xbox. Although his family had been through some tough financial times in his earlier life, his grandmother, Terry Young, had indicated that she would be able to afford giving him the gift that just about every 9-year-old on the planet hoped to find under their tree that year.
Yet one day as Mikah was dreaming of that Xbox, he noticed several homeless people downtown near his house. Seeing how cold they were in the freezing November weather brought back a painful memory for the young man, and he instantly changed his mind about the importance of getting a gaming system that year.
Mikah’s mother Sara Brown explained, “A few years ago, we lost our home and we ended up needing help from Access. He told me that he remembered not being able to keep the blanket they let him use.” Access is a local homeless program run through the Ashland Church Community Emergency Shelter Services.
Doing some quick math in his head, Mikah determined that the $300 that his grandmother planned to use for his Xbox would be much better used to buy blankets for the homeless. With that amount of cash, he figured he could buy about 30 blankets to donate to Access — and this time, people would be able to keep the blankets instead of having to give it back when they moved out of the shelter.
Mikah did use the Christmas money to buy blankets, and when people heard his community heard what he’d done, they pitched in and donated twice as much as originally hoped. Since the shelter receives no government funding, donations like Mikah’s mean the world to the people who rely on charity to get by.
“First person I gave one of his blankets to started crying, and she said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is such an instrument of hope,’” said Cathy Thiemens, the executive director of the Access program said. Mikah also wrote a personal note for each recipient of the blankets, saying,
When I was 6 years old my mom and I lived at the churches. They gave me a blanket but I had to leave it; that’s why I want you to have you’re own blanket. Today I live in my own house, and someday you will, too! Your friend, Mikah.
Just a few weeks before Christmas, Microsoft heard about Mikah’s sacrifice and decided to reward him for helping his community in such a selfless manner. The Microsoft store at the family’s local mall invited them to come in. They decorated the shop with Mikah’s name and balloons, and then gave the boy a hero’s welcome as he stepped in.
Santa Claus was on hand to give Mikah a very special gift: his very own Xbox.
“They went all out for him,” said Mikah’s grandmother. “They had controllers and games. It was really nice.
It’s always wonderful to see a kid this young who not only thinks about the homeless, but endeavors to do what he can to help them. We’re so glad that Microsoft was able to reward Mikah for his incredible act of generosity and love for his fellow man.
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