Sandra Elliot worked as a teacher at Summerville Charter School in Nashville, Tennessee. Academically, she had a doctorate. But when she and her husband James were not blessed with children, she took the job far beyond what her academic qualifications would have offered, in order to be close to the children.
Sandra had a gentle and kind demeanor, so that all her students adored her as much as she loved them. She was always trying to help them and was interested in their lives outside of school. Who would have thought that her curiosity would lead her to discover something unexpected?
One day, as Sandra walked past her classroom during lunch break, she noticed one of her students, 12-year-old Robin Hollister, sitting quietly in the corner, staring out the window. His lunchbox was right in front of him, but he hadn’t even opened it, and he looked lost.
Why isn’t he eating? Robin is always the one who looks forward to the lunch break the most. Isn’t he feeling well today?” she wondered, as she was about to approach him. But just then, the school’s principal, Mrs. Anderson, called her and she had to leave.
The next day, before lunch, Sandra had mentally decided to ask Robin why he hadn’t eaten his lunch the day before, but when she got to class, he was nowhere to be found. She looked out the window and noticed Robin walking away with his lunch and a plastic bag in his hand.
Sandra left the classroom quickly and followed Robin quietly, she discovered the boy rummaging through the trash, vigorously picking up the leftovers and putting them in the bag.
“Oh dear,” she exclaimed, covering her mouth in shock. “Why is he doing that?”
Suddenly, Robin looked up and sped away.
Sandra wanted to follow the boy and ask him why he was doing this, but there were still a few classes left before his shift ended. So she decided to confront Robin the next day. But unfortunately, at lunch break the next day, Robin was nowhere to be found again.
She looked out the window, but didn’t see him, and when she rushed behind the school to the dumpster, he wasn’t there either. Discouraged, she continued walking past the dumpster and suddenly noticed Robin crossing the street with the same bag he had used to fill the leftovers.
“I’m going to find out where that boy goes every day. I’m sure there’s something he’s been hiding all along!”.
Sandra texted the principal to report her absence from school, citing health reasons, and took a cab to follow the boy.
Christmas was just around the corner. Sandra knew that if she told the principal that she needed time off for any reason other than her health, she would be denied because there was a lot of work to do for the school Christmas party. So the woman had no choice but to lie, even though she didn’t want to.
Sitting in the cab, she asked the driver to drive slowly so Robin wouldn’t notice her. She could see that the boy was happily walking down the street with leftovers, but she had no idea why he was doing that.
Suddenly, Robin entered a narrow alley that was inaccessible to Sandra’s cab. So she got out and followed the boy until he stopped in front of a dilapidated old house.
Sandra hid in an alley not far from the house, watching Robin, who hurried away after leaving the bag and his lunchbox on the doorstep. She decided to approach him from behind and confront him. But the door to the old house opened and two children, a boy and a girl, stepped out. The girl looked to be Robin’s age or older, but the boy looked no older than five.
Curious to know who they were, Sandra started walking toward the house when she noticed a woman coming out. She looked bad, had messy hair, and had a stern expression on her face. Sandra could see that the children’s happy expressions were fading as they turned and looked at the woman.
“How many times have I told you not to leave the house without my permission? Children, you are as useless as your father! He never listened to me, and now it’s you two, you brats!” she yelled at the children, holding their ears and twisting them to the point that the children began to cry in pain.
“Mom! Please don’t do that, please!” the girl screamed. “It hurts.”
“Yes, Mommy! We’re sorry,” the little boy added.
Sandra couldn’t take it anymore when she saw the woman insulting the children and decided to confront her. However, as she approached the woman, she detected a strong smell of alcohol.
“What kind of mother are you?” she said with a stern look. “I know they are your children and I shouldn’t interfere, but can’t you see that they are suffering?”
“And who are you to interfere? THEY ARE MY CHILDREN. I DO WHAT I WANT!” the woman retorted.
Suddenly, the children tore their ears from their mother’s grasp and crept up behind Sandra.
“Please help us. She doesn’t feed us, and all the money we have at home she spends on alcohol. Daddy abandoned us because he was tired of her. Please don’t leave us alone with her!” the girl pleaded.
“Don’t worry, okay?”, Sandra comforted the little girl. “She’s not going to hurt you anymore!”
Sandra quickly grabbed her phone and texted the address to James, asking him to come over immediately. He was an officer with the Tennessee State Police, and as luck would have it, his team was making rounds in the neighborhood where Sandra was located. Within seconds, he and his teammates arrived and rescued the children.
The woman, Catherine, was arrested for child abuse, and when officers searched her home, they discovered not only bottles of alcohol, but also a briefcase filled with stacks of cash, which she had apparently received after withdrawing all the insurance money the children’s father had left for them.
Sandra and James took the children, Jessica and Spencer, to the police station, where they recorded their statements, and then took them home, where Sandra washed, fed and dressed them.
Later that evening, as Sandra and James sat by the children as they slept, they decided they were going to adopt them and give them a new life. They had been trying for years to have children, and finally God chose to bless them with not one but two beautiful children!
Catherine, who had been abusive to her children, lost her parental rights and was sentenced to jail time by the court. Robin, who had decided to help Jessica and Spencer, was praised for his bravery and kindness by the school principal at the Christmas party.
It turned out that the boy was running off with the leftovers every day during lunch break without telling anyone, because he was afraid that his mother would scold him if she found out that he was helping Jessica and Spencer. She had warned him to stay away from the kids because Catherine was an alcoholic and didn’t seem like a good person. But luckily, because of Robin’s act, his mother realized in the end that she should have helped Jessica and Spencer instead of avoiding them.
So, on Christmas Eve, she invited Sandra, her husband and the kids to her home and cooked them a delicious Christmas dinner of honey glazed ham, stew, green beans and her famous roast turkey with gravy.
They all had a great dinner together, sharing stories about each other’s lives and praising Robin for not only doing the right thing, but for bringing a miracle on Christmas Eve to the lives of two children who were living a miserable life.