Wednesday, December 21, 2011


JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA –  David Garrard, never heard of him. Until this week, of course, and now I know him as “Santa”. 

David’s mama died from breast cancer when he was 16. She was a single mom, struggling to raise her son;  imagine the impact that has on a child. He could have gone in so many different directions, couldn’t he? I think the easiest route might have been one filled with struggles and heartache. Instead, this young man has become a beacon of hope.

He recently had to take a break from his professional football career due to back surgery. During his medical break, he did something astonishing. 

Eleven single mamas with breast cancer (and their children) were his guests for the evening. They were treated to a great dinner out, and then a bit of shopping. All expenses paid, courtesy of David. He spent so much time visiting with the mamas, taking pictures with the kids, hugging and laughing that he completely forgot to eat dinner himself. Can you imagine taking 11 families – families that could really use a helping hand– shopping for Christmas? What joy that must have been.

So I don’t know you, David, but I love you. Because you are exactly what we all need to see – someone who scrapes all the silver lining off of the clouds he finds in his life. Then shares that silver with the people around you.  Have a Merry Christmas, sir. And thank you for your example.

Photo courtesy of The Jacksonville Times-Union

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