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‘Just one little effort makes a difference’: Crawfordville woman donates 93 stockings to Refuge House

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 11:23 PM EST
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CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WCTV) - In a year with many unexpected twists and turns, one Crawfordville woman wanted to give a surprise unlike any other. This one, filled with holiday cheer.

Lori Fry took it upon herself to become Santa’s helper. Fry gave of her own time and money to fill dozens of stockings for kids, who may not wake up to one this year.

“All the children suffering this year has broken my heart,” shares Fry with tears in her eyes. “And it’s like COVID-19 has taken away the magic of Christmas, and I didn’t want it to go away.”

Fry reflected on her gift-giving mission. She took six weeks off from cleaning houses when she realized she wanted to spread joy. She thought what better way than with a family tradition: stockings.

Fry shares she thought of giving ones, just like the ones she used to open as a little girl.

“I mean, it would be crazy stuff. It would just be awesome, and I thought ‘what better gift to give a child than opening a stocking and having so many different things they could play with.,” says Fry.

Rachel Burlingame is Fry’s daughter.

“She used to go over the top any way she could and it might have been just a Dollar Store item, but she made it feel like something bigger,” Burlingame says. “Growing up even though we didn’t have a lot, we didn’t notice we didn’t have a lot because of her.”

Coloring books, candy, and toys galore. By Monday, 60 stockings were filled to the brim.

But that was not enough.

Burlingame received a phone call from a disappointed mom, who had not reached her goal of 75. Hoping to spread some cheer, Burlingame called on her friends via Facebook, and then a Christmas miracle happened.

“I woke up Tuesday,” states Fry, “to go to work and had 25 more stockings.”

Now Fry has 93 gifts of glee. It is something she says did not take a whole lot.

“‘Mom it’s just $40,’ but I said that $40 fills three stockings Rachel,” says Fry. “That is three little kids who will smile that day. Just one little effort makes a difference.”

Thursday, all of these presents will be gifted to children at the Refuge House. The excitement that Fry holds is like the kind that fills the air on Christmas Eve.

“I am on such a happy high, you could not bring me down,” Fry cried tears of joy as she laughed. “This has been amazing!”

Counting the stockings, and checking them twice, Lori Fry is coming to town- hoping to bring holiday magic.

“I have been given more gifts in my heart doing this, than any gift you could ever buy,” says Fry. “And this is the best gift you could give me is that, right there.”

Fry says she is grateful to friends and family who supported her and ‘Promiseland’ who assisted with stockings. She hopes to keep things merry and bright next year, hopefully with even more stockings.

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