It all started with a man coming in for his dental checkup with his 2-year-old grandson, Jaxyn, in tow. A photo circulated around the George Street dental staff.
A grandfather unable to walk well, still willing to get on the floor to talk teeth and play with his grandson.
Gary and Marty are raising their three grandchildren – Gracey, age 10; Carly, age 7, and 2-year-old Jaxyn. They didn’t have enough money to do Christmas this year. So that’s where dental stepped in.
Today, the family stopped by for a surprise. And boy, were they surprised. The gifts just kept on coming for all three kids, and of course – Grandma and Grandpa. The staff also got Jaxyn a new bed and mattress, which he immediately started jumping on.
“We haven’t had a Christmas in years,” Gary said, opening his gifts of pj pants, new shoes and more. “It’s all about the kids.”
Marty spent most of her time bouncing from grandkid to grandkid as they showed off their new dolls, nail polish, clothes and more. Each time, the girls looked up with amazement after gifts were revealed.
Our CEO couldn’t make it down, but dental staffer Rolando Nieves presented the family with a Weis gift card, which Marty says they’ll use for a turkey.
Every few seconds it seemed, Marty was thanking the staff, wiping away tears and exclaiming she couldn’t believe all they had done.
But that wasn’t all.
One of our staffer’s mother is the pastor at St. Peter Lischey’s church in Spring Grove. For all of Advent, the congregation has been collection donations for the family. Pastor Kathy presented the family $900 toward their Family First Health dental bills.
Taking slow, deliberate steps with his cane in hand, Gary made his way over to give out hugs of thanks. Marty turned to him in awe, saying maybe he can get his teeth fixed to.
Marty kept trying to clean as she went, with staffers taking trash bags and wrapping paper from her hands. She even offered to come clean our offices in thanks.
Instead, she joked the kids will give thanks by spending more time caring for their teeth.
And the staff, from the looks on their faces and tears wiped away, they had all the thanks they needed.
“Santa Claus is real,” Gary said. “I believe it now.”
Before break was over, staffers helped load up the car full of three boxes full of toys. It was likely a Christmas their family and ours will never forget.
Watch a video with photos of the whole thing below.