4th grader makes heartbreaking Christmas wish for new shoes, ‘happier life’

NEW ORLEANS (WSVN) — A Louisiana man decided to sponsor a needy child’s “Angel Tree” wish list for the holidays, but the fourth-grader’s heartbreaking request left the man stunned.

Jay Banks says he participates in his local YMCA’s Angel Tree every year, where counselors and teachers at a local school write down the children’s Christmas wish lists for them. But when Banks randomly grabbed one of the forms, he saw the child had requested just two things: new shoes, and a “happier life.”

“Put this in context, a 4th grade child has the opportunity to ask for what he wants for Christmas and this is what he asks for,” Banks wrote. “A new bike, an xbox, other toys or a multitude of other things would not have surprised nor alarmed me but for a 4th grader to ask for a happier life is heart wrenching.”

Banks said that, while he doesn’t remember much about his time in elementary school, he knows he “wasn’t wishing for a happier life.”

“This has to be one of the most frustrating things I have ever seen,” Banks said. “What is this child going through; how many other children like him are going through the same things; how can I help?”

The post garnered dozens of comments, with many asking how they could help the little boy.

The YMCA location where Banks found the wish list is accepting donations for a range of programs to help children and adults. Click here to find out how you can help.

Locally, The Salvation Army hosts its own Angel Tree programs in shopping malls throughout South Florida. Click here for information in Miami-Dade, or here for Broward.

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