Christmas comes early for special group - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Christmas comes early for special group

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

At Mulder United Methodist Church in Elmore County some would say Linda Holley embodies the Christmas spirit, remembering 'the least of these.'

"These are people who can't hold down a job," said Holley.

It started 15 years ago for Holley, a chance encounter with a man with mental illness. One thing led to another, compassion and a desire to do something.

That brings us here today.

It is here at the church where Holley served up food and dished up a little Christmas cheer including gifts to around 20 men from the Quarles foster home in Montgomery. The gift bags included goodies like a radio, pajamas, cookies and a little cash. Every bit of it was donated.

Holley admits she didn't always feel this way.

"I was initially afraid because I didn't know anyone with mental illness," Holley said.

Most of these guys don't have any family members to visit them throughout the year but they have a friend and her name is Linda Holley.

Diane Thomas is the house mother at Quarles.

"What Linda does is wonderful. It makes them feel wanted and loved," said Thomas.

Thomas tells WSFA 12 News it would not be a stretch to say people like 'Leon' wouldn't have much of a Christmas if not for Holley; no warm embrace, no gifts, no small kindness.

Leon couldn't agree more.

"She's real nice. She's an angel at what she do," Leon said.

"What mentally ill people need more than anything else in the world is a friend. Well, I can be a friend," Holley said.

So can Santa who made a surprise visit, doing his part to light up their faces and hearts.

"This gives me great joy," said Holley.

Great joy in serving the forgotten.

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