A local family who otherwise would not have had Christmas will have a jubilant end to 2020 thanks to the selfless generosity of employees at the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Sharon Allen of Jackson, a terminally ill mother of five, reached out on Facebook with a video asking for help in giving her children a Christmas this year. Employees in the MDHS Division of Aging and Adult Services Adult Protection Services Program heard her plea and responded by adopting the family. After visiting the home, the agency was able to connect Allen with needed rental and utilities assistance with the help of the MDHS Community Services Division.

“The mother meets the definition of a vulnerable adult in need of assistance, so we knew the only right thing to do was to reach out and help any way we could,” said Anita Ballard, Director of Adult Protection Services. “The Division of Aging and Adult Services believes in helping and serving others.”

Using money collected within the division, DAAS was able to bring some Christmas cheer to the children, ages 16, 11, 3, and two 13-year-olds. The gifts were delivered to the home by DAAS staff.

“God bless the people at the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Without them, my children would have had no Christmas and there would be no smiles on their faces,” Allen said. “These angels did so much. I don’t know how to thank them enough.”

In addition, Miskelly’s Furniture will be delivering beds to the family’s home this week, and the family will also receive a donated washer and dryer.

“It does my heart good to see how much our employees truly care about people and come to the assistance of those who need help, especially at Christmas time,” said Robert G. “Bob” Anderson, MDHS Executive Director. “I have never been prouder of our employees.”

Employees in the MDHS Division of Aging and Adult Services pose with Christmas gifts that were donated to the Allen family. (Left to right) Kenyada Blake, James Davis, Marshea Cooper, Anita Ballard, Mary Shearrill, Benae Jackson, Candace Washington, Lyndria Lee, and John Robinson.