Sometimes, the best way for us to learn an important lesson is through people that we think we should be teaching. But they end up teaching us so much more than we ever thought possible. This is the case with Jenna Martin of North Texas. Jenna was born with cerebral palsy. Her twin died soon after birth, at 24 weeks, but Jenna managed to hang on.
Now, as Christmas approaches, Jenna is helping to ensure that other children in Texas have gifts under their trees. She started the JJ & B Gifted Gifts Foundation to give gifts to children at Scottish Rite Hospital where she received years of treatment.
She explains on the website for her foundation how she came up with the idea for the foundation. As she wrote, I am 12 years old and I have cerebral palsy. I was a micro preemie born at 24 weeks weighing 1lb 7 oz. I have been through so much in my young 12 years. I’ve been blessed to have had so many people involved in my life to help me get through some major physical disabilities. Most of my care was from the great doctors, nurses and volunteers at Scottish Rite Hospital of Dallas. They were so nice and took good care of me during doctor visits and when I had to have surgery for my legs.
This year, a week before my 12th birthday, my father asked me what I wanted as a gift. I told him I had everything I needed, food, shelter, clothes and a loving family. So I told him any gifts I receive for my birthday I wanted to “gift” them back to the children at Scottish Rite Hospital – because I know how bad it feels to be in the hospital.”
Jenna’s plan is quite simple. As she explains on her website, “I am dedicated to my foundation but I need your help. Please help me with my vision and dream to get as many gifts as we can to children who have to spend so much time in the hospital.
Help me “gift” back. Through my foundation we can provide smiles for so many kids. We can help make them forget about their pain and look forward to their doctor visits. I don’t want our gifting to be a seasonal thing. Lots of people give at Christmas. I want to give year round. Our gifting goal is to gift once a month 12 times a year. If each person gives up ONE gift they are given for their birthday, Valentine’s Day, or any holiday, it’s one more gift that can go to my foundation so we can give to the children.”