CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Moments after Andy and Jasmine Pennington appeared on television in a story about families that needed help for the holidays, the phones in the WTVR CBS 6 Newsroom started to ring. People were calling in to find out how they could help the Penningtons who shared that they had recently lost their 10-year-old daughter Amber to a rare brain cancer.
"They [Amber's older brother and younger sister] have just been through so much; they’ve lost so much," an emotional Andy Pennington said in November, one month after Amber's death. "They’ve lost their sister and their best friend. My children may wake up on Christmas Day and lose Christmas too."
Generous people both here in Richmond and around the world made it their mission to make sure that did not happen. Two of the calls that came in right after Pennington's story aired have made a huge impact on the Penningtons.
One local couple who reached out generously provided some presents that the Pennington children could open on Christmas. The other call came from a family in Powhatan who were so touched by the Penningtons' story that they reached out to friends and relatives in places like Washington, California, New Hampshire and Australia.
Andy Pennington was too emotional to speak when Shelby Brown showed him the gifts and other donations collected since their story appeared on the news. The Penningtons said they could never thank those big-hearted elves and other donors enough for thinking of their family this holiday season.