9-year-old gives up Xbox for Christmas to help homeless

ASHLAND COUNTY, Ohio -- It is that time of year when children are getting their wish lists to Santa.

But when a 9-year-old Ohio boy was given the option of receiving a Christmas gift or helping the homeless, he chose to embrace the spirit of holiday giving.

Mikah Frye was with his grandmother in Ashland last week when he noticed people wandering the streets in the cold, according to WJW.

Grandmother Terry Brant recalled the conversation: "He said, 'Grandma it's so cold outside, what does the homeless people do?' And I said, I don't really know and he said 'well, they're cold' and I said, 'what do you want to give them, a blanket?"

That became the plan. But Mikah’s desire to give them blankets came at a price.

"He said, 'You can buy them a blanket,' and I said, 'Do you want to give up one Christmas gift to get a blanket to give to someone?'" When they got home Mikah told his grandmother, "If the XBox is $300, and the blankets are $10 then I can buy 30 blankets.”

When asked how he feels about his decision, Mikah said, "Feels really good, a lot of people said 'you did good' and it just feels really good.”

Mikah, who shows so much compassion and empathy at such young age, knows what it's like to need a helping hand.

His mother, Sara Brown, told WJW, "It was about three years ago (that) we hit some financial problems; me and my husband and Mikah we ended up losing our home. We stayed there for just a few weeks until we found a new place to live."

Mikah has gone from hardship to providing for others – more than 60 blankets have been given to the organization Access, the same emergency shelter program that helped him and his family three years ago.

The program’s director said she’s already started handing out blankets to needy families, with a personalized message from Mikah attached to each one. It reads in part, “They gave me a blanket, but I had to leave it. That's why I want you to have your own blanket."

Mikah’s message ends with, “Today, I live in my own house, and someday you will too. Your friend Mikah."

Access Executive Director Cathy Thiemens said, "Not only will they have a nice warm blanket that they get to keep, everybody will get a blanket, but they're wrapped in Christ's love as well as Mikah's love."

The Access program was created in 2008 and helps homeless women and families in Ashland County.

They are not federally funded and mostly run by financial donations.

As for Mikah, Santa is currently in the process of trying to get him that XBox he truly wants for Christmas.