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

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

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

Mikah Frye was with his grandmother in Ashland last week when he noticed people wandering the streets and in the cold.

Terry Brant said, "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:' And he said okay and when he got home, he later said if the XBox is $300, and the blankets are $10 then I can buy 30 blankets,” said Brant.

"Feels really good a lot of people said 'you did good' and it just feels really good,” says Mikah.

If you're wondering how such a young boy has so much compassion for those who are less fortunate, it's because he too, found himself in the same situation just a short time ago.

His mother Sara Brown says, "It was about 3-years ago, 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."

From hardship to providing comfort and security.

More than 60 blankets have been given to the organization called Access, the same emergency shelter program that helped him and his family three years ago.

The program’s director says 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."

Cathy Thiemens, Executive Director of the Access Program 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."

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

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.

40.943559 -82.301773