FAIRFIELD, AL (WBRC) - Will Jones didn't even try to hide his excitement as he tore into gift after gift Friday afternoon. A Playstation 3, a flat screen television, a bike, a pair of golf clubs, and more.
"Thank you! Thank you!" he exclaimed after unwrapping them all. The gifts bring a smile to his face. But they can't wipe away the sadness from the last month of his life.
On November 19th, Will's aunt, Deborah Johnson, was picking him up from Forest Hills Middle School when she was struck and killed. She was his guardian and had been caring for him since his mother was killed, also in a car accident. "I remember her smile, her lips, her clothes. I could spend all day with her," he recalled about his aunt. "She loved me so much."
Johnson worked at the Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation center. Her co-worker, Sondra Ford, spearheaded efforts to adopt Will. "Deb was a blessing to us and when we lost our blessing, we decided to give back," Ford said. She and other employees watched as Will ripped into box after box.
The sight brought tears to Belinda Thomas' eyes. "It's just amazing how a Fairfield family can come together and give a young man a merry Christmas in spite of the tragedy he's gone through," she said wiping away tears.
"I'm just so happy for him." Resident Willie Smith, Jr. echoed her thoughts. "I think it's a blessing to give him something like that. He's deserving of it."
Will says his favorite gift was the T.V., followed closely by the Playstation 3.
"I think they're nice people and generous," he said with a wide smile. "Happy Merry Christmas everyone."