BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There will be an emptiness on Christmas Day for five local children who lost both parents to COVID-19 this year. Their aunt took them in as her own children and is now responsible for a family of thirteen.
Francesca McCall might be raising a dozen children now, but she isn’t alone, thanks to the kindness of strangers.
“It’s a blessing from God, and I just appreciate everything that everybody is doing,” McCall said Sunday.
First, she lost her 35-year-old sister in September, followed by her brother-in-law just weeks later.
She took in her sister’s children... a family now grieving together.
“The younger children... they really don’t understand that they have lost their parents,” said Carla McDonald, a family friend and sponsor.
The youngest children, just five and six, don’t understand where their parents are.
“The gifts are good... but your mom is not there to watch all of this, and they are thinking their mom is coming home for the holidays,” said McDonald, emotionally.
The gifts from the community bring some smiles. A gift of full college scholarships from the Fletcher Fund to the three oldest children bring hope.
Francesca, says she never expected so much kindness.
“Tears of joy. Tears,” is how McCall described her reaction.
It will be a tough road for the family, one they’ll take together, 13-strong.
“We are asking for everyone to still continue to pray for the children,” said McDonald.