Autistic Carroll youth wish for Christmas cards this holiday

By Allen Worrell Editor

December 13, 2013

This Christmas, many youth across the country hope Santa will bring them a new Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or the newest iPad or iPhone. But for two Carroll County youth, a simple Christmas card could make this the merriest Christmas possible.

Jessie and Alyssa are both autistic. According to Kandy Goad, all either of them want for Christmas is a Christmas Card. To help make their wish possible, Red Hill General Store of Hillsville is accepting Christmas Cards on their behalf. Christmas Cards may be mailed to Red Hill General Store, 1035 Sylvatus Highway, Hillsville, Va., 24343 and should be marked c/o Miss Alyssa or c/o Miss Jessie. Citizens wanting to help with the endeavor may also simply bring a Christmas card by Red Hill General Store during normal business hours.

“I can’t tell you how what this means to them. All I can do is tell you that they light up with every letter they open,” Goad said. “They get extremely excited. Do you remember when you were a kid and a family member would you send a birthday card, that feeling of being important inside? You can see that in their expression and all over their face that they are important, that somebody is thinking of them when they get a Christmas Card.”

Goad said she picked a public family business that would collect the Christmas cards on behalf of Jessie and Alyssa so that the children’s homes could stay private. Red Hill General Store agreed to do that for the two girls, Goad said.

Alyssa will also be turning 10 years old on December 22, Goad said, so well-wishers are welcome to send her birthday cards as well as a Christmas card if they desire.

“Both of them would love to have the Christmas cards. Alyssa’s birthday is on December 22, so I figure some people may want to send two, but if they want to send one, it doesn’t matter. The girls just get so excited over Christmas cards,” Goad said. “Just please make sure to mark their name of the envelope.”

Goad is hopeful the Christmas spirit will overcome people who hear about the wishes of Jessie and Alyssa. She said she posted their wishes on Facebook recently, and within just a few hours she already had approximately 50 people asking for the information to send Christmas Cards.