NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local school crossing guard is doing more than just warming hearts this holiday season.
Lilly Rachel Humphrey absolutely loves Christmas. In fact, she wishes she could keep her holiday decorations up year-round.
“I like the warm feeling of Christmas,” said Humphrey.
And now she is bringing that warm feeling to work – literally! Humphrey, who is better known as Ms. Rachel to the kids, is also a Norfolk school crossing guard. Her sleigh is her car, and her presents are the gift of warmth.
“Scarves, hats and I got gloves,” said Humphrey. “That’s what I have. That’s what I give out to the children at the crosswalk.”
It all started a few weeks ago, when Ms. Rachel saw a little boy who was about 8-years-old at a cross walk in the Five Points area.
She says he was shivering cold because it was 40 degrees outside.
“He had only a shirt, pants, no hat, no scarf, no gloves. I said, ‘well aren’t you cold?’ He said, yes. I said, ‘well here. Take my hat, my gloves, my scarf,’ I wrapped it around him and put it on his head and I said now, you go to school and have warm thoughts.”
And then it clicked. Humphrey decided to go shopping with her sister for the kids at the crosswalk.
“I try to pick out as many things as I think the kids these days would like. Even me, I actually love it,” Humphrey says while trying on a bright and furry scarf.
And all the while, the voice of her father in her head.
“When I would go to school I used to tell my dad how cold I was. I used to want to put on more clothes. I was cold and my father would say, just have warm thoughts and if you have warm thoughts you’ll stay warm.”
Now, she’s passing on those three words, to these children: Have warm thoughts.
“Any time a child comes up to me and says, can I get a scarf or hat or gloves? I say ‘what’s your favorite color?’ “
She clearly loves red and green, but there’s something for everyone.
It brings her daughter Madison Bailey to tears — happy tears.
“It’s not every day that someone does something like this and for her to do it and sometimes these kids are so cold,” said Bailey. “I’m so proud of her.”
Ms. Rachel tells me the little boy who inspired her to do this still wears the hat and gloves, every single day.
If you’d like donate to the Warm Thoughts Campaign, email Bailey.Baby21@hotmail.