A New Orleans City Council member was left stunned when he received a Christmas request from a fourth-grader who asked only for "new shoes" and a "happier life."
Jay Banks, who was recently elected to represent District B, said he "randomly selected" the child’s wish list while working with the annual Angel Tree program at the Dryades YMCA. The program helps make Christmas wishes come true for students at the James Singleton Charter School.
“Put this in context, a 4th grade child has the opportunity to ask for what he wants for Christmas and this is what he asks for,” Banks wrote in an emotional Facebook post Monday after choosing the form. “A new bike, an xbox, other toys or a multitude of other things would not have surprised nor alarmed me but for a 4th grader to ask for a happier life is heart wrenching.”
Banks went on to question how he could help and how many children have wished for the same thing.
“I don’t specifically remember much about the 4th grade but I do know I wasn’t wishing for a happier life,” he wrote. “My thoughts are; what is this child going through; how many other children like him are going through the same things; how can I help; why did I have pull this one?”
The post drew comments of support from dozens of people offering gifts and even counseling services.
Banks has not yet said what he plans to do for the child.