|Ryan (from left), Jeff, Renee and Kristine Monast with NOAH Shelter Director Greg Bar.
When 10-year-old Renee Monast of Wareham, was writing her Christmas letter to Santa this past December, she did something unusual. She thought of those in need.
“She didn’t put anything on there for herself,” her mother Kristine said. “She only asked for things for the needy.”
So when Christmas came, Santa delivered a bag full of practical items – toothpaste, deodorant, lotion – that homeless men and women could use. Renee then filled up plastic bags for 10 men and 10 women that she brought to the NOAH Shelter during her school vacation in February. Inside each was a handwritten note from Renee.
She called the gifts blessing bags.
Joined by her father Jeff and brother Ryan, 12, Renee handed them out to those at NOAH, but not before shelter director Greg Bar introduced her and explained what she had done.
Several NOAH guests shouted out, “thank you,” and afterwards Bar commended the fifth grader attending Hyannis’ St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School for her thoughtfulness. “You know when I was 10 or 11 it was never even in my mind to help other people,” Bar said.
Her mother said she has come to expect this type of charitableness from Renee. “She’s always been a giver,” Kristine said.
“It makes me feel good,” Renee said, as to why she does it. And because she did not have enough bags for everyone at the shelter, she promised to come back with more.
A few minutes after the Monasts had left, John, a 47-year-old homeless man staying at the shelter, marveled at Renee’s generosity. “The world needs more kids like that,” he said. “For a child to come in and want to give to the less fortunate, that is phenomenal. You don’t see that nowadays.”