By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
ELEVEN-year-old Melania Nixon is embarking on a mission to show “12 Days of Love and Gratitude” bringing holiday cheer to those she comes into contact.
Melania, a seventh grader at Lyford Cay International School, was inspired to launch the initiative while listening to the famous 12 Days of Christmas song.
She felt there was a need to extend her efforts from senior homes through her “Operation Love and Gratitude” to those in need in the wider community including those effected by Hurricane Dorian.
Using the resources available to her the best way she can, Melania came up with the list of 12 acts, that she intends to complete before Christmas.
Although school is still in session, Melania has been able to balance herself and has already started her acts of love and gratitude. During the week of Thanksgiving, with gift baskets in tow, she was allowed to visit one of the senior homes where Operation Love and Gratitude first began its efforts. She spent time sharing and talking to the seniors during a luncheon.
“Throughout the Christmas season, she will to continue to distribute more care and gift packages to local shelters and children homes, along with other non-profit organizations, never failing to neglect her usual contribution of time and talent to the senior homes, said Danella Nixon’s mother.
With the Christmas holiday quickly approaching, she has also stepped out of her normal method of doing things by sharing a few random acts of kindness such as handing out food store vouchers which persons were truly grateful for. It is her goal to touch as many as she can in her own way during the yule tide season.
“The smiling faces and love shown from those on the receiving end are priceless,” said Mrs Nixon.
Although she cannot help everyone, those that she has been able to reach one or more times have felt loved from her generosity. The impact of her actions are ‘shown and felt in their smiles, hugs, and clapping when their ‘little friend’ returns.”
One of the moments that really stuck out to me was during the Thanksgiving luncheon. Melania hand-wrote personal messages on 65 dessert containers. Even though she had labels that she could have easily just placed on the containers, she wanted to make each person feel that personal touch of love,” she said.
Mrs Nixon said she continues to encourage and support her daughter’s endeavours.
“There is not one day that passes that I do not commend and encourage Melania in all that she does. If she is contemplating an idea, I hear her out, sometimes more than once, allowing her to let her own creative juices flow to formulate how she can be a blessing to others. Moreover, it’s the pure sincerity in her actions that really warms my heart; that this tiny-framed 11 year old has such a passion to help others which encourages me to keep her balanced, involved and grounded. However, I cannot take all of the credit because, I can’t do it all on my own. My family, especially my sister, her godparents and the help of those that donate and give their time and resources when needed play a major role to help her accomplish all of the missions,” she said.
Melania’s “Operation Love and Gratitude” movement first started almost two years ago when she wanted to brighten up the day for her 93-year-old grandmother, who had lost mobility in her legs and was unable to attend music recitals or command the dance floor like she used to.
So as a member of the Bahamas Music Academy Orchestra, Melania uplifted her grand mother’s spirit by playing music for her on her violin. That one act was the spark that launched ‘Operation Love and Gratitude’.
In addition to uplifting others, one of the main things Melania always seeks to do is encourage those around her, especially her peers, to show appreciation for the people who have paved the way.
“I have learnt that it’s the little things that count to those who are truly grateful. One act of kindness can turn a frown into a smile especially when the person isn’t expecting it whether it be a small meal or a hot cup of tea. I don’t want my peers to feel that a small act of kindness isn’t enough, if they don’t have material things to give because, their time is just as valuable. Stop by an older relative whom you haven’t seen in a while, or go read, sing songs, or share a tub of ice cream with your grandparents; that’s one of my grandmother’s favourites. The goal is to show your Love and Gratitude however you can,” said Melania.