Contributed photo

To give is to receive

MONTICELLO, NY — Gabriel Espinosa has a special mission. It’s a mission to make Christmas memorable for an organization, an elderly person, a child.

From a bicycle given to a beloved staffer at the Monticello Shoprite, Christmas for a single mom and her four children, helping students from BOCES enjoy school lunch for the year, or hosting a holiday party for a child with cancer at his favorite restaurant, Espinosa and his helpers seek out one recipient to honor and treat for the holidays. Espinosa first started his quest as the Secret Elves, and soon changed his “organizational” name to Pay It Forward Sullivan County.

This year, Espinosa, with the help of the Knights of Columbus, hosted a party for Andrew, who is 13 and suffers from an aggressive sort of cancer called Aveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. For kids who get this before age 10 the prognosis is good. Andrew was diagnosed at age 11. The party was graciously held at the Taco Bell in Monticello.

So Paying It Forward Sullivan County’s annual Christmas Good Deed for 2017 was hosting Santa and providing presents from Andrew’s Christmas list (as well as his younger brother’s). Andrew is slated to go on a plane ride, another wish, on New Year’s Eve Day.

With this year’s good deed checked off the list, Espinosa will be looking for next year’s recipient in September.

Andrew Meets Santa at Taco Bell in Monticello from Gabriel Espinosa on Vimeo.


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