OKLAHOMA CITY – Outside of the Woodson Senior Center in south Oklahoma City, leaves are changing color as winter fast approaches.
Miss Odessa Ross is inside, and she, too, has been preparing for winter – Knitting more than 700 winter hats.
“I nominated Odessa, because she’s such a giving person, and she always gives to people all the time. And to be able to knit more than 700 hats to the Grandparents Raising Grandkids, for the children who are living with their grandparents here in Oklahoma, that are on such a fixed income,” Sheryl Presley said. “If you saw their little faces and how excited they get when they see the hats, but what a labor of love. She’s a true servant.”
Presley has watched Odessa work tirelessly all year long to give away warm, fuzzy hats for children who live with their grandparents.
Odessa distributes her handy work through a program called Grandparents Raising Grandkids. Most of the grandparents do not have much money to spare at Christmas.
“She has no idea that we’re getting ready to go in. I feel like a little kid at Christmas. I’m so excited,” Sheryl said.
Along with Presley, News 4 and First Fidelity Bank are about to pay Miss Odessa a big surprise.
“Miss Odessa, on behalf of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, we nominated you for the Pay It 4Ward award. And you’re so deserving. You’re such a giving person. You deserve this $400 dollars. So, hold your hand out. We love you. Your labor of love for the children is why we did this,” said Presley.
“Thank you all very much. Thank you all,” said Odessa.
“Well, I can’t sit and do nothing. So, I have to do something, and this came up and my daughter and I decided we were going to do it, and that’s what we’ve been doing now for four years,” Odessa said.
Four years later and hundreds of children are warmer.
“The first year we went, we sat the hats out on the table, and the little kids came through and said, ‘How much are they?’ I said, ‘Sweetie, they’re nothing,” Odessa said. “’Pick the one you want,’ and they couldn’t believe that they were getting it for nothing. I said, ‘Well, that’s what it’s for. For you children.’ And I loved every minute of it.”
Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.