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RACINE — The Little Family is making a big impact this Thanksgiving. Mary Little and her two children, Emmett and Kalliope, are putting the “giving” in Thanksgiving.

By providing a family in need with a turkey and all of the fixings, they are sure to make the holiday a memorable one for a family that is struggling financially.

“We’re living in a time where even if you’re doing everything right, sometimes it’s still hard to make ends meet,” said Little.

That’s why she took to her community’s Facebook pages to help a fellow neighbor in need. Little posted in two local groups asking people to come forward if they or someone they knew was in need of a Thanksgiving meal.

A ‘Little help’ for Thanksgiving

She told her community members that her daughter would draw a name out of a hat to determine who gets the meal. While the Little family won’t make the meal for you, they are providing the essentials for someone to cook it at home.

“I really just wanted to help someone. I associated Thanksgiving time with some not-so-happy memories and I thought, you know what I’m going to? I’m going to take my joy back. I’m going to do something for someone else,” she said.

Names came flooding into Little’s inbox and the comments section of the post. She didn’t ask for an explanation from anyone inquiring about the giveaway; her goal was providing for a family, not digging into their personal lives.

“I’m working on trusting people that say they need something and not having to have them explain themselves because sometimes that’s really embarrassing,” said Little.

Little is thankful to be in the position to now be able to give.

“I come from a life where we didn’t always have everything and I watched my mom struggle. You know, it’s really hard,” said Little.

A family was selected to receive the box including a turkey, stuffing, cornbread mix, green beans, corn, Thanksgiving dessert, and more.

The Little family provides Thanksgiving meal
Kalliope, Mary and Emmett Little plan on paying it forward this year, and for years to come, by providing for families during the holidays. – Credit: Mary Little

Teaching kindness

With her donation comes thankfulness. Not only does serving another family pay it forward to a neighbor in need, but this also is working to teach Emmett and Kalliope about being good neighbors.

“They’re actively involved in all of the random acts of kindness we do,” said Little.

Christmas Toy Drive

While this is the first year of the Thanksgiving meal giveaway, The Little family is no stranger to helping those in need.

“I want them (Emmett and Kalliope) to understand that not everybody has everything. Even though we have enough,” she said.

For the past five years, the Littles have collected and distributed presents to those who are in need in the area.

“It started by me just having my kids go through their toys and filling a box up with the stuff that they weren’t playing with,” she said. “It got bigger and I started having friends donating things to me. I started watching for sales and grabbing things when I could.”

Each year, the items bought or donated are wrapped and ready to go for families in need. The gifts are available for pickup at her house. Like the Thanksgiving meal, no explanations are needed and no questions are asked.

This year, the Little family has collected over 100 presents for the holiday.

It takes a village

These elves can’t provide alone. The family asks that if you feel inclined to donate, please contact to get involved.

Donations needed are wrapping paper, tape, gift tags, gift cards, and especially gifts to give to teenagers.

Mary is happy to pick up donations or arrange a time to collect them at her home, and will even accept Venmo (@Marylittle01) or Paypal donations. If sending a payment, include “Christmas22” in the memo.

Are you in need? Contact Mary as soon as possible.

“Kindness is contagious. If you help one person, help someone when you can. That’s really all I’m trying to do is just help ease some of the burdens for some people, as much as I can,” said Little.

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