ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Inside the Emerald Forest, a neighborhood known for dazzling displays of Christmas lights, it’s an 11-year-old girl with a big heart that’s warming up the community.
Unlike other kids who spend their Friday nights watching TV or playing video games, for the second year in a row, Randi Spenser is spending her Friday and Saturday night braving the winter weather of West Texas to hand out hot chocolate.
“She knew last year she was gonna do it again last year, me and her dad had a little bit of doubts but she can be pretty persuasive,” said Randi’s mom, Kristi Spenser.
Last year Randi raised more than $7,000 through donations and gave all the money to the Odessa Police Department so they could provide their K-9 cops with bulletproof vests and shoes.
This year she has an even bigger goal.
“So all the donations are going towards the Odessa Police Department and it's going to buy another K-9 cop and I’m trying to raise $12,000,” said Randi.
Each batch of hot chocolate is mixed in the kitchen by Randi’s mother.
Randi then passes along warm greetings to neighbors, friends, and visitors with a warm welcome and a delicious beverage topped with a marshmallow.
“Well I want to help the community as much as I can and bring everyone together in some way, and donating to the Odessa Police Department is my way of saying thank you to all they do,” said Randi
While Randi’s commitment to her community goes without saying her parents hope the lessons learned in this kind of experience last a lifetime.
“I think this is something that’s teaching her if you want something you got to work for it, it's not something that’s just handed to you,” said Kristi Spenser
So if you find yourself feeling like the Grinch this holiday season, do yourself a favor, and warm yourself up with some old fashion hot chocolate, a smile, and the gift of giving back.