Cafeteria worker saves thousands to buy toys for sick kids every year

Hospital cafeteria worker Jessie Tenyani buys toys for young hospital patients at Advocate Children's Hospital.
Hospital cafeteria worker Jessie Tenyani buys toys for young hospital patients at Advocate Children's Hospital.

A hospital cafeteria worker saves up thousands of dollars every year to buy toys for sick children in local hospitals.

Jessie Tenyani, 55, from Chicago, has no children of her own, but since 2009 has saved thousands of dollars from her salary as a hospital cafeteria worker to buy toys for kids at Christmas.

“God put it in my heart to do something for these children,” Tendayi, 55, told InsideEdition.com. “I just wanted to do something to put a smile on children who are hurting, so I came up with a plan to start to buy toys for them.”

Ms Tenyani has donated toys to sick children for eight years in a row, initially spending $100. This year she spent around $5,000 on 1,300 toys that she bought herself, hiring a van to bring the shopping home.

 She says she does it partly because she couldn’t have children of her own.

“I wanted kids, but I wasn’t blessed to have children. I was blessed to have these children, the ones I’m buying toys for right now,” she said.

“I don’t make that much, but to me, it’s not about the paycheck. To me, it is about compassion you have towards other people, so the little you have, you share,” she said.

Toys R Us have now donated $5,000 to help with next year's gifts, after hearing about all the toys she gave away this year.

“It’s going to make my year easier, I’m just blessed to do what I’m doing.”

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