Spencer Solves It: Christmas Miracle for family in need

For families in need, the holidays can be extra tough. Our holiday tradition here at KPRC 2 is to try and help with our “Spencer Solves It: Christmas Miracles.”

Already, we’ve introduced you to several families who we surprised, and today we introduce you to the Leija family.

Hurting hearts at Christmas

Way out in rural Cleveland, Texas, Danyell Leija and her four children work diligently to try and bring the Christmas spirit into their tiny, double-wide trailer home.

But even now, Leija realizes there will be no celebration this year. After losing her job due to the COVID-19 crisis, she can’t afford to give her children anything.

“What I need and what I want is for my kids to finally have a smile on their face. They have suffered so much,” said Leija.

That suffering began almost two years ago, when Leija’s oldest son, 21-year-old Lorenzo, committed suicide, shooting himself in the head right outside her bedroom.

Leija says he had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and bipolar and had just broken up with his girlfriend.

“He says ‘Mom I’m going to take my life’ then hear a gunshot. I saw my son, just blood everywhere,” she said.

As a young man with big dreams and a movie star smile, Lorenzo’s death absolutely crushed his brothers and sisters who looked up to him, Leija said. Now as the family, they kneel before a small shrine to Lorenzo to pray for him and others in the family.

And as the unpaid bills continue to pile up in front of her, Leija says her children haven’t even asked for Christmas presents, knowing there’s just no money.

“They don’t ask for anything because they know,” she said. “But it hurts me that I can’t give them anything.”

Supporting a family in need

The Spencer Solves It team worked with the great people at Academy Sports and Outdoors and Randy Hartley, a superstar member of Bill’s Brigade to support the Leija family.

“If you would please accept this visa card for $1,000,” said Hartley handing over the gift card.

But we have more to give. Each of the kids receives a brand new bicycle. Leija also received a $500 gift card from Academy.

“I would like to thank you, Bill, Randy, and Academy, because without you all we would not have had a Christmas and we just want to say thank you,” said Leija.

Would you like to be a part of Bill’s Brigade?

If you’re a business, non-profit organization, or just a good Samaritan who wants to help a fellow Houstonian in need, we’d love to hear from you, and sign you up for Bill’s Brigade.

Click here to see how you can help!

About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.