JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It is often believed that all of Santa's elves are at the North Pole. But, after reading a letter nominating Marcia Smith for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness, some might beg to differ. Smith might just be a worker elf "on the ground" in Northeast Arkansas.
Smith spends her days rounding up much-needed items for the Bridge of Hope, a group home in Vanndale. Children there receive gifts at Christmas, thanks to her. On the day in which we stopped by to surprise Smith with the news of her being the winner of the December Gr8 Acts of Kindness, she was spending her lunch hour working alongside other women to wrap the presents. Her co-workers at Barton's dutifully following her lead on how many items to put into each package.
"She tries to find out something about their interests and tries to find out what they're wanting," Sondra Onstead, Smith's co-worker at Barton's, said. Onstead nominated Smith for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness. "Even when it's not a certain holiday or time of year, she'll go out there (Bridge of Hope) when it's their snack time and take a cake. She will visit with them, you know.
"Marcia is wonderful and so good to us," said Martha Watts, executive director of Bridge of Hope.
"They had me the first time I walked in the door," Marcia Smith said. "Mrs. Martha runs it, and she takes in children from different situations that are brought in the morning or the middle of the night. Any time of day and she takes care of them 'til they can be placed back with their parents or placed in a home."
Christmas isn't the only time Smith remembers the children.
"Yeah, it's all year. She does the Easter egg hunt for the kids and collects candy from different people for that," Onstead said. "I mean, it's not just at Christmas. It's all year."
Marcia invites her friends, family and whoever wants to help, to join in.
"And that makes your day when you come in with the packages or a cake or cookies that you do bring, and their eyes light up, and they ask, "Is it chocolate? Is it vanilla? What do you have Miss Marcia," Smith said recalling her trips to Bridge of Hope. "That makes your heart feel good."
And speaking of hearts, we're going to make hers beat just a little faster as this group of family, friends and First Community Bank personnel make their way to Barton's Lumber Co. where Marcia works in accounts payable.
"She has a good heart, and she is always wanting to do something extra, you know," Onstead said. "You know, ringing the bell, doing Make-A-Wish, helping the kids at home." From helping to make wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses or being a Salvation Army bell ringer...
"One man put his quarter in and said this is my last quarter," Smith said.
Smith finds life is more meaningful when she's hard at work. She helps to stock the Cross County Food Bank and collects bags at work for food distribution. She collects coupons so she can help with personal care items at Cornerstone Transition Home, a place for women paroling from prison in Newport.
"She is an amazing person with a servant's heart," said Bethany Davis, executive director of Cornerstone Transition Home. "Marcia has stopped by several times with bags of treasures from her coupon shopping trips."
"It's very...It's a very good blessing to know that I can do that just to help any child or any adult," Smith said. "It blesses my heart."