'My mom always says it's a blessing to be a blessing so I just wanted to do something for other people to make it last long.'
Last year in June, 13-year-old Abraham Olabegi found out he was born with aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells and causes bone marrow damage. He and his family received better news about a year later when they were informed that the Mississippi teen's transplant was successful and that he qualified for Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants wishes for children with critical illnesses. Even as a world of possibilities opened up before him, Abraham knew he wanted a long-lasting wish; one that would make a difference in the world.
Mississippi boy, 13, uses ‘Make-A-Wish’ to feed homeless https://t.co/l88uYrtTgh— All Things WSB-TV (@AllThingsWSB) November 11, 2021
"I remember we were coming home from one of his doctor appointments and he said, 'Mom, I thought about it, and I really want to feed the homeless,'" Abraham's mom, Miriam Olagbegi, told CBS News. "I said, 'Are you sure Abraham? You could do a lot... You sure you don't want a PlayStation?'" However, the possibility of owning a PlayStation didn't tempt the young man from the City of Jackson. He was firm about his wish to feed the homeless. Abraham's dad too thought it was an awesome idea. "So, of course, we weren't going to miss an opportunity like that because we always tried to instill giving into our children," said Miriam.
"When he so easily gives to others at a time where everybody should really be supporting him, you just have to say, that’s a remarkable young man," Make-A-Wish Mississippi Assistant Linda Sermons told ABC-affiliate WAPT. According to the publication, Abraham is the first person in the state chapter's 35 years of history to use their wish to help others. In September, the organization helped Abraham organize a day to hand out free food at Poindexter Park in Jackson with food and supplies donated from local businesses.
"When the homeless people get the plate, some of them would come back and sing to us and thank us," said Abraham, revealing that they ended up feeding about 80 people that day. "And it just really feels good, it warms our hearts. And my parents always taught us that it's a blessing to be a blessing." However, the teen's wish has only partly been fulfilled as Make-A-Wish will help Abraham feed the homeless every month for a year. The nonprofit organization explained that every third Saturday of each month, the Mississippi chapter will work with Abraham to find local supporters to help supply the food they need to feed up to 80 homeless people. A local church and business have reportedly already supplied two servings.
"My mom always says it's a blessing to be a blessing so I just wanted to do something for other people to make it last long," said Abraham, who has plans to continue helping the homeless even after his wish is fulfilled by August 2022. He is already working toward turning this effort into a nonprofit named Abraham's Table. "I am a person of hope, so when you come against a big mountain, you have to remember you have a big God," he said, speaking to WLBT. He revealed that he and his family used to feed the homeless every month even before he was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.
"It was always a good thing to do, and that's what I grew up doing that," he said. "So, I go back to my roots to do what I was taught to do. It is just a blessing to see people getting fed. When I leave, I am going to feel joyful." Abraham's proud mom added: "We're just very excited to be able to continue on this endeavor. It's just so rewarding. If I was out there on the streets, homeless, I would want somebody at some point to think of me and to do something special for me. So, that's what I try to instill in my kids and we just try to pay it forward, by doing what we were raised to do."