A tiny little town is Utah is showing the world the Christmas spirit in a most gigantic way. Fountain Green, Utah, which boasts barely more than 1,000 people, held its first Christmas Light parade on Tuesday, organized chiefly for six-year-old Addie Fausett, who has a terminal brain disease.
Little Addie, who only weighs 23 pounds and stopped growing when she was three years old, has received roughly 300,000 Christmas cards, letters, and gifts since Addie’s family asked everyone they knew to send cards Addie could put up on her wall. The outpouring of love and support multiplied exponentially, with cards and gifts flowing from around the world after Addie’s story was published on KSL.com.
The community has helped open all the presents, most of which were given to local charities for families in need. The neighboring towns of Fairview, Ephraim, and Moroni have helped by organizing the mail and bringing it to Addie. The Pleasant Grove Police Department joined in during the first week in December, visiting local schools to retrieve cards and letters; Pleasant Grove itself sent enough cards and gifts to jam a trailer.
Despite the cold temperatures, Addie, her mother Tami, and her sisters watched the parade, which was headed by the American flag, from their spot in front of the town post office. Little Addie could see homemade floats from the community. One Fountain Green resident, Nathan Beck, who made two of the floats, said, “I think it has changed the way people think about Christmas in this little town. It has kind of restored my faith in humanity, to see so many people pull together with this tiny little girl and this tiny little town.” Jerry Beck, who also made a float, added, “I just worked with what I had, bought a few lights made a little float for her, put her name on it. We love her.”
Addie’s mother was moved, saying, “I think it is really awesome that so many people want to come and do this, and so many people showed up to watch as well.”
Addie has been examined numerous times by neurologists at Primary Children’s Hospital, but no one knows what illness she has. Tami Fausett said doctors estimate Addie won’t live more than one more year.
Addie will see one of her dreams come true, thanks to the outpouring of gifts: a visit to Sea World in San Diego with her family.