PORT ORANGE, Fla. – Shannon Wilcox, manager of Port Hole restaurant in Port Orange, said she was shocked when Karl Ellison shared his generosity with less fortunate families.
“The biggest surprise was his offer to help pay for the gifts for these children,” Wilcox said. “through COVID and all of the things that are going on, it’s been difficult for a lot of families for their children, displaced children.”
Ellison, a Vietnam war veteran, gave management $1,000 to buy gifts for all 50 children’s Christmas wishes located on the restaurant’s Salvation Army Angel Tree.
“They showed me that on the slip it just said like, ‘I want a pair of socks’ or ‘I want a T-shirt or a new shirt for school.’ Well, these kids aren’t asking playstations and cell phones, these kids need help,” Ellison said.
His sense of solidarity comes from his mother.
“My mother was a very giving person; she would take in a total stranger and, you know, you have to pay it forward in life you have to help people,” the veteran said. “Rather than go out and spend money and on things that are non-essential, you know, you might be able to make a young child’s Christmas or day or week.”