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Little Elijah’s Angels: Grandmother thanks Salvation Army Memphis for Christmas blessing

MEMPHIS, Tenn-- Tomica Brown embraces and kisses her 5-year old grandson, Elijah, because he's been living every kid's worst nightmare.

"Big boy, big boy. She's looking down and smiling on you. She's one of the angels. She's one of the angels," Tomica Brown said.

Elijah's mom, Talisha Brown, died last year after unexpectedly suffering a seizure.

Her death left a big hole in the heart of a little boy and  for what he misses the most at Christmas.

"On top of the list I want, I miss my mamma," Elijah said.

Elijah is understandably heartbroken without his mom.

"She'll be one of the angels to see that you get you things today. How about that?" Tomica said.

Tomica Brown took on the full-time job of caring for the grandson she loves so much..

"He's a witty little boy, spontaneous little boy, joyful and he's been my inspiration to continue to go on," Tomica said.

It's one of the reasons Tomica wanted to make sure Elijah would have the best Christmas ever, but doing so would be hard because last year she not only lost her daughter, but she also lost her job and a reliable car to get to work, as well.

"I was concerned initially because I was in a position where I couldn't do it like financially and go out and purchase the things he wanted," Tomica said.

Unlike other kids, Elijah only wanted a few things on his Christmas list.

"Do you think you'll get a bike?"

"I hope so, I hope, hope so," Elijah said with a laugh.

Much like the 5,500 other needy children and seniors in Memphis, Tomica also turned to the Salvation Army to be adopted in its Angel Tree Program, even though she had missed the application deadline.

"When I initially called, she told me the deadline had passed earlier and I little bit later and it was by the grace of God, it was a real angel for me," Tomica said, crying.

She said that real angel was a Salvation Army worker.

"She said we can help you. I said are you serious? She says yes. It's been nothing but a blessing from there," Tomica said.

Tomica said Elijah knew he'd have to be a good boy to get some gifts.

"He was like I am going to be good. He calls me Nanna and I'm going to be good so I can. I said please do that, " Tomica said.

So imagine the look of excitement on Elijah's face when he and his grandmother showed up at the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Distribution Warehouse in Southaven.

"I am definitely excited because of the toys. I'm going to get a lot of toys? " Elijah said with a smile.

Toys and bikes were everywhere as Elijah and his grandmother walked through this giant warehouse, and suddenly they heard captain Zach Bell call Tomica's name.

"Tomica Brown, Tomica Brown. That's your name, Nanna." Elijah said.

From behind a curtain and almost like magic, a bike with Elijah's name on it was rolled out, along with a shopping basket filled with other gifts.

The Browns say it's a good feeling, a feeling they say is heaven-sent by way of the Salvation Army to help their families and others in need.

"Put your pride aside and come and let them be of service to you because they will help you because angels do exist at the Salvation Army. They do. They do," Tomica said.

Now the spirit of the season is seen in the eyes of Elijah Brown, a little boy heartbroken over the loss of his mom, but because of the warm hearts of Salvation Army Red Kettle donors, who opened their wallets and adopted angels in Memphis, Elijah will enjoy a merry Christmas.

"Thank you Angel Tree and the Salvation Army. Merry Christmas everybody," Elijah said.