By Kelly Werthmann


LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and that was very apparent at the Super Target in Lone Tree in on Monday. Among the many shoppers was 7-year-old Elaya on a mission to find something for everyone in her family.

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“I want to find something for one more cousin. Oh, I love this!” she exclaimed seeing dolls from the movie Frozen. “I should also get something for Kamaya.”

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Elaya is one of the 25 kids with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver who earned a $200 gift card to go shopping for holiday gifts. They earn it by getting good grades in school and outstanding participation in the after school program. The shopping adventure is part of a longtime partnership with the Denver Broncos which helps kids pick out the presents for loved ones.

This year, Elaya and her brother also got a helping hand from a special volunteer – Melissa Durkee.

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“Just seeing their little faces, it brings so much joy to them and it kind of helps us get through the holiday, to be honest,” Melissa told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

Melissa‘s son, Drake, died when he was just 11 years old in a tragic rafting accident. He was a big time Broncos fan, and the team has rallied around the Durkee family for years.

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“Every time we meet them, I’m just surprised at how down to earth they are,” Melissa said.

Monday’s shopping extravaganza is just one way Melissa said she can give back and spread kindness… like her son always did.

“He would be so excited to be part of this if he were here,” she said. “I’m sure he’s cheering from above.”

While extremely excited kids like Elaya knew they were part of something special as they cruised the aisles…

“We’re so lucky!” Elaya said.

Melissa felt like she was the lucky one, surrounded by so much joy.

“It’s just so rewarding,” she said. “I almost think I get more out of it than they do.”

LINKS: Together 4 Colorado Toy DriveThe Durkee Foundation

Kelly Werthmann

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