It was the beginning of November, when Rebbeca and Lewis Irby—two employees of the Department of Economic Security in Tucson—got the phone call. They were needed at Rebbeca’s sister’s house. Within hours, they’d accepted their two nieces and a nephew into their home, indefinitely, doubling the size of their household, and taking on a tremendous new responsibility. They did it on a moment’s notice, without any hesitation.
Bikes, a play pin, and much, much more.
The Irby’s receive their gifts.
The selflessness shown by the Irbys did not go unnoticed. A friend, a cousin, and a colleague all independently determined no one was more deserving of a warm and bountiful Christmas than the Irbys. Each wrote letters to Johnjay and Rich, morning deejays on iHeartRadio stations, broadcast through Tucson’s 93.7 KRQ. Rebbeca’s longtime friend, Dana, even attached a letter from the kids to Santa.
The morning of December 13th, the Irbys got another phone call. They were at work, attending an impromptu meeting.
“It’s for you,” a coworker said, handing the phone to Rebbeca. On the other end of the line was Johnjay and Rich, with Dana in the studio. After introductions, Dana began to read to Rebbeca the letter she submitted to the station.
She testified on behalf of the couple, speaking to their dedication and love for their family, and the selflessness they exhibited, not only for taking the children into their care, but also in the service they provide to the most vulnerable citizens of Arizona though their employment with DES.
“This is such a loving, giving family and the nieces and nephew have been through such an ordeal that it would be so amazing to give back to them,” said Dana. “Please help this deserving family.”
The hosts paused.
“Rebbeca, we’re going to grant you a Christmas wish,” they said, and proceeded to name off every item the station was giving to the Irbys--including everything on the children’s letters to Santa. The Irbys will receive a new washer/dryer, $500 for groceries, $800 for clothes and shoes, individual twin beds, and much more.
Rebbeca is most thankful for the stability the children may now be able to have. With new beds, they will now be able to have their own space. She’s also grateful for what she called “the amazing people in her life,” including her coworkers at DES, who’ve been extremely supportive during this time.
By Brett Bezio