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Thousands of US Homeless Benefit From Dying Boy's Last Wish

Americans gather this week for the traditional holiday dinner of giving thanks for all their blessings. And because of the last wishes of a young boy, thousands of homeless Americans will also have something to be grateful for. VOA's Robert Raffaele has more on the boy's final legacy.

For Brenden Foster, last December brought devastating news.
The 11-year-old boy from Bothell, Washington was diagnosed with leukemia.

Months ago, doctors told Brenden he had two weeks to live.
But one day, Brenden momentarily forgot his own fears.

"I was getting back from one of my clinic appointments and I saw this big thing in the middle full of homeless people, and then I thought I should just get them something, " he said.

Brenden told others he had to help.

"They're probably starving, so give them a chance," he said softly.

Touched by Brenden's kindness, neighbors and residents launched a food drive (donations of food) for the homeless. That effort inspired similar collections, stretching from California to Florida.

Wendy Foster, Brenden's mother said proudly, "He's left a legacy and he's 11. He's done more than most people ever even dream of doing just by making a wish."

In his final days, Brenden was too weak to open his eyes. But he refused to give up his dream.

"Tis the season to give," he said.

By the time Brenden Foster died on November 21, 2,500 meals had been served in his name, just at one location in Los Angeles.