*When Jackie Turner, a junior at William Jessup University near Sacramento was asked by a reporter to recall some of the pleasant memories of her childhood, she paused for a long time, then said, “I remember getting locked up and locked in rooms. And I remember getting beatings for stealing food.”
Jackie maintains straight As, has good friends and a really big heart. She works part-time as a tutor and eventually wants a career helping troubled kids. To some that might look like a person with few problems.
Not so for Jackie, especially this time of year.
“This time of year is hard,” Jackie said. “Everyone is talking about their cousins, their families, all the things that make up Christmas.”
Jackie doesn’t have any of that — and never did.
She never met the mother who brought her into the world, and wished she had never met the father who abused, neglected, and starved her.
For 11 months out of the year she is able to keep it moving, but its the 12th month that she still has trouble with.
No more. This year she decided to make a December change.
“This hurting, you’re tired of it, what are you going to do? And I was like, ‘Craigslist,'” says Jackie.
She went looking for a happier holiday. Specifically, her classified said, “I want to rent a mom and dad.”
“Maybe for like a couple hours — just be like the light of their life for that moment,” Jackie said.
She was even willing to pay, she said, “Eight bucks, just to sit, which for a college student is affordable.”
She got dozens of responses — about half from parents who wanted to help, for free of course — and about half from other young people who felt the same way she did.
“People are hurting and broken and we need each other,” Jackie said. “We need to be loving people. And I think that’s what tonight’s about.”
Check out Jackie’s beautiful Christmas story in the CBS video below.