Ohio Man's Bucket List Grants Christmas Wish

PHOTO: Dodd surrounded by the gifts he will deliver to one family in need.Gregg Dodd
Dodd surrounded by the gifts he will deliver to one family in need.

From skydiving to shaving his head in support of a cancer patient, Gregg Dodd has completed all but two items on his 2014 bucket list -- one of which has inspired his Columbus, Ohio community.

“Last January 1, I woke up and decided I was going to do 52 things for the new year,” said Dodd. “Number seventeen on the list is ‘making a wish come true'. Around the holidays you start hearing about all these families in need, so I started keeping an eye open on what sort of ways I could help.”

Dodd received word of a local single mom with three teenagers and decided that would be the family who’s wish he would make true this year.

“I heard that the mother of this family was in an abusive relationship,” she said. “She uses the soup kitchen a few times a week and cannot even afford a Christmas tree. This really struck a chord with me and I thought this could be someone I can really help.”

Dodd put a call out on Facebook for donations for the family. Within minutes, the 44-year-old received an overwhelming amount of responses.

Over 200 people brought gift card and monetary donations to Dodd's home, with totals reaching an estimated $5,000.

PHOTO: Dodd stands beside his floor-to-ceiling chalkboard where he crosses items off weekly. Ray Lavoie
Dodd stands beside his floor-to-ceiling chalkboard where he crosses items off weekly.

"I’ve been called everything from a hero to 'Santa Dodd', he said. "I keep reminding people that it's not just me, it’s a loving community that really want to do something profound."

Last night, 25 locals gathered at Dodd's home where they wrapped the gifts for the family who'll receive them tonight.

"I've never met this family before," Dodd said. "I’m not sure if they know that magnitude of whats going to happen."

"I absolutely would do this again. I think this is going to become an annual tradition". "People appreciate the opportunity to give and this has inspired others to help other families out there. It's really brought out the Christmas spirit in people."