Albuquerque family needs help keeping up holiday tradition | KOB 4

Albuquerque family needs help keeping up holiday tradition

Joy Wang
December 05, 2018 10:15 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An Albuquerque family spends every Christmas Eve handing out money to the homeless and this year they need help to keep that tradition going.


This is both a love story and a Christmas story about a veteran and his family who have lived a life paying it forward.

To understand why the Milligans spend every Christmas Eve giving out money to the homeless, it’s important to know a little bit about Dan, the now deceased father of the family.

“He came from a poor family,” said Helena Milligan. “His mother passed away when he was 15.”

Then he was drafted to fight in the Korean War.

“He never had much because he was on his own all the time,” Helena said.

Helena met Dan back in 1953. He was making his way through Albuquerque to Minneapolis to get a job.

He had just gotten back from the Korean War.

It was supposed to be one date, but the two ended up dating for a few months and stayed married for 63 years.

“I don't know if he knew, but I knew,” Helena said.

Together they raised four girls, nine grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.

“We went everywhere together,” said Helena. “We'd get out the car and just hold hands all the time.”

Every year Dan and Helena would pass out whatever they could to those in need.

“We feel that we were blessed with what we have,” said Helena. “There are so many people out there that really need it.”

But last year, Helena and her family had to continue this tradition without Dan.

“It's just that I'm so alone you know. At night I dream about him every night,” Helena said.

Dan died of a lung disease a few months before Christmas Eve.

“It was hard without him,” Helena said. “It gives me a good feeling if I can help anybody. It doesn't matter who it is.”

Helena, along with her kids, will continue to help people this year remembering Dan.

“He's looking down. He's taking care of me here,” Helena said.

The family is asking for help with donations. They've set up an account at Wells Fargo.

Just mention KOB’s story about helping the homeless or “My Dad’s Dream” at any Wells Fargo location to make a donation.


Joy Wang

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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