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Domestic violence survivor granted 'Little Wish' at Christmas

“She’s been trying to put the pieces of her life back together,” said the friend who nominated Wendy Maier.

DALLAS — This content is sponsored by Sam Pack Auto Group.

Sometimes friends know us better than we know ourselves. They can recognize we’re in need before we even know it.

“Wendy is a very private person, so she doesn’t ask for help,” said Jill Malone of Wendy Maier, her best friend of more than 20 years.

“She’s given to me when I’ve had nothing. She’s given of herself and her time, and I wish I had more to give personally,” Jill said. “But it’s been a tough year.”

2020 has been a horrible year for so many, including Wendy, who recently escaped a violent marriage.

“Ever since then, she’s been trying to put the pieces of her life back together,” Jill said.

Wendy moved back to her native Texas to get out of the relationship, and within months she experienced the death of her mother and that of a close friend.

The losses left her emotionally drained. But the move also financially crushed her.

Credit: Wendy Maier
Wendy Maier, left, and Jill Malone in 1999.

“And now with COVID, it’s just decimated her business,” Jill said. “She’s literally doing whatever she can.”

Jill nominated Wendy for a Little Wish, a WFAA initiative that helps families who just can’t catch a break.

On a video call a few days before Christmas, Jill revealed to Wendy she’d been selected to receive a $4,000 Visa gift card.

Tears began to immediately flow.

“Oh my gosh. I love you!” Wendy said to Jill. “I don’t even know what to say. Wow. This is incredible.”

Wendy said she’s been taking on as many side jobs as she can to pay bills and make ends meet, but many of those extra opportunities have dried up in 2020.

“This gives me the chance to get back on my feet and catch up,” she said. “That’s the help I need. I’m so grateful.”

“She’s my family. Even though she’s my best friend, that’s my sister,” Wendy said of Jill.

“We may not be blood, but we’re sisters,” Jill said.

“She’s been there for my children’s births. I’ve been there for the death of her parents. I hate that she’s struggling. This is a time when I can do something for her after all she’s done for me.”

The two are a reminder that friends do become family, and family almost always helps us heal.