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Ky. priest paying for Lexington woman to return military uniforms found in dumpster to family

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:05 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington woman, who has been trying to raise money to return a soldier’s uniform to his family, has now raised what she needs to get to Texas, all thanks to a generous donation.

Donna Parker found the uniforms in a dumpster two years. Next weekend, she’ll finally be able to return them.

“There are no words to describe a miracle and this is exactly what this is,” Parker said.

Less than 12 hours after our story about Donna trying to raise money to return army uniforms to a family in Texas, Donna met the blessing of Father Jim Sichko.

“As a papal missionary to Pope Francis, I follow my heart. My heart said to assist her and get her to be able to pass these uniforms on,” Father Jim said.

“I honestly thought that it would take me weeks, or months even, to raise up the money to get everything done, and taken care of,” Parker said.

Two years ago, Donna came across a bag of Army uniforms in a Lexington dumpster. After extensive research, she finally found who they belong to - Sgt. Keith McKenzie from Ohio.

The excitement of finding him quickly turned to grief when she found out he passed away in 2018.

Now, Father Jim has covered airfare, hotel, and other expenses for Donna’s trip. Her only worry now is returning the one thing Sgt. McKenzie’s family will have to remember him by.

“There’s no words to describe a miracle. I’m humble honestly. I’m so honored that I was chosen to complete this task,” Parker said.

“There is always room for kindness,” Father Jim said. “I pray that the kindness continues to stomp out that which is not kind.”

An act of kindness that is stretching nearly one thousand miles, and will bond Donna and the McKenzies for life.

“We are more than friends, we are family now,” Parker said. “That bond that we have now is never going to be broken.”

Donna’s fundraisers earned about $500. She says she will be giving that money to Sgt. McKenzie’s family.

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