Night daughter Tiger Lilly has a post called “Can You Put God in a Box?” over on the MAWB Squad today about Operation Christmas Child and her approach to filling shoeboxes with gifts for children in crisis areas. Among other things she writes that she likes doing stuff with charity organizations.
I can easily vouch for that sentiment because I remember a time when she was six years old. It was about this time of year and she was flipping through the newspaper looking for the comics when she came across a large ad from the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul. The ad featured a picture of a ragged looking, bearded man with a full plate of food and a headline that said for $1.79 you could buy someone a full Thanksgiving dinner. She studied that for awhile and then asked if you could really get all that food for that amount of money. I told her it was so. A dawning realization came over her, and she said, “Hey, I’ve got $1.79 – I could buy someone dinner!” To prove it she went upstairs and brought down her stash, pulling out a crumpled bill and counting out 79 cents.
My heart in my throat, I tested her by asked whether she was sure she didn’t want to save her money to buy something else. It was such a rush then to see her respond so naturally and spontaneously that I now can’t remember her response word for word, but it was along the lines that no, she’d rather see somebody get something to eat for Thanksgiving. So a little while later she crammed the money in her pocket and I took her down to the mission where she could give it directly to a friend of our family who was serving as a chaplain there. She brought out her cash, he thanked her and gave her a receipt. I wrote out a check worth a few more dinners and we floated home.
Her $1.79 warmed more than one heart that year.