As I was reading B2Y's blog called Entitlement Mentality From A Horse's Point of View, I recalled an incident which I observed nearly 20 years ago. At the time, I was working a temporary job at an inner city charity which had a job training program for single mothers. I was setting up and operating an on-site day care facility for mothers who were enrolled in the program.
She arrived shortly after 8:00 a.m. that snowy Christmas Eve with her little boy in tow. Others had told her that if she enrolled in the job training program, the charity would set her up with a place to live and help her with other basic needs. Although she realized there was risk involved, she spent all the money she had on bus tickets to Minneapolis. They had ridden all night.
I remember her standing hopefully on the doorstep. She didn't have money to pay the cab driver but she had heard...yes, it was true. She breathed a sigh of relief as the cab driver was paid.
While I kept her son entertained, she proceeded to fill out paperwork to enroll in the program. Then came the lengthy process of trying to find a place to live. A place was found! She wouldn't be able to get in until later that afternoon but she was welcome to stay here until it was ready.
She was given food stamps but for the time being, we opened up the on-site food shelf for her. We fixed lunch for her and her son. Her son laughed with delight as we sang Christmas carols, played games and drank hot cocoa on that cold winter day.
By late afternoon, her new place was ready. Some furniture had been obtained and was moved to her new apartment. She was given cab vouchers and food stamps. She had groceries to get her through the first few days and some Christmas gifts to give her son the next morning. She was also enrolled in the job training program.
Every morning, she would faithfully come, ready and eager to learn. I got to know her son quite well. She started asking how she could help. Could she put in some volunteer time at the day care when she didn't have a class? Oh, we didn't need to clean up that kitchen anymore. She would do it! What else could she do? Could she run copies? Organize the store? Let her know whatever she could do to help. No, she didn't want to take any pay. We'd done enough. She wanted to pay us back. She didn't need to do that but she wanted to do so.
I remember how proud we all were of her on her graduation day. She'd worked hard and done well. She had even had a new job waiting for her the next week.
I left shortly after her graduation but I have thought about her often over the years. It would have been easy for her to have just come and received. That was what everyone else did and there was nothing wrong with that. We were there to give. However, she was not everyone else. She was so thankful for the opportunity she had been given to make a better life for herself and her son. She was so thankful that her heart was filled with an overwhelming desire to bless us and she did. Many people would say thank you but this woman showed it and I have never forgotten her.
It is easy to give "lip-service". It is easy to say something is wonderful. It is easy to say we are thankful for something but it is another thing to prove it. To take it a step further if I may, I am thinking that while it is easy to say we are blessed by CB it is another thing to seek to bless it back. Blessing someone/something will sometimes require a sacrifice on our part but oh how sweet it is in the end! Oh, may we seek God and ask Him to help us to bless as we have been blessed!
What a wonderful story and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing it and thank God that there are still people out there who don't feel "entitled" to everything but are willing to work, share and give.
thank you for your blog and the encouragement that it brings. be blessed
Truly inspiring story. It sure reminds me to show my gratefulness with action rather than just words. I have been in her place before as single mother, and I this story really touched my heart. I can guarantee you, K Princess, that you are a constant memory in her life today. Your kindness to her and her son is engraved forever in her heart and soul. I know this from experience. You and the organization that helped her is a pillar of greatness, reminding her of God's love and provision. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story and for reminding us that words are good but action is the best way to show our sincere thanks to others.