It’s easy to look around us and believe that the coming generations just don’t get it, that the America we knew is fading fast. And then, maybe at the appropriate time, something happens that renews our faith in mankind. For me it happened last Friday.
I was ringing bells for the Salvation Army’s kettle drive at the Publix store on Babcock and Hibiscus in Melbourne. It wasn’t my first time. But this time something unexpected happened and it was inspiring. Sure, several listeners, some I had previously met and others I had not, stopped by to say hello and make their donations to the cause. My friend Alphonso Zilch had joined me. He was playing Christmas music on his trumpet. That made a huge difference. People were captivated by his playing and stayed to listen. Then they reached into their wallets and made donations. We had folks from all walks of life making those donations from change to one, five, ten and twenty dollar bills. Some even wrote checks. But that wasn’t what made me take notice.
It was one ten year old boy (give or take a year either way) and his approach that got my attention. I was saying Merry Christmas to those coming by and thank you to those who donated. As this boy approached I saw him reach into his pocket. He pulled out his wallet, opened it and reached in pulling out a few bills of what was clearly his personal money. He may have had eight or ten dollars total. He returned my Merry Christmas as he placed his donation in the kettle. There was no parent prompting him; we had several kids dropping money given them by their parents, that is common. No, this young man was making the decision that part of his money would be best be used if he gave it to the Salvation Army to help those less fortunate than himself. I would venture to say this is not common among his peer group. It was inspiring to note. It gave me an appreciation for this boy and the examples in his life that led him to be this caring and generous.
It couldn’t have come at a better time, or for a better cause.
The Salvation Army’s motto is: Doing the Most Good. Friday it did…for many reasons.