Thursday, July 26, 2007

Christmas in July

Yesterday and this coming Saturday our band is hosting "Christmas in July", two Christmas-music-concerts cum food drives benefiting the Central Virginia Foodbank. Last night the concert was leading up to a Richmond Braves baseball game, and one of our volunteers, Jen Foltz, who helped collect the donated canned goods just sent me the following report. It made me smile and choke up at the same time, and did I mention humbled?

"I enjoy working with Offering because it gives me the opportunity to nurture my spirit. Yesterday I was put in charge of collecting food at the Braves game. Offering had joined in conjunction with the Richmond Braves to collect food for the Central Virginia Food Bank at the annual “Christmas in July” celebration. If patrons brought 4 cans of food per person they could receive a ticket into the game. We “sold” 108 tickets before I left last night.

There were quite a few times during my 3 hour stint that I thanked God for the opportunity to see His children in action. But, a few of those times stand out because they were so special.

One such time was when a man came over to me and, as he was placing his bag of food into the box, I asked him how many tickets he needed. “None,” he replied, “I am a season ticket holder.”

There were other people who came to put food in the box who didn’t need the tickets I was handing out. They were just in it for the giving.

Another poignant moment that will stick with me as the reason I do Offering gigs, was when I turned to my left and coming across the parking lot was a line of children carrying plastic bags. A mismatch of kids, they carried their bags proudly as they followed the leader of the troupe like ducklings following their mama. As they got closer, I smiled and greeted the woman leading this “hit parade”. I asked her how many tickets she needed and one by one those little children stepped up to the box and handed her the food they were carrying. She counted aloud as she placed the food into the box, “One, two, three…” right up to ten tickets. Some of the kids only had one or two cans of food, but every one of them contributed to those ten tickets.

During this time I was mentally counting the number of people in their little party. There were two adults and twelve kids. I counted out the ten tickets for their food and then asked, “How many people do you have with you?” She told me there were fourteen of them and they had driven all the way from Charlottesville to be able to donate food for this worthy cause. As she turned to go purchase the remaining tickets they needed, I thought, “There is nothing better than seeing these kids, most of whom have probably been the recipients of a food bank a time or two, being so happy and willing to give a little.” I called out to the woman and with tears in my eyes, handed her four more tickets. “I think we can afford to give out a few extra,” I said.

She took the tickets, smiled, and said, “Say thank you, kids.”

A chorus of “Thank You” filled the air and the little troupe turned; hands empty save for those tickets they now clutched as if they were made of gold. "

A small thing, but many small things...... somehow we must make a difference.

1 comment:

steven.russell said...

this isn't this related...but i am asking all the people associated with the 40 day fast to post shaun's blog today in trying to help his friend.