Sunday, May 29, 2016

The White And Blue Bottle

Lord willing, I will finish counting our Honduras and Haiti change tomorrow and be close to a final tally. I love it when our former students stay involved with the work. This is about one of them, from May 20, 2012.

Joshua came by my classroom on Friday near the final bell. I wasn't able to talk to him long as it was the final regular day of school and I was surrounded by eighth graders  but he wanted to drop off his bottle of Honduras/Haiti change like he always does along with some rolled pennies from his brother. Joshua was in our senior class at WCS five years ago and is a recent grad of Texas A & M. He's back in Houston with a terrific architectural job on a project that should last at least five years so he's off to a tremendous post-college start. I swapped out his bottle with this year's version and asked a few family questions about his twin siblings and his wonderful mom who has subbed extensively with us. The bottle was heavy like it always is when he brings it by, always in May. It's as much a tradition for me now as grading finals which begin in the morning. Life has a continuity for me this time of year.

It wasn't until after everyone had gone home that I took the time to open Joshua's bottle, meaning to dump into one of our larger containers for sorting and then counting. At the top of the bottle, I found ten $20 bills rolled up, covering what I estimate to be about $75 worth of loose change. I would estimate over the years, we have had close to 5000 of these banks turned in but none of the others had that much money inside. Joshua did not make a big deal of it. He could have asked for a tax receipt for the value of the contents and some might say he should have..... but he didn't. I throw my own change into a bucket without thinking about it but putting in ten Andrew Jacksons is a very deliberate and conscious act. Jesus told us our giving should be done in secret so maybe I'm wrong in leaking his identity but my excuse is that it's for a good cause. I'm so grateful to Joshua and the other alumni who faithfully keep collecting pennies for the orphanages even when they leave for college and beyond. Jesus said the poor would remain forever and 2000 years have backed up His prophecy. He also taught that the smallest act of generosity would be rewarded and to me, this is a pretty big act. Recent college grads need money but not as much as the little ones on the streets in Honduras and Haiti. Sometimes the gift is the amount of the donation and sometimes the gift is the example it sets. Every so often, it's both.

To see where our pennies go, please click on the following links!

Applicable quote of the day:
"Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear."
Horace Mann

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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