Thursday, December 10, 2009

He Gave My Gift Away

Dellene Grasmick, “He Gave My Gift Away,” Ensign, Dec. 2006, 62

I ran the soup kitchen at the Food and Care Coalition in Provo, Utah, for 11 years. We encouraged our patrons to help us when they could. One man, Mike (name has been changed), had been living in his car for about four years. He always volunteered to help, and I appreciated everything he did for me.

It was the Christmas season, and I wanted to show my appreciation, so I gave him a Christmas card with a short message expressing my thanks and a book of tickets to the dollar-movie theater that was close by. Mike was overwhelmed. He thanked me several times and said he couldn’t remember the last time he had received a present from anyone.

This happened at about noon on Christmas Eve. After dinner that evening, Mike came to me and apologized for having given away two of the movie tickets. I told him they were his, and he could do whatever he wanted with them. He said, “Well, this lady was sitting across from me at dinner. I’d never seen her before, but she told me it was her birthday and she hadn’t received any presents. So I gave her one of the tickets.”

“Then, there was a man sitting by me,” Mike continued. “We got to talking. I found out he was leaving on the bus tonight, but it didn’t leave until 11:00 p.m., and he had nowhere to wait until it came. I gave him one of the tickets so he could go in where it was warm and watch a movie.”

I was so teary eyed and choked up that I could hardly tell him what a generous and Christlike thing he had done.

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