Last week I covered the kickoff for the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle drive for the Metro section. John Sebby, the development director for the Salvation Army, shared a story with me from a parent who went the grocery store that day and walked past one of the familiar kettles. It's such a sweet story that I'd like to share it with you.
"Today our child brought us both to tears," the parent wrote.
"You see we haven't had this easiest of times this year. Angela just got her degree and I got laid off in April from my job. We've both been actively looking for work and I've found some piece work, but nothing steady. We've been struggling with bills and dreading Christmas. When we got to Kroger we did not want to hear the ringing of the bell or see the person with that bucket. Not because we didn't want to give, but because it's a reminder of the fast approaching holidays and how unprepared we are to deal with them.
"We tried to walk by the kettle with no eye contact, but alas, it was our three year old son who walked up to the man and said 'Wait, I have money for you." He took out his tiny Velcro wallet and dumped the few pennies he had collected from around the house in the kettle.
"Our child, who hasn't had the nicest newest toys or a fancy vacation this summer gave every penny he had to someone who had nothing. 30 seconds later we stood humbled, embarrassed and crying in the produce section. Our child reminded us that we had each other and a roof over our head and that's more than some people. Thank you Sebastian. Daddy and Mommy are very very proud of you."