Last weekend, I went to visit my parents in the lovely city of Ward, S.C. It’s the kind of town where people still sit on their porches after Sunday dinner and talk about life instead of watching TV all day.
As luck would have it, my Uncle Sonny, who lives right up from my mom and dad, was home. My uncle is the epitome of a self-made man. Growing up on a farm, and the only boy among eight sisters, he certainly had to learn to hold his own. He went from working as a gas station attendant, to becoming the manager to owning several.
On this particular Sunday, he shared a story about a lady and a child whom he had met at the grocery store. He said he watched the lady come into the store with a small boy, both looking tattered like they perhaps had fallen on hard times.
Uncle Sonny described how the lady holding the boy’s hand went to each register asking the customers whether they could spare some food because she and her son were hungry.
My uncle said he watched as some people turned their heads and acted like they didn’t hear her. He said others rudely said no and one even quickly gathered her groceries and walked out past them almost knocking over the boy.
When she got to the register where he was buying groceries, she asked, “Mister, I doesn’t mean to bother you, but would you be willing to give us some food? My son and I are hungry.”
My uncle said to her, “Get whatever you want.” He said she then carefully selected a few items – maybe about $10 worth of food. My uncle said, “No, get more, and help yourself to whatever you want.”
He said she looked surprised but proceeded to pick up a few more items. She said, “Thank you so much” and the pair walked out of the store.
My uncle said he paid for the groceries and, as he exited, saw them outside eating the food as if they had been starving. He walked over to ask if she needed anything else and she replied, “No, sir, this is enough.”
Later that evening, my mom said, “Cher, who do you think the hero was in Sonny’s story?”
Without much thought, I said, “clearly Uncle Sonny.”
My mom replied, “Yes, he is a kind and generous man and he is certainly a hero, but don’t you think it’s heroic not to be afraid to ask for and accept help when you need it and isn’t it honorable to not accept more than exactly what you need?”
As kids head back to school, there are certainly some who are in need of supplies and resources. Here are a few events designed with them in mind:
• 10th annual Richmond County Juvenile Court & Department of Juvenile Justice Resource Fair: 9:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Aug. 6, Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St.
• Ladies of Augusta Back-to-School Bash: 2-5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, Diamond Lakes Community Center, 105 Diamond Lakes Way, Hephzibah. For details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 2013 Community Wide PTA & Back-to-School Kickoff: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Aug. 10, Big Lots/Save a Lot parking lot on Peach Orchard Road.
• Sam’s Club Free Back-to-School Health Screenings: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, Sam’s Club, 596 Bobby Jones Expressway.
• Teen Vogue Back-to-School Saturday: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, Augusta Mall, 3450 Wrightsboro Road.
CHER BEST IS AN ON-AIR PERSONALITY WITH RADIO STATION WKSP-FM (96.3). SHE CAN BE REACHED AT CHERBEST@963KISSFM.COM.