This time of year is known as a season of light, and with good reason. You see it in so many small encounters: The man who stops to chat with a homeless man about last night’s game. The woman who tucks money into a Salvation Army bucket – and then adds more with a smile. Neighbors who welcome a newcomer with a group dinner.
Without fail, the individuals who give of their time or heart note how much more they receive.
Take Moses Elder, a homeless man in Phoenix who assisted an anonymous businessman in his holiday practice of handing out $100 bills to strangers. “Today we changed a lot of people’s lives. But I believe my life was changed the most.”
Or Kari Suhadolnik, who joined others in Ohio’s Stow-Munroe Falls school district to clear the lunch debts of 515 low-income students. She is energized. “It just warmed my heart,” she says.
Or Wade Bender. He speaks of men at a correctional facility in Gunnison, Utah, who paint cheerful faces on more than 100,000 wooden toy cars that volunteers at Tiny Tim’s Foundation for Kids make for children before Christmas. “They’ll tell us, ‘This is the first time I’ve done something for somebody else. Thank you.’ ”
As founder Alton Thacker says, “I’ve always said that the secret of happiness is to make somebody else happy. So after the New Year, we’ll start all over again.”
Now to our five stories for today.