Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Good Stuff

My former pastor used to deliver a quip whenever he urged us to support various food drives for the needy and the local food bank. His line was, "Remember, they are homeless not tasteless." This was a call not to just empty out our expired or unwanted back-of-the-pantry stuff that we would otherwise throw away. This was a call to donate food stuffs that we would buy for our own families, the name brands, the good stuff. What he used as a joke, really contained quite a bit of meaning that should be a constant reminder whenever we make donations. Food banks, Goodwill, and donation boxes are not meant to be repositories for us to dispose of our unwanted cast-offs.

This notion has become a part of me whenever I consider giving to the needy and less fortunate. For many years now I have made it part of my Christmas tradition to purchase gifts for a boy and a girl for donation to our Toys for Tots drive at work. Whenever those boxes are put out around my workplace, I schedule a trip with my daughter to the local toy store to get a few goodies. Actually if I did not have a child of my own, I am quite certain that the notion of donating Christmas presents for children who might not otherwise receive anything, would not have raised any personal sympathy within me.

The other day I was coming out of a meeting room at work and I passed by one of our Toys for Tots donation boxes and a quick peek inside made me smile. A telescope, a big stuffed horse, motorized trucks, dolls, die cast race cars, and a bunch of other cool things caught my eye. That is the good stuff that will bring smiles and lasting joy to kids. I knew that I had to go back to my office to grab my camera and get a photograph.