$100 – Welcome Christmas Spirit!

A guest Blog by Larry Paulsen of Ogden and Adams:

“I have a unique story I’d like to share. This happened just a month ago. I own a lumberyard here in Cedar Rapids and I do most of the buying of the materials we sell. I have gained some great friendships over the many years that I’ve owned the business and several of the suppliers have become close friends. One morning, around Thanksgiving this year, one of my suppliers called me  and told me something he had done the day before. My friend is a very thoughtful, caring, and religious guy.

“He had to spend the night away from home and being an early riser was one of the only customers at a mom and pop restaurant for breakfast. Since it wasn’t busy, he struck up a conversation with the waitress. She was a single mom raising three kids on her own without much help from the kids’ father. With Christmas coming they talked about how commercial Christmas had become and she told him her son really wanted a pair of tennis shoes that were priced at $130. She said she had to tell him that they couldn’t afford gifts like that. The waitress wasn’t complaining or feeling sorry for herself. It was just part of the conversation. My friend said when he left the restaurant he left her a $100 tip. He told me he couldn’t afford to leave a tip like that but she needed the money worse than he did and it made him feel good to do it.
“That same afternoon, a good customer of mine stopped in and I told her the story. I asked her if she knew anyone who was struggling and could use that $100. She thought for a moment and couldn’t come up with anyone. About two hours after she left the phone rang. It was her. She said she had been thinking a lot about my question and she remembered a lady who she deals with, was divorced with three children, and recently remarried a guy who was terminated from his job because he was injured. Not only had they not had an income for two weeks but also the company denied him his past sick leave and vacation pay even though he had 120 hours of earned pay they owed him. It didn’t look like they would have much of a Christmas. She said he was now looking for work and really needed the money.

“As it was, I had been looking for a new truck driver/yard worker with little luck. The job requires outside work, good driving record, being physically fit, and ability to pass random drug testing. It’s hard to find people with all those qualities these days. I asked my friend if he might be interested and if so, he could stop in and talk to me the next day. Well, I’m pleased to say that because of the generosity of a friend to a waitress in need and who inspired me, I now have a great new friend and employee. Everything has worked out great.”

Editor’s note: We do make a difference in people’s lives. May that difference be positive. Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year to all.

$26: A Christmas Story

Guest blog by Jacqueline Hull about a Christmas gift in the southwest.  “… told me this experience she had just before Christmas.
I hope you enjoy the story…. Sometimes life, its quirks, and inhabitants surprise us in the most delightful ways.”

$26: A Christmas Story:

“This is a short sketch about a Christmas incident that occurred in Sun City, Arizona, to a retired Air Force Vietnam Veteran Nurse. She has disabilities, and lives quietly at a senior residence.  Each day is a challenge for her both physically and emotionally.

“On this particular day before Christmas the retired nurse went to the grocery store to purchase baking items so that she could make goodies for some of her friends at the residence where she lives. She always carries her money in a small change purse so that she can grasp it easily and store in her pocket.

“After collecting all the needed ingredients in a grocery cart, she proceeded to the checkout counter. The clerk rang up the cost and the nurse opened her change purse giving the clerk some bills. The clerk returned the change and the nurse put the coins in the purse. Without thinking, she left the bills on the counter and went home with her groceries.

“Upon arriving home she put away all the baking items and decided to check her purse. She realized that she didn’t have the bills. She knew that there should have been the coins but also a $20 bill and six $1.00 bills. But, they weren’t there! The nurse became quite flustered and anxious. Back to the store she went to inquire of management if anyone had turned in the above bills.

“The store manager noticed her coming into the grocery section and noted that she seemed upset. So the manager asked if she could help. Tears brimmed in the nurse’s eyes as she explained what she thought had happened – that she had inadvertently left the bills at the checkout and that she really needed to find them.  The manager went to a register and as she opened it, she pulled out exactly a $20 bill and six $1.00 bills. The nurse wanted to know if someone had found it. The manager let her know that it was a gift and Merry Christmas.

“Peace on earth and good will towards everyone.”
Jacqueline Hull, guest blogger