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Community teaches a heart lesson

By Melody Troncale
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006

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Pittsboro, NC - A month ago the calls started coming in from families that needed help over the holidays. Help for food, heat, electric, a safe place to be, shoes for the baby, formula, coats, a bed, a toy for my baby and the one that broke my heart was a little boy who visited our offices with his mother. I asked him what he wanted his reply was, "a toothbrush", not a toy, not a movie, not candy, but the child wanted his own toothbrush.

I work for a nonprofit. I was overwhelmed; my heart hurt, sad, I cried, how were we going to make all these wishes/needs come true. As development coordinator I felt responsible where was I going to get all that was needed. I spoke with Executive Director, Jo Sanders, "What do I do?" She in her trust and wisdom told me quietly;" send out an appeal, this community will come through, it always has."

I will admit I did not really believe we could help all the people that were calling.

Then I got a call from Nona Mensha's second grade class at Perry Harrison, they were making candy cane reindeer to help raise money for the children in the shelter for the holidays, my heart ached a little less, how sweet of the teacher and children to think of others. But I thought how much can a second grade class raise? I said a silent thank you but still worried.

Next a woman walked through the door with not just one bag of presents but a whole car full, the newspaper called to ask what we needed and set up a piece in the newspaper for us. Then a check for $50 came in marked for the families in need, then another, then a phone call from a group of young people that had gathered $20, would that help they asked, next came the Giving Tree at Second Bloom, people were taking our families and giving not just a pair of shoes but providing for the whole family. I would ask do you want a receipt so you can take it off your taxes. They would smile, hand over the check, presents, or items needed and leave. Food cards, cards for shoes, wal-mart cards, and toys all given gladly to help others in need. .

It is 4:57 on December 22, 2006, all of the requests that we have received have been covered, this community responded in a way that leaves me amazed.

One gifter said "Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find it out." I will go home to my son for the next three days knowing in my heart that I live in a wonderful giving community.

From the advocates, counselors, and staff at Family Violence and Rape Crisis, "Thank you Community for helping us help others. May you all have love, joy, abundance and laughter in the coming year."

Oh by the way Ms. Mensah class raised $422.50 to help the children in our shelter. Wow!

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