PLAQUEMINE, LA (WAFB) - I've indicated before I think God brought Hand It On into my life to teach me lessons and it happened again this week.
With the first day back to school for the 2017-2018 school year this week, our Hand It On team struck out on a mission that's kind of become one of our staples every fall. We drove around looking for parents shopping for school supplies. We found plenty.
My lessons learned today? I absolutely need to live more in an "attitude of gratitude." Oh, my goodness, do I take things for granted. Here's what happened.
We took our $300 Hand It On gift and broke it up into six $50 gifts for six different parents shopping for school supplies.
When I saw what that small $50 gift meant to the moms and dads we approached, I was immediately struck with an overwhelming feeling of guilt at all I take for granted. I blow $50 on Friday night at The Chimes restaurant and think nothing of it. Yet, these precious moms, dads, and kids accepted this $50 gift with such sincere appreciation that you'd have thought I just gave them $1 million. Wow.
In fact, some were even brought to tears by that one seemingly small $50 bill.
People are hurting. Our community is still very much in recovery mode from last August's storms. Parents are working multiple jobs just to be able to afford the basics. Most parents cannot afford a night out at The Chimes like I take for granted. Many grandparents have found themselves in the parenting role again because they are, for whatever reason, raising their children's children. There are many single-parent homes with that parent struggling just to make ends meet. Families struggle with only being able to afford one car, yet, each parent must get kids to and from different schools at different times, all the while getting themselves to and from a job. Some families opt for putting food on the table over health insurance for themselves. And the list goes on.
People are hurting. But we are a resilient people. We lift each other up. That's what we do. And when a single $50 bill seems like a million bucks, that's an indication we need to help each other emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally now more than ever before.
Thank you, God, for Hand It On and how this program has allowed me to refocus. It has shown me how to put more emphasis not on what I lack, but on the tremendous amount of blessings you have bestowed on me. And help me God to acknowledge the many blessings I take for granted each day, to live in a spirit of gratitude, to pray more, and to help my neighbors more.
People are hurting. Do we lift them up? Smiling at a stranger, offering a helping hand, and saying a prayer? Or do we ignore the hurt, look the other way, and take a "not my problem" attitude?
It's something to think about.
Be blessed my friends. And be a blessing!