This time of year is my favorite here at Philabundance. I feel like Santa’s Helper when I see the tangible generosity of so many people in the form of donations and food drives. Today though, I got a letter from someone who had received our mailing that went beyond anything I could have possibly imagined in its generosity and compassion for others.
It was from a family in New Jersey that have a son, “Mark,” that was a quadriplegic from the result of a tragic car accident in Philadelphia in the 1990’s. From the letter, I learned that before the accident, this family had owned a small hotel and had been very generous to their community, hosting a food shelf and Thanksgiving every year for those in need. I also learned that times were extremely tight for them now and they were barely scraping by, due to the skyrocketing costs of Mark’s constant care. His mother, the author of the letter, stated that there would not be Christmas this year, or a celebration for Mark’s birthday, which falls in December.
That being said, they were not writing us for a hand out, or even a referral to our network of agencies. Enclosed with the letter was $1. Mark had given it to his mom and requested that she send it to us to help those in need. She had written the letter to explain why there wasn’t more. ”
That fact that Mark and his family would give in their time of need just strengthens my resolve to our mission even further. It reminds me that even to those who do not have enough, hunger is an unacceptable condition to every man, woman and child. It also made me question what I was doing to help those less fortunate than myself and my family. It made me ask, “What sacrifice can I make in this season of giving that can make a difference in the life of someone else?”