How did you share the gift given?
"I went to Oakdale Park to check the shelters to see if they were available during the time I (had already said) my going away gathering was to take place (the following day). There was a man sitting at one of the picnic tables, who was charging his phone. I went up, checked, went back to my car and saw the “Impact of Generosity” envelope in the passenger seat. At the probable slight, but present risk of being a total [jerk], I picked it up and went back to have a conversation with the man. Appearance can be deceiving, and while he definitely appeared homeless (or at least down on his luck), walking up to someone with a hero complex chip on your shoulder can be very off putting. But, ‘just start small and let it grow. It’ll be fine.’ So we talked a little bit about how he was doing, he definitely seemed to be of a mentality that the rough situation he currently found himself in was of his own doing and he was doing his best to prepare for the coming cold by enjoying the warmth of the sunlight coming down that Saturday. He asked if I could watch his stuff while he went to the store and back real quick, but I was in a hurry so I gave him (and his book bag and three grocery bags of food) a ride to the store and back in my little Miata. It was a tight squeeze but we made it work. I told him that if he was around the park at 3:00 the next day I’d be happy to give him some cake and I’d bring along some nice heavy gloves that I no longer need. He sounded like he was going to be hanging around the park for the foreseeable future (probably sleeping there somewhere) and would for sure be stopping by. So I prepared the pair of gloves I had in mind for him, a nice leather jacket I’ve had for over a decade that’s worn but warm and good at keeping the wind at bay, and a good stocking hat that I never wear. The next day after church got out, a cold front had already started coming in so I went to the park to see if he was there. And I found him sitting there under the same shelter. I gave him the hat, gloves, and scarf and told him that if he was still around at 3:00 to stop by and get a piece of cake. At 3:00 when I came back, he didn’t come over for cake, but I’m pretty sure it was him wearing the old hat and coat two shelters away. What I haven’t told you yet, is that the store he wanted me to take him to was a liquor store. And I took him there. And it is very likely that this $5 that you entrusted to me to give away generously, helped a homeless man buy beer. It is my sincere hope that the connection this interaction fostered benefits his soul more than the alcohol negatively effects his body and psyche. Only the absence of time will tell."
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