What a happy accident for me

My jar is almost full, it is my first jar and it it on the counter by a very happy accident. A couple months ago I was scanning a bookseller’s listings for something to add to my annual Christmas reading list and I saw your book. I read the excerpt and knew it would be perfect. As I cried my way through the book I knew it will be one that I will read every year. As I said, I have not yet given my first jar, I have passed on the gift to two dozen of the people I work with at my charities, people who I know will by now have jars on their counters and have passed the message to friends who will eagerly make this a part of their lives.

The only problem will be to decide who to give my jar to. So many in my community are still suffering from our recent hurricanes. While it is considered a wealthy community there are still many who have to make difficult decisions every day. Do I buy groceries or my medications? Do I pay my health insurance or do I buy homeowners insurance. I have heard of dozens who have had to make those decisions this year and many who now have no home. And many for whom my jar would simply let them know they are not completely alone in the world and someone cares.

Every day when I put my change in my jar, and when I read your book, I am taken back to my great-grandmother’s kitchen, a devout woman who could barely keep the lights on but took in her two granddaughters. In the late summer that kitchen was a whirl of the vegetables she grew in every inch of her yard, with bubbling pots of everything she could put in a jar. I was barely past being a toddler but could count to ten, so as the jars cooled and popped it was my job to count them and put every tenth jar on the long table on the porch. Where my mom would carefully place them in boxes with cardboard between them and Daddy would load the boxes into our station wagon and drive off with them.

It wasn’t until I was about seven or eight that I learned about tithing. It also took me back to the stories of my daddy’s grandfather who owned large swathes of land in MO and AR who refused to allow the stores to become company stores, who during the Depression would send his brother to FL every December so that every child of every employee would have an orange for Christmas and candy (which he bought by the bushel basket) and I heard from so many of his elderly employees that he even made certain that all had medical attention and an acre of land that they could plant with vegetables and sell the excess as they saw fit. He established the Foundation I now manage. I am fortunate, I grew up knowing that itvis my duty to help where I can. I am asked often why I do not just attend the events of the charities with which I am involved and I can only answer that nothing compares that the tired I feel after arriving at 5:00 am to help set-up, work the event and finally get to bed at 2:00 the next morning after helping breaking down.  

Thank you for writing such a wonderful reminder of our responsibility to those around us. I worry that it is lost on many today, but, you book brings it back. What a happy accident for me.