Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 15 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. César de Bus
home iconNews
line break icon

Seeing me be charitable was shocking to my son

Georgie Wileman via Getty Images

Laura Yeager - published on 12/04/16

... and his reaction was a lesson in itself.

It was just before Thanksgiving. My son Tommy and I were going to Toys R Us to pick up a birthday present for his friend Mike. Tommy thought he’d like some Angry Bird plush toys. We were just getting off the exit ramp of the highway when there, looking cold, was a beggar, a homeless person. He held a tattered cardboard sign which read, “Please help me.”

I don’t always respond to homeless folks holding signs by the side of the road, but that day I was moved to do something. We stopped at the stop light. I opened my window and motioned for the guy to come to my car. He saw my gesture and began to walk toward us.

“Mommy, what are you doing?” Tommy asked.

“I’m going to help this guy.”

When he reached the car, I could see he was young, in his 20s. His hair was long and messy, and he wore a big, grey winter coat and a red hat. He had his hood pulled up over his head.

“Hello,” I said.

“Hello.”

I took out my wallet, opened it and realized I didn’t have any cash. Perfect. Now what should I do? Tell him to go away? Feeling flustered, I determined that I did have a Summit Thrift Store $10.00 gift certificate. Would he want this? I wondered.

“Have you ever heard of the Summit Thrift Store?” I asked him.

“Yes, I have.”

“Do you know where it is?”

“No, but I can find it.”

I gave him the certificate. He read it and smiled. “Thanks,” he said. “I’ve got a bike. I can ride over there today.”

“Well, maybe you can get something you need there,” I said hopefully.

“I need a new backpack,” he said, turning around and showing me his old one. “This one is too small.” The pack was tiny. I knew he could find a full-size one at the thrift store for under $10.00.

“Great,” I said.

“Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome.”

The light changed, and we pulled away.

“Mommy, that was neat,” Tommy said. “I can’t believe you gave something to a homeless person!”

Tommy had never witnessed me doing this kind of charity. Usually my help is hidden, writing a check and sending it through snail mail or dropping it into the collection basket at church. Or help for friends and neighbors Tommy knows. I’d never just come to the aid of a stranger on the spur of the moment.

Tommy was very impressed by this. What he was witnessing was the love of Christ radiating through me. Jesus did this kind of thing constantly. He was continually giving of himself, healing people and feeding people and teaching people. Dying for people.

That day, I understood more fully that I had to be a good example for Tommy in the charity department. I had to give to others so that he learned to give freely.

My husband and I sometimes volunteer at a local soup kitchen. I think it’s time to take Tommy to help us minister to the poor. Or perhaps, we could pick up some toys for needy children, wrap them and donate them. Tommy is into giving these days because of our little encounter with the homeless person. And I want to promote it.

Advent is underway. We are preparing for Jesus’ coming.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all a bit more giving this year?

May God bless your heart and make it charitable this Christmas season and all year long.

Happy Advent.

Tags:
AdventCharityPoverty
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
7
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.