A few months ago, I posted a story in our monthly newsletter about the chain of love and it’s definition of paying it forward randomly – without knowledge of the effect one single act could have in the life of another at some point in the future.
This time of year, I love visiting the post office. Let me correct that, any time of the year I love visiting the post office. These visits yield unexpected fruit from kind strangers and great friends alike who support our efforts to provide comfort to military families facing a medical event. Some are anonymous or wish to remain so, some contributions are made in honor and memory of loved ones, community and military leaders, some include notes and many do not. Just a simple “thanks for what you do.” But it’s not about what we do, it’s really about what you do, the contributor who enables our work. We lovingly call you “enablers” in a most positive way.
On my visit the first Tuesday of the new year, there was a typed letter that began, “Hey, Hope you are having a wonderful and blessed holiday season.” As you read on, you can tell it is likely enclosed as the family newsletter inside a Christmas card. In the first paragraph, a description is made of the Fisher House mission, with an email link to the website. In the second paragraph is where the chill bumps start due to the humanity that unfolds. The chain of love……
12 years ago an 8th grader working on a project wants to collect items for his newly formed “organization”, appropriately named and not shared to protect the privacy of the persons in this story. It appears he makes this a family affair as many middle school projects become. He visits local businesses and amasses a collection of items, delivers them to a Fisher House at an Army/AFB near where he was raised, meets parents of sons and daughters returning from Iraq, guests in the home. A home that is described as “full of love and compassion for those who needed that love the most.” All excerpts from the letter.
The third paragraph fasts forward to December of 2016 when that same 8th grader, now a member of the USAF is medivac’d to our hospital on Eglin for tests and treatment of a mystery illness, contracted during a recent deployment to a foreign soil in defense of our great nation. This airman’s father stayed in our home the letter says. I am almost weeping as I type to describe in his words the effect of the care and warmth that was provided this family in our home on Eglin. This father shared this story with his friends and family in their Christmas card, likely, and the recipient sent the letter to us with a very generous check enclosed.
Because of you, we were able to bless this family who so many years ago blessed other families, without expectation. Sharing their story with friends, the blessing continued. How can you make a difference in the life of another person today? Some simple random act of kindness goes a long way. To quote Charlie Daniels, “let’s make the day count.”