One of the most meaningful gestures of gift-giving happened to me during my freshman year of college. I came home for Christmas from Nashville, Tennessee, to spend the holidays with my family.
During the Sunday evening service at the church I attended, I was called to the front by my pastor. As I walked down front, I saw two of my friends approach with a large box wrapped in Christmas paper. They were smiling as they sat the box down in front of me.
“Frankie, we wanted to do something special for you at Christmas, and we decided a shower was what we wanted to do,” the pastor said. “This box has about everything you need at college, minus homesick pills.”
Inside were many needed items I could use in my college dorm room, including a set of bed sheets, towels and washcloths, toothpaste and soap. I also found writing paper, pens, pencils, erasers, self-stamped envelopes, and several coins for the washing machine.
Christmas candy and baked goodies completed the items in the box. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I tried to tell the congregation how much their thoughtfulness meant to me.
That gesture in December 1955 meant the world to me, and I have tried to pay it forward ever since.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Read more tales of generosity by CAPPER's readers in Stories of Helping Others.