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.
Read more tales of generosity by CAPPER's readers in Stories of Helping Others.