Monday morning, as I was sitting in my office, I received a page over the intercom that would alter the course of my day. I could hear our receptionist, Sharon, saying, “Ciera, please come to the front of the building, and be sure to bring your camera!” My immediate thought was “Someone must have brought in the final amount of money we need to break ground!” I nearly ran the five yards it took for me to get from my office to the front. Only, upon getting to the front desk it was not a huge check I saw. There were no businessmen or women waiting to have their picture taken with our Executive Director, and I didn’t see the entire staff out there celebrating with tears in their eyes. Little did I know what I was about to find was equally as rewarding.
As I approached the front of the building, Tessa, a little blonde haired Kindergarten girl, awaited me with a big smile on her face, glowing with excitement. She had come straight from school to deliver a special gift for the Little Light House students. Our volunteer coordinator, Erin asked Tessa to share with me her amazing story. Tessa responded in her sweet voice said, “I opened up a store, and made 23 whole dollars!” Tessa had visited the LLH the previous year as a K4 student, and wanted to have her very own fundraiser for our students. So, this sweet little Kindergartener used her weekend to open up her very own storefront at her grandparent’s home to raise money for the LLH. With her family as her most loyal customers, Tessa sold her things and raised a whole $23 for our students.
She was met by Jean Winfrey our Executive Director, who confidently shared with Tessa what a difference she makes in the lives of our students, and how her $23 donation helps the LLH to be able to continue to do so many wonderful things. We snapped a quick picture of sweet Tessa alongside Jean, and bid her farewell, but I couldn’t help but continue to play her story in my mind throughout the remainder of my day. I was challenged, and hope you will be too.
You see, Tessa gave more than just $23 dollars that day; she gave of her possessions, she gave of her time, and she gave of her gentle and kind spirit. She, only a year older than the very students we serve, gave everything she had to help them. I was instantly reminded of the story of the widow in Luke, chapter two: “Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “… poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
The truth is, it really is the kindness and generosity of each and every volunteer, donor and community member that keep the Little Light House’s doors open and our services thriving. I’d like to take a moment to speak on behalf of each and every staff member and parent of our sweet students in saying “thank you.” No matter how big or small your gift has been, whether it has been through supporting us financially, volunteering your time, or serving us through your prayers, you are appreciated. Daily we are reminded of the goodness of our great God by the wonderful things each of you do for our beautiful students. May you be blessed in all of your endeavors and met with His grace every step of your way. Please never forget that you are valued. You are appreciated. You truly make a difference.