by Heidi Vanderlaan
On Thursday, Dec. 14 in the evening, 10 year old Cameron came in to the Food Center with his mother. They came to shop as they often did at our pantry. Cameron approached Judy and I and asked if he could donate some money to us. I told him yes and he drew two dollar bills out of his pocket. Cameron explained to me that he had shoveled snow that day and had received this money for shoveling. He wanted to donate it to us so that we could purchase food for the food pantry.
I got down on one knee and thanked him for his generosity in donating his hard-earned money to us. I also explained how I would use his money to purchase food at Feeding America where I could buy more food than what he could get from the grocery store. His eyes opened wide at this news and he was happy to hear that.
After this exchange he took a prayer request sheet and sat down to fill it out. Once completed he brought it up to me. I read through his four prayer requests and one request jumped out at me. He wanted a new pair of shoes. I tucked this information away since my heart wanted to reciprocate this boy’s unselfish giving by getting him these much-needed shoes.
After he and his mom shopped with us and left for home, to my surprise they showed back up a half hour later. Cameron’s mom explained that Cameron insisted she bring him back to the pantry because he had something else to give me. I looked at Cameron and he told me that he had gotten paid the rest of the money from his shoveling earlier that day. He proceeded to hand me a five dollar bill and his only request was that he needed three dollars back to buy gas. I gave him three dollars back and a big hug for donating four dollars to the pantry.
On the following Tuesday night Cameron and his mom came back to the pantry to received their Christmas Food Basket. I also gave Cameron a wrapped gift (shoes) for himself and a gift for his older sister that they could open on Christmas. He also received two Christmas stuffed bears and two boxes of gifts for him and his sister that had been donated to us to hand out to children that shopped with us.
Cameron and his mom were beyond grateful! They were so appreciative of all the support, gifts, and help they were offered through our organization. This story is the reason why we do what we do at Streams of Hope!