$20 dollars…most of us don’t have second thoughts about that $20 dollar bill sitting in your wallet. Zachary has been holding on to this same $20 since his birthday in January. Every once in a while he would want to spend it on this new toy or his new all time favorite Hot Wheels. Well guess I should say he would spend a little bit at the store promising to give me that $3 or $4 when we got home, heck I guess over the past 10 months he has spent that $20 by spending a little here and there. But we never pushed the issue and asked for the money from him. So he has had this same $20 bill…guess he was waiting for the most perfect thing to spend it on. Disney has been on his mind lately, as we are going at Christmas and he decided that Disney was the best place to spend that $20.
At school, they have been having a food drive. Turkey’s Tackling Hunger, it’s the Hays county food banks annual food drive. The kids have been told that a $20 donation will feed a family this Thanksgiving. I knew that it was going on; however I had never discussed it with the kids. Well Thursday he came down to the office and handed me a $20 bill. My first thoughts were great someone lost $20, how am I going to find the owner of this money. Then he told me that he had “accidently” taken his Cars wallet to school and his teacher had told him he needed to come down and give me the money. She was afraid that if he put it in his backpack it might not ever make it back home. I took the money and gave him a short lecture on how that is wayyyy too much money to bring to school, and that he shouldn’t ever take money without talking to me first. He agreed, and gave me a quick hug and headed back to class; never once mentioning the real reason for taking his wallet to school.
It wasn’t until later that morning that I learned the whole story. His teacher came down and asked if Zachary had given me the $20. Then the whole story came out. He wanted to give is money to Turkeys Tackling Hunger, he wanted to make sure that a family had a good Thanksgiving. She said the other kids in the class were surprised that he would give away his money—they were telling him what all he could buy with it. Of course he told them that he had planned on taking that money to Disney. Apparently she could tell that he was having second thoughts, the other kids were making him feel a bit uncomfortable, and she wondered if I even knew what was going on. So that is when she gave him his money back, told him to come talk to me and give me the money.
When she told me what he had wanted to do, I wanted to cry. I was soooo proud of him. During his lunch I went down to take him to the book fair that was currently going on at school. I casually asked him about that money, and he so “matter of factly” told me that he wanted to give it to Turkey’s Tackling Hunger…he wanted to make sure that a family could have a good Thanksgiving because “you know Momma, there are families out there that won’t have a Thanksgiving dinner”. “My $20 will buy a family a whole Thanksgiving dinner.” I was beaming with pride. I did ask him about not having money to spend at Disney and he said “Momma its okay. I really want a family to have a Thanksgiving dinner. And there really isn’t anything that I NEED from Disney”
Never was he pushed by his teacher, never did he come to us and tell us that he wanted to donate money and ask us for the money. He put this all together on his own. He had to have been thinking about it for a while, to remember that he had $20, to make that unselfish decision to help out someone else. He did tell me he wanted to think about it over night. Later that evening he told his Daddy about what he wanted to do, even Daddy was surprised by his generous act. Daddy knew how long he had been holding on to his money. He offered to still donate $20 and let Zachary keep his money. Zachary told him No, we can both donate $20 so TWO families can have Thanksgiving.
The following morning shortly after school started he came to me and said he wanted to take the money to the teacher in charge of the collection. We walked, hand in hand, up to the 5th grade class that she teaches, and he handed her that crumpled up $20. At first she thought the donation came from my wallet, and then he explained the whole story to her. Well she fought back the tears, and so did I. As we walked out, he looked at me and gave me the biggest smile and said “Momma I feel good! That made me happy! Oh!! and Momma we now have to get $20 from Daddy—so we can help TWO families!”
As he skipped down the hall I couldn’t help but smile and to be soooo proud of my 6 year old son, who had decided on his own that he wanted to help out others. Little does he know now how many people have been touched by his little act of kindness. Nor will he ever see the faces of those 2 families who will have a Thanksgiving dinner because of him, but he learned that by doing something so selfless a true feeling of happiness, one that can’t be gotten from the newest latest toy but a feeling from doing something AMAZING!
I’m sooo proud of you Zachary! May you continue to be a blessing to others! I love you!!