His Words Told Me It Wasn’t Enough

Photo by Jonathan Kho courtesy unsplash.com

It was the third time I had been in the store shopping. The first two times I thought, “I need to give.”

With the quarantine and going out less, I seemed to be presented with less opportunities to donate. Ordering my groceries online to be delivered, I missed the opportunities at the check out to give a few dollars here and there. With no students at school, there was no food drive or coat donation. I still dropped off donations at Goodwill. But even without the holiday season, I knew the opportunities were less.

Walking into the store that day I decided to put some money in the bucket on my way out. I knew I had cash in my wallet. That was unusual in this day of debit cards.

When I made my purchase, I looked in my wallet to see a $10 and a $20. I decided to donate the $10. I took it out of my wallet and put it in my jacket pocket.

I walked out and with the folded bill stuffed it in the bucket, but did not manage to hide the amount. The elderly bell ringer gasped, “ Merry Christmas! Oh, thank you! Thank you so much! Merry Christmas!” I returned a Merry Christmas, but he repeated “thank you, thank you so much” many times, calling after me as I walked to my car. It was as if I had put much more than $10 in the bucket.

Instead of feeling good about my action, I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I had only given $10. If $10 meant that much, so much more must be needed! The bell ringer’s response indicated that $10 was a rare donation. I could have given more.

I have more than I could have given. I am blessed when so many others are struggling in 2020. Both my husband and I are employed with continued income. We have a home and our health. We have a small group of close family we are quarantined with. I have extra to give to those who don’t have and I didn’t.

How have I managed to quarantine in the safety of my home and do so little for those in need? Maybe I will be more cognizant of the opportunities that are there and give more. Maybe I will work harder to find more ways to give.

Maybe I should stop saying maybe and do it.




Writing stories through the lens of personal growth, parenting and 40+ yrs in special education. Twitter @abel2readaloud, IG @tinyteapottales

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S. G. S. Abel

S. G. S. Abel

Writing stories through the lens of personal growth, parenting and 40+ yrs in special education. Twitter @abel2readaloud, IG @tinyteapottales

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