From Generation to Generation -One Can of Corn - $1,200.00
I discovered the secrets of giving when I was a little child. I watched my grandmother give and as a pastor’s kid, the doors of our church and home revolved like a grocery store while I watched my parents consistently give away food, clothing and provide financial assistance to the community.
Simply stated, giving is a taught behavior. At some point in your life you have to decide to leave a legacy. Which means something that is handed down from an ancestor or predecessor. This is one of the many stories of my family's legacy of giving. Enjoy.
It happened in June, 2001 while I was visiting my sister, Lynette, who is a wife and mother of three children. I was extremely hungry as I opened my sister’s pantry but to my surprise I saw only ONE can of corn. Nothing else. Only one can of corn. I went back into the room and I tried to keep a straight face as we resumed our conversation. I watched Lynette smile as though nothing was wrong.
I drove home that day and I struggled with what to do. I'm hoping you fall into this category. What do you do? As I shared my findings with my husband he said "I bet if I called your sister she would give that can of corn to me" so he picked up the telephone and asked Lynette for some food. It was a Saturday night, the next day we walked into church and I remember that Sunday morning so clearly. Lynette walked into church with her family at her side and she was smiling. She discretely handed my husband the can of corn and as I watched her kind deed, I could taste the salt of my tears as they locked under my cheek. My husband and I had agreed that if Lynette gave us that can of corn that we would give her $500.00 and we did! As the news about Lynette's unselfish act began to spread around church, other people began to give her more money. This day would eventually go down in history as the most expensive can of corn that had ever been GIVEN away. Before the benediction, Lynette and her family received over $1,000.00 for a simple act of giving and as you might imagine, there wasn't a dry eye in the building!
When I hosted the Nothing but Good News radio show, I decided to interview the most important living legend in my life, my mother, Minnie Ewing. During the show, I received a call in from Bob Hopkins, the founder and publisher of Philanthropy World Magazine . As he began to ask my mother questions we had a startling discovery. Bob asked my mother to tell him a story about giving.
My mother shared the story about a complete stranger coming to her house and asking for food. Since she and her brother were the only ones at home, they remembered what my grandmother had taught them. She taught them to give, even if it was your last, and that’s what they did. They gave that stranger, a chair and one can of CORN! While mother was sharing this story my sister and I sat in the studio and we were astonished and amazed. We cried because we realized how one woman had created a legacy of giving-three generations and it all started with a can of corn. That simple.
This story will help you discover what I did. When you give, however big or small, it always comes back. The photo to the left is the original can of corn that was given to us June, 2001. There was no way we could eat that particular can of corn. We decided to keep it as a reminder for us to always give something on a daily basis. Just like Lynette created a memory that we will never forget, I challenge you to do the same. There were many kernels in that can of corn, all very small but together they made a huge impact. There are many ways that you can give. Give your own corn, beans or whatever and watch the harvest! Every year gives us 365 days to become a giver. So each day that we live, we have the opportunity to give something (a smile, hug, helping hand) My prayer for you is that you have the hands to get and the heart to give.
Begin your legacy today.
Minnie's Food Pantry, a nonprofit 501 c (3) organization to feed children and families throughout the world. Start today. Write your story. Share your story. There is no "I" in team but there is an "I" in Give. Be a Go-Giver! For kid's sake.