With Love…

She remembers that year as if it was yesterday. It wasn’t even November yet but it seemed as if the seasons went from summer, skipped fall and landed right in the middle of winter. This had to have been the coldest winter yet. She was a faithful giver to the local charity which supported troubled teens by offering free counseling, help with obtaining a high school diploma, job leads, tutoring and many other programs. Her sister was the founder that donated 12 hours out of her day, everyday to the service of working with troubled teens. “Won’t you come meet some of our youth down at the community center?” Her sister asked. “Isn’t writing checks enough?” She couldn’t believe that her sister would ask her of such a thing when it was her contributions that kept the center going. “Why would I waste my time going down there? It won’t make a huge difference? I don’t even know why I continue to give when some of the girls there still end up pregnant before 18 and dropping out of school.” Her sister wouldn’t budge. She always bugged her about coming to the community center and meeting the girls. Her sister thought that if the girls saw that someone of her stature (A reality show star) came to visit them then it would inspire and motivate the girls even more. She finally gave in and went with her sister down to the community center. She shared her story of success with the girls and even signed a few autographs. Some of the girls rolled their eyes at her and called her stuck up. As she was getting into her car that night to leave the community center a young girl about 13 years old ran up to her. “May I have your autograph please?” “Sure,” she said as she gave a half smile and quickly signed her John Hancock. “I just wanted to tell you thank you,” the girl said. “It’s just my signature sweetheart. It’s really not a big deal. It’s not like you asked for an arm or a leg or anything.” “But see that’s just the thing,” the little girl said. I lost my parents in a fire two years ago and one of my legs and my arm was burned really bad trying to escape the fire.” The girl showed the woman her discolored skin. “I wanted to die along with my parents and I was so angry that I didn’t die that I began to run the streets and get into all kinds of trouble at the age of 11. I felt self conscious about my burned skin from the third degree burns and I thought that no one would ever love me and I didn’t love myself. I met your sister a year ago at this community center after I’d gotten into some trouble and was forced to come here. Your sister became my mentor. She taught me about self worth, love and taking responsibility for who I am and what I want to be. I have never met anyone who is as patient as her and I know that it is because of you that she’s able to inspire girls like me. I want to be rich like you when I grow up but I want to have a heart like your sister. The love that she shows to us is worth far more than anything that money could buy.” That day changed that woman forever because she realized that although money can profit a lot, it cannot profit true charity and that’s love. Six months later after spending time at the community center that lady adopted that little girl. And now that little girl is grown and is now the Owner of the Teen Community Empowerment Charity where we believe in “Charity, with Love.” Everyone stood up and clapped as she accepted her appreciation award and she smiled and thanked God that while she was burned and bruised someone still saw her and now she has helped hundreds of teens to recognize their potential and get their lives back on track.

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