You’re getting a double wammie today. The second story was one I actually had on my list to post, but paring it with this other sweet story only adds more depth to it. Once again…. thanks to the internet!
I’m not sure that I would necessarily define the first story as a Christmas story other than the charity and love involved… but paired together they are great.
Enjoy the sweet spirits of two little boys!
In These Christmas Stories, Two Little Boys Show Us How To Give
Two Little Boys and Their Christmas Stories
11-year-old Brenden Foster of Bothell, Washington, had leukemia, and just a few weeks more to live. On the way home from a clinic appointment, he saw a group of homeless people, figured they must be hungry, and decided he wanted to help.
He didn’t have the strength to go feed them himself, but to help them became his dying wish.
His love inspired others. Soon volunteers had handed out 200 homemade sandwiches to the homeless in Seattle on his behalf.
“He’s caused an avalanche of love and support,” said Shelley Rotondo, executive director of Northwest Harvest, a food bank that received donations on Brenden’s behalf and passed them on needy children, seniors, and others.
Just days later, people all over the country and beyond had heard about Brenden’s wish, and many rallied to carry it out wherever they were. In his name they organized food drives, gathered truckloads of food, and raised tens of thousands of dollars for food for the hungry from Florida to Ohio to California.
“Live life to the Fullest.”
Shortly before he died in his mother’s arms on Friday, November 22, 2008, Brendan expressed his amazement that one young boy could make such a difference.
Wise beyond his years, Brenden answered a reporter’s questions:
What made him sad? “When someone gives up.”
His message to other children? “Live life to the fullest.”
“Follow your dream. Don’t let anything stop you,” Brenden implored. He wants to continue helping people even after he leaves this world. He said he hopes to become an angel and accomplish more from Heaven than he did on earth.
Something to Be Thankful For
If you ever have a hard time thinking of something to be thankful for, why not try remembering Brenden? When asked what he felt the best things about life are, he responded, “Just having one.” And he’d been struggling with leukemia for 3 years! “I had a great time, and until it’s time–[until] my time is come–I’m gonna keep having a good time,” he added, just days before his time came.
“He made my dream come true. In my lifetime, I wanted to change the world and my son did that,” said his mother Wendy. “The world is such a beautiful place and [that became] evident the last 72 hours, and Brenden did that.”
Brenden’s message and attitude sowed enthusiasm far and wide. Daniel Chairez, also battling leukemia, explained how it has affected him: “He really inspired me because he’s not afraid, and he wants to help people, and he’s not selfish,” 12-year-old Daniel said. He wants to take up the torch and help the homeless, too.
“He left a legacy,” Wendy mused, “just by making a wish and speaking his mind.”
Misha’s Christmas Story
As you’ll read in the following account, one of our favorite Christmas stories (which as far as we know is true, though we haven’t been able to find its author’s name), little Misha, too, found a way to give.
Two Babes in a Manger
And that is what the Christmas story is all about.
One gave nourishment, the other warmth. These were their gifts.
Nourishment and warmth—what deep and timeless expressions of love!
The nourishment Brenden gave to the hungry and homeless nourishes compassion in our hearts; the warmth Misha gave to the little Baby in the manger warms our hearts still.
The very simplicity of their gifts teaches us.
The wisdom of their gifts flowed from tender hearts who felt another’s need, even when they themselves were needy.
How wise love is!
Who needs a gift from your heart today?
I am Grateful! How are You?