Hi Fr. Ray,
I found it interesting to be handed $100 as a gift with no restrictions or rules. (along with eleven other parishioners at the holidays)
I wanted to give this serious thought as it presented me with a chance to think about the concept of what to do with the choices a gesture by you allowed me.
In conversation with Fr. Jayson at St Benedict’s, in Oakland, I realized there was need in a community so near yet so different from ours. I decided to match your gift and was going to present gift certificates to St Benedict’s for families that had so little.
In the meanwhile…….I was with all five of my grandchildren several weeks ago. I offered the same opportunity to them that you gave to me. I gave each of them a ten dollar bill. I said they could do whatever they wanted with their money with no conditions. The only thing I asked them for, was to listen to the story about the kids I was going to support in East Oakland. I asked them all to think about their gift for a couple of days and let me know what they were going to do with their $10. I am proud to say that all five kids asked that I include their $10 gift with the donation to the families of East Oakland. (and I truly told them they were not required to do that).
I ended up matching their donation and happy to report your $100 gift to me turned into a $300 donation to several families in East Oakland in the form of six gift cards to Safeway.
So, thank you for allowing me to think about my windfall and also for the opportunity for my grandchildren to feel the pleasure of doing something for others in need. Hopefully, it also gave them a chance to appreciate the blessings in their own lives.