Toni Brown-Belew was the recipient of an act of kindness last week.
Not that it’s unusual for people in Hood County to help each other. The Soundoff column in the Hood County News frequently receives “cheers” for someone who randomly helped someone else.
It was, however, an act of kindness not expected by Brown-Belew, the executive director of the United Way of Hood County. Especially when the United Way, along with the Hood County News, were in the middle of a promotion for a “Day of Sharing.”
“My husband and I were in line at the grocery store with a ham, turkey and several other items,” Brown-Belew recounted, “When the lady in front of us in line turned around and said, ‘If you don’t mind, I’d like to pay for your groceries.’”
Brown-Belew said she was caught off-guard, maybe a little embarrassed, and tried to explain that she didn’t need the help.
“I want to do this,” the lady responded to the protests of Brown-Belew.
“I finally realized that it was okay to accept this act of sharing,” said Brown-Belew.
“She told me that she was planning to pay for someone’s groceries when she went to the store. She was a little worried when there was no one in line behind her. That’s when I got in the line,” Brown-Belew said.
The circumstances led Brown-Belew to consider, “Maybe it was a God thing — that this happened to me.
“The very thing that we were promoting actually happened to me,” said an appreciative Brown.
“There’s probably more things like this going on that we don’t know about,” she noted.
Brown-Belew called the kindness bestowed up her a lesson learned.
“I learned to appreciate someone doing something so generous, and from the heart, for me,” Brown-Belew said. “It was a very, very nice thing.”
DAY OF ShARING
The special date designated for a “Day of Sharing” was Monday, Nov. 19. Organizations and individuals were encouraged to share their time and talent with others in the community.
It was the first time such a date was designated, and both the United Way and the Hood County News plan to make the day an annual event.
GRANBURY ISD HELPS OUT
A group of Granbury ISD administrators — and a few of their children — were involved in the Day of Sharing at the Hood County Senior Center on Nov. 19. The group helped with the delivery of Meals on Wheels.
Another group of school administrators helped with the food pantry at Mission Granbury on Nov. 20.
Students at Acton Middle School stuffed 15,000 envelopes for the United Way campaign mailing.
Following a recent message to her Sunday School class, Kim McAusland’s students were each given $10 and asked to seek God’s guidance to use the money.
Student Kimberly Flores was led to help the food pantry at Mission Granbury. Flores’ mother, Mary Flores, said her daughter was familiar with Mission Granbury after volunteering there last summer.
With help from staffers at Crossland Ninth Grade Center, a food drive for Mission Granbury was organized. Kimberly Flores used her $10 from Sunday School to purchase the first 13 cans of food, her mother noted.
“It was such a blessing for my daughter and I to see how the $10 was multiplied to over $880 worth of canned good to help Hood County individuals and families in need,” stated Mary Flores.
“We need more teachers and Sunday School teachers (like this) who encourage our children that they can make a difference in their community,” Mary Flores said with appreciation.
“When I saw my daughter’s eyes gleaming with joy on the amount of cans that were raised through her school — it was priceless. It was also pleasing to see the support of the school staff and students of Crossland Ninth Grade Campus joining together helping their community.
“I want to say ‘thank you, Mrs. Kim, for planting the seed of sharing and caring,” Mary Flores stated.
LGMC HELPS BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB
The staff at Lake Granbury Medical Center (LGMC) supported the community’s first “Day of Sharing” with individually performed random acts of kindness.
The hospital also hosted a donation drive for Hood County Boys and Girls Club’s (HCBGC) Resale Shop.
“I am quite pleased with the response for our first Day of Sharing. We anticipate an even larger turnout next year. Each donation makes an impact on many lives,” said LGMC CEO, David Orcutt.
“Obviously the proceeds from the Resale Shop support Boys and Girls Club programming but it can also significantly impact families on a tight budget. Prices at the shop are very reasonable so it can really help stretch a family’s paycheck.”
Before the sun came up on the Day of Sharing, LGMC employees were dropping off clothes, small appliances, and household items at the hospital for donation to the resale shop. In addition, arrangements were made to pick up larger items like a dining room set and stove.
HCBGC staff assisted LGMC personnel load up donations which filled the back of the pickup and a little over half of the club’s 5th-wheel trailer.
“We appreciate the United Way spearheading the Day of Sharing concept. The Club truly appreciates the hospital’s thoughtful gesture to encourage their team to do a corporate initiative,” said HCBGC Executive Director Jeff Bates. “The resale shop is a strong revenue producer for us so the donations are instrumental for supporting the kids.”
The Resale Shop is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The new location is at 4322 E. Highway 377. Individuals and businesses are free to drop off donations Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Call 817-579-9088 to arrange pick-up for large items.
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