The Royal Canadian Legion in the Western Zone of the USA including Mexico
As many workplaces do, our neonatal intensive care unit in Calgary, Alberta, gathers together a Christmas box to donate to a charitable organization, and for the last few years, our choice has been the Veterans’ Food Bank, which is a great decision in my opinion, though I am appalled that those who risked their lives for our blessed country have to resort to a food bank, but that is another discussion. So last Sunday morning, I was at a Safeway’s, picking up things from tea and coffee to polident to stew to pasta, and ended up pushing my laden cart to one of the only two stations open. As I was unloading, the line behind me got longer and longer, and I could see a few eye rolls, as people realized this was going to take a while. Then I asked the cashier if there were boxes available, as this was going to a food bank, and boxes would be easier to handle. There weren’t any boxes, but the question did get me some attention from those in line.
“This is all for a food bank?” “Yes, the VETERANS’ FOOD BANK.” “Oh.” “But there’s pet food in there!” “Yes, some veterans have pets, and they have to feed them.” (I didn’t mention that sometimes their pets are their only companions.) “Oh.”
Then the tall gentleman next to me in line, who had only three small items in his hand, said quietly, “I’d like to pay for this.” I was a little startled, but thought about it, thanked him, and said he could make any contribution he would like.
“No Ma’am, I mean I want to pay for all of it.” “Oh, that’s very generous of you, but I couldn’t let you do that.” “Please Ma’am, I’m from Texas, visiting your country, and I really want you to let me do this for your Canadian veterans. Please.”
What could I do but shake his hand, thank him, and wish him a safe trip home. The bill he paid for me was $457.57. I don’t know what his own three small items cost. The cashier was openly weeping, many in the line were sniffling, and I could only give thanks for the generosity of a stranger.
A truly wonderful experience, epitomizing the Christmas season. Please share this if you wish. I would love my generous Texas stranger/neighbour to know that many many people appreciate his quiet donation to our veterans.
Merry Christmas. Heather Nelson