(Original Post Written in the 2018-2019 School Year)
It was an ordinary fall day for the students of Central Valley Christian School in Tangent, Oregon. The Rich Room students (grades 3-5) headed out with promotional postcards for the surrounding neighborhoods, inviting them to their upcoming Fall Festival Fundraiser. As the students headed door to door passing out mini-pumpkins and postcards they came to the house of Bob. When Bob greeted the students on his doorstep he informed them that he would be unable to attend their Fall Festival but wanted to help. He came out and gave the chaperone $20! The girls were ecstatic! The quick-thinking chaperone, Pastor Dan, wrote down the address so the next day the class could write a thank-you note to their new friend, Bob. And so we thought the story ended.
Fast forward one month-- a letter arrived in the mail for the Rich Room. It was a thank you note FOR THEIR thank you note, from Bob! What a surprise! But even more of a surprise was what was also in the envelope-- a $100 check! Bob expressed that the girls that visited his door that day showed Jesus shining through them. He gifted the class the money to have a class party.
But the story doesn’t stop there either! Soon after, the local Pathfinder club, of which some of the Rich Room students are members , were out collecting canned food for the Adventist Community Services. When they knocked on a door and asked for a donation, the family expressed that they were in need and sadly didn’t have any donations. The Pathfinders came back to the meeting spot and shared their story. The leaders quickly packed up a box and the group returned to the family with this box full of food. The kids were once again ecstatic to be able to see service in action.
The next week a plan was hatched. The class would team up with the Pathfinder club and the church to help this family for Christmas! Using the $100 check from Bob, the students went on a shopping spree field trip to provide gifts for the children of the family they met that Sabbath day.
The class wrote a thank you note to Bob once again and explained how they used his $100 to provide toys for a family in need.
Shortly after the school went on Christmas break, another letter from Bob came in the mail. Bob was once again touched by our kindness and had sent ANOTHER $100 to go to the family we had shopped for!
Wow! We truly never knew how a simple smile and pumpkin with a postcard could can affect so many people in so many ways.
AND NOW THE STORY CONTINUES….(October 21, 2019)
Let’s flash forward to the Fall of 2019. The Rich Room has become the Nawara Room and there are now 19 students in grades 3-5 as they headed into the neighborhoods of Tangent to deliver a fall greeting and mini pumpkins. Although many letters were exchanged last year, only two students had ever met Bob when he answered his door last fall. This time the whole class headed to our friend Bob’s house to give him an extra special greeting. When Bob answered the door I will never forget watching the biggest smile spread across his face as he exclaimed, “My KIDS!!” to which the students exclaimed, “BOB!!!!!!” He asked if they could stay a minute as he had something he wanted to give them. Bob returned to the door with ANOTHER $100 for the kids to continue spreading God’s blessings in their community. Although we do not know how we are going to use this money to spread blessings the students are excited to begin exploring the possibilities of how far this $100 can spread.
As the students ran off Bob’s porch and back into the neighborhood to continue distributing pumpkins I stood on the porch a little while longer to introduce myself to Bob. He immediately said, I know who you are from the picture you gave me last year. We had sent Bob a copy of our Gleaner with our names all signed around the article of our story about how he has touched our class. The picture we took on his porch at Christmas time when we once again had canvased the neighborhoods with candy canes. Bob said every time he thinks of our story he get teary. I admitted so do I. It is truly amazing how one simple gesture of passing out pumpkins in hopes of boosting our name to the families of our community that we have met this retired man named Bob. He thanked me for my work in the classroom and said I had the harder job and that he was appreciative of the work I do. But truly, Bob has been the biggest blessing to our class. A true testament to how much good you can do if you are willing to give. And a living lesson to the kids about how a simple smile can change someone’s day and life.
Amanda Rich Nawara
Grades 3-5 Teacher
Central Valley Christian School