Statistically speaking, I live in an affluent community—but statistics don’t mean a thing if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Whether in the continuous rut of poverty or a sudden downturn in luck, many families here need assistance. At our local food pantry where I volunteer once a week, these families can rely on the generosity of others for some basic necessities. Many churches, schools and scout troops in our area donate regularly to the food pantry.
One very charitable grocery store chain contributes their day-old bakery items. So, there – among the canned vegetables, boxes of cereal, rolls of toilet paper and bars of soap – are loaves of bread, packages of buns, muffins, donuts and cake! Families are limited according to size as to the number of staples they can receive, but they may take as many of the baked goods as they want since what’s left at the end of the limited expiration date will be disposed of.
It’s the cupcakes that are the most special! Thickly frosted and beautifully decorated, these colorful treats are like the sun in an otherwise cloudy sky for the children who come to the pantry. Two little girls, somewhere between my grandchildren’s ages of 4 and 8, were with their grandmother one day when she came in for supplies. As I gathered the essentials they needed, I let them know they were welcome to pick out a few bakery items. The grandmother selected a loaf of bread and hamburger buns. She told the girls they could get a package of donuts or cupcakes to share. They wanted cupcakes but couldn’t decide between a 6-pack of white or chocolate. I quietly told their grandmother they could each have what they wanted if that was OK with her, as we had plenty of cupcakes that day.
Oh my! You’d have thought it was Christmas morning! With giggles of delight, the youngest girl picked out white cupcakes with pink frosting and rainbow-colored sprinkles; the other one got chocolate with mounds of red, white and blue frosting.
I watched them walk away—the grandmother with her bags of grocery items, and the girls with their package of cupcakes held close like a favorite toy. They offered me shy smiles and waves as they got into the car. My heart was happy!
My wish for you is that you do what makes your heart happy! Approach the holiday season with excitement and joy… as if you’ve just been given an assortment of beautifully decorated cupcakes!
Image courtesy of Redbook