I was shopping at my local Dollar Tree when I was handed an opportunity to give, to make a difference. I was called to give. If you’re unfamiliar with Dollar Tree, everything in the store is one dollar, it’s the 21st-century version of the five and dime store. This has nothing to do with my story, but twice I’ve convinced cashiers to have some fun and announce over the store sound system, “Price check on register one.” It’s fun to watch folks in line stop and wonder what the …?

In Line at the Register

Anyway, I was in line when the register next to me closed. Two young ladies had been waiting longer than me so, I invited them to jump in front of me in line. It seemed the right thing to do.

Both girls were wearing bright green camp T-shirts, which I asked about. They were camp councilors working at an Indy Parks camp for the summer. When I was a teenager this camp was the local YMCA. I shared a few of my teenage memories with them.

I asked if it was a volunteer position or paid. They laughed and said paid, but not enough. They weren’t negative about it – just honest. 

Popcorn and Pretzels

As I watched them empty their shopping basket, I noticed it was full of snacks – bags of unpopped popcorn, sunflower oil, pretzels, and cookies. I asked the young ladies who the snacks were for and was told it was for the kids at camp. It seems there wasn’t much at the camp in the way of snacks.

And then I asked who was paying for it. I learned the girls were using their own money. I shared that both of my daughters had careers in education and had spent countless out-of-pocket dollars on school supplies. They bought the snacks because they had been called to give.

As the cashier started to ring the two girls purchase, I asked if they’d inserted their charge card. They hadn’t. I asked the cashier to please put their items on my tab. It was $22.00. It was the best $22.00 I spent that week.

Called to Give

When I got home, I told my wife I had a present for her, and then handed her the receipt. She asked me what it was, and I told her the story. She put her arms around my neck, kissed my cheek, and said, “Thank you, it’s a wonderful gift.” Like I said, best $22.00 of the week. So, will you be ready when the opportunity to give presents itself?

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