When I was a young teen, I started a club with some of my high school girlfriends. We named the club The AGCs, which stood for The All-Girls Club–a simple name for a club comprised of ordinary teenagers with an extraordinary purpose: to impact our community with the love of Christ.
Our first project shortly after our founding was to provide a Thanksgiving Day meal for a poor family in our town. The local butcher where my mother shopped for meats provided the name of the family. You see, our butcher was a humble man who, quietly and unobtrusively, gave generously to poverty-stricken families in our area. So he knew those families who could use our help.
The day before Thanksgiving Day, we members of the AGCs busily and excitedly planned, purchased, and packed the meal we would donate to the designated family. On the eve of Thanksgiving Day, in bitter cold weather, we loaded the boxes of food into my mother’s car, and she drove us across town to the family who would receive our gift.
I will never forget that night. In frigid temperatures that made our bones ache, we climbed the three flights of the fire escape that led to the tiny apartment on the third floor of an old, dilapidated house next door to the butcher shop. Laden with a big box of food, I carefully slipped a hand from under the box and nervously knocked on the front door.
My heart pounded and my teeth chattered.
In a few moments, a young woman opened the door. She looked to be in her early twenties. In her left arm, she held a baby.
“Yes?” Her eyes questioned me.
“Hello.” I tried to reassure her with a smile. “We are the All Girls Club and we want to bless you with a Thanksgiving Day meal.”
The woman’s eyes grew wide and immediately filled with tears. “How did you know we had no food?” Her voice quivered. “We were not planning to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.”
A lump rose to my throat. “May we come in to deposit the boxes of food?”
She nodded and then opened the door all the way for us to enter.
We placed the boxes of food on the kitchen table and then, after exchanging tearful hugs, we left.
On our way home that night, we AGCs shared our feelings about what had just transpired. To the last girl among us, we all knew we had just experienced a miracle of love within our own hearts. We had learned that, as Jesus said, it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. None of us would ever be the same.
That young family was only one of many families that still need our help today. Why not encourage your children to start their own club to impact their community? Why not show them that, no matter what their age, they can make a difference? Why not teach them that people are in need all around us?
To find them, we just have to look, listen, and love.
Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio writes compelling fiction about the deepest issues of the human heart. Her children’s picture book, CANDLE LOVE, deals with the subject of sibling rivalry. To purchase your copy, click here.
MaryAnn and her husband are the blessed parents of two awesome adult daughters and the happy grandparents of five adopted grandchildren. You may reach MaryAnn at http://www.maryanndiorio.com and at www.maryanndiorioministries.com.