This is the third day of our Twelve Days of a Scout Christmas. For the next ten days you will find inspiring Christmas messages of Scouts giving the gift of living the Scout Oath and Law. Countdown to Christmas with us as you read these daily messages of Scouts being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
The third day of Scout Christmas reminds a Scout to be helpful. A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward. As we commemorate the birth of Christ, who spent His entire life engaged in selfless service, let us find ways to be helpful every day. Here are two stories of people selflessly helping others:
A pile of bricks in a Philadelphia side street marked by a red lantern to warn off passing traffic—a careless, selfish motorist, who in speeding by knocked over and destroyed the lantern, leaving the brick pile unmarked—four Scouts, with eyes to see and a will to serve, voluntarily standing guard at the danger point for hours until the lantern could be replaced, directing traffic courteously around the obstacle! These are the items of a story that was printed in a Philadelphia newspaper with a comment on the worthwhileness of a movement that trained boys to act like that on their own initiative.
Ever heard of Larry Stewart? If you lived in Kansas City between 1979 and 2006, you probably have.
Right around Christmas, 1979, Larry was fired from his job. It was a very cold day, so he went to a drive-in restaurant. There he noticed a carhop.
He recalled, “It was cold and this carhop didn’t have on a very big jacket, and I thought, ‘I think I got it bad. She’s out there in this cold making nickels and dimes.'”
So he gave her $20 and told her to keep the change. “Suddenly I saw her lips begin to tremble and tears begin to flow down her cheeks, as she said, ‘Sir, you have no idea what this means to me.'”
That started an annual tradition of Larry secretly giving away money.
Larry eventually made a fortune in the cable television and telephone industry. It is estimated that he gave away $1.3 million during those 27 years, mainly handed out to random individuals in $100 bills.
After being diagnosed with cancer, Larry began training other secret Santas by giving them $65,000 to hand out, aside from the money he handed out himself.
Remember—Larry Stewart’s first act of kindness was when he had very little and had lost his job. It is also interesting that, with a heart to help people by giving out free money, he himself became a millionaire.
An old saying goes: “You can never out give God.”
Always strive to grow in giving. It is one of the greatest blessings we can take part in—for yourself and others.