What is the value of 15 pennies?"
A guest post from Joe Lethbridge. While fundraising for his local AIDS Service Organization ACCKWA he encounters an act of kindness from an unlikely source.
“Hey, you are Joe, right?”
I turned around to a liitle guy, no older than perhaps six years old, standing beside a tall slender man I know I should remember but I can’t. The man stretched his hand out and shook mine as the little guy also reached his hand out as well. He shook my hand. The man spoke his name and then I remembered him.
“This is my son ______ . My friend has you on Facebook and he suggested I check out a link to an auction page of yours dealing with AIDS. ______ asked me what the red ribbon was for and how I told him what it represented; the easiest way I could”
His son looked back and forth to his Dad and me. I think he had something to say. He did. “Daddy ! Give it to Joe “he said; almost impatiently.
“You made it ______, so you give it to him “his dad said
The little guy turned shy and hid behind his dad; while Dad handed me a brown paper bag folded up.
It was heavy ! A piece of yarn glued to it as a handle. There was a ribbon. Not of silk or satin or cotton or denim. It was a ribbon made of pennies the little guy had glued on and painted with what looked like red tempura paint.
” I know I wrecked the pennies cuz I painted them, but now it’s a picture” he said ; still standing behind his dad; snuggling his leg .
Indeed it was a picture ! That little guy made a red ribbon from just knowing and caring enough “that AIDS hurts people bad”
“But you can’t open it Joe.” little guy added
He had glued the bag shut . “If you open it you will let them out and the picture bag won’t work. I made wishes and put them in the bag so people get better and no one will get sick more from AIDS”
I had to take a huge breath and hold in all my built up emotion. We continued to chat a bit . “I got more pennies at home and i’m gonna give them to the AIDS people ”
Another deep breath.
I thanked him and his dad as they headed off on their way.
Dad looking down at his son who was smiling and skipping off happily; the way little kids do. ” I think joe liked it ______” I heard Dad say
I headed the other direction- tears in the corners of my eyes; loving the red painted pennies ribbon.
I took one more deep breath and took a seat by the fountain and the tears in the corners of my eyes did indeed flow.
” A simple act of care
pennies painted- meant to share
A young boys gift-not just for me
A gift of compassion for others to see ”
15 pennies painted red far surpass the value of fifteen cents.
Thank you “little man” Your “little something” means so much to me and I am sure it will to so many others.
Postscript: Following writing this, the little man I wrote about brought me 234 loose pennies and told me will get lots more pennies "for the people with AIDS". I am now collecting pennies and am hoping to do something on a bigger scale for HIV AIDS AWARENESS WEEK OR WORLD AIDS DAY ! I am doing this for ACCKWA, the little man and everyone infected or affected by HIV. I am hoping to gather 100, 000 pennies by Novemember 15th.
This latest article is the one I have been requested to read at ourWorld AIDS Day Vigil locally