Story time
Monday June 29th 2020, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Life

This is from Chris S, who gave me permission to share it.


The story:

There is an inner city mission in Hamilton Ontario called the Wesley Centre.  It is part of the United Church of Canada and is supported also by area United churches. It is an ever evolving mission.

The minister will come to a church at their request to talk about the work being done. About 10 or 12 years back the minister at that time came to speak to the congregation. He had a children’s story I don’t think anyone has forgotten.   The young ones came to the front and he sat on the floor with them – no microphone, just talking to them.

He talked about the families he works with. He talked about birthday parties and birthday gifts. Then from his big backpack he pulled a stuffed sheep and gave it to one of the children. He talked about the families a bit more and how they shop for food, then pulled another stuffed sheep out of the bag and gave it to the same child. He talked some more about the families and how they shopped for clothing, and again pulled a stuffed sheep from the bag and gave it to the same child.

At first the kids just smiled, but you could start to see the wheels turning for all of them and the disappointment at not being given a toy.

I think it was the 4th sheep that made the youngster try to give it to one of the other children. But the minister said “oh no that is yours, you keep it”.

More stories about the families and a sheep or two later the youngster said “why are you giving me all the toys?  The other kids should get some too.”

The minister asked him why he was worried about that when he was obviously getting the best deal. The youngster frowned and said “because it’s not fair when we are all the same but some get nothing “.


That led to a little discussion about how some are given much, some are given little, some work hard, some aren’t able to work – all the things that differentiate families in the “real world”.

And that led to a little discussion about how we can all try to change the things that aren’t fair so that everyone has what they need.

I saw those same youngsters a year or two later raise money with a bake sale and soliciting donations (they did the work) to provide hockey equipment to a girls team in northern Ontario who had nothing but desperately wanted to play.

Our Sunday school started a project called “magic penny”, nickels now that pennies have gone the way of the dodo. Once a month we sing a special song and the youngsters take the offering plates around the pews collecting change. It goes to a special fund and every 3 months whatever is collected goes to a charity the children choose. We have given money to a horse rescue, the food bank, a cat rescue, Heart and Stroke, all kinds of things. There is quite often close to $1,000 a year.

I still see those original youngsters looking at the world differently and working for things they believe need to change.

Fifteen minutes of story time can really make a difference.

Chris S

5 Comments so far
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Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 06.30.20 @ 5:44 am

Beautiful story – thanks so much for sharing it with us. ~chris

Comment by chris 06.30.20 @ 6:17 am

Thank you for this. The world needs reminders like this one…

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 06.30.20 @ 6:52 am

Thanks for sharing my experience. I’ve never needed to write it down because I can see it so clearly in my memory. But Alison asked and so I did.
Chris S

Comment by Chris S in Canada 06.30.20 @ 10:23 am

What a great story!

Comment by ccr in MA 06.30.20 @ 11:43 am

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