Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A genuine thank you to the Elk City Walmart

Sometimes I get upset at the lines in Walmart.  Sometimes I complain that the prices don’t ring up right at the register.  But sometimes, I just have to give a shout out to some genuine generosity on the part of our local Walmart.

Such was the subject of a letter I posted today to the manager and employees of the Elk City Walmart.

Dear Elk City Walmart Supercenter,

Thank you for your recent donations to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

You recently helped us to feed our Wednesday night crowd with several cooked pizzas.  This was a blessing in that the several volunteers that typically cook our Wednesday night meal received a much needed break, and let’s face it, clean up after pizza is just outright easy.  Thank you.

There’s a little more to this story that I want to share with you.  You did not just donate to a church.  You helped a community.  Most of our Wednesday night attendance is children.  Sadly, if it were not for the school lunch that many received, they would go hungry most every day.  Many of the children we feed on Wednesday night before our classes and services are children that are actually hungry. 

That may seem hard to believe, but we feed kids that don’t get much love or food in their homes.
Some of the parents of these children do not even know that they are at the church and many of these parents don’t care.  That could just be a sad statement, except when they come to the church on Wednesday evenings, they run to the front door.  They know they will be fed, and loved, and at least for a couple hours, brought up in the way they should go.

You see that you did more than donate pizzas; you helped us connect with children that are disconnected from the love they should know all the time.

The story doesn’t end here.

Recently, you donated some bicycles to the Burns Flat churches.  Pastor Dwight Shephard picked up some and distributed 2 girls’ bicycles to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Their arrival was perfect timing as the church recently adopted the community Easter Egg Hunt.  One of the bicycles was put up for a special sort of drawing.  Adults and children were not allowed to enter their own names in the drawing, but were asked to think of a child who could really use a bike but could not afford it.

You might be thinking, “He should have specified a ‘girls’ bike.”  That was the original intent; however, prompted by the generosity of your donation, a church member donated a boy’s bike just in time for the egg hunt.

We were blessed to draw both for both and boy and girl’s bicycle.  Want more?

The reaction of both adults and youth when the names were read was one of divine providence.  I knew neither child, but it seemed that many did and these were perfect selections.

The bicycle that you donated was presented to a young lady who will not be named in this article.  She lives in Burns Flat and received quite the surprise on Easter Afternoon.  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church added several boxes of food and 2 gift cards so that the entire family was blessed.

Want just a little more?

The bicycles that you donated were picked up by the pastor of the local Assembly of God Church, given away by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and delivered by three members of the First Baptist Church of Burns Flat.  How’s that for connecting with a community.

We thank you for your donation.  I hope that you realize it’s more than pizzas and bicycles by the time we put your gifts to use.  

Blessings to you and your employees,                                                                   

Tom Spence


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