Dear Ellen,December 4 on the Facebook page "My Town Walla Walla" I received the following post....
"Last night, as my Son and I were leaving Taco Bell, we saw a man standing against the side of the building who looked kinda disheveled and very, very cold. He was wearing baggy, dirty, worn, old clothing, and was quite unkept in appearance. As we got into our car we saw another man walk out of Taco Bell who we'd seen eating inside when we were in there. He stopped and exchanged a few words with the man leaning against the building, then opened his car door, shut it, and walked back into Taco Bell. This made my Son and I curious, so we sat in our car and watched from across the parking lot. We waited and waited... my Son thought maybe the guy forgot something and had to go back in to get it, or had to go in to use the restroom or something. Finally he came back out carrying a bag of Taco Bell food. We watched him as he handed the food to the man outside, and without making any show of it - smiled, got in his car and left. And the man walked away with his warm dinner.
It didn't matter that the man who bought the food couldn't fix all the problems in the life of the man outside. He found out the man was hungry, and gave him something warm to eat. Sure, many of us would like to do grand-scale things to totally change the lives of such people, and that sometimes stops us from being IN THE MOMENT and doing what we can. But you know, that warm meal likely brought more than physical nourishment. The gift of knowing someone cares, even for a few moments in time, can spark a little more hope. And that CAN totally change a life. Every small act of Love carries great weight and multiplies. It just does.
Bob Finch, you really inspired us last night - when you didn't even know we were watching you. (And you didn't call to tell me about it or send me a message about it afterwards either.) My Son and I talked about what you did on the way home, and we drove in silence for a while - just thinking about what we'd witnessed. Thank you. We love you and respect you very much. I hope it's OK with you that I'm sharing this story. What you did when you thought nobody saw is a perfect example of a truly loving heart that gives without expectation. I think we saw a glimpse of "Christmas" last night that we won't soon forget.
Written by Lonna Chase Leno who saw Bob Finch do this random act of kindness. Thank you Lonna for sharing a truly heart warming true meaning of Christmas story and thank you Bob for being that person that we should all aspire to be."
And now to tell you "the rest of the story"....Bob is currently going through some challenges of his own, recently divorced, he is Dad to 6 children, 5 of whom are adopted foster children, 2 with special needs. Although he no longer lives with them, he still maintains a close relationship with all of his children, even the ones grown and no longer living at home. Just last weekend he made a 5+ hour drive to support one daughter whose high school dance team was preforming in a state championship.Bob is facing some challenges of his own, right now Bob is currently on Workman's Compensation due to a work injury, and his future work plans are pretty nebulous. So you see, it would have been very easy (even reasonable) for him to do nothing to help a cold hungry man, but that is not his character. He chose to help, when no one was looking, no one to recognize his generous spirit, just by doing "the right thing" because that was the “right” thing to do. At this time of year when there are so many in need, it is wonderful to know there are still men of character and compassion.....even when sharing a small monetary amount but a huge generous spirit.Character is how we act and what we do when no one is watching!Just thought you might enjoy the story.A Very Proud Auntie,Audrey Klein