This time there wasn’t a green envelope. And no one stopped by our office on South Main Street to make a personal delivery.
But the message, which arrived in a white envelope via the U.S. Postal Service, was still the same. Yes, my anonymous “friend” — the one with the oversized heart and cashier’s checks for $1,000 earmarked to people in our community sorely in need of help — had returned.
How the envelope got here — with checks for two people in Alamance County — speaks volumes as to how much this benefactor wishes to remain unknown. I suspect he is aware that our receptionist Vicki Davis got a good look at him in March when he made his last dropoff at our main desk. At that time, he gave $1,000 to Carl Wheeler who was seriously injured in an incident involving a drunken driver. It was Easter.
That was the third occasion he had deposited money here at the Times-News with a request that I make arrangements to get the checks to the authorized places. I am more than happy to do so — in fact, I’m thrilled beyond all description to be the conduit on these missions of mercy.
Now he’s done so for the fourth time within the past nine-plus months. This one almost completes a circle. The first donation came in October of 2011. Among the first recipients of the then $500 gift was Bobby Erich, a Burlington man who worked for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department who was injured in a bizarre accident at a city softball field in which a bat slipped through a chain-link fence, striking him in the head. We updated Mr. Erich’s ongoing struggles last week.
The other check is written to Landon Jacobs, a 3-year-old Burlington boy profiled earlier this month by our intern Anna DeLoache. Jacobs, a 3-year-old who lives in Burlington, was born without his fourth and 13th chromosomes causing him to be deaf and mute and to have difficulty walking. He also has a scalp condition that leaves him unable to grow hair on his head, and an unknown skin disease that doctors can not diagnose because it is so rare.
My “friend” sent a check for Mr. Erich and Landon with this note attached. For me personally, the notes are inspirational. He was especially impressed that a local tavern had taken up Landon’s cause.
Here’s what he wrote.
Dear Mr. Taylor,
‘I noticed recently a couple of articles dealing with Landon Jacobs, the little boy suffering with several physical problems, and Bobby Erich, who apparently has not recovered from his injury as quickly as we might have hoped. I hope you will pass these along to the appropriate parties so that it may prove to be of some assistance to them.
Mr. Erich’s situation reminds us that each of us, at any time, could be in a similar situation. Our health is not promised to us and none of us know what tomorrow, or even the next hour, may bring. We can only trust that God has a plan, even if it is beyond our understanding right now in a world that seems increasingly wicked and full of sad news. As the old saying says, “We’ll understand it better by and by …”
It was gratifying to see the folks at Cuz’s Tavern were working to help Landon and his family. We don’t often think of a tavern being a vehicle through which God’s work can be done, but there is no limit to the tools our Master has at his disposal to use as he sees fit. Any of us can be useful tools if we take the time to look around us at the needs that exist in our own little section of the world.
Anyway, thanks again for your assistance in this matter. I hope you are doing well.
I am already making arrangements to have the checks delivered to Mr. Erich and Landon’s mom. And may I return the greeting to my friend. I hope he is also doing well and is aware of just how important these gestures truly are — not just to those who receive the money but to anyone who hears about it.
It truly restores faith in human nature for people struggling through an increasingly cynical world.
To see previous posts about this click here and here and here.