I posted last week about the anonymous friend who has become something of a regular benefactor to those in our community who have undergone tragedy. There is, it seems, no shortage of woe.
Friday, he struck again with another envelope containing a check, again by mail. I believe he is taking this approach now because our receptionist Vicki Davis got a good look him near Easter when he dropped off a donation to someone in need at that time. This is the second straight U.S. mail item I’ve received from him — both over the past week.
Indeed, he indicated in the note that he wishes to be unknown. I respect and admire him for it. He cites Matthew 6:3-4 as his reason. “Jesus instructed his followers that ‘when you give alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret …’”
From where I sit as the chosen conduit for these much=appreciated and needed gifts, it’s a wonderful sentiment. I’m lucky enough to see the people when handing over the checks — all but the first couple totaling $1,000. They are largely stunned, often beyond words. Last week the mother of a child with almost too many maladies to believe, was taken aback by the check and said: “So, I’ll never know who did this?”
“Even I don’t know,,” I responded.
“But I want thank whoever it is,” she said. I told her to send along a letter to the editor and I would publish it on our opinion page.
“One thing I know,” I told her, “is that he reads the newspaper. It’s where he finds the people he helps.”
This week, my friend is sending $1,000 to Melissa Ellis and her 10-year-old daughter Lauren who lost their north Burlington home and most possessions in a fire on Tuesday night. I had my spouse, Roselee Papandrea who wrote the story, contact Mrs. Ellis and let her know about the anonymous donation. Mrs. Ellis, who has had lots of support from the community, continues to be overwhelmed and wept during most of the conversation. Roselee will have a story about it in Sunday’s Times-News.
Here’s the text of the letter that accompanied the donation. He always sends one on heavy stock blue paper. In every letter, I learn something or am touched in some way.
Dear Mr. Taylor,
I read the story this morning about the Ellis family, the mother and daughter who lost their home in a fire and so I wonder if I might impose on you again for help in assisting the family. It is a terrible loss and we’re fortunate to have organizations like the Red Cross here who will come to the aid of those in need.
In Matthew 6:3-4, Jesus instructed his followers that “when you give alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret …” This is the method I have tried to follow in helping others. By doing this, hopefully it will encourage others to do what they can to assist their neighbors in some way, according to their ability to do so. Everyone can make a difference if they make an effort, it does not have to be financial either. There are many worthy organizations in Alamance County like Loaves and Fishes, Allied Churches of Alamance or the Salvation Army who are usually in need of volunteers to help the hungry, the homeless and the multitude of our neighbors who may find themselves in dire circumstances. We never know when we could be in the same position.
So once again Mr. Taylor, I appreciate your assistance in this matter. I hope you and yours are doing well.
I would like to convey this message to my friend. It’s hardly an imposition but a joy and delight to aid your efforts. The message that everyone can make a difference is timeless but needed now more than ever. Thanks for doing so.
(P.S. Please call me Madison)