Posts Tagged ‘unemployed’

What the Mormons Know About Welfare

March 2, 2012

Mitt Romney has raised the issue of the social safety net. Washington could learn from the lesson of his church.

By NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY

Salt Lake City

Ever since Mitt Romney said he was “not concerned about the very poor” but would fix America’s social safety net “if it needs repair,” conservatives and liberals have been frantically making suggestions. Gov. Romney says he would consider options like restructuring Medicaid. But if he wants to see a welfare system that lets almost no one fall through the cracks while at the same time ensuring that its beneficiaries don’t become lifelong dependents, he could look to his own church.

As I ride in a golf cart through a new 15-acre warehouse on the outskirts of Utah’s capital, I can’t help but wonder: How many Wal-Marts would fit in here? How many burgers can you make from 4,400 industrial pallets of frozen meat? And how do they keep this place cleaner than my kitchen floor?

Dedicated last month, the Bishops Central Storehouse contains a two-year supply of food to support the Mormon church’s welfare system in the U.S. and Canada (primarily for church members in need) and its humanitarian program, which sends food, medical supplies and other necessities to the needy (of all faiths) world-wide.

In addition to goods from canned peaches to emergency generators, the facility also houses the church’s own trucking company, complete with 43 tractors and 98 trailers, as well as a one-year supply of fuel, parts and tires for the vehicles. Just in case.

The storehouse is not only a kind of physical marvel — it has been built to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 7.5 — but also a symbol of strength and self-sufficiency.

Launched during the Great Depression, the Mormon welfare system was designed by church leaders as a way to match the armies of the unemployed faithful with some of the nearby farms that needed temporary labor. As storehouse manager Richard Humpherys explains, goods and services were traded so that if a father needed food for his family he could get some in exchange for, say, repairing the fence of a widow down the road.

Mormons and U.S. Marines carry aid to landslide victims in central Philippines in 2006.

In 1936, Heber Grant, one of the church leaders, reported the reasoning behind this effort: “Our primary purpose was to set up insofar as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established among our people. The aim of the Church is help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.”

Over the ensuing decades, the church acquired farms and ranches of its own. It built grain silos and dairies and canneries to store and process the food. By the end of World War II, church leaders had enough in the way of reserves that they contacted President Truman to ask if they might assist in feeding and clothing the destitute across Europe. The president readily agreed.

Because it has members on the ground around the world, the church continues to be an important force in bringing food and supplies to the impoverished and victims of natural disasters. Local church leaders contact the central headquarters in Salt Lake City to tell them what is needed — gauze pads, school supplies, wheelchairs — and the church does its best to accommodate.

The Department of Defense recently visited the new storehouse to find out how the Mormons are able to mobilize so quickly, and there is an almost military sense of efficiency and strategy to the church’s efforts. When Hurricane Katrina struck, for instance, the church had positioned its fully loaded trucks in a kind of semicircle from South Carolina to Texas because no one knew how the storm was going to move. The church used reserves of fuel that it has placed around the country, and drivers were able to bring full tanker trucks into New Orleans, powering rescue vehicles and even chain saws to remove tree limbs.

Most of the inventory in the central storehouse, though, goes to supply more than 100 smaller storehouses around the country, plus hundreds of soup kitchens and homeless shelters of other religious communities around North America. Members of the Mormon church who find themselves in difficult circumstances can go to their local bishop and ask for aid.

The bishop then fills out an order allowing them to go and receive food from the local storehouse. Seventy percent of the items on the shelves are produced by the church itself and the remainder are purchased at steep wholesale discounts. According to Rick Foster, who oversees a smaller storehouse in Salt Lake City along with the cannery and dairy at Welfare Square (the original site of all the church’s welfare services), people depend on the food at the storehouse for an average of three to six months

That’s because the church’s goal is to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible. And the storehouse is only one of the tools at the disposal of local bishops, who may also refer members to other church programs, including employment counseling or family services. The bishop may even use money from a fund at his disposal to help pay for education, housing or utilities.

The labor behind the farming, food production, counseling and even cattle ranching is provided almost entirely by volunteers. Some are retired folks who come in every day. Other times an entire ward, or congregation, will come for the day, each of the members standing on an industrial assembly line packaging bread, processing cheese or sealing jars of apple sauce.

Regular tithing by church members helps pay for the facilities, but the primary source of capital support is the Mormons’ monthly fast, as church members are asked to contribute what they would have spent on two meals. Many give much more, says Mr. Foster.

It is safe to assume that Mr. Romney is among them. The tens of millions of dollars he has given the church over the years have raised suspicion in some quarters. What does the church do with all that cash? Wouldn’t that money have been better spent paying a higher income-tax rate? But his donations are supporting the kind of safety net that government can never hope to create. Jesus may have said the poor will always be with you, but he didn’t say Medicaid would.

Ms. Riley, a former Journal editor, writes frequently about religion.

Wall Street Journal article on 2/18/12: What the Mormons Know About Welfare


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I Went To The Welfare Office

August 23, 2011

This morning I went to sign my dogs up for welfare.

At first the lady said, “Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare”.

So I explained to her that my dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their daddies are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs.

So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify.

My dogs get their first checks Friday.

Damn this is a great country.

—-
While this is funny, it shows us a much greater problem that has been going on in our great country for far too long… the problem of welfare.

We are a generous country, giving foreign aid to about 158 of 182 countries around the world, many of who don’t even like this country!

We are giving welfare to millions of illegal immigrants who come to this country knowing that we won’t turn them away. We have a president who continues to bypass Congress, ignoring Federal laws regarding immigration laws, apparently afraid he would be deporting future Democrats. Because neither the feds or most of the states have enough guts to enforce immigration laws, many states are headed for bankruptcy like California, who lost over $1.25 Billion, YES, BILLION last year alone just in lost revenue from treating illegals at hospitals and other medical care.

When is Congress and America in general, going to wake up and realize that they can’t keep spending money like water? They are going to have to make some hard choices and stop the welfare and free medical for illegals. 12 million illegals X $???? = a serious deficit for a country that can’t afford to be spending without any hope of getting paid back.

Luckily there are a few bold and courageous states that are trying to pass laws similar to Arizona’s SB1070, that will address the illegal immigration problem. But Congress needs to step up and allow the police to enforce the laws that are already on the books.

I have no problems with immigrants that want to come here for a better life, but they need to do it the right way. They need to get a green card, a job and pay taxes like the rest of us. They need to get an education, and become a legal citizen.

Then, and only then can they realize the American Dream, without draining our limited resources.

Obama’s ineligibility for office

February 9, 2011

Look at this comment thread. HOW IN THE WORLD did we let this guy get in??? Congress spends days or even weeks vetting nominees for the Supreme Court. How is it that no one even questioned ANY of the qualifications that Obama supposedly presented? Or that he has spent nearly $2 million to suppress access to his personal records- (school, work, residence, birth certificate, etc.)? Obama has lied to the American people (hidden the truth), used his position to push his Socialist agenda and put this country so far in debt that we may never recover. He has engaged in behavior, that were it any other person, Congress would be asking for his head on a stick!

Congress is also complicit in this unbelievable assault on the USA. No one reads the Constitution, no one even follows the Rule of Law; no one cares about what is happening to their neighbors; millions of people are unemployed, with no jobs in sight; people are losing their homes as foreclosures and bankruptcies run rampant. Congress has ignored the very people who elected them to office, and “We the People” responded in November, with more to come in 2012.


//

Wvcrowcall I have just received an email which states that the SCOTUS is currently reviewing one of the lawsuits brought to determine/expose O’s status as a resident or not. Is there any truth to this, or is it more of the usual wishful thinking? I have seen no mention of it here or anywhere else. Thanks!  

23 hours ago .

Yottyhere I had not heard that was happening from any of our sources. Will be interesting to see if anyone has heard it. 

22 hours ago .

Belwhatter It may have come from World Net news – they have been staying on top of this issue very doggedly in spite of some derisory comments from high places. 

22 hours ago .

Ramasis World Net Daily or wnd.com 

22 hours ago .

OnTheBall There are so many on-going law suits against Obama now before the Supreme Court, that were this George Bush, the entire ‘alphabet news media’ would be marching in the streets ripping off their clothes in ‘high dugeon’ as they say. Orley Taitz alone is representing dozens of active duty and retired military members law suits against Obama. If you accept Obama’s own written and oral testaments to his own recorded history, he stands convicted as an illegal occupant of the White House. His mother had him when she was 17 or 18 yrs of age. By Federal Law she had to have been an adult for five (5) full yrs ~prior~ to Barry’s birth for her to confer the Federal status needed to allow Obama to run for President. That and that alone pre-empts Barry from having ever run for president. He is an illegal occupant of the White House and was assisted in arriving there by Nancy Pelosi’s willing and knowing HIGH TREASON against this nation! 

21 hours ago .

OnTheBall high dudgeon ….that is to say…. 

21 hours ago .

Yottyhere oh geeze 

21 hours ago .

OnTheBall Yotty the Federal Laws are very clear. When a person wishes to run for president and one of their parents is not an American citizen, the remaining American parent has to have lived inside the USA for five (5) full years, prior to that person’s birth. Clearly Obama ”’IF”’ he had been born inside this nation, does NOT qualify and as such Nancy Pelosi violated Federal Law, in allowing him to be certified. Facts are facts. 

8 hours ago .

OnTheBall the remaining Ameircan parent has to have lived in the USA a full five (5) yrs AS AN ADULT prior to that child’s birth…. 

8 hours ago .

OnTheBall Obama’s mother was under twenty when he was born, case closed. 

8 hours ago .

Yottyhere I repeat oh geeze. 

Enough other stuff to worry about than that inane claptrap.

 

5 hours ago .

MsCharlotteVale Our laws haven’t been followed in some years so it really doesn’t matter nowadays. We have millions of foreign nationals here who are demanding special treatment and their own system of law. They want the same system of law from the hellholes they left. Go figure. 

3 hours ago .

//

19 facts about the deindustrialization of America that will blow your mind!

January 26, 2011

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001.  About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.

#2 Dell Inc., one of America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

#3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November. Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.

#4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide.  So how many of them were manufactured inside the United States?  Zero.

#5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

#6 As of the end of July, the U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time period a year ago.

#7 The United States has lost a total of about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

#8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time period, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of U.S. economic output.  In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

#10 Ford Motor Company recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford’s new “global” manufacturing strategy.

#11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing.  The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

#13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#14 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use.  Today it ranks 15th.

#15 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products.   Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.

#17 The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the United States.

#18 One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#19 The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

  • So how many tens of thousands more factories do we need to lose before we do something about it?
  • How many millions more Americans are going to become unemployed before we all admit that we have a very, very serious problem on our hands?
  • How many more trillions of dollars are going to leave the country before we realize that we are losing wealth at a pace that is killing our economy?
  • How many once great manufacturing cities are going to become rotting war zones like Detroit before we understand that we are committing national economic suicide? The deindustrialization of America is a national crisis.  It needs to be treated like one.

America is in deep, deep trouble folks.  It is time to wake up!

With growing concern over China’s economic power, “Buy American” supporters say they’re gaining strength. Roger Simmermaker, of Orlando, runs a website called www.howtobuyamerican.com .

He directs consumers to all kinds of American-made products, from deodorant to mustard.

“After America, There is No Place to Go” by Kitty Werthmann

March 24, 2010

The author of this article lives in South Dakota and is very active in attempting to maintain our freedom. I encourage everybody to read this article and pass it along.  I see so many parallels in this country–are we going to sit by and watch it happen?  Spread the word; also contact your congressional reps; vote them out if they don’t do what they should.  If you don’t want to be bothered, then you’re part of the problem! Google Kitty Werthmann and you will see articles and videos.

Kitty Werthmann

By: Kitty Werthmann

What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or will ever read in history books.

I believe that I am an eyewitness to history.  I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.  We elected him by a landslide – 98% of the vote…  I’ve never read that in any American publications.  Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression.  Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed.  We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily.  Young people were going from house to house begging for food.  Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs.  My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need.  Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people – about 30 daily.

The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other.  Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were destroyed.  The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.

We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933.  We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.  Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise.  We were led to believe that everyone was happy.  We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family.  Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.  Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades.  The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.

After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order.  Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed.  The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women.  Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home.  An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family.  Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:

Our education was nationalized.  I attended a very good public school.  The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore.  Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.

Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance.  Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum.  They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time.  The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail.  The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination.  The rest of the day we had sports.  As time went along, we loved it.  Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.  We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

My mother was very unhappy.  When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent.  I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful.  There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun – no sports, and no political indoctrination.  I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it.  Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home.  I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.  Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me.  They lived without religion.  By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.  It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly.  As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

Equal Rights Hits Home:

In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established.  All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps.  At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

Soon after this, the draft was implemented.  It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps.  During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.  They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps.  After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.  When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.  Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack.  I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:

When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers.  You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government.  The state raised a whole generation of children…  There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology.  By this time, no one talked about equal rights.  We knew we had been had.

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:
Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna.  After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone.  Doctors were salaried by the government.  The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.  If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn.  There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine.  Research at the medical schools literally stoppedso the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household.  We had big programs for families.  All day care and education were free.  High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized.  Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

We had another agency designed to monitor business.  My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.  Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners.  Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar.  He couldn’t meet all the demands.  Soon, he went out of business.  If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control. We had consumer protection.  We were told how to shop and what to buy.  Free enterprise was essentially abolished.  We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers.  The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

“Mercy Killing” Redefined:
In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps.  The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.  So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded.  When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.  I knew one, named Vincent, very well.  He was a janitor of the school.  One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.  I asked my superior where they were going.  She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write.  The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.  They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death.  The villagers were not fooled.  We suspected what was happening.  Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months.  We called this euthanasia.

The Final Steps – Gun Laws:

Next came gun registration… People were getting injured by guns.  Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns.  Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms.  Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns.  The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away.  We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath.  Instead, we had creeping gradualism.  Now, our only weapons were broom handles.  The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.

After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, preteen to elderly.  The press never wrote about this either.  When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process.  They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn’t destroy, they burned…  We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses.  Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized.  Those who couldn’t, paid the price.  There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians.

This is an eye witness account.  It’s true…those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World.

Don’t Let Our Freedom Slip Away!

“After America, There is No Place to Go”

Please forward this message to other voters who may not have it.

American Jobs

February 21, 2010

Read all the way down

John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m.

While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG).

He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA ), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA)

After cooking his breakfast in his new
electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today…

After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS (from Saudi Arabia) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

At the end of yet another
discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (made in MALAYSIA), John decided to relax for a while.

He put on his
sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL), poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can’t find a good paying job in AMERICA.

AND NOW HE’S HOPING HE CAN GET HELP FROM A PRESIDENT MADE IN KENYA! 

Old Jack – an inspirational story

December 31, 2009

Old Jack

The man slowly looked up. This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new. She looked like that she had never missed a meal in her life. His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.

‘Leave me alone,’ he growled.

To his amazement, the woman continued standing. She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. ‘Are you hungry?’ she asked.

‘No,’ he answered sarcastically. ‘I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.’

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

‘What are you doing, lady?’ the man asked angrily. ‘I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. ‘Is there any problem, ma’am?’ he asked.

‘No problem here, officer,’ the woman answered. ‘I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?

The officer scratched his head.  ‘That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?’

‘See that cafeteria over there?’ she asked. ‘I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.’

‘Are you crazy, lady?’ the homeless man resisted. ‘I don’t want to go in there!’ Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up.

‘Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.’

‘This is a good deal for you, Jack,’ the officer answered. ‘Don’t blow it…’

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived. The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table.

‘What’s going on here, officer?’ he asked. ‘What is all this. Is this man in trouble?’

‘This lady brought this man in here to be fed,’ the policeman answered.

‘Not in here!’ the manager replied angrily. ‘Having a person like that here is bad for business.’

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. ‘See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.’

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled. ‘Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?’

‘Of course I am,’ the manager answered impatiently. ‘They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.’

‘And do you make a goodly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?’

‘What business is that of yours?’

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.’

‘Oh.’  The woman smiled again. ‘I thought that might make a difference.’ She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. ‘Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?’

‘No thanks, ma’am,’ the officer replied. ‘I’m on duty.’

‘Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?’

‘Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.’

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, ‘I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.’

The officer watched him walk away. ‘You certainly put him in his place,’ he said.

‘That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this’

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently. ‘Jack, do you remember me?’

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes ‘I think so — I mean you do look familiar.’

‘I’m a little older perhaps,’ she said. ‘Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.’

‘Ma’am?’ the officer said questioningly.  He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

‘I was just out of college,’ the woman began. ‘I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything.  Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.’

Jack lit up with a smile.  ‘Now I remember,’ he said. ‘I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy’

‘I know,’ the woman continued. ‘Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble. Then, when I looked over, I saw you put the price of my food in the cash register I knew then that everything would be all right.’

‘So you started your own business?’ Old Jack said.

‘I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up.    Eventually I started my own business, that, with the help of God, prospered.’ She opened her purse and pulled out a business card. ‘When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons. He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.’  She smiled.

‘I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet. If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.’

There were tears in the old man’s eyes. ‘How can I ever thank you?’ he said.

‘Don’t thank me,’ the woman answered. ‘To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus… He led me to you.’

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways. ‘Thank you for all your help, officer,’ she said.

‘On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,’ he answered. ‘Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And… and thank you for the coffee.’

If you have missed knowing me, you have missed nothing. If you have missed some of my emails, you might have missed a laugh.

But, if you have missed knowing my LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, you have missed everything in the world.

Have a Wonderful Day. May God Bless You Always. And don’t forget that when you ‘cast your bread upon the waters,’ you never know how it will be returned to you.

(Hope this is repeated many times today!)

God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love and so small He can curl up inside your heart.

The Big Wheel – an inspirational story

December 25, 2009

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck.

The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money–fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana?

I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn’t enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o’clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn’t wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.)

It was still dark and I couldn’t see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car-or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what.

When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver’s side door, scrambled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.  Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.


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