We are still holding our semi-annual fundraiser to help offset some of the expenses incurred in chasing down stories for LouisianaVoice.
But this post is not a solicitation. Instead, at the risk of sounding like some cheesy televangelist, I want to share a letter that I received today (Friday, October 9) I have removed the contributor’s name and address to protect her privacy.
(I must make a small correction: With Edwards in the Governor’s Mansion is not my book. It was written by former Angola inmate Forest Hammond about his experiences as a prisoner-butler in the Edwin Edwards governor’s mansion. I was merely the editor of the book.)
I received two other checks along with this one in my post office box, each for $100. Those contributions are greatly appreciated but with all due respect, nothing could have touched me as deeply as that letter. And it was certainly not a “paltry sum.” This one gesture meant more to me than the contributor could ever know.
It immediately brought to mind a parable I once read in the Bible. Not being a biblical scholar, I admit that I had to google it and found it was Luke 21:1-4. It reads:
- As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
It also occurred to me that I could never deposit that check. Yes, we need money to operate but we don’t need it badly enough to take it from someone who desires to help us but obviously does not have the financial means to do so. Her gesture is the true definition of sacrifice.
What I have decided to do instead is to frame the check and her letter and hang it on the wall over my computer in my office.
That way, I will have a daily reminder of why I do this.