(Photo and story by Shortstoriesshort.com)
When I started this blog, I had high hopes. But I must admit, there were many doubts too. Over the years I have seen this blog grow beyond my wildest dreams. And I have each and every visitor that comes to Cop-A-Squat or shares this blog with others, to thank for its huge success. I am mostly grateful to our Heavenly Father: without Him, none of our good fortune would have happened.
What can one man do? Quite a bit, if you look at the lives of some of the greatest men that ever lived. What can an army of men do with a solid purpose? Together they can move the world. Just like a bundle of sticks, there is more strength together than one stick alone.
As we enter a new year, what are your plans to change the world? What can you do to make a positive impact on others? We, at Cop-A-Squat, publish posts and books that we hope will entertain and inspire people to enjoy healthy reading, that hopefully will make reading more enjoyable and impact their lives in positive ways.
With every purchase of our books you are helping us change the world, one reader at a time. We can bring encouraging stories to the world, but we cannot do this alone. We need each and every one of you, because there is strength in unity – we ask you to join us on our journey.
I want to share an inspiring short story and a short video with you on the power of working together. See how the power of many makes all the difference.
Please enjoy the ‘Unity is Strength’ short story and its accompanying video. See you all in the coming months. We wish you all a Happy New Year.
The Cop-A-Squat Family
UNITY IS STRENGTH
Once, an old man was very ill and lay dying in his bed. He had four sons who were always fighting with each other. He always worried about them and wanted to teach them a lesson and asked his sons to come to him. When they came, the old man gave them a bundle of sticks and said, “Can you break these sticks?”
The first son tried to break the bundle but nothing happened. He tried very hard and finally gave up. Then it was the turn of the second son to try his luck. He thought it would be an easy task and picked up the sticks easily. He tried his best to break the sticks but nothing happened. Then, the third son tried to break the bundle of sticks, but he couldn’t do anything either.
Meanwhile, the youngest son jeered at his brothers and thought they were very incompetent. He thought he was very clever and took one stick at a time and easily broke all of them.
The old father then smiled at his sons and said, “Children, do you understand what happened? It is always easy to break the sticks one by one. But when they are bundled together, none of you could break them. In the same way, you four brothers should always be together. No one will be able to hurt you then.” The four brothers realized what their father was trying to teach them, forgetting all their enmity and learning that unity is strength.
From that day onwards, they never fought with each other and lived together in peace and harmony.
You never know where you’re going to be when compassion sneaks up on you and wraps your heart in its warm embrace.
For me, it found me sitting in front of the TV. During the commercials, an ad for Christian Children’s Fund flashed on the screen. As always, it’s difficult seeing so many kids living in extreme poverty. Many times, I watched for a while, and then slowly turned the channel. I turned, not because I didn’t care, but because, “What possible good could an average guy like me do?”
In the spring of 2001, I called the number the next time I saw Christian Children’s Fund flash on the screen (now Child Fund International). It’s proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. Why? I got to know and sponsor Erimias.
After the sponsor package arrived, I saw he was a young boy, age eight. Seeing those bright eyes, his brave stare, I felt honored to be his sponsor.
Many letters later, so many filled with joy and accomplishments, some with filled with sadness; since my sponsorship, Erimias has lost both his parents.
He continues to be an outstanding student and is now age 19.
Six years later, my family and I were leaving a Christian concert. Near the exit, two women stood at a long table. On the table sat rows of pictures of young children with their bio’s attached. We saw Trishna’s picture right away and said to each other, “She’s the one.”
Over the years I’ve been blessed to receive encouraging letters and as you see, beautiful pictures. As of today Trishna and family are doing well.
It’s been a privilege watching these children grow and being able to contribute in improving their lives in a small way.
How was your GOOD FRIDAY? How do you like to show compassion to others? Leave your stories in the comments below. And as always – keep your head up.
However, these pictures are no laughing matter.
(Photos courtesy of Family from Afar)
One of the most effective ways to change this is to get to the root cause. And making huge shoe donations isn’t the answer.
Consider this: “After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Honduras was flooded with shipments of donated goods. They clogged ports, overwhelmed military transport, and made it nearly impossible for relief agencies to ship in the things they really needed. Those donations did harm, not good. Expired drugs had to be carefully disposed of. Inappropriate donations had to be transported away and discarded. All of this wasted time and money. ” Nobody wants your old shoes: How not to help in Haiti.
Sometimes the donations aren’t of any real use for the area. As one one-time islander in Honduras explains about the shoes… “I lived through Hurricane Mitch on a little Island called Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras. So much devastation. The Islanders were quite confused about the container that arrived on a ship to Utila full of high heel shoes. Yes, high heel shoes, the entire container!” A Day Without Dignity.
Many times our good intentions can cause more harm than good. Donating Shoes and Other Aid Fads.
However, I know how a charitable heart works and I totally understand the urge to send shoes for these needy children. But let’s find another way to help. As one emergency relief workers states: “Donating stuff instead of money is a serious problem in emergency relief. Only the people on the ground know what’s actually necessary.”
One sure way to offer your assistance is to give to charities that get at the root cause. These impoverished families need programs that fund money to families in search of a better life through education and self-sufficiency.
For our GOOD FRIDAY, let’s help kids all over the world get new shoes. Consider donating money to a local charity or an international one like Childfund International or Compassion International. Both these charities help the child by providing their parents with means to buy goods that are local (including shoes). Come back on Friday and tell us what charity you chose to help. And as always, keep your head up.