The Bible says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again," Luke 6:38. Have faith in your giving. For whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap.
Here are a few uplifting stories about giving! Keep shining your lights to honor God!
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Story shared via ABC News: When a passerby called the cops on a group of kids with a lemonade stand, the responding officers had the perfect reaction.
"So the kids where I live decided to have a lemonade stand during rush hour. Smart idea. However, some bitter person decided to call the cops on them," Whitney Glover shared on Facebook. "Instead of the officers shutting it down they decided to have a cup themselves. Thanks Town of Newburgh Police Department."
Officers Thomas O'Connell Jr. and Clayton Dubois responded to the initial complaint call Monday night over a concern for "kids with signs in the roadway," chief of police Donald Bruce Campbell told ABC News.
"I thought they handled the situation perfectly," Chief Campbell said. "They first made sure that the kids were safe and were not causing danger to themselves or the public, then they took some time out of their day and before their next call to purchase some lemonade and interact with the kids. It was a great job by them."
Glover, who took the photos and shared the sweet moment, confirmed to ABC News that her daughter was in the green shirt helping sell lemonade.
"We live in the complex and all the children play with each other," she said. "The officers did stay for about 10 minutes enjoying a cup of lemonade with them."
The Town of Newburgh Police Department later shared Glover's post on their own social media and wrote, "We're very proud when our officers have a positive impact on the community, especially the children."
Glover said the kids' stand stayed open and "is still open until the kids go back to school Wednesday."
In over three years as chief of police, Campbell said he had never witnessed a similar call or incident.
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Story shared via CNN: Christian Larsen begged his mother, Lindsay, to throw him a ninth birthday party so he could invite all of his friends. Finally, she gave in, sending out invitations -- and waiting. But only one person RSVP'd.
Christian, who has autism, attends Hillsdale Elementary in Meridian, Idaho. At the picnic marking the end of the school year, Larsen says, she saw firsthand how some of the children interacted with her son: either ignoring Christian or telling him no when he asked them to attend his party. It made her think that there might be something more to the lack of responses. On May 31, Lindsay posted on Facebook about the lack of responses, and her friend Blythe Ben-David stepped in to make a birthday miracle happen.
Ben-David lives in South Texas, far from the Larsen family. She couldn't be there for the party, so she reached out to Dan Holtry, a family friend and the football coach at Nampa High School in Idaho.
"He has always been a great guy, a genuine guy with a big heart," Ben-David wrote of Holtry in an email to CNN. "I knew if anyone could help it would be Dan." When Ben-David asked Holtry whether he could help, he immediately agreed and went "above and beyond," according to Ben-David. Holtry's football players were just as receptive.
"The players jumped at the opportunity," Holtry wrote in an email to CNN. "They were ready and willing to celebrate with Christian. Within seconds of a sent text they were 100 percent in. No hesitation whatsoever."
When Christian's party rolled around on June 4, a few classmates, some children from the neighborhood and some family friends showed up. Christian was running around and having a good time when the surprise guests arrived. Holtry and his players showed up chanting his name.
"The energy became electric and it was amazing to see how they all came together," Larsen wrote in an email. "Christian often plays alone, or wanders off, but with the players there helping organize games, he became part of the action. He was playing alongside his peers, as well as the football players. I think it helped the other young children interact with Christian too."
Holtry and his players stayed until the very end, playing with the children, singing happy birthday and watching Christian open some presents. "I know that Christian felt amazed and blessed by the turnout," his mother said. "He talked about it for days. One of the best things about his personality, is that he is always looking for the positive. He didn't question why the players were there, he just loved it. He has said multiple times that it was the best birthday ever!"
Story shared via ABC News: FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Payless Shoes may be getting ready to close for good.
But a family in Arkansas is using the bankruptcy as a way to pay it forward. Carrie Jernigan says she took her kids to the mall back in May to buy them some shoes. When her oldest daughter saw a pair of Avengers sneakers, she told her mom about a boy in her class who loved the Avengers and had shoes that were too small for him. So she asked her mother if she could buy them for her classmate. And Carrie says that question got her thinking.
"As I was checking out, I just said 'how much for the rest of the shoes in the store?' Almost joking and I could see the clerk, her face, her wheels start to turn and she finished checking me out. She said, 'can I have your number?'" said Jernigan.
Later that day, Carrie received a call from the Payless district manager telling her she could buy out the rest of the store which was already in liquidation due to the bankruptcy. She ended up with 1,500 pairs of shoes. The family plans to throw a "back to school" party so that every child will have a new pair of shoes for the new school year.
Story shared via ABC News: A trio of NYPD officers decided to pay for a woman's groceries instead of making an arrest after she was accused of shoplifting. The officers from the Strategic Response Group were at the Whole Foods in Union Square around 1 p.m. on Thursday when the incident occurred. Although Whole Foods security called police, the officers were already in the store buying lunch.
They found the woman being held by security with food in her bag she did not pay for. When the officers asked the woman what was going on, she told them she was hungry. "We looked in her bag and all we saw were containers of food, we didn't see anything else, it was just necessity food," Officer Esnaidy Cuevas said. That's when they decided to pay the $35 for her food instead of taking further action to arrest her.
"When you look at someone's face and you notice that they need you, they're actually hungry, it's pretty difficult as a human being to walk away from something like that -- we weren't raised like that, it's the right thing to do," Lt. Louis Sojo said. A man who took a photo of the act of kindness and posted it online said it was a moving moment to witness. "It was a nice moment for, you know, people, it was compassionate and the woman obviously was really grateful," Paul Bozymowski said. The officers said the woman thanked them, but was pretty much speechless. Chief of Department Terence Monahan highlighted the officers' good deed after Bozymowski posted the kind moment on social media. The officers say they are extremely humbled but they did not do it for the attention.
We pray God blesses these officers. Here's a message about them on Twitter: Cops like Lt. Sojo and Officers Cuevas and Rivera of the Strategic Response Group are the kind-hearted cops who quietly do good deeds for New Yorkers in need. My thanks to @pboz for highlighting the often unnoticed.
Story shared via CNN: Children's Hospital Los Angeles will now be able to help many more kids, thanks to an anonymous $25 million gift. It is one of the largest single donations in the hospital's history, according to president and CEO Paul Viviano.
"This truly transformative gift comes at a time when demand is growing quickly -- particularly among underserved children in Southern California -- both for pediatric neurological care as well as interventional radiology's broad range of minimally invasive procedures," Viviano said in a statement. Part of the $25 million will go toward creating a multidisciplinary Neurological Institute Outpatient Center.
The hospital has seen a growing need for pediatric neurological care over the years, Viviano told CNN. He said the goal is for the new outpatient center to open by early 2020. The hospital's Neurological Institute is projected to care for more than 31,000 patients a year by 2022, he said.
This outpatient center will house all the team members involved in managing neurological disorders under one roof, one of only a few in the nation. This includes neurologists, neurosurgeons and social workers.
The money will also be used to improve the hospital's interventional radiology through the purchase of technology and an overhaul of treatment and diagnosis space."We want to be completely respectful of the donor's wishes to remain anonymous so we are not releasing any personal details," Viviano wrote in an email. "The donor came to Children's Hospital Los Angeles asking us what our greatest needs are, and when we presented both the Neurological Institute Outpatient Center construction work and Interventional Radiology enhancements as priority projects, the donor was very happy to support these endeavors.
"Not only is this tremendous gift going to help our doctors and other experts provide more care for more children with neurological disorders, the interventional radiology improvements will expand the hospital's ability to help patients with many other pediatric conditions and illnesses as well," he said.
Story shared via CNN: Four Oklahoma teens had planned to spend the evening hanging out together. They had no idea that by the time the night would end, they would be running into a burning house to save the life of a 90-year-old neighbor.
Last month, Dylan Wick, Seth Byrd, Nick Byrd and Wyatt Hall -- all between 14 and 17 years old -- were at Hall's home in Sapulpa, outside Tulsa, when they first noticed the smell of burning rubber. Then, they saw flames coming from the home of his elderly neighbor Catherine Ritchie. The teens -- all high school football players -- wasted little time. Two of them broke into the house, and the other two called 911 and alerted the neighbors.
Ritchie was getting ready to go to bed when the fire began. According to a blog post written by her daughter, she tried to escape her room, but the smoke was so thick that she couldn't find her way out. Dylan Wick told CNN that Ritchie had made it to the hallway when Nick Byrd picked her up off the floor. Together with his brother Seth, they rushed her to safety.
Ritchie's granddaughter Jennifer Sontag told CNN that Ritchie was shaken up by the fire, but is still the same calm and confident person she was before. At 90, Ritchie is an active volunteer with charities including The Salvation Army and The Boys and Girls Club and, until recently, she was delivering Meals on Wheels, Sontag said.
Wyatt Hall's mother Cindy Hartin says that her son knew to check in on his neighbors, so she was not surprised that he and his friends acted so quickly and bravely when they saw the flames. Lynn Wick told CNN that her son Dylan has aspirations to be a firefighter and that goal is now stronger.
On her blog, Missy Ritchie Nicholas thanked the boys on behalf of her mother and her entire family: "Thank you for being the kind of young men who thought about another person above yourselves. Thank you for staying safe yourselves as well. Thank you to your parents who obviously raised you in such a way that lead to you making life saving and heroic decisions on behalf of someone else."
Story shared via ABC News: GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, New Jersey -- It'd be hard to visit Cherry Circle in Gloucester Township, New Jersey without getting to know Lamar Harris. He's around every corner helping neighbors with everyday chores, like picking up trash and walking the dogs.
But the past few years haven't been easy for Lamar, who has disabilities. He lives alone in the same house he grew up in after losing his whole family. Now, he's at risk of losing the rest of his world, too. Harris learned from a legal complaint that he has so much debt his house is at risk of going into foreclosure.
"I've been looking after him for so many years now, he's like part of my family, and I just can't let anything happen to him," said his neighbor Tom Brake.
So the neighbors found a way to give back to Harris, and raised over $50,000 on this GoFundMe to help him pay off his taxes and keep his house.
Harris isn't out of trouble yet, however. He's going to have to go to the municipal building to pay off his taxes and then prove he has a plan going forward to keep paying. Additionally, another quarter of taxes are due at the end of the month.
"See, the problem is today, $2,000 are due for taxes," said his neighbor.