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Generosity

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TerraCuddle Diva
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Angel Diva...Sharing Gifts

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TerraCuddle Diva

Grandpa Clay slid the box of old clothes from the garage out to the driveway. "It sure is hot!" he announced, wiping his brow.

"It sure is," added Dusty carrying a box of old shoes and putting it out on the driveway

"I will go make some lemonade," volunteered Celeste. She disappeared into the house and returned a few minutes later with a tray of glasses and a pitcher of lemonade.

"Now would be a good time for a break," said Grandpa Clay.

"Would you tell us a story while we rest?" asked Celeste. "I really like your TerraCuddle stories."

"Yeah, Grandpa," chimed Dusty. "Your TerraCuddle stories are really great!"

"Let me see what little angel I have with me today," said Grandpa Clay reaching into his overalls pocket. He pulled out a sweet, angelic figure holding a book, appearing to be singing. After looking at the angel for a few moments, he started.

"Taryn and her friends attended the local public school. One of the principles the school always encouraged was community involvement.

" 'Our school is having a canned food drive this month,' announced the Principal at the all-school assembly. 'Everyone who participates and brings at least five cans of non-perishable food this month will qualify for a very special reward,' she added."

"We can't tell you what the surprise is just yet,' said the principal, 'but it has something to do with some very famous people – people I'm sure all of you know.' The principal continued, 'Now keep in mind, children, this is a very good cause. These canned goods are much needed and will be used to feed people right here in our own community.' "

" 'That is so lame,' Taryn said to her friends as they sat in the bleachers. 'The last time we had a fundraiser at school I ended up with a stupid yo-yo and a stuffed bear that looked like a dog. I'm not bringing any cans to school. My book bag is heavy enough as it is.' "

"That's not a very good attitude to have," said Dusty. "We have to help those people who cannot help themselves."

Grandpa Clay agreed and went on. " 'I don't see what the big deal is,' said her friend Blane. 'It's not like your parents don't have the money to get a few cans of food, Taryn. Don't be such a snob.' "

"And Taryn replied, 'Whatever, Blane!' "

"At the end of the month, the principal ran a report for each homeroom teacher. It was a list of all those who qualified by bringing canned goods. It also had a school news release announcing the big surprise."

" 'Class,' said the teacher. 'I have a big announcement today. All of you whose names appear on this list, those of you who brought at least five cans for our food drive, will be rewarded with…' She paused. 'Are you sure you want to know?' the teacher asked."

" 'Oh, yes! Tell us! Tell us!' the class yelled."

"Yes, tell us, Grandpa!" exclaimed both Dusty and Celeste together.

" 'This Friday night, there will be a private concert held just for you at the local convention center. I'm sure you have all heard of this group. I hear you talk about them in the halls all the time,' the teacher said."

" 'Tell us who it is!' screamed one student."

"Please, Grandpa Clay, tell us!" cried Celeste.

"The teacher continued, 'The band performing in your honor will be….360 Degrees!' "

"The children began jumping up and down, screaming, waving their hands in the air and hugging. All except Taryn. She just slid down into her seat and covered her face. 360 Degrees was her all-time favorite band – and she was going to miss out on the concert."

"I know I would be really mad if I was in Taryn's place right now," Dusty declared.

"The night of the concert, Taryn was so depressed. She went to her back porch and sat on her porch swing, wishing she could be at the concert too. All her friends were at the concert because they had taken the necessary food to school. She continued to swing for quite some time, feeling quite sorry for herself. She just sat there swinging and listening to the crickets. After a while, the crickets chirping began to sound like a sweet melody coming from afar. 'That is a melody,' Taryn thought. 'Who is singing in my back yard?' "

TerraCuddle Diva

"I know who it is," declared Celeste, "it's an angel."

"That's right, it was an angel. 'I am the Angel Diva,' a tiny voice sang to Taryn. The little angel fluttered to the swing and sat beside her. 'You had an opportunity to help others in need. Your friends helped. They gave from their hearts, not expecting anything in return, and they were richly rewarded. You have missed your opportunity this time, but perhaps,' said the angel, 'you will think of another way to give of yourself and you will be rewarded too.' With that statement, the Angel Diva disappeared."

"I know who it is," declared Celeste, "it's an angel."

"That's right, it was an angel. 'I am the Angel Diva,' a tiny voice sang to Taryn. The little angel fluttered to the swing and sat beside her. 'You had an opportunity to help others in need. Your friends helped. They gave from their hearts, not expecting anything in return, and they were richly rewarded. You have missed your opportunity this time, but perhaps,' said the angel, 'you will think of another way to give of yourself and you will be rewarded too.' With that statement, the Angel Diva disappeared."

"Saturday morning, Taryn got up, remembering her visit from the angel the night before. As she listened to the voices on her radio, she heard another voice singing, growing louder with each passing moment. It was the same voice singing as the night before. 'Give of yourself and you will be rewarded,' the voice said."

"Taryn decided it was time to do something generous. She wanted to prove to her friends, teachers, parents, and especially her principal that she too was a giving person. 'What can I do?' she wondered.

"What did she do?" asked Dusty.

"After a few moments of thought, she said, 'I've got it. There is a homeless shelter on 5th street by our old church. Maybe I can take some of my clothes I don't want any more and give them to the people there who need them.' "

So Taryn asked her mother's permission that very morning. 'That's a very nice idea, Taryn, but I can't let you go alone,' her mother said. 'Since your dad is at the office all day today, I can take you this afternoon if you'd like.' "

" 'Oh, thank you, Mother. That would be so great!' Taryn cried."

"Taryn and her mother went to the shelter together, both were carrying huge boxes of clothes for the needy. The director of the center thanked them and asked if they would like to stay and help serve lunch. 'We're quite short-handed today and we could really use the help,' he informed them."

"As Taryn served food to the people, she was met with the biggest smiles she had ever seen and kindest words she had ever heard. It made her feel great to be able to help in some way. She thought of Angel Diva's words. 'Mom,' Taryn said, 'the way the people smile and show how thankful they are to have this food – it really is a reward all its own, isn't it?' "

" You know, you're right,' her mother agreed, 'but what makes this extra special is we are doing this together.' "

"That was a very generous act on Taryn's part, wasn't it," said Dusty. "And the reward was different than what she expected."

"That's true, but it gets better," teased Grandpa Clay.

"When they got back home, Taryn's mom went into the kitchen to place a phone call while Taryn went to play in her room. Her mother called the school principal and informed her of the good deed Taryn had done that day. 'Yes, it was her own idea,' she told the principal. 'Oh, really? Could you do that for her? She would be so thrilled,' Taryn's mom exclaimed."

"After hanging up the phone, she ran to Taryn's room. 'You are never going to believe what the principal is going to do for you. She had called me at the office Friday, concerned about your lack of interest in helping with the food drive. So I called her today to tell her about what you did this morning and how we spent our afternoon.' Her mother continued, 'She said 360 Degrees is still in town doing other charity work. She said she would arrange for you to personally meet all the members of the band.' "

" 'Your kidding me, Mom! Don't play like that," Taryn shrieked."

" 'I'm not joking,' her mother said excitedly. 'C'mon…let's get going. She said we would have to meet her right away.' "

"She actually got to meet a famous band in person?" cried Celeste. "That is so cool!"

"Yes, Taryn met her all-time favorite band that day and they serenaded her with one of their number-one hits. Taryn couldn't help but wonder if perhaps the Angel Diva had something to do with this most incredible reward."

Grandpa Clay took a long drink of his lemonade and looked at his grandchildren.

"So, did the Angel Diva help Taryn to meet her favorite band?" asked Celeste.

"Sometimes we influence events ourselves," said Grandpa Clay slowly. "Maybe all Diva did was to help Taryn to see she already had a generous heart. It was up to Taryn to act on her spirit of generosity."

"Is that what we are being? Are we being generous today, Grandpa?" asked Dusty.

"Yes, all these clothes, shoes and other items that we no longer want or need will be given to a local homeless shelter. There are always people who can use all of these things."

"What about the Angel Diva?" inquired Celeste. "Will she sing to us about generosity?"

"I can't say for sure, but if we begin to sing while we work, maybe she will join in with us and this will be more fun than work," suggested Grandpa Clay.

Dusty and Celeste suggested some songs and then started to sing. Grandpa Clay joined in and the work did seem to go faster and appeared to be much more fun. Grandpa Clay was very proud of his generous young grandchildren. He was glad they understood the importance of the TerraTruth of generosity and the reminder of the TerraCuddle Angel Diva..

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