Emily White, age 6, is a member of First UMC in Rocky Mount. Early on Monday mornings, prior to school, Emily cracks eggs for the chief cook of the weekly Community Breakfast held at the church. Then she enjoys going from table to table, visiting with her friends, many of whom are homeless or living in shelters.
As the weather turned cold in the fall, Emily began to worry about her friends. She told her mother she wanted to make sure they had blankets to snuggle under on chilly nights. She organized a blanket drive, certain her church family would help. By Thanksgiving, she had collected 100 blankets plus monetary gifts to buy socks, mittens, hats and scarves for her friends.
When asked about her efforts by a reporter for the Rocky Mount Telegram newspaper, Emily said “It feels like it’s getting super cold, and I just wanted to see if maybe some people wanted to have some blankets.”
Emily’s mother, Jenny, says her daughter is a ray of sunshine to the people who attend the breakfasts. “She genuinely worries about her friends there,” she said.
“Miss Mary always asks about how school’s going,” Emily said. “I make a lot of friends there. I like how they’re kind and they know me. They get along with me.”
The blankets were distributed during a Thanksgiving luncheon held at First Methodist, and the following Monday morning at the Community Breakfast. Extra blankets were donated to Great Joy Church, which operates a shelter when temperatures dip below freezing.
As I read this story by LaMonique Hamilton in the November 22, 2015 edition of the Telegram, my heart was strangely warmed, remembering it is more blessed to give than to receive, and thankful that Emily had reminded God’s people of the blessedness of generosity.