Kindness helps turn a life around |

Kindness helps turn a life around

Iris Forster

World War II had ended, and I met and married my husband, Al. Jobs were scarce as hen’s teeth, but I had managed to get a job at the local bank in Spokane, Wash.

The first Christmas we were married, I was working in the bank’s credit department. I had a direct line to the credit bureau and many of the local businesses. I collected information on loan applicants and tardy accounts.

Through one of my fellow employees, I learned of a young mother of two children who were ill with chicken pox and were in dire straits. They lived in a tiny old rental with a dilapidated heating system. I thought, “How sad.” I called my friend at the credit bureau and said, “Let’s try to help her.”

I contacted local businesses, one after another, to ask their bosses if they could help make a merry Christmas for this desolate family. The wheels started to turn and one boss after the other donated something to the cause.

Christmas Eve day, Santa Claus, in a panel truck, rolled up to the young mother’s home with a ton of coal and two cords of wood. Another panel truck followed with bedding, clothing, furniture, food and toys for the children. Even a dentist gave a set of dentures for the mother who had lost her teeth due to poor nutrition. Her husband, we learned, had deserted the family years before.

When spring arrived that year, we checked on the young lady to see how she was doing. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that she had married a soldier who was in the Air Force stationed in Spokane, and whom she had met in church. How a little kindness can turn a person’s life around.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the gentleman in the Santa suit, who delivered the toys and clothing to the children, was the gruff, stern head of the repossession department of the bank. Whoever said bankers have no hearts?