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去年12 月,某个星期天下午,Ann Sutton,兴奋地看着她厨房里欢闹的情景。儿子Mickey在糖果罐里搅拌着,女儿JaKeilla和男友Frank在微波炉里烤饼干。7岁的女儿Kinzie在厨房中间,不停地吃着饼干,坐在放着红绿色餐具垫的桌子上,神奇地指挥着。
One Sunday afternoon last December, Ann Sutton happily watched over a holiday cooking spree in her kitchen. Son Mickey stirred up a batch of candy. Daughter JaKeilla and her boyfriend, Frank, popped cookies in and out of the oven. In the middle of it all was younger daughter Kinzie, a seven-year-old dynamo who munched on cookies and called out instructions from a table covered with red and green place mats.
With a social worker mother and a youth worker father, the Sutton children had inherited their parents' commitment to service and knew never to take their good fortune at Christmas for granted. The median household income in Wayne County, Kentucky, where they lived, was only $28,000, and the Suttons' dinner conversation often turned to local families in need. Many of Ann's clients had lost jobs when the houseboat industry in nearby Monticello collapsed. Many others hadn't recovered from the downturn in the coal industry.
Knowing how much her own children loved presents at Christmas, Ann always tried to seek help for one or two destitute families. This year, Kinzie was thrilled that Santa Claus would make a special visit to a 22-year-old mother named Ashley who worked in a factory and was raising her 12-month-old son, Evan, and her 12-year-old brother, Kenny, by herself.
Amid this joyful Sunday, the phone rang. A representative from a local organization was calling to say that the aid Ann had requested for Ashley had fallen through. No Santa Claus, no presents, nothing.
Ann saw the cheer vanish from her children's faces at the news. Kinzie's chatter stopped. Without a word, she slipped down from her chair and ran from the room. Back in the silent kitchen, it didn't feel much like Christmas anymore.
Kinzie returned, her face set with determination. She had opened up her piggy bank, and now she counted out the coins and crumpled dollar bills, one by one, onto the kitchen table: $3.30. Everything she had.
"Mom," she told Ann, "I know it's not much. But maybe this will buy a present for the baby."
Then suddenly everyone was reaching into pockets and purses. Mickey and Frank gathered small bills and handfuls of change. JaKeilla ran into her room and cleaned out her Wizard of Oz coin bank. Adding to Kinzie's gift became a game, with everyone hunting for loose change. Kinzie's squeals of joy rang through the house.
钱堆在餐桌,Frank把硬币放进纸筒里。随着搜寻逐渐停止,一叠纸币和一堆硬币出现在眼前。总共130美元。Ann对Kinzie 说:“上帝让你的礼物增加了”。
As the money piled up on the kitchen table, Frank began rolling coins into paper sleeves. By the time the search ended, there was a small mountain of bills and a neat stack of rolled coins. The total: $130. "God multiplied your gift," Ann said to Kinzie.
At a breakfast meeting the next day, Ann told her coworkers about her daughter's latest project. To her surprise, staff members began to open their purses and empty their pockets to add to Kinzie's stash. The generosity was contagious.
Throughout the day, Ann's colleagues dropped by with contributions. Each time a little money came in, Ann called home. And with each report from her mother, Kinzie would scream into the phone and do a little dance of triumph.
By day's end, the story of Kinzie's gift had spread beyond Ann's office. She received a call from an anonymous donor. If a seven-year-old could give everything she had, he said, he should at least match her gift 100 to 1. He contributed $300.
The total was now $500—plenty for a Christmas for three.
That evening, Kinzie went with her mother and sister to spend the money. They bought pants, shirts, pajamas, and household necessities in bulk. There was a pair of cool-looking boots just right for a 12-year-old boy, a pretty scarf for Ashley, and heaps of toys for the baby. They even had enough to buy food for a Christmas dinner.
On Christmas Eve, Ann drove through the pouring rain to the small trailer where the family lived, then backed her Trailblazer close to the door. When Ashley opened the door, Ann stood under her umbrella and wished the astonished woman a merry Christmas. Then she began to unload the gifts from the car, handing them to Ashley one by one.
Ashley laughed in disbelief, and still the presents came. Ann abandoned the umbrella, and the young woman joined her in the rain, passing gifts inside to Kenny. "Please, can I open up just one tonight?" he begged. Soon both women were soaked to the skin, and surprise had turned to something deeper, the kind of joy that brought them close to tears.
Reflecting on a little girl's generosity, Ashley says she hopes she'll one day be able to do something similar for someone else in need. "Kinzie could have used that money for herself, but she gave it away," Ashley says. "She's the type of kid I'd like my son to grow up to be."
2010-02-19 18:19 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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