We recently received an online donation from a woman named, Michelle who made her gift in memory of her mother, Anita.
Michelle’s online memorial note reads: “My mom, Anita, recently passed away and she grew up in the foster care program and had a hard life, but managed to get by and live in NYC and live life. Thank you.” Michelle lives in Virgina. I called Michelle to thank her and to talk with her about how she came to think of Good Shepherd in her giving.
Anita passed away on July 16. She had always supported Jewish causes but told her therapist of 34 years that she didn’t want her legacy to be that she only gave to Jewish causes. Michelle did not know the details but the therapist apparently did some research based on the stories of Anita’s life and suggested that Good Shepherd would be a worthy cause because we help foster children. The therapist passed the information along to Michelle.
Our rational minds lead us to speculate – reasonably – that there is surely a chain reaction of knowledge and actions that led the generosity of Michelle, Anita and the therapist to us. Anita suffered physically for 25 years with various kidney, hip and arthritic ailments and donated her body for science to NYU. All very typically human condition stuff. But, what must have transpired between Anita and her therapist that formed the action to give to us. Why didn’t the therapist recommend NYU? Was the therapist moved by Anita’s story as a foster child? Did the therapist Google foster care and come upon our website? Michelle does not know of any connection to St. Louis with either her mom or the therapist.
Michelle was very moved by our call to thank her. It sounds like a multi-part answer to a prayer. Near the end of her life Anita wanted to help someone who had experienced life as she had. The therapist wanted to help Anita and reached out to her daughter. Michelle wanted to remember her mother and made a donation to Good Shepherd who wants to help foster kids. God works in mysterious ways and answers all prayers. He is the ultimate chain-maker; the ultimate connector of children with families.