Today’s article is written for ROOM’s youngest audience of volunteers, advocates, donors and world-changers. (It’s also filled with some dad-jokes that will make your eyes roll; so, really, there’s something for everyone.) Written by Amanda Stafford, ROOM’s Executive Director, this simple story conveys the tremendous joy surrounding opportunities for charitable giving while underlining ROOM’s investment in children’s ministry. Most recently, Amanda wrote I’m Not Moving to Nigeria and Neither Are You (probably) ~ Amanda Stafford
Pickles the chicken always had plenty of food. She had everything she needed, plus plenty of leftovers. Some hens had more, of course, but Pickles was happy because she was never hungry.
Pickles was proud of the food she earned working at the egg plant. She saved and stored her food diligently. Just looking at her savings made her feel proud!
“Because of my hard work and impeccable savings, I will never be hungry.” Pickles thought
One day, when Pickles was on her way to crossfit, she saw a rooster looking very sad.
Pickles crossed the road to talk to him. She learned his name was Herbert. Herbert was hungry. Very hungry. Pickles thought about her barn full of grain. Surely, she could share some with this new friend?
Skipping the gym (it was drumstick day, anyway), Pickles went home to pack up some of her food. She brought the food to Herbert and they ate supper together.
Herbert was thankful for the food; but, most of all, he was thankful for Pickles’ eggsellent company. Having someone to speak with made him feel less lonely and less sad. He even started to feel a little happy.
This made Pickles feel happy, too. She felt proud that by sharing her extra supplies, she could give Herbert the food he obviously needed. By sharing a meal, Pickles was also able to give Herbert the friendship he didn’t even know he needed.
Pickles offered to get Herbert a job interview at the egg plant (the plant might not be all it’s cracked up to be, but they are always hiring). With Pickles help, Herbert could work and earn his very own grain! He was excited for this possibility, and looked forward to building his very own savings barn. Pickles and Herbert made plans to get together again soon.
Pickles went home smiling. She looked at her food stockpile; proudly thinking how special it was for her to share, and what a big difference her small actions made in Herbert’s life.
The next day, Pickles called her friend Lizette on the phone. Lizzette moved away from their nice, comfortable farm to live on a developing farm.
Developing farms do not have many resources. Most barns have cracked walls and cold floors. They don’t have egg plants there, so it is much harder to work and earn food. Many chickens living on developing farms are hungry, because there is not enough grain for everyone. It’s especially hard for the little chicks who don’t have enough food.
Lizette moved to the developing farm to help make their community safer and healthier. She made lots of new friends. Most days, Lizette spent time with the hungry chicks. Lizette is like a chick magnet. They just love her!
Pickles talked to Lizette about the developing farm. Lizette told her wonderful stories about the baby chickens there; how special and smart they were. Then, Lizette told Pickles that many of these special chicks don’t have enough food, “Some of them are so hungry….” she said, “They can’t run around. Many spend their days cooped-up. Some are very, very sick.”
Pickles thought about her eggstra grain. “I might be able to help your chicks, Lizette,” Pickles said cautiously. Lizette was thrilled! “Any food you can send would be a blessing! Thank you so much!” The girls said goodbye and Pickles hung up the phone.
Pickles thought about the conversation. She thought about sharing her grain. Maybe she committed too soon? Pickles couldn’t eggactly share her grain with everyone. How would she know who to give it to?
The chicks living on the developing farm were different than her new friend Herbert. Herbert was lonely and Herbert was hungry; but, Herbert looked like Pickles and lived in her community. It was easy for Pickles to spend time with Herbert, and visiting him beak-to-beak gave her a happy feeling in her breast.
Pickles wondered, “Would she feel that happy feeling by just mailing a box of food far away?”
She decided to do some internet research. Online, some hens said fowl things about sending food to chickens on far-away farms. Pickles read things like, “There are chicks right here on this farm who need grain!”
The internet made it sounds like she shouldn’t share her food with far-away chickens. But, she thought about her friend Lizette and the stories she told about the hungry chicks. It made Pickles feel very confused.
To make the right decision, Pickles decided to turn to her Bible instead of just winging-it. She read:
“If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” –Luke 3:11b, and
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.” –Hebrews 13:2a, and
After reading the Bible and praying, Pickles felt confident that sharing her extra food with the chicks living on a developing farm was the right thing to do.
“I should have prayed and read Scripture first!” Pickles thought, “instead of reading all those fowl, hateful comments online.” “In the future,” Pickles decided, “I will trust the Lord’s guidance; and I will trust missionaries like Lizette who work hard to love and care for chickens in need.”
Pickles thought more about the things she read online. While there are chicks on her own farm who are hungry, most chickens here have far more than they need. On developing farms, none of the neighbors have barns filled with food. So many chickens are hungry, and even if everyone shares all they have, there won’t be enough to go around. “Chickens living on farms full of abundance should share their extra food with chickens living on developing farms with scarcity, because in developing farms none of the neighbors have enough to share,” Pickles thought to herself.
Pickles prayerfully considered how much grain she really needed. She carefully scooped up and packaged what she was able to share. Pickles lifted these heavy boxes, full of her hard-earned food, and mailed them to the beautiful little chicks living on a developing farm far, far away.
Pickles wished she could have given the food to the chicks herself; but that farm is just too far for her to travel. She thought about Herbert, and how good it felt for her to see him eating the food she shared. She wished sharing food with the far-away chicks would make her feel good, too. But, Pickles knew the chicks really needed it, and she trusted Lizette to use her donation wisely.
One day, Pickles opened up her mailbox to find it full of pictures and notes and drawings. The chicks sent henvelopes filled with thank-you notes to let Pickles know they received the food!
One note was extra special. The handwriting was chicken-scratch, and a little hard to read, but it said, “Thank you for the food! We were very hungry. Now we are full. Your donation did more than fill our bellies, it showed us that far-away chickens care about us. It made us feel like we matter. It made us feel loved!”
As Pickles read the note, her eyes filled with happy-tears. She displayed this card proudly in her barn. Although her food storage was emptier, her heart was very full.
Sharing with chickens far away was not the same as sharing chickens on Pickles’ farm. But, because the baby chicks were even hungrier than the chickens in her neighborhood, Pickles felt just as happy and proud of her donation.
Pickles learned that it is always good to share with others. It is good to share with chickens on your own farm. It is good to share with chickens living far away. Sharing with others shows them that they matter. It shows them they are loved. Like the Bible tell us, “Do not forget to do good and share with those in need. These are sacrifices that please God.” (Hebrews 13:16).
If you want to follow Pickles’ example, and show children that they are loved by meeting basic needs, please visit www.makeroom.org/donate.php To learn more about how ROOM’s advocacy begins with children, read Balancing Act~ Ali B or Claire’s Story ~ by Kellie Weed or visit www.makeroom.org.