In December, my husband and I volunteered to help with a Sub for Santa for a family in our ward, which consisted of a mom and two children. Zeren, the 9-year old boy in the family, is a very special boy. He glows with the Spirit and always contributes positively in whatever class or activity he is attending.
While making some phone calls to determine the needs of the family, my husband, Dave, learned that they also needed a Christmas tree.
Dave made arrangements to pick up Zeren the following Monday to go tree hunting. Dave took our grandson, Jaren, and another boy from the ward, all about the same age so Zeren would have some company.
Dave arrived at their home at the appointed hour and Zeren was waiting at the door. He had a $20 bill in his hand and asked if they could stop at a store on the way to the tree lot. He wanted to pick out gifts for his mom and sister. He beamed with excitement as he announced that if there was some money left over, maybe he could get something for himself.
Zeren knew just what he was looking for at the store and quickly brought the two items to the check-out stand. His total was $14.70. Knowing there was a balance of his money remaining, Dave inquired if he would like to run and get something for himself. Thoughtfully, he tucked the money into his pocket and said he had better save it for later.
When they arrived at the tree lot, Dave told him to pick out any tree he wanted. Soon they were loading the tree into the back of the truck and the kids began to pile into the back seat. Just before Zeren climbed in, he changed his mind and closed the door of the truck. Without any hesitation, he dashed over to the Santa ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Dave watched as he reached into his pocket and pulled out his $5.30 and dropped it into the big red kettle. Then he quickly returned to the truck.
Opening the door, Dave asked Zeren what he was doing.
“I didn’t feel good about spending my money on myself, I thought it was a better choice to give it to someone who needed it more than I did.”
My husband sat there in shock for a moment. He had never heard of a child doing anything like that before. He was so touched that when he dropped Zeren and the tree off, he pressed a $5 bill into his hand and told him how proud he was of that decision and the example he had set for all of them.
Oftentimes, no one teaches better than a little child. I think we all have something to learn from Zeren.
— Lindi Mehr, Midvale East 1st Ward, Midvale Utah East Stake