Rick doesn’t own Rick and Diane’s Brick Oven Pizza in Antrim, New Hampshire, but he does work there. I had stopped in front of this pizza place on my ELCA World Hunger Ride late this summer. I wasn’t planning to eat, just a stretch break as I made my way south along Route 10 and 31 in the Granite State.
“Nice Bike!” barked a voice from behind me. I turned around to see a large man with only a few teeth. We talked bikes, and travel for a few minutes.
“What’s the deal with the bumper sticker?” He was referring to the now faded, #bikeforbread ELCA World Hunger Ride sticker on the back fender. It depicts a cartoon version of me on the motorcycle.
“I’m on a ride throughout New England raising funds and awareness about hunger.” I answered, and then elaborated on where I’d been.
“So how do you raise money for it?” he asked in this curious manner. I described that people either bought T-Shirts, tugging at my own T, or people make donations.
“Donations, huh,” he gruffly responded, and then reached in to his pocket, pulled out a $5 bill and handed it to me.
I thanked him, asked him for a photo and noted the address of the restaurant.
Two days later I was sitting in a meeting room of one of our congregations here in Connecticut. The pastor had ordered lunch for the four of us. Along with the pastor, Sharon Magnusson of the ELCA World Hunger Appeal, and myself was a lovely lady who was there to make a gift to the World Hunger Appeal.
At the age of 90, her financial advisor had recently suggested that she may want to consider sharing some of her gifts, rather than wait until her will would go through probate. She shared the story recounting all the details. She may be 90, but her age was not evident. This woman was smart and savvy.
“Next week, I’m having him draft a check for $100,000 to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.” She described how she had been a past contributor, but wanted to do more. “I just can’t imagine what it’s like for people to be hungry.”
The four of us had a simple lunch. We shared stories about moments of gratitude, humorous life events, and the power of generosity.
These two gifts express the best of human beings. When we are inspired to be servants of others, it brings out the best in people. My hope is that in reading about these two generous people, you too, will be inspired to make a difference, and give a gift to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. www.elca.org/hunger