That weekend, Celia, her mother, Damon, and Mrs. Rhys brought their bags of donations to the shelter. Mrs. Rhys liked to prepare meals, so she made over 50 sandwiches so that they could include it in the donations. The woman working at the shelter called it a "Blessing Bag," and looked very happy when she received it. She told the group that it would really make a difference in many people's lives. "I didn't realize that something as small as a toothbrush could mean so much to people!" Mrs. Rhys exclaimed. "I didn't realize just how important things like socks or band-aids could be to someone living on the street," Celia admitted. "I didn't realize how lucky I am to go home at night and sleep in my warm bed," Damon said softly. Everyone agreed to count their blessings more often.
"Are those for us?" a man at the shelter asked, as Celia was about to hand the bag of sandwiches in. Celia didn't realize that the man was the same man that had approached her class last week. "Oh, hi Mister! You must be starving!" Celia said, shocked. She pulled out two sandwiches from the bag. She looked to her mother, a little nervous to be so close to a stranger, but her mother nodded and smiled. She handed the man the sandwiches. "Actually, I am," the man sighed. "Any time that I find food, I give it to someone who must be a little bit hungrier than me." Celia gasped. "Then who notices that you need food when YOU get hungry?!" The man smiled, and took a bite of the sandwich. "People like you!" he said with a smile, and he patted Celia on her shoulder.
"This sandwich is delicious!" the man cried. "Who made it?" "Actually, I did," Mrs. Rhys stammered. "I'm sorry for the way I treated you last week. You told me that you didn't have food, and I was so selfish that I didn't even consider that you were caring for other people before yourself. I shouldn't have yelled or called you a 'bum.' You have been such a gentleman!" "Apology accepted," the man said, and the two shared a smile. "Well, we'd better get going!" Celia's mother motioned, clapping her hands. Celia looked at the man who was happily enjoying his sandwich. "If you need new clothes, we put a lot of our donations in the shelter bag!" she told him.
The man smiled again. He looked very pleased. "To have a conversation with you, little girl, has been such a joy. Most people think that less fortunate people are crazy, or want money, or fancy things. But sometimes, all that we want is to have someone ask how we are doing!" Celia's mother widened her eyes. "I never realized how special a simple conversation could be to someone!" "Sometimes we just want to be treated with respect," the man confessed. "The golden rule is to treat others the way that you want to be treated, no matter what they look like," Damon chimed in.
Mrs. Rhys smiled. "You are such a pleasant person, sir. Would you like to give a presentation in our gym? We have a guest speaker come into the school every month, but I think that you would be our most special one!" The man grinned. "That sounds really nice. I have always loved to make a difference in other people's lives." "Well, you've made a difference in my life!" Celia responded. "And you have all made a special difference in my life!" The man winked. Maybe, my principal will give this man a job to give speeches on the homeless, and talk about being nice to everyone! Celia thought. Maybe, he can make money to help himself. Maybe...
"Hey, Mister!" Celia exclaimed when they walked outside. "I don't even know your name!" "Call me Jesse," the man replied. "Well, I'm Celia!" she said happily. "Celia, that's a very nice name!" Jesse told her. "Looks like I met someone new today!" "No," Celia corrected. "We didn't just meet someone new, we made a new friend!"