A church in Charlotte, North Carolina, received an extraordinary note among its usual stack of donation envelopes.
The First United Methodist Church has been taking donations from churchgoers for the last 80 years. But a crumpled envelope hidden among others surprised the congregation and has gone viral.
What made it so special wasn’t what was inside, but who gave it.
The envelope came from an unnamed homeless person who attended the services that day. In it, he wrote, “Please don’t be mad. I don’t have much. I’m homeless. God bless.” Inside the envelope was a donation of 18 cents.
That 18 cents may not seem like a lot, but to the Rev. Patrick S. Hamrick, it might as well have been $100.
“We would like the dear soul who donated 18 cents to know that everyone on our team was moved by the spirit in which the gift was made,” Hamrick told WBTV. “We gratefully acknowledge that this individual, out of his poverty, has given all he had to live on.”
Hamrick added, “It’s touching that one of our homeless neighbors responded by giving back. We weren’t ‘mad,’ we were very touched by this.”
The church shared the story on Facebook and it was later picked up by news outlets. News of the heartwarming deed eventually reached the anonymous donor.
“We had a voicemail from the individual and I called him back and when I reached him he was a nearby soup kitchen having lunch,” says Hamrick.
“I said, ‘There are people that are willing to help you financially. They are concerned about you,'” he says.
“He said ‘Nope, I want this gift to be between me, God and the church,'” Hamrick said. “And so he wishes to remain anonymous.”
Ann Huskey, 70, has helped with the church’s “Muffin Ministry” for years. Huskey and other congregation volunteers feed 150 homeless people before church every Sunday morning. She has come to know the regulars who stop by and wasn’t surprised to hear about the 18-cent donation.
“He’s a very humble person he doesn’t want to be noticed or recognized,” Huskey told People magazine.
Hamrick is now offering to help the man get a job through a business contact.
“Everybody can do something to help those less fortunate than they are.”