Sometimes destiny affects our lives in amazing ways.
Bill and Susan Hosking were excited when their 22 year old daughter Katie got engaged and they spent $8,700 on the elegant Echo Hills Country Club to host her Seattle area wedding.
But just 12 days before the event, she broke up with her fiancé and cancelled the wedding.
At this late date, the Hoskings couldn’t get a refund but rather than apply the deposit to a future event, they turned a bad situation into something marvelous.
They still hosted a grand celebration but instead of a wedding, they invited 40 homeless people, staff and volunteers from a family shelter run by the Interfaith Association of Snohomish County.
Barbara Erlendson of the Interfaith Association put this very kind gesture in perspective. “How often would a homeless person have a gala event to attend?”
Instead of the depressing circumstances homeless people often face, they had several days of excitement looking forward to the event and then they dressed to attend in the nicest clothes they have or could receive.
“Then the night was magical,” said Erlendson.
“One lady had a son about 10 years old with cerebral palsy, a real bad case,” said Susan Hosking. “She brought her son out on to the dance floor in his wheel chair. And then another woman lifted him from the wheel chair and danced with him.” It was heart warming to behold.
Hosking added, “I felt so fortunate. My kids are dancing on their own two feet. This woman was happy with her life despite having no home, no job and a child that needs 24 hour care. You think things are down for you and they’re not compared to some other people.”
But that was not the end of the Hosking family generosity. The wedding would have had a 150 person buffet and the Hoskings reconfirmed that large food order. At the end of the evening, they had all the extra food packed up and given to the shelter to feed people there for another three or four days.
And there’s even more to the Hosking’s generosity. Susan Hosking is an assistant manager of a local drug store and last Christmas, she purchased and brought to the shelter a variety of items from 50 bars of soap to “little teddy bears for the girls.” Since then, she has continued to donate.
Now for another twist of destiny to our story. The Hosking’s married daughter, Chandra White has become involved with the shelter. White has been a pre-school teacher for 11 years and she and her husband Dave have four children.
She goes to the shelter on Thursday evenings to help the older children with their homework and to read stories to the younger ones.
“Their parents are down and out or they wouldn’t be there,” said White. “Their parents are out looking for jobs or working in the evenings and trying to get back on their feet. So if I can help with their children, I’m happy to do so.”
“One night I was there and reading to a little girl and her brother,” continued White. “They are 4 and 2. You could tell they just loved having someone sitting there with them reading the stories. We read about 10 books back to back.
“Each time I tried to stop, they said, ‘please read another one.’ They are so hungry for as much attention as they could possibly get. They don’t understand all the turmoil happening around them and their mother out looking for a job.”
Why is White doing this? “I get a lot of love out of it,” she replied. “I can really feel God’s love through those kids. Having them sit on my lap. They want to give me hugs. They are just the sweetest kids.
“My whole life, I loved being with children and those kids love the attention. It does bring purpose. It’s definitely rewarding to share God’s love and receive it in return.”
And all this began because White’s younger sister cancelled her wedding and her parents chose to do something very kind and generous for the homeless. When she saw the opportunity to help, White reached out with her heart and she and her family continue to make a difference.
Success Tip of the Week: As the Hoskings found, their kindness was repaid many times over by the appreciation from those in need. In your community, there are organizations that would avidly welcome your participation and it could be a great way for you to make a difference.
EditorsNote: Thank you to Xavier Hermosillo for calling this story to my attention and thank you to the Hosking family and to the Interfaith Association of Snohomish County for their assistance in the story’s preparation.
In the next KazanToday, The incredible determination of a severely paralyzed man who designed and oversaw the construction of one of the most famous bridges in the world.