A special day was approaching. Tuesday was a “Holiday Hat Day” – where children could pay $1.00 to wear their favorite holiday hat to school and the money would go to charity. This Tuesday was extra special. The money raised was going to help put presents underneath the Angel Tree. Children from families in need would have a wonderful surprise delivered to their home if enough money was raised.
“C” wanted to wear a hat on Hat Day. But he didn’t have a hat nor did he have a dollar. Many Hat Days had come and gone throughout the year and “C” never wore a hat. His teacher, Mrs. S, noticed, during the last Hat Day that “C” was trying to knock all the other boys’ hats off of their heads. It was a big problem. He found himself in trouble on the playground and in gym class. He even had to owe recess time because of flicking off the hat of a boy in the lunchroom. At the end of the day Mrs. S asked him why he seemed to have a true dislike for hats. After much mumbling and squirming the secret was uncovered. No hat. No money. He was left out.
Special Tuesday Holiday Hat Day was approaching. Mrs. S was ahead of the curve. She reached out to “C’s” Care For Kids Mentor. The plan was put into motion.
When Tuesday morning arrived so did “C” – – without a hat. He watched the other kids enter the room with Santa hats, weird wired snowball hats, red ball caps and even an elf hat with pointed ears. Each placed their dollar in the basket and went to their seat. Everyone was excited to count the money raised. It was a joyous time of giving and “C” was left out.
But not for long.
Mrs. S knew that “C” would be embarrassed by accepting a charitable hat. She and his mentor had to be creative.
There was a knock at the door. It was “T” the mentor.
“I am here with a very special request. I need some help carrying in some items from my car. I was wondering if I could borrow ‘C’ for a moment.”
Mrs. S played right along.
“C” was excited to help and glad to leave the room to be honest.
“T” had a car full of coats and clothes to donate to the clothes closet. “C” began to help pull the items out of the car one at a time when a red and green elf hat fell out onto the ground.
He just stood there with his arms full looking at the perfect hat.
“T” grabbed the moment. “Do you like that hat ‘C’?”
He smiled and nodded his head.
“It’s yours if you finish helping me.”
After three trips from the car to the school office “C” was awarded his hat. He was also given one dollar payment for all the hard work.
That dollar quickly made it into the basket back in Mrs. S’s classroom. “C” never took that hat off all day. Nor did he knock anyone else’s hat off.
He belonged. And that is a feeling every child deserves.
We are thankful for teachers and volunteers who understand the importance of a tender child’s heart. And we wish the One who taught us how to love and give a truly “Happy Birthday.”