Assisting children starts close to home

In a commentary by Bill Glass, founder of Bill Glass Ministries, he told of an incident at a Seattle Special Olympics event some years ago. Bill Glass has a grandson with Down’s Syndrome.

The games had started and the 100-yard dash was the subject of Glass’ story. Nine contestants, all physically or mentally handicapped, lined up at the starting line to compete in this event. When the gun sounded, all nine runners darted off. Each rushed forth with enthusiasm, all determined to win the race.

Yet, something unexpected happened right after the gun was fired. Eight of the contestants were well on their way down the lanes toward a good race when one contestant fell behind. As the eight ran on, the little boy stumbled on the track, fell down and began to cry.

The other eight runners heard his cries and each slowed down to take a look back. But that wasn’t all. In a heartwarming collective gesture, one by one, each contestant turned and went back to the little boy who had fallen!

When they reached him, they were an encouraging band of eight. One little girl bent down and kissed the little guy. Then helping him up, all nine linked arms and walked together as one to the finish line!

The crowd was amazed as they all stood and cheered these “handicapped” children. Their pure motives, sincerity, and mercy toward their fallen companion astounded everyone in attendance. The entire event proved to be a valuable lesson and admirable example for the parents, coaches, and spectators.

There is a lesson in that for adults. Each day all of us come in contact in one way or another with children. We depend heavily upon our teachers in the school system but they cannot do it alone. We must all have the attitude and mindset of the ones that Bill Glass observed in the race. Those young adults had pure motives, sincerity, and mercy toward their fallen companions. We must ask: How many children have fallen on the road of life only to be passed over by others who are selfishly intent on pursing their own personal goals?

We as a community must get behind our teachers in the school system and help in any way we can. Going forth in God’s name means getting personally involved with a child, lending a helping hand and giving them support all the way to the finish line. Children have enough bombarding them these days. I would say a vast number of children in our community would benefit from this effort.

It is easy to drop money in the plate for a child far away in another country and that is admirable. But sometimes the ones that need the most help are right among us — right here in Clovis. They are not necessarily in distant places halfway across the world. More than likely it will be in our own hometown, in our own neighborhoods, and maybe in our own homes.

The Whiz Kids tutoring program is one way that adults can help reach school age children and the homework tutoring can make a vast difference in a child’s life. But my challenge to you is to reach out in any way you can. Maybe a neighbor child needs school supplies; maybe a family you know struggles to buy clothes or necessities for a child in school; maybe some family needs help with the cost of school lunches. The Lighthouse Mission or Matt 25 could use some donations of school shoes, spiral notebooks, crayons and clothing.

James, the New Testament writer, was straightforward in his perspective. He boldly wrote: “If you don’t do what you know is right, you have sinned.” (James 4:17) That seems plain enough.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: