A little boy gives his last twenty cents to the homeless beggar his father used to help and is richly rewarded for his kindness when the man becomes a millionaire.
Jimmy and his Dad had their little rituals. Every Saturday afternoon, they would go to the park to play baseball and stop at their favorite ice cream parlor after to get a double scoop of chocolate and vanilla.
When they left the ice cream parlor, they always walked past a homeless man who always sat at the same street corner. Jimmy’s dad would always empty his wallet and give the man every cent he had on him and the man always smiled.
“One day, I’ll pay you back, John Landry, every cent!” he would say.
“Sure, Wayne,” Jimmy’s dad would say. “I’m counting on it!”
One day, Jimmy tugged on his dad’s hand. “Dad, how does that man know your name?”
“Jimmy,” John said. “A long time ago, when I was in college, I knew Wayne. He was always on the brink of a big discovery. Anyway, things didn’t go well for him, it happens sometimes.
A compassionate heart is always rewarded.
“So when I see him, I give him what I can, and he tells me he’s using it for lab supplies. I know it’s not true, but I pretend I do… And when he tells me he’ll share the profits of his discovery, I tell him I believe it too.”
Jimmy didn’t understand everything his dad was saying, but he heard the compassion in his voice, so he stopped him and gave him a huge hug. Jimmy didn’t know it, but it was to be his last hug.
That night, while Jimmy’s dad was out for his evening run, his big heart gave out. John Landry was gone and since Jimmy’s mom had passed away when he was born, Jimmy was left alone in the world.
The only person he had left was his grandmother, Wendy. Even though Jimmy’s dad had a successful small software company when he passed away, it went under, and everything he had, including their house, went with it.
Gran Wendy had only her pension, so she found them a trailer to live in, and life got very tough for Jimmy. As much as Wendy tried, she just couldn’t give her grandson all the things he was used to getting when his dad was alive.
Even though she was pretty old and retired, she found herself a job at a laundromat working the night shift. But her health started to suffer and Jimmy was very worried about her. If Gran Wendy died too, Jimmy would be all alone in the world.
He started to cry a lot, and he became very quiet. Wendy decided to cheer him up. “Listen, Jimmy,” she said. “Why don’t we go to the park this Saturday?”
So Jimmy and Gran Wendy went to the park and threw the ball around a bit (Gran Wendy threw like a girl), then they went to the ice cream parlor. They came out, and there on the corner, Jimmy saw his dad’s homeless friend, Wayne.
“Wait, Gran Wendy!” Jimmy cried. “There is something I have to do!” Jimmy walked up to Wayne and turned his pockets inside out, but all he had was twenty cents. He was very upset.
He said to Wayne with tears in his eyes, “I’m sorry Wayne, but I only have twenty cents!”
“Hey there,” Wayne said. “That’s okay! Every cent helps! How’s your dad? I haven’t seen him around in a while!”
That’s when Jimmy started sobbing and Gran Wendy came running. “He’s dead!” Jimmy cried. “He’s dead and we’re poor and I’m afraid Gran Wendy will die too, and I’ll be all alone!”
Wayne looked shocked by the news that Jimmy’s dad was dead, and Gran Wendy put her arms around Jimmy and promised she wasn’t going to die.
Then Wayne said, “Listen, when my patent registration comes through, I’m going to be rich. And I promised John he’d get a big chunk of my cash cause he was an investor! Don’t you worry, I’m going to make sure you’re all right!”
Gran Wendy shook her head sadly and smiled. “Thank you,” she said. “You’re very kind.” Even though she didn’t believe a word of it, she gave Wayne their address so he could contact them when he got rich.
So when a year later Wayne drove up to their trailer in a limousine with a check for $5 million, Wendy was flabbergasted. She was even more surprised when Wayne drove Wendy and Jimmy to a lovely luxury villa by the sea he’d bought for them for a cool $740,000!
“I promised John he’d get his money back,” Wayne said. “A multinational just bought my patent for more money than I can ever spend, so I’m keeping my promise!”
In the new house, Gran Wendy’s health improved immensely, and Jimmy stopped being so anxious all the time. As for Wayne, he was a happy man and he popped in all the time to play baseball and shoot some hoops with Jimmy.
What can we learn from this story?
- A compassionate heart is always rewarded. Jimmy’s dad always gave Wayne money out of kindness, and he never imagined that Wayne would really strike it rich.
- Never give up on your dreams. Even though no one believed in him, Wayne never gave up on his dreams, and finally, they came true.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who complains about a homeless vagrant, until he realizes who he is.
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