By Jane Luangrath

At a recent Christmas party for children in the Family Promise North Shore Boston program, the kids had dinner, did arts and crafts, and saw Santa with help from Beverly’s junior ROTC cadets. During the party, I received a text message that said, “My name is Glenn. I found this phone on the train. Also with it is her state ID and a couple of credit cards. They are safe with me and I will maintain possession of them.” Glenn had contacted me because I was the most-called person in our guest’s phone.

I immediately called Glenn back and told him that the woman whose phone it was doesn’t drive and was on her way to me for a Christmas party. Glenn said he was going to a Bruins game and would come by after that to deliver the items. I looked up from my phone and there was the mother who had lost her items, standing at the door to Family Promise with her daughter. When I explained that a man had found her credit cards and ID, she frantically dug through her pocketbook and confirmed that her phone and other items were missing. At the end of the night, I drove the mother and daughter home, then came back to the Family Promise office to meet Glenn.

He arrived with his son, who was about 12 years old and was happy to return the phone and credit cards with his dad. As he handed me the items, he said that they saw the mom and daughter get off the train without their things but they couldn’t get to her in time because the conductor had shut the door and the train had begun moving. The son had seen the little girl and thought she might like a Bruins hat so he bought her one. I told him she would love it!

Glenn, a handsome father of four, leaned against the wall. He was out of breath and I asked if he was okay. He said he has a case of lymphoma. I didn’t know what to say, but my heart was heavy and I had no words. We began talking about children and realized that we both had four kids. I thanked him but he said, “No need to thank me—it’s the right thing to do.” Then we said goodbye.

I let the mom know I had everything and I would see her in the morning. When I handed it to her the next morning, she began checking to make sure everything was there. Then she pulled out a hundred dollar bill, and then another. Unbeknownst to me, Glenn had given her two hundred dollars. She said, “I can’t accept this.” I said you should accept graciously and you can use it right. I said that she had had a rough year and it’s nice that you have found people who can be kind and genuinely care about others.

She agreed that it would be helpful; she had debt from Uber on her credit cards as it is expensive to get around without a car. Her little daughter was so excited about the Bruins hat that she wore it into school. On her way to school, she asked her mom: Can I tell my friend my special story about my hat and the money? Mom hesitated and then said yes. The little girl said “Yay!” as she skipped happily into school with her Bruins hat on.

Happy holidays to Glenn and his family. Thank you for being a wonderful person and teaching your son to do the right thing.

And happy holidays to all of you who have helped the children and parents in the Family Promise North Shore Boston program in so many ways throughout the course of this year!