Pay It Forward: Convenience store owner adopts family over the holidays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man’s kindness during Christmas had a lasting impact on one family.

The convenience store at 24th and Brooklyn sells canned foods, soda and candy, but the compassion is free.

“We had nothing under the tree, we didn’t decorate our tree or nothing until that day he blessed us,” said Danielle Wrinkle about the store owner, Howard Bettis.

He opened the store because the neighborhood didn’t have one. Rhonda Robinson works there.

“I told Howard she doesn’t have anything for Christmas, and the kids don’t have anything. And just out of the blue he said ‘we are going to adopt them, we are going to adopt them,’” said Robinson.

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Pay It Forward: Convenience store owner adopts family over the holidays

New hope for motel kids

moving kids from motel 1Just blocks from “The Happiest Place on Earth,” in one of the richest counties in America, Demond, Ashley, and their four kids have been living in a cramped, run-down motel room for a year and a half. Between the six of them, they share one bed and one small couch. Surprisingly, they aren’t welfare cases; Demond and Ashley both work full-time at Walmart. But like thousands of other families in Orange County alone, they struggle to save enough to pay the first-month/last-month/security deposit that landlords require. And so they’re stuck.

“It eats up all your money so you can’t afford to move,” says Ashley, “Even if you could afford an apartment of your own, with kids, and the rent, you can’t save any money to do anything except stay here.” To compound the problem, Ashley’s mom had an eviction when Ashley was living with her – a fact that shows up on Ashley’s credit history. So Demond and Ashley pay $1300 a month for the dubious privilege of living in a single motel room where the kids aren’t even allowed by the management to play in the parking lot. For Christmas, they’d like nothing more than to get out of the motel and into a stable home.  (Continue Reading)

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New hope for motel kids

A Reason for the Season

by Ron Panzer

December 20, 2013


You may have had a father

 whose message was,

  “You’re worthless! You’re a mistake!”

  You may have had a mother

 who left without even saying goodbye.

 You may have brothers and sisters

 who don’t even know you,

 Or friends who are gone overnight.

 You may have enemies

 who attack with a virulence that is shocking,

 simply because you speak the truth —

 simply because you are.

 You may feel that life has broken you,

 that you are all alone.

 Others may not know your sufferings and ailments,

while making sure you know about theirs.

You may wonder how it is possible that the sacred

is turned into a crass pitch for something to be sold.

This is the culture of death that mocks all that is good,

and tells you, “Create your own reality!”

while it pushes you onto a foundation that falls away on the very first step.

They’re ready to cheer you one moment,

and then spit on you the next.

It can be no other way, friend,

for those who He chooses cannot have any other path,

This is His path, His Way.

He was born, but more than being born, He lives still!

and asks to live within our hearts today.

He asks us to forgive and live our lives,

in His wondrous sacrificial love.

This is the reason for the season,

not some catchy tune urging us to buy, buy, buy

while they sell, sell, sell.

He is with us always. He is with you!

… ready to comfort, because He truly understands.

He cares and calls to you.

He names you priceless, not a mistake.

This is the reason we celebrate Christmas Day —

the birth of the Saviour, the birth of a Way that leads to Life.

He will never leave you or forsake you.

He is worthy and faithful.

His love is unchangeable!

Come, let us serve Him,

in those He chooses to send.

Come, let us praise and adore Him,

today, and ever more.



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