From Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul

The Gift Givers Club

For it is in giving that we receive.

St. Francis of Assisi

One day, I was Rollerblading in our yard with my sister Alison, when some kids we’d never seen before came up the road toward our house. Because we were just about the only kids in our neighborhood, we skated over to greet them. That’s when we noticed that they were all about our ages. So we asked their names, and as they told us. They also mentioned they had just moved into the neighborhood.

Ashley was a year younger than me. Jessica was a year younger than my sister Alison, and they had two younger brothers.

After we met and played for a while, they went home. Soon we realized we had forgotten to ask exactly where they lived. So the next day after school, we went around our big neighborhood in search of “the new neighbor kids.”

For two days, we rode our bikes looking for any sign of them. Finally, on the third day, Alison found them.

“Kendal!” she announced through a walkie-talkie. “It’s the yellow house on the street behind ours!” I hurried and met up with Alison. We rang the doorbell and waited.

“Hello,” their mother said as she opened the door.

“My name is Kendal. . . .”

“I’m Alison. . . .”

“We met your kids while they were biking up the road past our house.”

“We were wondering . . . um . . . can they come out and play for a while?” we asked.

“Sure!” she answered. “Kids! Some friends are here to see you!”

We played for hours that day, and within a week we were best friends with their family.

One day, as we were out playing, Ashley suggested that we start a club called “The Gift Givers.” Ashley is full of kindness, so we weren’t surprised when she thought of this. As members of the club, we would give up things we loved and leave them on the porch of a neighbor’s home. After ringing the doorbell, we would hide long enough to watch the surprised look on their faces, and then we’d be off to other homes to do the same thing again.

One day, I answered the telephone at my house, and on the other end was an older woman I recognized from our neighborhood. We had just delivered a gift to her house.

“Are you a member of The Gift Givers?” she asked.

“Yes, I’m a member,” I answered, trying to sound serious.

“I am a neighbor of yours, and I just received a lovely gift and a beautiful poem with the last words, ‘God bless you.’” She sounded happy, yet sad. “Your gift was the perfect thing to cheer me up because it is something that I needed but couldn’t afford to pay for myself. My husband is dying from cancer, so to me, your gesture was a blessing from God. So I just wanted to call and say thank you to you and your club members, and God bless you, too.”

“We are all very happy that it helped you,” I answered. “Is there anything else we can do?”

“You can pray for my husband, please. He’s very sick,” the old woman replied.

“We will,” I assured her, and then we hung up.

For the next three months, the members of The Gift Givers Club made a lot of people in our neighborhood happy as we continued to do nice things for them. But our club came to an end when our wonderful new friends moved to California.

Although our friends are no longer here with us, the memories we made being together in The Gift Givers Club will remain in our hearts forever.

Kendal Kornacki, 13, and Alison Kornacki, 9

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