A Message From Edenwald’s President & CEO: Kindness Matters

Even in the midst of a global pandemic there are beautiful acts of kindness. I’d like to share a touching story that occurred this week…

While sitting at my desk and going through the mail, I came across a small, non-descript, white envelope that under some circumstances I may have just tossed thinking it was junk mail.  But when I opened it, inside was a check for $75,000! No note, no explanation, just a check with a memo line stating it was a donation to the Edenwald Resident Assistance fund in memory of Jessie H. Jessie lived at Edenwald for twenty-four years and passed away in 2012, eight years ago!

The check was from a family membe, Johnr.  I was so surprised and yes, thrilled of course.  But I couldn’t figure out why, all the sudden, with no effort on our part, someone would just send us a check for $75,000!  I’ve only been the President of the organization for a little over a year, so I did not know Jessie. So of course, I called John to thank him for his generosity, and I was so curious I had to ask, ‘what prompted you to send this to us now?’ John proceeded to tell me that Jessie had helped him out financially many years ago and that she had asked him to, at some point, do something nice for Edenwald ‘when things settled’.  I didn’t ask what that meant, but John told me very humbly that things had ‘settled’ and he wanted to fulfill the promise he’d made to her and that’s why he sent the check.

I imagine, with no one else knowing or watching, many people might ignore a promise they made many years ago to someone who is no longer with us. Yet here is this kind soul who felt it was his duty to fulfill his promise.  It’s so touching to know there are such generous people of honor walking among us.

For me, and hopefully our staff, it also reinforces the value of what we do. We come to Edenwald every day to work hard and make a difference in the lives of our residents. Often we impact them in ways we may never know. We made a difference in Jessie’s life, so much so that she asked John to do something for the organization when he could.  As our mission statement says, ‘Edenwald creates a caring community inspiring people to thrive and live lives of significance.’ This loved one’s life was so significant to this individual that, eight years after her death, he knew he had to fulfill a promise he’d made to her. Hence, a plain white envelope containing a check for $75,000.

You have to admit it’s a beautiful story.

Mark Beggs

President & CEO