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From Carolyn Andenora

By Staff | Sep 1, 2010

There are those who would argue it is next to impossible to get something for nothing; at least something with value. Recently I was the recipient of just that: something for nothing, with great value.

People look forward to the festivities, amusements, contests, and exhibits of the county fair. I’m no different. However, it’s not all fun and games, especially for families bringing animal exhibits. There’s a lot of pride felt in watching your child learn responsibility. There’s also a great deal of work, stress, and sweat that goes along. Animals are purchased, cared for, weighed, fed special diets, and charted for FFA or 4-H projects.

The heat this year seemed unusually harsh and took its toll on everyone, including the animals. Barns were hot so some rigged hoses carrying cold water to the tops of the barns. Fans blew down onto the animals to keep them cooler. Several times a day families checked to see that their animal had clean, cool water, fresh bedding, and feed.

On day four of the fair I arrived at the barn for chores. After just a few shovels loaded with sawdust and manure, the sweat was dripping. As I emptied the shovel into the wheelbarrow, I noticed a young man standing at the stall door. “Do you need some help?” he asked. I hesitated before assuring him I had the job under control. But he persisted. With sweat dripping from my hair and chin, I reconsidered.

When he’d finished I told him it looked great as I handed him money from my pocket. He took a step back and shook his head. “I don’t want any money,” he said.

I was astonished. I tried again. “I just wanted to help,” he replied. I offered him money, a drink, a piece of pizza, but he would accept nothing but a hand shake. His name was Michael, and he made my day.

Michael’s parents must be very proud of him. In this day it seems most everyone expects something for everything. I found it refreshing to encounter this young man who just wanted to lend a helping hand. Nothing else but to extend an act of kindness.

I wanted to honor Michael with a public thank you and to share this feel-good story with others. I am sure there are other “Michaels” out there. Your kindness is appreciated greatly.


Carolyn Andenora