This year I helped run a charity drive. We were raising money and collecting toys for Toys for Tots for about three weeks. Every day we would take the money and lock it up, even though there's really no reason to be nervous about it; it's money for charity. No one would take it. I thought it was more just a safety precaution, you know, a CYA (cover your ass) moment.
That was, until we forgot to put it away one day and someone stole the donations.
Yes, that's right, someone stole money that was supposed to buy toys for underprivileged children for Christmas.
We counted it regularly, so we soon discovered it was about $100 missing. My co-organizer and I thought about it, and if no one returned it, we knew we'd have to front that money, as we weren't good stewards of people's money. They trusted us, and we let them down.
I was heartbroken. There's a lot of bad people out there in the world, but in my own little bubble? I couldn't stand it. I felt like I had failed, but also that humanity let me down. I had found rock bottom emotionally and was just sitting there for a while. I could barely work, too full of sadness and betrayal.
Then some Christmas magic kicked in.
Within a few hours of letting people know what happened, we had 3 mystery donors step up to cover the loss. Then we had many more donations flow in.
Honestly, the public outcry over the one bad person was inspiring. The way people rallied around making up for the loss threw our campaign into overdrive. My heart felt like it was going to explode from happiness.
In a time where I was down, people reminded me that, yes, there are people in this world with bad intentions and bad habits, but the good outweighs them as long as you give them the chance to surprise you.