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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — “Please don’t be mad,” the back of the envelope said. “I don’t have much. I’m homeless.”
The offering envelope left at the First United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday had no name — just the note.
It contained a dime, a nickel and three pennies.
Far from being mad, church leaders were touched by the gesture. They don’t know who left it, but they believe it came from one of the “homeless neighbors” who attended the service after a free breakfast.
Every Sunday before the service, church volunteers serve breakfast to about 150 homeless neighbors, said Patrick S. Hamrick, pastor of finance and administration at the church. Afterward, some stay for one of the church’s two Sunday services. Members of the finance committee first saw it when they went to collect the offerings after the service.
Hamrick snapped a photo and shared it on the church’s Facebook page.
“When I saw the note, I just wanted to assure the giver that every gift and every giver is important. I felt deep gratitude because it is likely that this individual reached into his or her pocket and gave everything,” Hamrick said.
Hamrick said the church has a “long-standing commitment to social justice” and is committed to addressing hunger and homelessness in the neighborhood, which is situated between the city’s financial district and higher poverty areas.
He said that 18 cents will make its way back through the ministries of the church to support the weekly coffee and breakfast for its homeless neighbors this Sunday.