I could tell Mom was upset by the look on her face as she hung up the phone.
“Who was it?” I asked.
“That was Tim’s mom,” Mom said.
Tim was a friendly boy from my class in school last year. He was a good basketball player, and once he brought his pet lizard to class.
Mom sat down next to me on the couch. “Tim’s mom said the doctors just found out that Tim has cancer,” she said.
Mom explained that cancer is a sickness, but not like a cold or the flu. She said Tim would have to stay in the hospital for a long time. It would be so expensive that Tim’s family might have to sell their home.
That night during family prayer, Mom asked Heavenly Father to bless and comfort Tim’s family. Then she said, “And please help us to know how we can help Tim.”
As I lay in bed a little while later, I thought about Mom’s prayer. But what could I do to help? I said a short prayer. “Heavenly Father, please let me know what I can do to help Tim.”
When I opened my eyes, I looked around my darkened room. I noticed a dump truck that I hadn’t used in months and a puzzle that was too easy for me now. Suddenly, my heart started to get warm.
The next morning I burst into the kitchen and announced, “I want to sell my old toys and give the money to Tim.”
“I think that’s a great idea,” Mom said.
We found a big box and filled it with toys and games I no longer played with.
“I’ll bet Grandma has some old toys,” Mom said.
“Maybe our neighbors do too,” I said.
We drove to Grandma’s house, and she helped us round up toys from her basement. Then we walked around our neighborhood and collected more. By the end of the day we had quite a few boxes full of toys and games. My heart pounded when I looked at them and thought about Tim.
On Saturday, we had a yard sale. A table in our front yard overflowed with dolls, trucks, stuffed animals, and board games. I put a picture of Tim on a large can. I told people that all of the money from our yard sale would go to help Tim and his family.
By afternoon, almost all of the toys were gone, and our can was filled with dollar bills and change.
That night I wrote a letter to Tim telling him that we were thinking of him and praying for him. I told him about our yard sale and put the letter and the money in the envelope. My heart felt warm, and I knew that I was doing a good thing for Tim and his family.
About a week later, I got a letter from Tim and his mom. They said they were filled with gratitude that I had thought to do such a thing. I knew it was Heavenly Father who helped me know how I could help. All I had to do was ask, listen, and then do it.
“We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness.” 1
President Thomas S. Monson
“What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 86.
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Illustration by Jared Beckstrand