05/13/09 — Boy inspired by Bible tale to help others

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Boy inspired by Bible tale to help others

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 13, 2009 1:46 PM

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Jonathan Yeager and Soup Kitchen Manager Doricia Benton

After hearing the biblical story of the widow who gave all she had to the poor, 9-year-old Jonathan Yeager decided he wanted to try to do the same.

The result has been hundreds of dollars raised for such charities as Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, and most recently, a $600 donation to the Community Soup Kitchen.

The Wayne Christian School student raised the money by placing a change jar at his church every Sunday.

After hearing the story of the widow, Jonathan whispered in the ear of pastor Fred Clarke at First Christian Church, saying he wanted to give like the woman in the story -- a penny at a time.

Clarke helped him come up with the idea of the jar, and the members of the congregation did their part.

After raising $500 for both Habitat and Meals on Wheels, this year Jonathan decided he wanted to help the soup kitchen.

So, he placed the jar in the church again. And from Sunday to Sunday, the pile of change grew.

Just recently, he was able to present a $600 check to soup kitchen Manager Doricia Benton.

She invited him to see just how his donation would help and asked if he would like to work in the kitchen one day, helping serve its clients.

"He truly does need to see who he is helping," Mrs. Benton said.

With the economy hurting, the soup kitchen is seeing an increase in the number of people it serves, she said, and Jonathan's eagerness to help is a sign that good-hearted people still care about helping those in need.

Mrs. Benton said the kitchen could end up serving as many as 40,000 meals by the end of the year.

"We're already close to 10,000 meals in the past four months," she said. Last year the soup kitchen served 27,370 meals.