Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Secret Gift- Ted Gup

a secret gift

It is 1933 in Canton, Ohio, in the midst of the depression, when A Christmas Carol is read in church, resonating with all who were there. Businesses were failing, foreclosures, hungry children who did not learn the word “breakfast” for years. An ad in the paper offered help for the hardworking men of the town.The gift of five dollars from the mysterious B. Virdot would mean so much to the suffering people, feeding and heating homes, but mostly giving hope.

Decades later, the author discovered that his grandfather, Sam Stone, was in fact, B. Virdot, the partial names of his children.

Carefully researching the descendants of the recipients, Gup learns what happened in most cases to the families as a result of this secret gift. Was it enough to save them? Did it give them the hope needed to carry on?

The stories are heartbreaking, hopeful and the desperation of the proud people, asking for help, many only wanting work, not a handout, bring back a time that most of us don’t remember. But we should!

In 1933 welfare was not available. What assistance there was, was arbitrarily doled out by corrupt officials, hence the expression “on the dole”! It was shameful for hard working folks to ask and  they tried to get along on their own, often not succeeding.

Although the current circumstance in our country comes with some safety nets, we would do well to remember “The Hard Times” of the past.

This was touching and well written. With the holidays coming, it is an excellent example of hope and the holiday spirit.

I got this book from my local library!!


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  1. Sounds like such a moving read, thanks for your review.

  2. A gift or a present is an object given without the expectation of payment.Your friend is notified the moment you send your gift.