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Captain Jack had heard people say it is much better to give than to receive. But what if you don’t have anything to give? Captain Jack asked his friends about this, and they all agreed that everyone has something to give. Some people give things like food, toys, beds, money, and other items. Some people cook for others, clean for them, drive them places, and help them with health care. Captain Jack didn’t happen to have any of these things in his life so that he was able to help others. The puppy was feeling quite blue. Then it occurred to him that the one thing he did have was time. Time is something that has great value and doesn’t cost anything. He decided to find a way to share some of his time.

Captain Jack walked down to the beach and noticed an old dog sitting all alone. The puppy went over to see if he could help the old dog. It turned out he was lost and hungry. He was sure his family was going to come back for him. He didn’t want to leave the beach and miss them. Captain Jack didn’t have any food with him, but he invited the old dog to come to his family’s home to get something to eat. The old dog actually looked like he was starving. (Although it technically was not Captain Jack’s dog food to give, it seemed to him that since his family was so good and caring, they wouldn’t mind.) The old dog refused to leave that place.

Since he wouldn’t come with the puppy, Captain Jack decided to run home and get him some food. He also decided to grab a bottle of water. Captain Jack’s family had filled his backpack, and he carried it back to the beach to give the old dog some food and water. To the puppy’s horror, the old dog wasn’t sitting up any more. He was lying on his side and panting very, very hard. His eyes looked all glazed over. Captain Jack was very worried about him. The puppy dropped his backpack and ran back to the house barking at the top of his lungs. No one was home, so he ran to the neighbor’s house. The puppy barked and barked until someone opened the door. Since he was so upset, they called and got hold of someone in his family.

Captain Jack didn’t know whom they talked with. But within a few minutes, the puppy heard sirens and saw an ambulance going down to the beach. Apparently, they thought he was trying to get help for a human. Captain Jack really hoped he wasn’t going to be in trouble. Here he was trying to give a little of his time to help a dog, and it might turn out to be a disaster. As Captain Jack ran after the ambulance, all kinds of thoughts passed through his mind. His family being disappointed with him, putting him outdoors to live, or worse yet, finding him a new home for causing such a problem. The puppy ran as fast as he could to get there.

When he arrived, he was so surprised that he started to cry. The ambulance was driven by his dad. He and his partner got out and had a special face mask for dogs. They were giving CPR to the old dog and had the oxygen mask on him. It turned out they were prepared for any problem, whether it was a human or an animal in need. Captain Jack breathed a sigh of relief.

They looked over at the puppy with worry and relief on their faces all at the same time. His dad had seen Captain Jack’s backpack at the scene and had realized that Captain Jack had given the gift of his time to get help for the old guy. His dad and his partner had given the old dog the gift of life through their actions. As the puppy watched them carefully lift the old dog onto a gurney, he realized that no act of kindness—no matter how small—was wasted.
Each and every positive action to help another living thing has a ripple effect to make life better in an exponential amount yet to be measured.



Story Discussion Tips:
  1. What types of gifts do you enjoy receiving? Why? How do they make you feel?
  2. What types of gifts do you enjoy giving? Why? What makes you enjoy these the most?
  3. What is the best gift you ever received? Why did you like this gift the best?
Follow-up Activities: Adopt a family and help them with items they might need. You can contact your local Salvation Army, American Red Cross, or other humanitarian group to see how you can help.

Donate your time to help at a food bank or a shelter for the homeless.

Write about your experiences.





Organization of the Month:
American Red Cross





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