When he was 14, Les Heggernes of St Paul, Minnesota, had a troubled childhood and was often forced to be out of home. He found a safe haven in a St. Paul boys club that was part of what is now called the Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities. “We could play basketball there,” he recalled. “They’d give us soda and a cookie, and there were counselors who would listen to our problems. So I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the mission.” Now at 94, he’s repaying the favor he received those 80 years ago.
How did he repay it? Heggernes collects towels and toiletry items — including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, razors and hair spray — for the 400 homeless people for whom the mission provides shelter every night. Most of the donations come from his fellow residents at Boutwells Landing senior community in Oak Park Heights, although, as word of mouth about his campaign has spread, outsiders have started to make contributions, too.
Once a month, he and his son, Mike — whom he calls “both my right- and left-hand man” — pack up the donations and deliver them to the mission’s donation center in St. Paul. It’s a returning of kindness and your Good News Story of the Day which you can read here. Repay kindness in turn, do kindness expecting nothing, live lovingly.
Story and Image from the Chicago Tribune.