Mr Charles Wilson is a quiet man, a soft-spoken, kind, gentle soul who would rather smile than say anything derogatory about anyone. About two months ago during a casual conversation, Mr Charles asked me, “How are the SAS Ai scholars doing in school?”
His question jolted me back quickly to about a year ago. I vividly remember him handing me a $540 dollar check he wrote to the SAS Ai scholarship fund. Yes indeed, I thought. Mr Wilson sincerely wants to know how the kids are doing.
“Let me tell ya, we placed seven of them in the honor roll,” I was almost out of breath. The pause that lapsed before I answered him concerned me. Mr Wilson is an accountant by profession and he deals with precision, accuracy and speed. Any hint of hesitation on my part to answer him wouldn’t bode well.
His face brightened as his joy became palpable. “That’s great,” he said. “How many kids did we sponsor last year?”
“We sponsored four of the brightest and neediest among 10 finalists,” I said proudly. “That was all the money we could raise for the scholarship fund. We wanted to sponsor 5 – but we fell short on the funding.”
“How about this year 2013, how many do you plan to sponsor?” Mr Wilson continued to query.
“Four of the brightest and neediest kids. We don’t know yet how many finalists we will have. Four seems easier to shepherd, care for, and service from purely a management standpoint.” I paused and waited for his reaction.
Mr Wilson supports the SAS Ai mission. Why else would he be asking so many questions… I thought to myself.
“Good talking to you. I’ll see what I can do come April.” He got in his car and drove off. That was two months ago.
This last Sunday, Mr Wilson approached me in the church parking lot. He smiled and brimmed with excitement. His eyes couldn’t hide his being pleased. “Hey there Mr SAS Ai,” he said waving at me. “Got something for you.” He walked briskly toward me.
I stood by my pick up truck’s open door. Mr Wilson handed me another $540 dollar check written to the SAS Ai scholarship fund.
“For 2013,” he said. “Let’s help the kids get launched!”
“Thanks Mr Wilson,” I said, my eyes misting. “Education is Freedom!”
“Amen,” he said. When I looked up he was gone.