It is 30 years later that I share this story of an amazing man, Joe Thibido. He passed away this week. I have never shared this story until now, as he asked me not to give him any credit. I am just one of thousands who received his kindness and giving heart.
I was 26 years old and attended Eastside Christian Church. His wife (unknown to me) had died of cancer recently with him to raise their two young daughters alone. One of the girls was invited to attend a kids camp at Angeles Crest Christian Camp. I would be her camp counselor that week. I remember her being quiet and not easily engaging with the others, so I took her under my wing. She never once mentioned that her mom had died. Yet, each day she opened up and began to participate with the other campers. She even let me brush her hair and braid it in the mornings.
When I returned to work that next week, our receptionist came to me and said there was a man who wanted to speak to me. I soon learned it was Joe. He came to say thank you for loving his daughter during the week of camp. He told me that I was the first person his daughter allowed to brush and braid her hair since her moms passing.
With tears, he handed me a check for $1000 to say thank you. He somehow heard that I was struggling financially and wanted to help. Of course I said no to this gift, but he insisted.
I only share it now as it is a testimony of the man, the servant, the precious dad and the friend to so many. He will be missed.
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