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#ElevatedFriday, November 3rd, 2017

Happy #ElevatedFriday! This week we highlight the incredibly kind and thoughtful actions of a Home Depot manager for a special needs boy. Halloween can be challenging for children with special needs, especially those in wheelchairs, as their costume choices are very limited. Valerie, the manager at a Home Depot, had reserved a refrigerator box for a young boy in a wheelchair in her community so his mother could transform it into a police car. When Aimee, the mother, and her son arrived at Home Depot, Valerie not only helped them cut the box to fit Aimee's son's size, but also shopped her own store for all the parts necessary to complete the costume. Then, Valerie paid for all of it. As the final cherry on top, Valerie leads children's craft workshops at Home Depot on the weekends, but these workshops are seldom attended by special needs children because of the prohibitive skills necessary to complete the crafts. Valerie has been wanting to do more with special needs kids for a while now, and used this connection with Aimee's son as the motivation to bring her craft workshops to the special needs classrooms so that Aimee's son and his friends can participate in a safe and skill-appropriate environment.

Valerie truly exemplifies what it means to be a blessing to others, in particular to strangers! In Deuteronomy God commands us "you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt." It is easy to be generous to our family, friends, or even to our church because we receive love, companionship, and community from them. When we sacrifice our time, efforts, and money for complete strangers, with no expectation of anything in return, we draw closer to Jesus than ever before. Today, seek out opportunities to be a blessing to someone new.

"And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt." -- Deuteronomy 10:19 NIV

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