Saturday, February 11, 2006

An Essay from My Daughter- "My Modern-Day Ben Franklin"


My modern-day Benjamin Franklin is my grandfather. Like Ben Franklin, my grandfather has worked throughout his life to help other people.
For most of his life Grandpa worked as a manager for institutions owned by the Lutheran Church. He supervised many people and always tried to make their lives better. He helped employees with their problems quietly and patiently.
After he retired, he began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Not only does he regularly help with carpentry he also helps families with their financial planning so that they can pay for their share of their home. One woman he helped was a single mother with two children. She didn’t know how to create a budget or manage her bills. With my grandpa’s help, she and her family were able to have a house for the first time. My grandpa also serves as the treasurer for his county’s Habitat for Humanity organization. He keeps track of the accounts and helps the group make smart financial decisions.
My grandpa is very active in his church. Three years ago he helped them remodel the church building. He designed the plans for a larger kitchen, a bigger worship space, a new dining room and handicapped accessible bathrooms. He worked five or six days a week for many months doing carpentry, plumbing and electrical work. A local builder estimated that Grandpa had saved the church at least $10,000 by serving as their building contractor for free.
Like Benjamin Franklin, my grandpa has traveled around the world. He has been to 46 of the United States and more than twenty countries around the world including China, Russia and Israel. One of the reasons he loves to travel is that it has helped him to appreciate the many things all people have in common.

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