A restaurant owner sees a little girl digging through the trash near his fine dining establishment. As the little girl was dressed nicely, he decided to follow her to see what she was up to. What he discovered left him in tears.
"Make sure that the leftovers are placed in the bin behind the restaurant. Is that clear, Chef Simone?" James Sinclair, the owner of the restaurant, ordered his head chef. "Yes, Mr. Sinclair," the chef agreed.
Mr. Sinclair had ordered his staff to dispose of all leftovers in a special bin behind the restaurant. This bin was put there specifically for the homeless after each business day. He had done it after seeing a group of homeless people outside his restaurant, asking for food from strangers who did not bother to help them.
One evening, while Mr. Sinclair was about to head home, he noticed a well-dressed little girl digging through the leftover pile. She was in a pretty dress with matching shoes, an outfit that a typical homeless girl would not be wearing.
I don't think she's homeless or even a needy child. What is she doing looking through the pile of leftovers? Mr. Sinclair's thoughts started running wild as he grew suspicious of the little girl. While he wanted to approach her, he had to hurry because he needed to finish some work before it got late.
The girl returned day after day, and Mr. Sinclair noticed she frequented the restaurant. She would come with a big bag and fill it with leftovers before running away someplace else.
Mr. Sinclair could not get the sight off of his mind, so he decided to follow the young girl one day. He drove his car slowly behind her as she happily skipped through the streets with the huge bag of food in her hands.
A couple of minutes later, she entered a narrow street where Mr. Sinclair's car could not pass. He got down the car and walked behind the girl, who suddenly stopped in front of an abandoned house. She left the bag of food on the doorstep, rang the doorbell, and sprinted away from the property.
Mr. Sinclair was curious who would open the door, so he hid behind a wall and waited for someone to come out of the house. Ten minutes had passed, and still, nobody answered the door.
Thinking that nobody was home, he started to walk away. Just then, a little boy stepped out of the house with a dog. He was dressed shabbily and was extremely frail. He opened the bag of food, took some out, and gave some to his dog.
"Wow, Scoobs, we've got a lot of food for you today!" he said happily before going inside.
Curious about who the boy was and why the little girl collected food for him every day, Mr. Sinclair decided to talk to the little girl the next time he saw her at his restaurant.
"Hello there, young lady. I see you come over here to pick up some leftovers for a boy and his dog. What's your name?" he asked her gently.
"My name is Annie," she replied shyly. "You don't mind me taking some food for Archie, right? I get food for him and his dog because no one looks after them."
"Does Archie not have any parents or grandparents to look after him, Annie?" Mr. Sinclair asked, growing worried.
Annie shook her head. "He lost his family in a fire, and nobody tried to help him. None of the other kids in the neighborhood play with him, so sometimes, I help him out and play with him," she responded.
"Why don't you tell your parents about Archie, Annie? They might be able to help him," Mr. Sinclair said.
Once again, Annie shook her head. "I'm afraid of what mom will do once she finds out. I saw my friend's mom scolding her the other day for helping a stranger, and I don't want the same thing to happen to me," she explained.
Suddenly feeling comfortable around Mr. Sinclair, Annie added, "You know, last week, Archie's dog was sick. I was worried he would die, and Archie would be left alone, but it's a good thing he recovered, and nothing bad happened."
Mr. Sinclair asked Annie if she realized that feeding them leftovers could also get them sick. "Some facilities provide care for pets. We can send him there, and Archie needs to be properly cared for, too. He looked very frail when I saw him," he said.
"But where would they go?" Annie asked curiously.
"Well, for starters, there are orphanages and foster homes that help children in need. If we send Archie there, he has a big chance of getting a good life," Mr. Sinclair explained.
Annie shook her head, objecting quickly. "No! We can't do that to him! Archie said he used to live in an orphanage. He ran away because they treated him badly. We can't send him back!"
"Well, then.. I have another idea. I think it would help Archie," Mr. Sinclair started. Annie listened intently, and Mr. Sinclair asked her to come follow him.
They went inside his restaurant, and he gave her some cookies and milk. While Annie was busy eating, he called his mother, a journalist, and told her about Annie's tale of how she had helped Archie.
A week later, a moving article was published on the newspaper about how a 10-year-old girl helped a homeless orphan boy. When Annie's parents saw the article and learned that their daughter did that for the boy, they were so proud.
The proud parents went on to tell Annie that if she had informed them about Archie beforehand, they would have helped the boy. It wasn't too late, though, and that's exactly what they decided to do.
Annie's mother, Jean, decided to adopt Archie before social services planned to take him away. Jean had always wanted Annie to have a younger brother, but she could no longer conceive after giving birth to Annie.
She believed this was God's way of blessing her with another child, so she happily adopted Archie. Annie's father agreed to the plan, and a month later, they officially welcomed two new members to their family: 8-year-old Archie and his adorable dog Scoobs.
What can we take from this story?
If you liked this story, here is another one about an old lady who secretly takes leftovers from a restaurant as well.
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