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The Surprising Thing I Learned After Visiting a Convict Who Stole a Christmas Charity Jar

MR says: What would compel an author to travel 300 miles to meet with a man who stole a jar meant to go to a needy family for the holidays?

The reason he went isn't nearly as surprising as what happened next.

I have no idea where the time went.

Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, the Christmas Jar movement grew from an infant into a sassy pre-teen.

Yes, Christmas Jars and the tradition of anonymously giving away jars of slowly-accumulated change is celebrating its 10th birthday. The tiny novella no one but Shadow Mountain wanted to publish first hit shelves in 2005 and sparked a decade of giving no one ever predicted. . . .

We’ve seen lives transformed forever by the miracle of the right jar going to the right family at the right time.

We’ve seen prayers answered by a knock at the door at the very moment hope was hanging by a silver piece of tiny, tired tinsel.

We’ve seen children smile and parents cry when those rehearsed conversations about Santa getting lost never had to happen.

We’ve witnessed it all.

Everything, that is, save a stolen Christmas Jar.

Then, on Sept. 27, we had to change the figurative sign. “Days since a stolen Christmas Jar? Zero.”

On that Tuesday evening in Dover, Ohio, a man walked into the public library and strolled out with a large community Christmas Jar containing an estimated $1,000 meant for a local needy family.

Lead image from Jason F. Wright.

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Read the book that spawned a national movement, Christmas Jars, available as Deseret Book.

Read the rest of this story at jasonfwright.com