This letter, found in David's files after his death, shows an occasion when he understood that someone was in need and took direct, personal action to help them.
It shows his characteristic generosity, decisiveness, and tact. You can also see the teacher in him, the lifelong desire to explain things in a way that did not aggrandize him, but which drew attention to something else that he considered wonderful.
In his retirement, he served vigorously with Buckhead Christian Ministries, keeping their records for them, identifying what people needed and helping obtain it.
Every week, he collected donated food from local shops and delivered it to the Ministries, where it went to people who needed it.
One day when we visited, he had a huge bag of bagles, rolls, and sweetbreads from a prestigious bakery, ready to deliver to people who were having trouble getting their next meal.
November 7, 2001
This little gift comes with two conditions:
While I was listening to you at lunch Tuesday, I couldn't help but remember watching my parents, and many others, help people in our small town of Colquitt when they needed it.
It wasn't because we could afford it, but because a neighbor needed our help - and people knew when someone needed help.
I hardly remember anything about national charities that got much attention. It was nearly all local - the church, high school band uniforms, bake sales for school clubs to go on a trip, and many quiet acts of neighbor helping neighbor.
How different it is in Atlanta today.
We are constantly solicited by charitable organizations and some of us even do volunteer work with them just to feel we are helping people who need it.
Huge sums are raised for worthy causes. Hardly ever do we see a specific person who could use some help, and then we may feel a little uncomfortable trying to do something.
I got over this discomfort at an early age and learned to trust my own judgment. I'd be disloyal to my upbringing to do otherwise.
Let's not wait so long to see each other again. Looks like bad things tend to happen when we do!