Recently, at our annual auction for the Portland Adventist Academy Student Scholarship (PAASS) the crowd paused during the excitement of the live auction to hear from Kelsey Duran, a Senior benefiting from PAASS.
The audience learned all about Kelsey. She was blessed to go on a PAA mission trip and her relationship with God is strong because of her friends and teachers. She enjoys playing sports and she is a huge Portland Trail Blazers fan! And that’s what makes the story so exciting!
That night, a couple in the audience bid on and won a very special basketball. It was covered in signatures by every player of the current Blazers team. The value of the ball is about $300 but that night it became priceless.
At the end of the evening, the winning bidders of the Blazers’ ball searched for Kelsey in the crowd. “This is for you,” the woman said as she handed the autographed ball to a stunned and speechless Kelsey.
“I’ve never experienced such genuine and selfless kindness, especially from a stranger,” said Kelsey. “It opened my eyes to see the kind of people there are in the world.”
Inspiring young people to live a life of service is something we strive to do at PAA. But that night, the lesson wasn’t taught by us. PAASS supporters are teachers, too. They are teaching our students that investing in genuine generosity is a priceless experience.
“This ball made a bigger impact on my life than I think they or anyone else can realize,” said Kelsey. “It’s not just a material gift but something deeper. That gift inspired me to give more selflessly to others and not just to those I know and I’m comfortable with. I hope I can somehow use this to impact others like it has impacted me.”