Acts of kindness are as steeped in holiday tradition as eggnog and carolers, but the compassion of a dedicated individual can stand out as a shining example of selflessness, even in a season dedicated to giving. Bob Wertenberger, a Crossroads patient in Foxwood Springs, has such compassion. When asked to plan his “Gift of a Day,” a day that patients can spend however they want, Wertenberger chose to do something he’s done his whole life – give back.
The 90-year-old Kansas City native spent years translating the Bible into other languages, dedicating his time in the hopes that the spirit of compassion that had affected him so deeply would reach others around the world. On his Gift of a Day, he enlisted the help of Crossroads staff members to pack over 25 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, a charity that provides gifts to needy children overseas. This example, one in a long life of kindhearted generosity, is Wertenberger’s gift to us all.