by Ami Hendrickson
“And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Typically, the only thing Seattle Seahawks fans share with fans of the San Francisco 49ers is a deep rivalry. So, on February 5, 2014, when 15-year-old Ronnie Andrews showed up at a parade celebrating the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII victory, people noticed.
In the sea of 700,000 people wearing green and white, Andrews was decked from head to toe in red and white 49ers gear. Some heckled him. A few reporters posted Andrews’ photo on social media, dubbing him “Niner Waldo,” after the “Where’s Waldo” character.
Catherine Tate, president of a 49ers booster club, wanted to find the boy and reward him for braving the booers. She set up a fundraising campaign to help bring him to California, where she had a front row ticket on the 50-yard line waiting for him.
But Tate quickly discovered that Andrews needed more than just a ticket to a game. The boy was homeless, living on his own in shelters for over a year.
Football fans all over the world pitched in to help. By Valentine’s Day, several qualified foster parents had offered to welcome Andrews into their homes, and a trust fund had been set up in his name.
Today, Andrews still lives in Seattle. He is still a 49ers fan, recognizing that his life was forever changed when strangers reached out to help him when he needed it most.
Help me recognize that my neighbors in need are Your children too.
May I wholeheartedly love them as I love You.