Continued from Part I.
Altruism and strained resources
Caring for six children costs a lot of money. Bob had to sell land in New Hampshire, where he had hoped to build a vacation home. After Eddie was adopted, Matt had to move into the attic with him and Bear. They got to their new “bedroom” through a small stairway in the hall closet. The ceiling was so low, the boys had to crawl on their hands and knees. In summer, it was sweltering.
The Guterl’s house.
Matt’s winter coat that year was a hand-me-down from an older cousin, with patches and zippers that did not close properly. Matt’s school had a winter-coat drive, but he did not ask his mother to buy one for it. She would get something cheap, and he wanted the recipient to fit in with the fashionable children. After school, he went door-to-door and raised several hundred dollars to buy a name-brand ski jacket to donate. Matt’s mother found out, and made him return all the money, which was very embarrassing.
Sheryl scraped the money together and agreed to buy the fancy ski jacket; Matt chose a white one and left it in the donation bin, knowing he would never hear from the person who got it. All winter he kept an eye out for the coat, wishing to see a happy, smiling girl wearing it.