Valerie Steimle
Alabama seminary students Christopher Vasko, Moses Steimle, Lydia Steimle and Raven Beckner stand in front of six pallets of canned food that a food bank was able to buy after the students turned a $40 gift into a $160 donation.

In the early morning hours of the school year, Doug Babcock taught four students the scriptures in a seminary class of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Robertsdale area of the Daphne Ward in Mobile, Ala. The class was studying the Old Testament, but he felt impressed to share the story of the talents from Matthew 25 in the New Testament. Discussing this parable that Jesus shared during his ministry, he put his students to the test. He challenged them to multiply their talents.

He gave each student $10 and challenged them to multiply it in some way and then use it for good. The venture was on and a search for a project to accomplish this goal was the constant thought of his students. A few days later an idea was discussed and a plan was created.

The four of them put their money together and buy parachute cord to make emergency bracelets that would be sold for $5 each. Christopher Vasko, Lydia Steimle, Moses Steimle and Raven Beckner got together and braided each bracelet with 10 feet of chord and then sold them all for a total of $160, which was then donated to a local food bank called the Prodisee Pantry, which their Mormon ward's Young Men and Young Women groups had helped before.

This bought the food bank six full pallets of canned vegetables. One staff member told the students that they feed 1,000 families a month on the average and this donation would help them tremendously.

The Prodisee Pantry staff was delighted with the donation and showed the students what their hard-earned gift would bring. Six pallets stacked together was quite a sight and they were amazed so little could do so much.

“Walking away, I felt I really made a difference," said Lydia Steimle, “and I really felt good inside.”

The other students were happy to help as well. They turned a $40 gift into a $160 donation for those who needed help with their groceries.

Valerie Steimle is a mother of nine children, including Lydia and Moses, living in Alabama and is the author of four books, including "Of One Heart: Being Single in the LDS World."