Thousands of acts memorialize Maggie Lee
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
November 02, 2009

Thousands of acts memorialize Maggie Lee

Thousands of acts memorialize Maggie Lee
Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press
November 02, 2009

SHREVEPORT, La. — On Oct. 29 lawyers took cases pro bono, a

man installed a water heater for a disabled man who previously showered on his

back porch, and a man stopping to give a stranded motorist a jump wound up

replacing her battery. All were acts of kindness to mark what would have been

the 13th birthday of a girl killed this summer by injuries received in a

church-bus accident._ь

Maggie Lee Henson blushed on her 12th birthday last Oct. 29, when a cute waiter sang to her at an Olive Garden restaurant.

Maggie Lee for Good Day started early for Jinny Henson, with

a TV interview about the event. It grew out of an Internet community that

formed to pray for Hinson’s daughter during her three-week struggle for life,

mostly in an induced coma, that ended when doctors declared Maggie Lee Henson

brain dead Aug. 2. _ь_ьThe day ended with a Maggie Lee for Good party at the

family’s church, First Baptist Church of Shreveport, La., which had to be moved

to a basement due to tornado warnings. Local flooding stranded people at the

church until a break in the weather after 10 p.m. _ь_ь

In between, Jinny Henson visited one school that held a

food-and-clothing drive benefiting a downtown homeless ministry, another

collecting used tennis shoes to recycle into a playground and a

childhood-education center where Maggie Lee’s seventh-grade classmates at First Baptist Church School made and

donated crafts. _ь

She passed through a drive-through snack stand benefiting

brain-injury patients in northwest Louisiana, and watched her son, Jack, who

just turned 11, as his class acted out his older sister’s favorite books for

younger students as their Maggie Lee for Good project.


Those good deeds were multiplied in communities across the

United States and around the world, with nearly 18,000 people pledging to

participate through a Facebook group and web site.

After Maggie Lee’s death, an Arkansas woman who had started

a Facebook group to pray for the Hensons after the July 12 crash suggested

keeping the youngster’s memory alive by soliciting 1,300 people to perform an

act of kindness on her birthday. That goal was reached quickly, and Maggie Lee’s

mother decided to shoot for 13,000. That goal was surpassed by mid-October, and

by the time Oct. 29 rolled around the number had grown to some 17,800

individuals. _ь_ь

Many participants reported their acts of kindness on the

Maggie Lee for Good Facebook page. _ь_ь

One man got off work at 2 a.m. and a co-worker’s car battery

was dead. As he helped someone else, he said, he thought of Maggie Lee.

A woman who packs boxes each year with her daughter to send

to Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child this year packed an extra one

in honor of Maggie Lee. They plan to continue the practice every year. _ь_ьOne

person bought lunch for someone who recently finished college but hasn’t found

a job. _ь_ьA busy mom said she had been wanting for a long time to volunteer at a

local food pantry, but because of her hectic schedule she never tried it. She

decided to do it Oct. 29. _ь_ь

A woman in Cincinnati said she always passes the same

homeless people on the same street corners as she drives downtown, so Oct. 29

she brought them sack lunches and told them “This is from me and Maggie Lee.”

She said she made six lunches but wishes she had brought more and will continue

doing it. _ь

_ÑŒMargie Williams Sanders posted a note saying she made a

donation in Maggie Lee’s honor to a non-profit organization that helps children

with special needs. “Knowing all too well what it feels like to have a life so

tragically taken, my prayers are with you,” she consoled the family. “It will

be a year on Dec 19 that my 14-year-old daughter tragically passed from a freak

accident. In March she would have been 15, and it was one of the most difficult

days. We don’t understand why these things happen, but I always say God has a

plan. Maggie Lee, along with my daughter, is living it up in heaven right now.

Happy Birthday, Maggie Lee!” _ÑŒ_ÑŒ

Penny Jetton Golden was driving her son to school and

talking about his plans to tell his class about the day and make sure everyone

did something nice for someone else. As she pulled up to the drive-through at

Starbucks, the cashier told her, “The car in front of you paid for yours. It’s

Maggie Lee’s birthday.” The cashier went on to explain that it had been a chain

reaction all morning — with customers paying for the orders of the people

behind them. _ь_ь

Trey Randal honored Maggie Lee by donating blood for his

first time ever. “They even signed me up to be a regular donor every 60 days,

which is something I never would have decided to do on my own,” he said. _ÑŒ_ÑŒ

Lorri Hester Williams and Meredith Bleasdell helped a friend

decorate a huge space for an expected 100 guests for her husband’s 40th

birthday party. “It doesn’t sound like much, but our friend has the flu,

bronchitis and a kidney infection and honestly didn’t know how she and her Mom

were going to get everything done,” she said. “We had to skip our Bible study

to do this, but we know that God was honored on this day as we remember Maggie

Lee and all that she did good for others.”

_ь_ьJinny Henson said the stories amazed her family and made

them grateful. “People have begun terming their good deeds, ‘Maggie Lee,’ as

in, I did my ‘Maggie Lee,’ as a description of a good deed done in Christ’s

love,” she said. _ÑŒ_ÑŒ

Maggie Lee’s father, John Henson, an associate pastor at

First Baptist Church in Shreveport, used part of

the day to travel to Tyler, Texas, to take a bright pink flower arrangement to

her grave, along with some flowers for his mother’s grave as well.

_ÑŒ_ÑŒ“Today is a great day to let our good deeds show; to do

things that make this world a better place; to help answer the prayer of Jesus

for the Kingdom to come in this world as it is in Heaven,” he wrote Oct. 29 on

his blog. “This is

our way of joining up with God to bring good out of a horrible situation.”

“I cannot begin to imagine why the accident

happened and why Maggie Lee died and I certainly don’t believe God caused it,”

he wrote. “What I do know and can see is how God has been at work to bring good

out of it. 17,800 people doing good things is great evidence of that.”