Northside Gratitude

By Glenn A. Hascall


A group of orphan children discuss why they should be thankful and
learn a lesson from a new boy who has hope in a Father he's never seen.


Several children (If available - 5 have speaking parts)
CHILD # 1-4 (Not gender specific) Orphans.
SAM: A new orphan boy that shows other orphans the true meaning of "Thanksgiving".


NARRATOR: Most of us know the origins of Thanksgiving: the Pilgrims, the
Indians, the feasting and goodwill passed down from one generation to the
next. But the real question is, can everyone be thankful? Join me as we visit the Northside 
Orphanage and listen in as the children discuss how they feel about Thanksgiving. We start in early
November and will follow these children through the course of a full year.

CHILD # 1: (In discussion with other children) Do you remember your parents?

CHILD # 2: No, they died before my first birthday.

CHILD # 3: I remember my mom, she's the one that brought me here.

CHILD # 4: That's harsh.

CHILD # 3: I guess she just couldn't afford to keep me.

CHILD # 2: They keep saying that somebody will want us and come to take us
to their home.

CHILD # 1: Yeah, but it doesn't happen. We just keep getting more kids here
and no one seems to leave.

CHILD # 4: Johnny got a home last year, didn't he?

CHILD # 3: Yea, but Jenny, Stacy and Zach all came after he left.

CHILD # 2: One leaves and three arrive.

CHILD # 1: Not good odds my friends.

CHILD # 4: What do you think about our class assignment? (Looks at a paper
and reads from it) Please come up with three things you are thankful for.

CHILD # 3: (Sarcastic) Thanksgiving - now that's a holiday we can all
identify with - huh?

NARRATOR: This child brings up a good point. What do these children have to
be thankful for? They have lost their parents or their parents have abandoned them 
and now it seems they have no one to love then and they feel...

CHILD # 1: (Interrupts) Angry, that's how I feel. If God is supposed to love
me so much - why am I here?

CHILD # 2: We all have to sleep in the same room - none of us have a room to

CHILD # 3: No one takes us shopping.

CHILD # 4: All our clothes are hand me downs. (Looks down at a blank sheet
of paper wondering what to write) So, what should I put down?

CHILD # 2: (Sam walks on stage with a suitcase in hand as the next line is spoken) 
Put down whatever you want. There's nothing for me to be thankful for.

CHILD # 1-4: (In unison) Who are you?

SAM: My name is Sam.

CHILD # 3: Hello, Sam. Welcome to the Orphans-For-Life Club. None of us have
any hope for a future with parents.

SAM: I don't believe it. Somebody will come for us - you'll see.

CHILD # 1: Dream on. (All children leave stage)

NARRATOR: As the days, weeks and months passed, Sam never gave up hope that
someone would come, and that a new home was waiting. Each night Sam knelt by
the bed and prayed. (Sam and Child # 2 walk on stage) He was respectful of
those who took care of him and he was nice to all the other children.

CHILD # 2: What are you doing Sam? Trying to get on our jailer's good side?

SAM: Jailers?

CHILD # 2: (As this line is said Child # 1,3 4 come on stage) Yea, the
people who guard this place and keep us from doing fun stuff.

CHILD # 1-4: (Laughter).

SAM: Not exactly.

CHILD # 1: Let me guess, you are a goody-two-shoes.

SAM: Not exactly.

CHILD # 3: Well then, what are you - exactly?

SAM: I'm just a kid who has a Father and I want Him to be proud of me.

CHILD # 2: You have a father? (Sam nods yes)

CHILD # 4: Then why are you here?

CHILD # 1: If I had a dad, I wouldn't be anywhere near this place.

SAM: Well, it may be a while before I can be with my Father, but I know He
cares for me and knows everything that I do.

NARRATOR: Most of the children were confused. How could Sam have a Father
that knew everything about him and yet not actually come to take him away
from Northside Orphanage? They would learn that Sam's faith in his Father
was more than a small hope. It was something like the difference between the
kind of hope that says, "I sure hope I get an ice cream cone," but then you
don't get one and then the kind of hope Sam had that said, "As long as I
live I will believe my Father loves me." Then Sam took that hope and lived
his life knowing his hope was true. Sam's hope did not stop as the months
passed and it didn't take long for others to notice.

CHILD # 3: I just don't understand you, Sam. You live in this orphanage and
have to sleep in the same room with so many other kids.

CHILD # 1: But you don't get angry like I do.

SAM: Don't you ever get tired of being angry?

CHILD # 1-4: (Chorus of I do's from the group)

SAM: You know my Father can be your Father too!

CHILD # 2: He'd adopt us?

SAM: Oh, yeah. He wants too.

CHILD # 4: Then maybe we could get out of here.

SAM: I never said that.

CHILD # 2: Sam, we just don't understand what you're talking about. (Sam
talks quietly to the children as the narrator speaks)

NARRATOR: Sam explained that in Psalm 68, the Bible says that God is a
Father to those who have no father. Since all of the children in the
orphanage had no father of their own, what Sam was saying was the best news
they ever heard. Or so you would have thought...

CHILD # 1: That's what this is all about - Church stuff?

CHILD # 3: We're out of here.

CHILD # 4: (Looks at Child # 2) Are you coming?

CHILD # 2: In a minute.

(Child 1,3,4 leave the stage)

CHILD # 2: You really believe that God cares about you, Sam?

SAM: With all my heart.

CHILD # 2: And you really believe He cares about me too?

SAM: I know He does.

NARRATOR: That's when it began to happen. (The other children begin walking
back on stage to where Sam is sitting and bow their heads in prayer) First
one child and then two began to ask Sam's Father to adopt them, too. Hearts
began to soften and hope sprouted like an abundant crop in spring. The staff
at Northside could tell that something had happened and they were grateful
because they knew that the children in their care often found it impossible
to forgive their parents for leaving them. They also found it difficult to
understand why very few of them were ever adopted. The change in the
children was dramatic. When a couple would come to discuss the possibility
of adoption they found children well mannered and happy. What a difference a
few months had made.

CHILD # 2: (Excited) Sam, I'm going to be adopted. I'm going to have a real

SAM: I'm so happy for you. I'll be praying for you.

CHILD # 2: I'll never forget you. How many kids get to be adopted twice (Sam
and Child # 2 laugh).

SAM: That's true,

NARRATOR: (Children leave the stage with smiling happy parents as Sam sits
alone) More and more children were invited into homes across the valley.
However, there still were some children at Northside that did not have the
same hope Sam had and anger continued its grip on their lives. And despite
Sam's own hope, he remained at the orphanage and there were times when he
wondered if he would ever have a home and family to call his own. It was at
those times he listed all the things he was thankful for. When he concentrated 
on being thankful the pain would slowly go away. Sam had been
thinking about the assignment from the previous Thanksgiving and read the
reply he had written - a reply, by the way, that helped to change the hearts
of many of Northside's Orphans.

(While Sam is reading this have a group of children come onto stage to sing
a song at the conclusion of Sam's reading)

SAM: Why should I be thankful? Other kids have homes; other kids have 
Christmas presents and a mother's hug.

Why should I be thankful?
I have none of these things. I have no home and I get no presents. A
mother's hug I can only remember some days.

Why should I be thankful?
Other kids have their own rooms, their own toys, an allowance and
grandmother's cookies.

So, why should I be thankful?
I have none of these things. I don't have toys to call my own, I don't get
an allowance and cookies are found in bags at the store.

But the truth is, I AM thankful, because each day the sun comes up to light
the world my Father made. He warms the earth so grass will grow, making a
wonderful carpet for parks.

My Father grows the food I eat (although why He allowed spinach to grow
remains a mystery).

I am warm, I have a place to sleep and I have friends.
I can see, I can walk, I can think and I can talk.

One day my Father will come for me and take me home, to a place made just
for me.

So, why should I be thankful? You tell me.

(Have children sing an appropriate song of thanksgiving)

NARRATOR: Someone once said, "The world has yet to see what happens when
someone is totally committed to God the Father". I think you would agree
with me that Sam is a shining light and his steadfast hope in his Heavenly
Father caused many children to learn the right answer to the question, "Why
should I be thankful?" Next time you find yourself sad and blue, remember a
boy named Sam.

(Children might end with yet another song of thankfulness as a couple comes
to take a joyous Sam home)

Copyright Glenn A.Hascall, all rights reserved.
This script may be used free of charge, provided no charge is made for entry. In return, the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. He may be contacted at glenn.hascall<a>