Shining moments: Milk of kindness

Food was scarce and circumstances were dire. But there was no hesitation by Charles S. Hyde during the Great Depression to dip into the family's milk supply to aid an unknown little boy. His selfless act resulted in more than giving physical food.

It began one Saturday in 1932 when a little boy, about 9-years-old, came to the door of the Hydes for milk. The Hydes had been assigned by Harold B. Lee, president of the Pioneer Stake in Salt Lake City, to use their home as a milk depot and dispense the skim milk donated by a local dairy.Twice a week, four 5-gallon cans of milk were brought to their home to be distributed to those in need. The milk was donated on the condition that the milk be given to needy non-members as well as members.

The little boy was greeted at the door by Ruth Hyde, who was then a senior in high school. "He was neat and clean as a pin, and his overalls had patches on patches," she said. He was sporting, what was commonly called, "a homemade haircut."

He had come for milk, but the day's allotment was gone. When he heard the news, he stood there, disappointed, with big tears welling up in his eyes.

When he finally started to walk away, "I called to him and asked him to wait a minute," she said. She then went into the house and told her father the situation.

Charles came out, took a quart of milk from the ice box, and poured it into the little boy's bucket. He then told the boy the hours when milk was available. From then on, "that little boy came every Wednesday and Saturday. And if he wasn't the first one in line, then he was second."

Sometime later, the father of the little boy came to the Hydes, wanting to meet the person responsible for the milk. "I went in and got Dad, who invited the man into the house," Ruth said.

Several months later, at the Sunday dinner table, "Dad asked, `Remember the man who came with the little boy for milk?' "

"Yes," the family said.

"Well," continued Dad, "he and his family have joined the Church."

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