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Two-Year-Old Shreds $1,060 of His Family's Cash

There are the toddlers who color with permanent marker all over the wall or decide a sibling needs a haircut. Then, there is Leo Belnap, a two-year-old who knows how to work a paper shredder.

One Sunday, his parents, Ben and Jackee Belnap, noticed an important envelope containing $1,060 was mysteriously missing. For the past year, the die-hard University of Utah football fans had been saving money to pay back Ben's parents for season tickets.

They started tearing the house apart searching for the cash. "I'm digging through the trash," Ben Belnap said, "and Jackee hollers, 'I found it.'" It was in the shredder. In a thousand tiny pieces. Immediately they knew Leo was the culprit. He had been helping her shred junk mail and documents. Apparently, he thought he was being helpful this time, too. First, his mother cried. Then, she laughed. She said, "As devastated and as sick as we were this was one of those moments where you just have to laugh."

Hope may not be lost for the couple. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing offers a solution. In fact, the bureau has an entire "Mutilated Currency Division," which is devoted to "redeeming" burned, rodent-chewed, or deteriorated money--a free service to the public. It handles approximately 30,000 claims per year, redeeming more than $30 million in mutilated cash. Ben Belnap contacted the Treasury Department and was told to send the remains of the money to Washington in Ziploc baggies.

In the meantime, Leo will not be using the shredder anymore. The silver lining: "Well, this will make a great wedding story one day."

Possible Preaching Angles: 1) Failure; Redemption; Renewal – No matter how we damage our lives, the Lord can make “all things new” when we come to him (2 Corinthians 5:17); 2) Mothers; Mother’s Day; Forgiveness; Patience – A wise mother will patiently endure and tenderly forgive the wrongs done by her children with “the teaching of kindness … on her tongue” (Proverbs 32:26).

Meagan Flynn, “A 2-year-old shredded $1,060 of his family’s cash. His mom cried — until she laughed,” The Washington Post (10-5-18)

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