Ever wonder why some people have so much heartache and suffering in their lives and yet continue on to be great successes? Could it be that God has a plan and a purpose for our pain?

This weekend I visited Hershey, Pa: a quaint little town named after Milton Hershey the famous chocolatier. While visiting the museum bookstore, I did a little reading to learn about this famous american businessman.

After perfecting his Hershey chocolate recipe and becoming quite wealthy, Milton married at age 40 to Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney. The couple was deeply in love. But a paralyzing illness struck Catherine only three years into their marriage. The couple could not have children so they decided to build a school for orphan boys, which today is the largest residential pre-k through 12 school in the United States. Kitty died several years later, and Milton donated his entire 60 million dollar fortune to the school. Milton never remarried.

Milton continued his efforts toward philanthropy. During the Great Depression, Hershey kept the business operating and he continued to employ the town’s residents in the development of the town, including the construction of community buildings and a sports arena. Today thousands of visitors come to Hershey Park Amusement Center to enjoy the rides, the fun, and, of course, the chocolate.

Despite his personal pain and loss, Milton Hershey was a man who did much to help other people and his generosity continues to be enjoyed by thousands to this day. So next time you eat a Hershey kiss or chocolate bar, think of Milton and how he turned his pain into something very sweet indeed.

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