Who knew that the drop of a hat would lead the way to the creation of America’s favorite chocolate bar? At age 14, Milton Hershey had left school for good and was working as a printer’s apprentice. He was quite bored with the position, as most young boys of his age would be. He worked for an ill-tempered man who did nothing to make the experience interesting. One day, Milton became a bit clumsy, dropping his hat into one of the printing presses. He was immediately fired. His father tried talking to Milton’s boss, seeking a second chance for his boy. I was Milton’s mother and aunt who had a different idea, one with a little fun attached—work in a confectionery making candies. The “Chocolate King” had tasted his first sampling of success.
After working for a time in the confectioner’s shop, Milton Hershey opened his own candy company, making delicious caramels. After several years, Milton found himself interested in the making of chocolate. The Hershey Bar was born in 1900. And those little tear-drop chocolates in colorful foil wraps? Hershey Kisses first came on the scene in 1907, followed by Hershey with almonds in 1908.
Milton Hershey was a success in business. But sadly, in his personal life he and his wife experienced loss when they discovered that they were unable to have children together. Wanting to give care and attention to children in need, they founded a school for young orphaned boys, the Hershey Industrial School. Today it still exists as the Hershey School. This would be the first in many philanthropic endeavors that Milton Hershey would pursue during his lifetime. He was a man who truly cared about community and giving back.
Things really do change quickly sometimes—with the drop of a hat! One young man’s life changed the day he dropped his hat into a printing press and lost his job. It may have seemed a loss to him at the time, but God had a plan to bless Milton Hershey’s life and the lives of many others through him.
Whether good or bad, all that is happening to those who trust in Christ and His love will find that everything is coming together for their good, both now and in eternity. It is a promise:
And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. Romans 8:28
Outside of the Hershey School stands a bronze statue of Mr. Hershey embracing an orphaned boy. The caption speaks to the legacy of the man who created the great American chocolate bar: “His deeds are his monument. His life is our inspiration.”
When you experience trouble, and the path of your life takes an unexpected turn, be inspired by God’s Word and trust that He really is working everything together for good!