My Friend Tom Deserves a Break

I met Tom 2 years ago when I lived in Santa Monica. He lived in the building behind mine and my parking spot was across from his garage. One day, while wearing my Boston Red Sox hat, I heard someone yell, "Hey! You a Boston girl?" I turned around and saw an elderly man with a cane. We started chatting and I found out that Tom was from Foxboro and had graduated from UConn many, many years ago.

Over the next few months I got to know Tom better. I would carry his groceries up to his second floor apartment, help him sweep his driveway and sometimes organize his apartment. Tom never asked for help, but I always offered. Even at 84-years-old, Tom is still extremely independent.

I've become somewhat of a surrogate granddaughter to Tom over the past two years. Tom was never married and doesn't have any children. He grew up an orphan and his only living family member is a 91-year-old foster sister who still lives on the east coast. Tom is a war Veteran and he has been battling bladder cancer for the past 9 years. He visits the VA regularly to tend to his cancer. He's been living in the same apartment for 35 years. Even though he walks with a cane and relies on hearing aids, Tom still works 5 days a week. He wakes up at 4:30 am and drives his 24-year-old Toyota to work in Sherman Oaks Monday through Friday.

I know Tom enjoys working, but he definitely works because he has to, not because he wants to. Social Security pays most of his rent, but he needs an income to pay for his various medications, medical expenses, car repairs and other bills.

I want to raise money to give Tom an amazing gift this Christmas. I'd love to present Tom with a check that can cover a few months rent so he can have a sense of financial security in case he needs car repairs or additional medication.

Thank you for helping me make this wish come true!


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Kristen Peralta 
Los Angeles, CA
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