Last month, a kind, elderly gentleman came to Loads of Love to have his laundry washed. He was friendly and personable. After his laundry was finished, he hung around because people were singing and he was enjoying the company. As we talked, we learned that he was living in his car! The trailer that he had rented for decade was destroyed by hurricane Irma and the owner opted not to replace it so he began to live in his car. When he left the laundromat, we failed to get a way to contact him so we thought we might not see him again. It was getting bitter cold and there were winter storm warnings. That Sunday, just as he said, John showed up for church at Bonaire. We had lunch with him and invited him to eat with us again on Wednesday. By Wednesday, the weather had turned icy and the dinner was cancelled due to snow. John showed up found nobody there. We asked him how he was staying warm and he explained that he would park in the hospital parking lot and crank his car periodically to run the heat. How can a 79 year old man survive in these conditions? We took him to a hotel and paid for four nights. He was so grateful for a place to stay. I shared his story on facebook and other friends wanted to help the gentleman we began referring to as PaPa. We had four days to find a suitable long term solution so PaPa would be warm and safe. Friends chipped in and through the generous connections of WROC (Women Reaching Our Community) we found a boarding house that was perfect. Everybody who appreciates the wisdom age and the gentle spirit of the faithful wanted to help. The only thing PaPa owns is a car that he is paying a premium price for! He bought it in January and it took his entire check to pay the payment and insurance.
John Knight is everybody’s PaPa. He represents how something completely unforeseen can render us all helpless. As a culture, we owe it to the elderly to fill in the gaps and take care of the aging with the same passion that we care for our children.
PaPa’s car is financed at 21% interest. We want to either pay off this car so his check can go back to supporting his monthly expenses or replace that car with a reliable alternative. Any contribution will be a tremendous blessing to a faithful man who has little education but managed to work for 38 years. Let’s all contribute to PaPa’s care. The money will be used to either pay off the car or replace that car and pay the insurance. Additional funds will be contributed toward his rent at the boarding house and food. If you appreciate the simple blessings of food, shelter and transportation, please consider contributing to PaPa’s care.http://www.13wmaz.com/news/local/bonaire-family-adopts-homeless-elderly-man-they-call-pa-pa/511242998