Eddie Latimer has become a celebrity in Ladera Ranch, CA. He is a crossing guard primarily for the corner of Main Street and Second Street, helping students and families safely walk to and from school each day. This has been aptly labeled "Eddie's Corner". There's more to Eddie than this.
Eddie is predictably out there, rain or shine, with a huge smile on his face, a friendly greeting and wave for everyone, and always a positive comment. Of course, it's Southern California so there isn't much rain but there is sweltering heat which Eddie braves with the same "proud to be at work" smile as always. With Eddie on "his corner", children and parents are safe, cars are properly directed to pass, and all is well at those bustling intersections.
There are so many remarks via Facebook about Eddie's impact. Here are just a few:
"One little boy even stopped in the middle of the street just to give Eddie a big hug".
"He's the most engaged crossing guard out there".
"Eddie does a great job of keeping our kiddos safe, and he's such a positive presence at the start of every day".
"He is so sweet and so enthusiastic. Never seen him without a smile on his face. We need more people like him in the world".
Eddie is an example to each child who passes by that no matter what their future job is, no matter what their circumstances are, no matter the stressors they feel, that they need to show up to work every day with smile on their faces, to be proud of a job well done, and to raise another person's spirits while doing so.
The third party company who employs Eddie has mandated that Eddie find a home closer to Ladera Ranch in order for him to continue his post at this location. Eddie lives near LA and the daily commute is a long one. His "corner" was actually assigned to another crossing guard for 2 weeks in January 2018. However, due to the outcry from Ladera Ranch residents (and the unsafe mayhem due to inexperienced guards), the assignment was given back to Eddie.
Eddie very much wants to move to Southern Orange County. The cost of living is much higher in Orange County. Eddie has been in touch with a real estate agent, been placed on waiting lists for subsidized housing, and has made myriad calls about his relocation. In his own words:
"For much of my life, I've always had an open mind. I could blend into any neighborhood and be a positive asset to it. I'm thankful that my late mom brought me up to be helpful to people instead of hurtful as well as having key people in certain sections of L. A. that took care of me and kept me away from gangs and drugs. Carson is still pretty good in spots, but I feel that I can thrive more down south."
Eddie of course isn't waiting for a hand out. He has several ventures that help add to his income and also demonstrate how incredibly bright and industrious he is. He has several items in print and also webinars about how to proceed with a job search. The links to these are attached - check them out!
This Go Fund Me page is intended to provide some financial support to Eddie as he tries to make another life change and relocate closer to "Eddie's Corner". As a community that has benefitted from Eddie's passion, we are hopeful that the community will express their gratitude by making a donation.
Go Fund Me has requested that I document how I know Eddie and how the funds will be disbursed to him. I met Eddie in the Fall of 2017 during my daily school drop offs and pick ups. Eddie was not difficult to notice - that smile, those waves, and animated ways in which he expertly manages his "corner" were obvious. I posted a quick message on our community Facebook page about Eddie. It turns out that lots of other people noticed his exemplary work and personality too. Within a few days, there were over 300 comments and "likes" about Eddie. That's how Eddie's "fame" in Ladera Ranch was created.
In terms of Eddie's use of the Go Fund Me donations, he is 100% free to use them according to his needs and wishes. I have just given him access to the account so that he can set up the best way for him to withdraw these generous donations. Eddie is continuing to look for an apartment to rent and is on some housing wait lists. In typical Eddie fashion, he remains hopeful and hard-working as he tries to make this next adventure happen so that he can live closer to "Eddie's Corner" - his home away from home.
- Amelia&Lloyd Smith
- Anonymous Anonymous
- Yanal Abjuga
Organizer and beneficiary
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