Help Steve Get Off of His Feet

Hello Everyone, Recently my life was forever changed by a man I met on a freeway off-ramp. If you live in LA, chances are you take the freeway at least once a day, and have probably noticed the growing number of people begging for money on freeway off-ramps everywhere. At times it can feel overwhelming. By that I mean, that I've always had a strong compassion for those less fortunate than me, and usually donate cash to homeless people when I see them on the streets. And then I go on about my day, and forget all about the less fortunate, until I see the next homeless person and reach into my pocket. However, it's gotten to the point that if I were to give money to every homeless person I see on the streets, I'd be broke myself. And that makes me terribly sad. But it has also made me a bit less sensitive to the less fortunate. Sometimes I find myself thinking, 'Instead of spending all your time on a freeway off-ramp, maybe you should be applying for jobs'. I guess thinking that way has made it easier for me to turn a blind eye, so to speak. Recently though, I saw a man on a freeway off-ramp that I use daily, whom I couldn't dismiss. Maybe it was the fact that he wasn't holding a sign with an explanation of his unfortunate circumstances, maybe it's because I noticed he had a cane with him, but looked to be in his late 30's, or maybe it was the fact that I felt like I could see his entire soul in his eyes. It was probably all of the above. I knew, though, that I had no cash on me, so I looked away just in time for the light to turn green, and I pulled off, forgetting all about the man on the off-ramp with just the ring of my cell phone. And I moved on with my day. A few days later, I was exiting the same off-ramp with my fiancé and as we approached the red light, I noticed that man was there again. I knew my fiancé had a dollar, so I asked him for it, and I stuck my hand out the window. As the man grabbed his cane and struggled to get his back off the wall he had been leaning on for support, I noticed that this was no ordinary man. He was extremely disabled (later I would learn he was born with Cerebral Palsy). It took him an entire 30 seconds just to reach my window to collect his dollar. Then he looked me in the eye, and thanked me. As the light changed from red to green, and we pulled off, we sat in silence. Then, as my eyes filled with tears, I felt my fiancés hand on my shoulder. "Don't worry honey. He's gonna be alright." Of course he is, I thought. I'm going to make sure of it. As I turned the car around parked, I had no idea what I was going to say to him. I thought about asking him what he needs, but thought 'duh he needs money'. When I approached him, he looked stunned. I began by saying hi and asking his name. His name is Steve. Steve explained to me that he had lost his job and had been looking for work but was having trouble with his computer and could no longer search online. I assumed that trouble was that he could not afford wifi. It made me feel better to know that he at least had an apartment to go home to, but I wondered how long he'd be able to stay there with no job to pay rent. We talked for a bit, and then I told him I wanted to buy him a Christmas present and asked him what he needed. Steve's response changed me forever. "The only thing I can ask for is for you to pray for me, because I am starting to lose my faith." As tears rushed down both our faces, I hugged him and told him I'd see him soon. A few days later, my fiancé wrapped up his own iPad, I went and bought a backpack so Steve would be able to carry it on his long walk to the bus stop, and we went back to the freeway off-ramp to give the best Christmas present we have ever given anyone. If you'd like to see what happened, watch the attached video. We have since learned that Steve used to be a body builder and motivational speaker. You can search his videos on YouTube using "Stevie Zee Body Builder". We have also learned that despite his physical ailments and slurred speech, Steve is 100% "all there". He is extremely intelligent, creative, and has one hell of a sense of humor. He is kind, and capable, and does not want any of our pity. In fact, it was very difficult for him to accept our gift at all. However, I know that Steve needs my help. And he needs your help. But he has a hard time asking for it. Which is why he doesn't even hold a sign out there on the freeway, or play up his disability. He doesn't want to ask for charity, but he's in a position where he has no choice. Last night as I lay in bed, I thought about what I was going to write to ask for help for Steve, and the saying 'help him to get back on his feet' came to mind. But then I realized, Steve IS on his feet. Everyday, Steve walks the excruciating mile to the bus stop, only to get off and walk another mile (or more) to then go stand on the freeway for hours at a time, all while having Cerebral Palsy. So I am not asking for help to get Steve back on his feet. I am asking that you help him get off of his feet. Any help will do. Steve would love any and all job opportunities that any of you may have. Please email me at [email redacted] with any job openings or suggestions. Also, any dollar amount will do. Whether it's $1 or $100. It will all go towards helping Steve get back to being the man he is beginning to forget he is capable of being. All I ask is that if you are able to donate any money to help Steve, don't do what I used to do. Don't hand him a dollar, and then walk away and forget about him. Remember how special he is, and think about what he's capable of. Pray for him. Wish him well. Come back and donate again, if its something you can afford. Please just don't walk away. I know I won't.

Donations

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  • Aijia grammer 
    • $30 
    • 69 mos
  • Aijia grammer 
    • $30 
    • 70 mos
  • Aijia grammer 
    • $30 
    • 71 mos
  • Aijia grammer 
    • $30 
    • 72 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 74 mos
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Organizer

Brittany Nicole 
Organizer
Los Angeles, CA
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