So, on the first leg of a recent trip, I saw this nice couple sitting on a curb off to the side of the parking lot with the standard issued shopping cart packed with everything they owned.
I turned the car around to them and dropped off a few dollars to help them get a decent lunch. A proverbial drop in the bucket.
I got home semi-proud of myself for providing them with lunch.
A few days later I, of course, had to return the wrong part I bought. This was a good thing because it forced me to see what I already knew I would see...that they were still there. So, I walked over, introduced myself properly, gave them more lunch money, and asked what had happened.
Like so many others, they lost everything in the flood. Their problems were compounded over a series of unfortunate events that led to them sleeping under the overhead of an abandoned store. Such has been their life for over a month.
The man Dennis is 67 and has mobility issues. He uses a cane. Whereas I can't sleep without my memory foam pillow, somehow he manages.
Patty is 53, a down on her luck Who Dat (extra points for that), who was in shockingly good spirits given her situation. Whereas I was pissed that half a strand of Christmas lights was burned out and I had to get another box, she was genuinely grateful to receive $20.
They have a son named Elvis that loiters around the mall across the street most of the day because he's too embarrassed to sit outside. That I can understand. I was often embarrassed by my parents also but thankfully we didn't have to sit all day on a curb together.
Elvis wants to work, but with no address and no current means of getting cleaned up, he wanders the mall instead. That's why he's missing from the picture. What a sad plight for a young adult in the prime of his life.
These people are not begging. To receive charity from passing cars, the cars have to make an effort to drive to them. Otherwise, they just hope and pray for a better tomorrow.
This situation is not the same as that guy with a scribed piece of a box on the side of the road (I get it, some of them need help too). This is a real family in need of a real lift.
There are thousands of tragic stories but I stumbled across this one, and with a little help, together we can try to make an impact.
Therefore, I am counting on the generosity of my friends to help. Any small amount will do. Return your Redbox movies on time and contribute that saved late fee (yes, we still use Redbox at our house). Buy a coffee at Racetrack instead of Starbucks (you should be drinking Community anyway) and contribute the difference. Go with the house salad instead of the Caesar and donate the difference. Whatever it takes, just please help with something.
There is no reason why we can't help move these people forward just a bit so that they can stay a few nights in a motel, get clean, and get back on track.
The nominal administration fee I will shave off the top is merely to cover my gambling debts.
You better know me enough to know I'm kidding. Of course, every nickel will go to this struggling family. I hope we can give these deserving people a Merry Christmas.
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