Giving back to James

$10,457 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 367 people in 2 months
Angels walk amongst us... 

I knew shortly after my 9-month old Rat-Terrier mix named Maya ran away, that someone was temporarily holding onto her. I just had this crazy feeling that she wasn’t hiding out or dead but in the company of someone that temporarily needed her. Maya means magic and that’s what this dog is.

This angel man named James told me that his street name was coincidentally “Canine”. This man loves dogs and as soon as he got Maya, he fell in love. He’s been living out of his car with his pal Andy for months, just trying to get by. James recently lost his own dog a week ago and has been torn up about it ever since. When Maya ran away, it didn’t take her long to join the company of some nearby homeless guys setup near my office in East Hollywood. One of those guys was friends with James and knew how hurt he was, so decided to gift Maya over to him, I’m guessing so he could keep her forever. After a few hours, James pulled Maya’s harness off and noticed her dog tag with her name and my number on it. James didn’t have a cellphone so he had to wait until the next day to call me. I can't truly express the emotions I felt when I finally got that call. I could feel the warmth of James' heart through that conversation. He said that once he saw that she belonged to someone, he was devastated and knew what I was going through.

I can’t fully explain what I’m feeling right now through words. All I must say is that my faith in people just got a whole lot better. I often find that those who have nothing in this world often have the most to give. Lessons were learned today for everyone. And the biggest lesson for me was that you can't put a price on a good heart. I gave James $200 in cash but he refused several times to take the money. He just wanted to get her back to the person who loves her the most. It was all about love for James. After several attempts, I insisted he take the money and wouldn't accept NO for an answer. James started to cry. He needed the money but didn't want to make it about that. He was so grateful.

One thing that stuck out for me the most is when my Mom and I were screaming for joy while holding Maya, James' buddy Andy kept saying to him, "Look at what you did James. Look at their faces man. You did this." While Andy is saying this, I see a proud James, tears in his eyes, soaking up this moment of love. I saw a man that was at a crossroads in life. This was a redemption day for him to do the right thing. To be the hero. I felt it. He felt it. We all felt it. It was so powerful of a moment. With tears in his eyes, James told me to pray for him. 

This is my way of praying for James. So many of you were touched by this story and have asked me how you can help send James some good will. This is the way. I think in James' mind we will never see each other ever again. I have other plans in mind.

If you have anything to give today, tomorrow, the next day,  please consider donating. A small financial contribution to this man will go way further than you think. I want to help this man. I want to let him know that people are touched by him and his actions so that he can continue to spread that to others. Change starts with mindset. It starts with one person, one at a time. We are all equal and everyone deserves love and to know that they are loved. This entire 36 hour ordeal from separation to reuniting showed me just how much love is amongst all of those around me, both near and far. I love you all and thank you for giving me the best birthday present ever. You gave me hope. Now lets give some of that hope to James. He deserves it. 

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Hey everyone!

Wanted to give you all an update on James and where we are at with everything. Moving forward, James and I have entered an agreement where I will be helping him handle his funds by going through my banking system. We have setup an account under his name so that all transactions can have a paper trail. James has BIG dreams with this money you all raised for him. The first thing we are going to do is find him a reliable used motor home that he and his long time girlfriend will be living in. This will be a serious upgrade to his lifestyle and will give him a bed to finally lay out in.

James then told me about his dream to start his very own pedicab business where he can give bicycling tours around the North Hollywood area. When he told me that, I immediately lit up! This would be perfect for him. He can connect with people and share his knowledge of the city he grew up in and he can do the thing he loves most which is to ride and fix bikes.

I am so appreciative that all of you have donated to this campaign. I just got off the phone with James and we had an amazing conversation. He told me that ever since we met and I told him about how much money we raised for him, his life has been totally transformed. He said he's been riding a wave of positivity and is using that to enrich those around him by offering them a way out of negative thinking. He told me that before my dog Maya came into his life, he gave up the concept of love. He believed there was no love in the world. Then through fate, my dog shows up into his life and taught him the power of love again. That's what led him to call me which led to our powerful encounter which led to this moment. Life is magic! I can't wait to post further updates with you all as this keeps developing! Thank you so much for giving to this awesome man, James!

Much love,

Rick Darge
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So happy to report that James and I finally were able to link up on Wednesday night! We went to his favorite BBQ spot in North Hollywood where I was able to get a better idea of where he’s coming from, his struggles and most importantly, his needs.

Before we left the dinner, I told him about what happened the last time we saw each other. He had no clue that a campaign was started for him until I revealed just how much money you all raised for him. James immediately collapsed into a puddle of joy and couldn’t speak for the next five minutes. Curious onlookers in the restaurant parking lot watched this moment from afar, probably wondering what the heck was going on LOL. With tears in his eyes he told me, “Nobody has ever done anything like this for me EVER in my life. You hear about these things happening in the news but I never thought something like this would ever happen to me..” - It was a tender, heartbreaking, amazingly beautiful moment between the both of us that I will never forget.

We left the restaurant and he invited me over to the motor home he’s been looking after for his friend that’s in the hospital. In the motor home, there were several dogs that he’s been looking after. James spends his time taking care of dogs, fixing up bicycles (he’s amazing at it) and collecting aluminum cans for cash. He has a strong love of animals and was a veterinarian technician when he was a younger man (he’s 55 now). I asked him if he was looking for a more permanent residence and told me that he’s never been comfortable being locked down in one place. He likes to be free and wishes to travel in the future. But more importantly, he just wants a place to feel safe, comfortable and protected. He told me that he and his friends are constantly being harassed by the police, by business owners and city workers. He says most people treat him like he’s sub-human and that breaks his heart because he knows that circumstances can easily get any one of us into the same exaction he is in. He’s very wise and very aware and that’s why I love this guy and wanted to help him. I asked him how he would like to spend some of this money and his biggest dream has always been to own his very own motor home. So starting this weekend, James and I will be on the prowl to find him the perfect motor home to get him settled into! I’ll be keeping you guys posted throughout this process.

James is truly a wonderful human being with nothing but pure love in his heart. He and I will be friends for life and I’ll be helping him manage his funds throughout this process. He wants my help and has faith in this process.

In a world that is sometimes seemingly full of darkness, all of you donors have given myself, James and the rest of the world true hope and inspiration that people can still be good in this world. This world is made of love and you are a shining example of that love.

James told me that as soon as he gets on his feet he’s going to write each and everyone of you guys a personal message, thanking you all for the generosity. I asked him, “James, I have an iPhone. If you’d like I can record a video statement so you can say thank you to everyone right now..”

I leave with James’ touching final words from that evening.

Much love,

Rick Darge
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Hey there beautiful people!

Just an update on what's going on!

For weeks and weeks, I've been trying my best to get in touch with James, but it's proven to be very difficult. The phone number he originally gave me (his friend), hasn't been returning my calls despite me calling every morning. It's been getting to the dangerous point where I was fearing James was hurt or not in the area anymore and maybe this money would never get to him. I thought about using a portion of the funds to hire a private investigator or even starting another campaign to hire that investigator....


This all just changed an hour ago when I was finally able to reach him at his friend's number. PERSISTANCE PAYS!

James and I have agreed to go out to dinner tonight to one of his favorite spots and he still has NO idea that a Go Fund Me campaign exists for him. The big reveal is happening over dinner and I couldn't be more excited for him and this moment!

I really want to tell James that we raised TEN THOUSAND for him rather than ALMOST ten thousand. We are currently $500 away from that goal. I am confident that in the next few hours we can meet our $10k mark!

Please share this update and this campaign if you are inclined to do so, because in a few short days, it will all be over!

Many thanks to you all!

This warms me up so much!

-Rick Darge
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This campaign has been truly life changing! Thank you all for donating and sharing and spreading the love! We are keeping the campaign going strong and have increased our goal amount with the guidance of some internal support over at GO-FUND-ME. This campaign was recently featured in PEOPLE MAGAZINE as of today! Exciting news! So much love! Thank you all!

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$10,457 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 367 people in 2 months
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