A Gift from a Homeless Manby Toni Garbo on 02/01/11
While making my regular Saturday trip to the post office to mail out "Thank You God I Am Grateful" wristbands. I noticed a homeless man standing outside the door. I had two large packages and just enough cash on me to mail them both. The man asked me if he could carry my packages. I told him I was ok and that I appreciated his offer, and would like to pay him for his help, however I didn't have any extra cash on me. I told him I was fine to carry the packages alone. He insisted on trying to help me and told me that it was ok if I didn't have anything to give to him. When he saw I was managing just fine, he then said, "let me at least open the door for you." Which he did.
Once I paid for the packages, I had one dollar left over. When I left the post office, I gave the dollar to the man. It was very cold outside, with lots of snow and he had many layers of old clothes on. He hair wasn't combed, he had only a few teeth, but he had beautiful, kind eyes. He thanked me and said "God bless you", and he was sincerely grateful. What impressed me the most about him was his willingness to still help me, once I told him I didn't have any extra money on me for his efforts. He still reached out to help. When I got back into my car, I noticed my briefcase was still in the car from work the night before. I keep an emergency $20.00 bill in the case. I reached into my briefcase, grabbed the $20-bucks and walked back to the man and gave it to him. I told him I didn't realize I had this with me and he was so thrilled.
Fast forward to one week later. This past Saturday. I make my trip to the post office and I see my homeless friend there standing by the door. I was so touched by his kindness and gratitude last week, that I had money out ready to give to him this time. I said hello, and handed him the money. He was grateful and then said... "I wanted to thank you for what you did for me last weekend." He said, "I had a great weekend, I had a nice meal and I was able to give a friend on the streets $2.00 that she needed. Here was someone that gave to someone else what little he had.
This story is not to suggest you give to everyone you see begging on the streets. I have been approached by many con artists in my day. And some say it is best to give to the shelters and agencies that can directly help.
But this experience was special, here was a man not begging, but willing to work for his money even if it was just to carry my packages. He was grateful for what he received, and he had the heart to share it with others. I gave him a Thank You God I Am Grateful wristband too. His gift to me was his sincere gratefulness, and the compassion to help someone else.