A lot of us say that we’d give the shirt off of our backs for those that are in need around us. I think that we like to think that we would, but perhaps in the moment of need we sometimes pass by and don’t give nor think in our hearts “if I had I would give.” Maybe next time you see somebody in need you can remember this story from an anonymous reader who exemplifies the way we need to think and act towards those that are less fortunate. Here is her story.
“Ann, a homeless woman with a small boy of about 15 months of age, was staying at a local shelter. Per the usual rules, her husband was in the male dorm while she stayed in the female dorm with her son. The family would occasionally stop by The Micah Center for food (free hot breakfast Mon-Sat) and a bag lunch to go. The center also provides help with finding jobs (among other services) so that was the primary reason they came by but they would also stop by the clothing area to find anything for themselves. The entire stock of clothing is donated so they often would not find anything in their size but they looked anyway because you just never know. One day, Ann came to the clothing area looking for a pair of shoes. All she had on were a pair of crocs. The plastic shoes with the holes in them. Though she had on socks, her feet would still get wet. She said they were the only shoes she had and her feet were always cold and she wanted to try to find some sneakers or anything like that to help protect her feet. There’s a couple of us volunteering in the clothing area and we searched every pair of shoes for her size, 7.5, but without luck. Just as we were getting to the last of our options, she said she really needed to use the bathroom. We told her to go downstairs but come right back up just in case we had something for her. The other worker found nothing close enough to her size for her to try. I wear a size 8 and took off my shoes (just a pair of New Balance sneakers, nothing fancy, but with plenty of life left in them and no holes) and started waving them in the air to cool them down. You see, Ann would never take anything she couldn’t use and she certainly wouldn’t take something from someone else. I had to make it look like we had this pair in the clothing area and they were hers for the taking if she wanted them. Luckily, I was standing behind a desk and she couldn’t see my feet. When she returned a couple of minutes later, we told her we had one last pair she could try. I put the shoes on the desk, she took them and slipped them on. She said they were perfect and was so thankful we found something for her. I think she even gave the other worker a hug in gratitude. After she left, the other worker found a pair of donated socks for me (they were the kind with the non-skid plastic on the bottom) so I could wear something warm home. I’ve had several folks who know this story tell me how generous it was of me to do that but I don’t see it that way. You see, I just kept thinking that I had 2 more pairs of shoes at home and she had nothing. It just wasn’t right. As a mom, I felt the need to give her a hand-up to help her take care of herself so she could do what she had to do to take care of her family. To me, it was a no-brainer. I’m just very thankful it was merely a cold Winter day and not a wet one…”