It wasn't so long ago I found myself in a financial jam through no fault of my own. I was living in a one room apartment in the small town of Henryetta, Oklahoma. I needed help paying rent for a month, thanks to Medicare, so I called on friends via the Homeless in SB Blog.
There were a few who graciously answered my call and I received enough to cover my rent with a little extra for groceries. I had intended to pay them back when I could, and still do at some point. Truth be known I have forgotten who sent what, especially after having moved from Henryetta to Tulsa. I would appreciate reminders from those of you who helped me out with current contact info. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few months later I turned to facebook to ask for financial assistance again. This time it was to help Tami (See “Nights With Raven)come to Oklahoma. She had found a ride from a friend who was going to be on vacation and all we, Tami and I, had to do was come up with gas money for the trip from Morristown, Tennessee to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I now live, a total of 860 miles according to Map Quest. I would cost us about 350.00 for gas. The sad part is I actually lost three Facebook friends over this. Some of the things that were said about me and Tami were unfounded and extremely hurtful, but such is life. Out of four hundred facebook friends I had one person answer my call and I will be forever grateful to her, plus I will give this person a full accounting of her gift.
For the past couple of years I have been searching for a way to help those in need. Yet it seems to be that I am always the one who comes up short. I am the one who is in need. But not anymore, thanks to my sister. A sister I might add whom I haven’t talked to in years. A sister whom I thought I would never have the chance to talk to again. A sister who showed me it was time to put certain things behind us and move forward. A sister to who I will eternally be grateful. There is more to this story, but I will save that part for another time.
Anyway, thanks to my sister, I am now in a position to help others, not by much, but when you have nothing, anything and everything can and does help. I have always had a penchant for helping women, and after witnessing some of the things women living on the streets or those facing homelessness, have to go through each and every day during my stay at Casa Esperanza, it is even stronger.
My search for a way to help at times was confusing to say the least. Who do I help? How do I help? And I would hear things like don’t give money to the homeless, instead give it to the shelter, or other organizations. Personally I never really bought into this philosophy. I know there is a reason behind it, and it is probably a sound one too. But my money is limited, and I am impatient. I like to see results instantly instead of having my dollar trickle down to a few cents by the time it reached those in need. I know... administration costs, salaries, overhead, utilities, etc. Still I wanted my dollar to go directly to those who needed it most. But I was at a loss as to how to get it there.
The other day, on facebook no less, someone posted a quote by Mother Teresa, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
Reading this quote was like turning on light. I began to think, and in thinking I began to remember all the people I have as friends on Facebook, as well as in other places, who actually practiced this. There are more than just a few too. Truthfully I never realized just how many until I read this quote. I asked myself “why can’t I do this?” I could not think of a reason why. Well, at least I couldn’t think of a good reason why.
I have helped people before, and done so in many different ways, but mostly for my own benefit, or personal reasons other than just because.
Well my friends, “Just Because” became effective on October 25th, 2012, and I would like to see it continue. I have financially helped two people in the past few days for no reason other than just because. They had a need, they posted their need, and I did what I could to help them fulfill their need. It may not have been the full amount they required, or wished for, but you would be surprised how far a dollar will go to someone who doesn’t have one.
I know that when I received the dollars sent from those who chose to help me when I needed it, they became the most precious dollars ever. Also, dollars, even change, can add up quickly if more people were to get involved.
I am not sure if my mission will last, but I hope it will. I already have another person on my wish list (My Wish To Help List). She is 28 and pregnant, she goes to technical school and she is homeless, sleeping in her pick-up. She is also in between jobs right now. I am not quite sure how she caught my attention but she did.
I recently came across this quote, I have heard versions of this for years, and I am a firm believer in it. I just wish I knew who to give the credit to... “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person”.
If you have any advice on how to further my endeavors, or would like to help in my new mission, feel free to contact me via this blog, or at my email posted above.
a.k.a. Street Voice
You can find teh edited version of this post at homelessinsb.org