A few weeks ago, a fellow homeless vendor had to be in the hospital for a couple of days. When you're homeless being in the hospital is extremely scary. “What happens when I'm discharged?” “Where will I go?” “I haven't been able to work so I have no money.” These thoughts were running through my mind the day before he was to be discharged. I wanted to help but didn't have the funds to help him. I thought of putting a post up on my Facebook page but thought, “How could people donate?” Then I thought about putting a post up on one of those “HIP” (Facebook) pages, but I decided that I didn't want to have to deal with the judgments and the bullying that goes on when someone asks for help. A GoFundMe page wouldn't get here in time. I then thought, between the two of us, we should be able to sell enough papers for a hotel room for him, but he'd never accept my money.
We talked Friday and he shared his concerns with me: “Where will I go? I have no money and haven't been able to work.” We ended the call with a huge elephant in the air filled with uncertainty. A few minutes later, a very dear friend of mine called. I always enjoy her exuberance for life and people – with just a little bit of naughty. She knows the vendor and asked me the very same questions, wondering what he was going to do. I told her of the discussion I just had with him. Without even the littlest hesitation she said, “That won't happen. I'll take care of a week or two rent at the hotel. Now what else does he need?” Tears started to roll down my face – tears of overwhelming joy to be a part of these very special people.People who love, who care, who don't ask how much, but “how can I help?”
But, I say thank you for the lesson. Thank you for teaching me how to give without thinking. Thank you for showing me how it feels to impact the life of someone in need and I can't wait until I'm able to share that with someone else.
Sunday, my friend left the hospital. He walked into the hotel office and checked in, got his key card and walked to his room. What a feeling of love to watch him walk into his home for a week.
We hate living in this hotel, but we've learned to appreciate it. I can see how fortunate we are where others aren't. I just have to worry about what time to come in because of the cold. Others have to think about how they can stay warm tonight. One less person is going to have to worry about that because of my special friend. What a wonderful world.
Vicky B. is a vendor of The Contributor.