Extend Your Hand, Don’t Point It

ANCHORAGE — Kenyada Waters was driving through town when she noticed a man on the side of the road. He was holding up a cardboard sign that read, “Laid off 2 long. Anything helps.” Waters noticed all of the cars in front of her drove right past him.

Something in her told her to stop and hear his story.

The man introduced himself as Richard and explained his situation. He told her how he’s been a tree-trimmer for nearly 20 years but found himself down on his luck after getting laid off.

Richard said his cellphone was cut off because he ran out of money. Standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign was his last resort. He told Waters that people would drive by him and yell out, “Get a job you stupid, lazy bum!” Richard told Waters that he had submitted over 20 job applications but since his phone was turned off, he wasn’t able to hear back.

Waters says his story inspired her to help. She decided to pay for two months’ worth of cellphone service for him. “This man cried in AT&T!” Waters said.

As soon as his phone powered back on, there was a job opportunity waiting for him in his text message log.

“It might be you one day!” Waters wrote on a GoFundMe page she has set up for Richard.

“Extend your hand don’t point it!”

Enjoy!

This story originally appeared in USA Today:

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Homeless Man Gives Beyond His Means

A community in British Columbia is feeling warm and fuzzy after a homeless man’s generosity inspired residents not once but twice over the past two weeks. First, the unidentified man with little to his name found a suitcase with $2,000 in it on a street in Victoria, but turned over the cash to police believing it was “the right thing to do,” authorities tell the CBC.

As the story spread, Mike Kelly of website Victoria Buzz began fundraising to help the guy out and donations flooded in, totaling $5,000—including $255 donated by kids who’d opened a lemonade stand, CTV News reports. But finding the Langford man in his 60s proved difficult. “It’s not easy tracking down a person of no fixed address and no phone, but I kept trying,” says officer Alex Bérubé. “I was touched by the story.”

After hours of searching on and off the clock, Bérubé finally found him on Monday and told him of the money that was his if he wanted it; he didn’t. “Instead of asking how to collect it, he asked me how to donate it” to a local homeless shelter, Our Place, and other food service providers for homeless people, Bérubé says.

Officers told the man to think over his decisiLangford_Letteron, but when he visited a police branch thenext day, his choice was the same. In a handwritten letter, he described his intentions for the money—though he also made one small, additional request: He asked for a job. Kelly says he plans “to do everything I can to help find him a job that fits his personal situation” and is soliciting help.

Enjoy!

This story originally appeared in Newser:
http://www.newser.com/story/208928/homeless-man-turns-down-5k-in-exchange-for-this.html

More:
http://www.gofundme.com/x2y2ajk

http://www.victoriabuzz.com/homeless-man-who-turned-in-over-2000-asks-victoria-buzz-to-help-find-him-a-job/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/homeless-man-who-turned-in-2k-refuses-fundraising-cash-1.3127636

http://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/310574571.html

 

The Answer Can’t Be Yes Unless You Ask

Florida Orphan Who Pleaded For Family Will Spend
Christmas With Prospective Adoptive Parents.

The 15-year-old orphan who touched millions of hearts with his plea for a family inside a Florida church will spend Christmas with potential parents.

Davion_Only

Davion Only, who has spent his life in various orphan homes, is spending Christmas with a prospective adoptive family. The couple is reportedly planning to take Only away during the holiday for his first vacation.

In October, the teen made headlines worldwide when he pleaded for a family to adopt inside the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg.

Only, dressed in a dark suit and borrowed tie, told the packed church that he was seeking a family to call his own. His requirements were simple. “I’ll take anyone,” he said. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.“

Only was born while his mother was in jail and has never had a permanent home, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which first reported about the teen’s plight.

Last summer, Only tried to find his biological mother, but instead found her obituary, the newspaper reported. She had died a few weeks earlier.

Only also appealed to Florida Gov. Rick Scott in November to speak on behalf of all homeless Florida teenagers seeking a family. “Even though I’m going through an adoption process right now at the moment, I still hope that other kids in foster care get the benefit that I’m going to have to be adopted and to have somewhere to call home and to have a bed to call theirs,” he told the governor and his cabinet, according to the newspaper.

While Only’s ordeal has a happy ending, there are 610,042 people who are homeless in the U.S., some 23 percent, or 138,149, are children, according to the government. The states with the highest rates of homeless children are California, Florida and Texas.

This story was originally published by Fox News on December 13, 2013
(link to original story HERE)


When we go after what we want while treating others with respect, it’s amazing what we can end up with. Well, on second thought, no it isn’t. It isn’t amazing at all…it’s completely normal! Congrats to Davion Only for learning this treasure early in life.

And kudos to his new parents for Giving Themselves Away in HUGE way!

Happy Christmas, Everyone.

Will Work For Hugs

On Wednesdays—every Wednesday—for 25 YEARS—82 year young barber Anthony Cymerys, aka: Joe The Barber, sets up a lawn chair under a shade tree in a city park in Hartford, Connecticut. He prepares his scissors, towels, and lotion, wires his clippers to a car battery that he brings along, and then waits for his customers to show up. It doesn’t take long. A queue of homeless individuals needing a haircut forms quickly, and Joe starts attending to each and every customer. His fee: a hug!

What an example “Joe The Barber” is for aspiring GYA’ers. Watch this two-minute video, you might need to grab a tissue first, though.

Thank you, “Joe.” Namasté.

Work_For_Hugs_Video(The above link takes you to a CBS site and their obligatory 30-second commercial that airs before the video. I recommend that you endure the commercial—it’s worth it.)

credits (other than Anthony Cymerys, “Joe The Barber”) CBS News.

Just a Pair of Jeans

I have a question for you.

Would you donate a pair of jeans that you don’t/won’t/can’t wear anymore to someone you know who is desperately in need of a pair of jeans? Okay, so I already knew you would say yes. How about to someone you don’t know who desperately needs a pair of jeans?

If your answer is yes to this one, I have a suggestion. Instead of GYA today, how about GYJA today …that stands for Give Your Jeans Away today.

Each_YearWatch this really short video to get the basics and learn how easy it is.

Teens_For_Jeans_VidYou don’t have to be a teen to be involved. But it would be great to get teens involved. You don’t have start a drive, but you could. All you HAVE to do is donate just one pair of jeans.

So, one last question. Will you donate at least one pair of jeans …soonplease?

Get all the details about how and where HERE from Do Something.org and Aeropostale

And, feel free to spread the word far and wide. I certainly don’t mind if you post any or all of this on your site. I don’t think Aeropostle or Do Something.org will mind either.

Thank you.

Talk About Spunk…

Once again, determination, attitude, and spunk win the day. Good news is  …well, GOOD NEWS. Last month we heard about Shawana Machado, a 40-year-old woman overcoming homelessness to earn her college degree. Also, there was the story about Gac Filipaj, a 52-year-old immigrant who became a janitor when he arrived in the U.S., learned English, was accepted as a Classics student at his work place (Columbia University), and graduated from the Ivy League school, with honors no less, all while still working as a janitor.

Now we hear of Dawn Loggins, 18 years old, both homeless and a janitor at her own high school, and abandoned by her parents, but now headed to Harvard. We wish her well, of course, but this beautiful determined young woman really doesn’t need our well wishes, because she creates her own luck, and she creates it boldly.

Here’s her story told by CNN’s Martin Savidge.

Congratulations, Dawn. All the best as you set off in August to conquer Cambridge!

more about Dawn:
see Shawana’s story here.
see Gac’s story here.
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Homeless 40 Yr. Old Graduate

Congratulations, Shawna. You are what GYA is all about!