Yesterday, I wrote a couple of hard-hitting posts, so by last evening I was ready to settle in and begin work on my ‘good people’ post which is always a treat, for it gives me an opportunity to come up out of the rabbit hole and see a gentler side of the human race. The first thing I came across was a short one, and then another, and within minutes I decided to do one of the ones that shine a light on people doing small acts of kindness or humanity.
Charlie set out bright and early from his home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on Black Friday, fully intent on doing some Christmas shopping for his son. Somewhere along the line, Charlie had a change of plans and he ended up, instead, spending $12,780 at the local Toys ‘R Us, but not on his son! Charlie paid off the balance on 62 lay-a-ways for other shoppers, and then purchased an additional $2,000 worth of toys for Toys for Tots!
“I’m trying to bring some happiness to people, to the community that brought happiness to me and my family. I love this community and I am trying to provide back to it.”
What a way to spend Black Friday … doing something nice instead of pushing and shoving your way to the head of the line. Charlie did not wish his name used, and went as quickly and quietly as he came, but there are a lot of relieved and thankful parents tonight in Cherry Hill, New Jersey thanks to Charlie.
Bernard Darty of Paris, France, has done well for himself. Though now retired, Darty is the co-founder of Darty Group, an electrical retailer operating more than 340 stores in Europe. But Bernard wasn’t always so lucky, for he spent much of his childhood in hiding from the Nazis until June 1944, when U.S. troops landed on the shores of Normandy.
“I vividly remember the arrival of the hundreds of thousands of American troops who landed in Normandy to liberate us in June 1944. They were our saviors, doling out packets of sweets to half-starved, war-weary children who had almost given up hope for freedom. The gratitude I feel to these men is beyond words. They freed our country and they saved our lives. Without American troops, my family and I simply would not have existed. I think of that every time I look at our family photos.”
To show his gratitude, Mssr. Darty is making a $1 million donation to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Services for Armed Forces program of the American Red Cross.
“Even though more than 70 years have passed since my rescue, it’s not too late to give back. That’s a lesson I hope the next generation recognizes, because it’s all too easy to let procrastination give way to inaction. But action is what brings hope to those who need it.”
Thank you, Mssr. Darty … you are a fine example to that next generation.
Next up, two good people … an honest man and a woman with a generous spirit. Elmer Alvarez is a homeless man, living on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. Roberta Hoskie is a successful realtor in New Haven. What brought these two together … was it the fickle finger of fate? It was a $10,000 check that Ms. Hoskie dropped without realizing it. Mr. Alvarez happened to find the check and not even for a minute did he consider keeping it, but instead did the right thing and returned the check to Ms. Hoskie
When Ms. Hoskie discovered that Alvarez was homeless, she was reminded of her own days of being in the same state, without a home, without hope, and she decided to ‘pay it forward’. Ms. Hoskie is giving Mr. Alvarez a scholarship to real estate school, career counseling and a job interview. In addition, since Mr. Alvarez does not speak English well, Hoskie has included ESL (English as Second Language) classes. But wait … there is one more gift, and this one brought Mr. Alvarez to tears, as it did this writer.
“This winter you don’t have to worry about being in cold. We have housing for you.”
There is, however, one condition: Once Alvarez gets on his feet she wants him to pay it forward and help others. This, folks, is how it’s supposed to be.
And on that note, I must apologize for the brevity of this week’s good people post, but I am simply too exhausted to do any more tonight. But perhaps there is a bit more after all. One of my favourite people in this world is the late Maya Angelou, a lady of grace, charm, strength and compassion. I share with you this morning some of Maya’s thoughts on giving …