“We were in line at a stop sign. She was sitting close to the stop sign holding a piece of paper. I couldn’t read what was written on her paper since we were a few cars back and not in the lane next to her, but I knew that she was asking for help.
From a distance I could tell that it had been days since she had been able to get clean, and she had a lot of items with her that would normally be left at a house. I could see her staring at the ground.
So many cars in front of us drove by her. The car next to me put their windows up.
We drove past her. I looked away and I felt shame rush over me.
My 8-year-old asked what the sign said that she was holding, and I told him that it said, ‘out of work, please help.’ My son asked me why I didn’t help.
I could have said that we didn’t have the time, that we don’t know what she would do with money, or that we can’t help everyone. .
Instead I turned the car around.
I parked a few feet away and asked the boys what we could share with the young woman. We decided baby wipes, a blanket, some crackers, a bottle of water, and 2 $1 bills that we found in the car.
I don’t know her story and I may never know her story. I don’t know what she will do with the items. But my children believe she will use the items to help her get back on her feet.
Today we helped someone in need, but I also showed my children that it is beautiful to help others and they are the ones that can change our world.
I’m not asking you to do the same. I’m asking to just look beyond what you physically see. You may see dirt and eyes staring at the ground, but inside there could be a beautiful heart and soul. You could be helping somebody who is most likely not happy with their place in the world right now. You could be making their road back to independent life a little easier.”
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