I woke up this morning not wanting to drag myself out of bed because I was sleepy, and it looked like it was freezing outside. In other words, I did not want to start my day. Today I helped out my friend film and strolled around Michigan Ave. to do some shopping. I was walking back to the train, and noticed the man I have seen three times in the last month – he pushes himself around with a walker and has a sign that says “Retired Veteran. Homeless – Please pray for me and God Bless.”
So why am I on a mission to find shoes? Well, he walks around with cardboard on his feet, with tape to hold it down and some cloth to cover his toes. Everyday in the city I see people asking for money, whether that is on the street or trains. One time no one gave the guy anything and he yelled, “f**k all of you on this train,” and walked off. Let’s just say, he was clearly not homeless. This guy by Water Tower is so different. I have never once seen him ask for money, his sign doesn’t even ask for help, he just asks that people pray for him.
I didn’t have any cash on me so I kept walking to the train, then found a 5 in between my books. I kept thinking about how cold I was at that moment, turned around and went to go find him. I came up to him and gave him the money, and asked, “Can I ask you something? What size shoe are you?” he said “ten” so quietly, I could barely hear him. I responded with, “well, are you always around this area?” he nodded, and I said, “well, I am going home this weekend, and I know that my family and friends have some shoes that will fit you. I’m going to find you next week, I promise.” His eyes began to water and he smiled. This honestly almost made me cry.
I posted things on twitter and facebook, and already have six shoes that will be donated. As I said on facebook, I want to overwhelm him to the point where he needs a shoerack.
It felt good to give back, and it was time to head home. I was walking to the train (I was on Michigan Ave, walked about three blocks) then my phone started to ring so I stopped. I was on the phone and looked down on the ground and there was money folded up by my feet. It was $2.00. I don’t know how no one picked that up on the busiest street in Chicago, but I swear, it felt like God was just giving back some of what I gave to the man.
It’s little things like this that makes me stop and think how good I really do have it. We take things for granted and fail to realize that it could be worst. As much as people say this, I’m going to say it anyway.. we should really follow the golden rule and treat others the way you would want to be treated.
I will keep you guys posted when I visit him – He is going to be in shock, and will probably think I am crazy or robbed a shoe store.