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Hard Times=Desperate Measures

Helping Strangers

Hard Times=Desperate Measures
Photo by Benji Aird on Unsplash

As I, a single mother waited in the waiting room at the Job and Family services office where I had been waiting for hours with my little girl to apply for some kind of help. I sat and watched as many people came in and waited with me for the next available social worker. One family that came in that day caught my attention. I had heard them ask the lady at the front desk if they were in the right place to recieve benefits for themselves and they're new baby, which they had in a stroller and they explained was only a week old. They were new parents and they were in need of the assistance they were looking for. However, this family lived on a county line and the previous office they had went to directed them to this office. The lady gave them forms to fill out but when they returned to her desk they despaired as she told them they were once again in the wrong office. They needed to go to another office. The new parents exclaimed they had already been there and they were sent here and they were running out of formula for their new infant. They needed help. With the mother hysterically crying and the father trying to console her, they pushed the stroller out the glass doors that led to the elevators. I had just received my tax return and had a couple hundred dollars left after paying my rent and other bills. I quickly gathered my things and ran out the glass doors and met them at the elevators. I asked them to please stop and explained that I had overheard the conversation that just occurred between them and the receptionist. I told them that I wanted to help to get them the formula they needed for their baby and some diapers and maybe some other things that could help them until they figured out where they needed to go. I do not drive due to medical reasons and these folks took a bus to get here. So I pulled out my checkbook and I wrote them a check for $150 dollars. I told them that I did not expect anything for this. All I wanted was for them to do it for someone else someday, kind of a pay-it-forward kind of deal. They asked if I wanted their information so they could pay me back or maybe text me a picture of the receipt of what they had bought. I said it was not necessary, the money was now in their hands and for their babies sake I believe they would do the right thing. I said my goodbyes and I returned to my waiting area. I hope one day the deed is passed along and they remember the day someone helped them and they do the same.

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Barbara Lee
See all posts by Barbara Lee