Tears of Gratitude

Brianne Sweeney / February 14, 2019

I’m only in my office 1-2 days week. On the other days, I’m in the community seeing my Veterans in their homes. That might be their own place, their mom’s garage, a Board & Care… We don’t have any homeless Veterans in our program, but my job takes me to some less than desirable neighborhoods.

And today. The rain. The cold. The wind. I stopped in at a CVS and bought some umbrellas and ponchos. I also bought some dog food and a bowl because one particularly kind looking man was trying to keep his dog dry rather than himself.

I then stopped at Jack-In-The Box and bought some gift cards and coffee. The cashier inquired, so I told her about Blake. And she teared up, promising to do #gooddeedsforblake, too.

I went to deliver these items to people huddling in doorways and covered in large trash bags, trying to protect their belongings in their shopping carts. And I told Blake’s story to the people surprised by the kindness of a stranger. They, too promised to do their best to help someone more needy than themselves.

As I handed the last coffee and gift card to an older woman and told her Blake’s story, she asked me for a favor. The cynical mind may wonder how she could possibly ask a favor a someone who had just given her food and drink. She told me that there was a woman down the street who needed these gifts more than she did. Would I mind giving them to her?

And so I did. And I told her Blake’s story. And the story of her friend’s gift to her. She shivered as she drank her coffee and cried.

I had another client in the area and so went on about my day. I made my home visit and drove back toward the freeway when I saw it. I saw someone with so little giving so much. The older woman was walking with an even older woman towards the Jack-In-The-Box. She waved me over and explained that her new friend hadn’t eaten in 2 days and they were going to Jack-In-The-Box to get a warm lunch.

My first job in San Diego was with The Homeless Outreach Team, so I was able to share resources about housing and benefits, temporary shelters, and physical and mental health services.

Dear sweet Blake, you have made the world a better place. Thank you!

#forblake #gooddeedsforblake #tearsofgratitude

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