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 Post subject: Fifteen Dollars
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:03 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
Posts: 1298
What does $15 mean to you?

Is it gas for the morning commute, hourly wage, or maybe a bite to eat at your favorite diner? Now, I am by no means rich or will I ever be, but before today $15 was pocket change, a day's lunch or just a sign I needed to go to the ATM.

It was a normal day at work in metro Detroit, my work as an Abatement contractor requires local travel to which I see many diverse cultures and communities. I see it all from the most run down to the richest areas and everything in between. In recent times there has been an influx of panhandling to areas where it's not normally found, smart really, moving in to an area of more wealth is always better for business. Unfortunately, it can be seen in most there is a drug or alcohol problem that has driven them to this way of life and no matter how much you want to you must be thick skinned and not contribute to one's self destruction. I'm sure if you live near a big city you can relate.

It was an early day today, had to remediate some mold in an attic and it get's dangerously hot by Noon so we start early when it cooler. After a morning of complaining about our jobs and how hot and dirty the work was we packed up and headed home to prep for a new day. We were in a nicer area and on the way to the highway while waiting at the stop light I noticed an older man standing by the side of the road. I was caught off guard because he was wearing a striped suit and an American flag tie yet holding a white sign with black hand written words. He was too old and too nicely dressed to be panhandling but the sign read "US Navy VET" and some other words that I failed to read. I knew something was different here but the light turned green and the traffic was starting to flow so I had no choice but to go. I was turning so I looped into the parking lot next to the road he was standing by but realized that I only had $6 in my wallet, my brother sitting next to me was reaching for the little bit of cash he had on had and together it totaled $15. I almost felt ashamed that I had such a small amount of cash to give to this man but felt compelled to do something. As I approached he turned to me and extended his hand greeting me with a handshake, he told me he was waiting for his VA benefits to start back up on the 1st but had to do something until then. I handed him the $15 and said it's not much but hopefully it will help. He instantly said "this is a lot of money, are you sure?" I almost didn't know what to say, I was choked up and half crying but said "please take it". There was no shame in this mans eyes, it was all gratitude and determination, he told me he could feed his family (probably him and his wife) for 5 days with this money. 5 Days? I thought to myself, I can hardly make it half a day on $15 and here I have given this man 5 days without worry of where his next meal will come from?

We spoke for a moment more before I headed back to the truck, with emotions running high and a thousand thoughts flowing through my head I broke down when I reached the driver seat. I cried like a baby, surging with anger and confusion as to how this could happen. This man has done everything right, served his country and only asked to be taken care of as promised by the government he risked his life for.

I couldn't stop thinking of the measly $15, I couldn't stop thinking of how I take for granted what I have and how small my problems really are. I realized I could probably make do with a lot less.

So I end it here with my small story of a man who probably changed my life as much as I changed his, all for $15 and 2 minutes of my time.


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 Post subject: Re: Fifteen Dollars
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 3368
Great story Jason. In my opinion, God had a hand in this encounter, in your reaction, and in the change it made in you and your brother. It's really a humbling experience to see how others often make it through life with far less that do we. Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: Fifteen Dollars
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:12 am 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
Posts: 1298
Thanks Steve,

It was definitely a humbling experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Fifteen Dollars
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:44 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Miami, FL
That's is a powerful story Jason....it is hard to fathom how so little, not that it wasn't a very generous gesture, can make such a large impact. You and your brother were certainly heroes on that day.



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 Post subject: Re: Fifteen Dollars
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:15 am
Posts: 149
"Hands that give, will NEVER be empty"

Well done Jason :)


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 Post subject: Re: Fifteen Dollars
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:52 pm 

Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 12:29 am
Posts: 1298
ECCR wrote:"Hands that give, will NEVER be empty"

Well done Jason :)


Thank you,

I like that.


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