This I Believe

Corey - Oakland, California
Entered on December 18, 2006

I believe in helping people. This morning was one of the coldest days of the year in the Bay Area. As I drove my kids to daycare I noticed a homeless man shaking uncontrollably on a bench. He had a dirty curtain around his shoulders and a raggedy towel on his legs. I looked at him as I drove by and I felt him look directly into my eyes. I saw his intelligence and knew that some event had befallen him to put him in this position. He didn’t seem comfortable in it like many homeless in the area. As I filled my car with gas I continued to think about this man. I could see his dark eyes. I walked into the gas station with my last dollar I had saved to buy a coffee at work, bought a cup of coffee then headed back to the shaking man. I got out of my car, my children staring at me, handed the man the cup of coffee, wrapped him in a blanket from my trunk, and put my lunch for the week next to the bench. I said with tearing eyes, Merry Christmas. He looked at me, not shaking as much now and said, “thank you.” As I started to drive away I started to cry. My children asked me why I gave that man my lunch. I told them, “because he’s hungry, he’s cold, and he doesn’t have a home.” I was cold from getting out of the car but embraced the chills because I knew that the man was more cold than I. It made me sick to think that there are so many out there in similar circumstances. I wish that I could do more. I wished that I could take the man with me, warm him in my car, and offer him a clean bed. Unfortunately my family and I are barely making it financially. Every day is a struggle for us. One day it may be us on that bench wondering how we got there and thankful that someone else believes. Someone else hands us a hot cup of coffee on a cold day. I believe in people who help people.