A young man was walking down the street that I had seen before but knew he didn’t live on my street. He walked with an unsteady gait, but with determination. His clothes were modest, his hair braided in cornrows and I couldn’t help but notice his yellowing sad eyes.
I said “Good morning” which surprised him and provoked a slight smile. I said, “Where do you live?” He said he lived about 6 blocks from here, and that he helps an old man down the street running errands. The two met in dialysis a few years back. The man in his eighties “needs help with things, so I help him out,” he said.
The young man was on his way to get a hamburger because his blood sugar was low and he didn’t feel good. I asked him to wait – I wanted to give him something. I ran into the house and got one of the Masumoto peaches and handed it to him, I said, “Eat it..NOW!”
He bit into the peach, juice squirted everywhere and ran between his fingers. The smile on his face rose like the morning sun, his eyes widened as he slurped the juice taking bite after bite of his peach. Between bites all he said was “WOW!” Before he finished I ran into the house and got another peach and handed it to him. Without hesitation he devoured the second peach. I could see his energy returning as he wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his hoodie. He said he never tasted anything so delicious, especially fruit!
I told him about my produce stand on Sundays and that he deserves to have this kind of experience every time he eats a piece of fruit. He asked if I ever get grapes because he LOVES red seedless grapes! I said yes, and will have some for him this weekend. He said he couldn’t buy any this weekend because his SSI check comes on the 30th, but the following weekend. I said, “No worries, the grapes this weekend will be on the house. But now you know where I’ll be… EVERY Sunday.” He thanked me, shook my hand and carried on… perhaps thinking twice about that hamburger.
These are the reminders of why I do what I do…no matter how difficult, tired, un-profitable…DO has the intention of changing lives, of giving back. I’m humbled.