February 22, 2001
It's been snowing here today. Most of it is supposed to be melted by tomorrow, but there's a pretty little covering of the stuff on the ground. It has been a minor disruption in the day, and some people were at home when they might have been at work or shopping. It's why I was home when someone came by looking for help.
I don't know for sure that he was telling the truth, but the story sounded plausible. Since he said he needed money for a bus ticket back to his hometown, I sent him off to the local agency that handles such requests (usually by going with the person to the station and buying the ticket for the rider).
Lest you think I doubt all hard-luck stories, let me tell one that I know is true. A few years ago, when I was working at Non-Profit Agency #1, a young man came by, asking for help to get back to a town about 150 miles away. I've forgotten some of the details, but I remember he asked for help on a day when the local agency that handles such requests was closed for some reason. So we couldn't send him there.
Since the young man specifically asked for a bus ticket from our town to where he needed to go, my boss decided it was worth the risk, and took the young man down to the local bus station, where the boss bought the ticket (with his own money). The young man said he would reimbruse the boss as soon as he could, and asked for the mailing address.
Six weeks later, the young man made good on his promise, and then some. He not only sent the money back for the bus ticket, but enclosed a donation to our agency, to say thanks to us for believing him and being willing to help.
I hope the man this afternoon found some help, too. Or at least shelter from the cold.