I am having that day today. That day when something BIG happened, something significant, something you will just never, ever forget.
Here’s why. A colleague, Jonathan, at my office share is co-founder of a start-up called Givesafe that is building an app for people to donate to the homeless safely. The homeless get a fob, called a beacon, and wear it. When you are within 500 or so yards from the person with the fob, and have the app installed on your phone, you will be alerted. You’ll see a photo of the person and a brief story about them. If you choose to donate, you can do so with the touch of a button, safely, from a distance. But wait, the best part is that when you donate, you can be sure the money will go to good use. The funds on the fob can only be used with approved partner vendors, for things like hair cuts, food, clothing, necessities. The donor can be sure it won’t go for things like drugs, alchohol, etc. I was approached about being a job coach, helping people find jobs, and quickly signed on to join the team.
Yesterday, I was introduced via text, to Shawn, a young man who’s been homeless over a year. All he wants is a job to save some money. I met with Shawn this morning, gave him a couple cups of coffee from the office kitchen, which he truly appreciated. In his words, “I haven’t had a good cup of coffee like this for a long time”. We located some job openings at the local baseball stadium, a short walk away. I called to ensure there were openings. I also directed Shawn to Goodwill, where he might find work and/or training. I then walked him outside, showed him the way to the stadium, gave him a hug, prayed, and waited. I thought about him all day. Did he get a job? Would he continue to be homeless? Would he be ok? This man, this bright young man, a former member of the military with plenty of work history, somehow found himself homeless in Seattle. He just wants to save some money, get some basic necessities, and then pay it forward.
This afternoon, while riding home on the bus, I received an email from Shawn. He applied, and got, the job at the baseball field! I shouted with joy (my fellow bus riders thought I was a little strange), said a quick prayer and felt tears welling up in my eyes. Never in my life, have I felt such a tangible feeling of making a difference in someone’s life. I still don’t know how to describe this feeling. I do know, of all the hundreds of people I have coached through the job process, this is the most meaningful. Jonathan, GiveSafe, the people who donated money, and my simple gesture this morning, changed Shawn’s life. No, I will never forget this day. I know it.