Most of the time, we never know the reasons behind why someone ends up living on the streets.
When Greg Smith, a personal trainer and sales account executive from Orlando, Florida, noticed a homeless woman outside of his office, he wondered what had happened in her life that resulted in her homelessness. Amy Joe never asked him for money, but she always had a cheery greeting for him, so one day he decided to sit down with her and find out her story.
Soon, Greg made a point to visit Amy Joe once a week. On Tuesdays, they’d have lunch and chat about their lives. He was always impressed with Amy Joe’s positive attitude.
One day, Amy Joe surprised Greg with the real reason that her life hadn’t gone as planned. He shared his story on Facebook…
Last week Amy Joe kind of dropped a bomb on me…she cannot read. Amy Joe does not smoke, drink, have a drug addiction, or anything to that nature. She simply just has never had anyone teach her how to read. She told me how hard it was for her to find work not being able to read. She began to tell me any money that she can collect she uses to check out library books that help with learning to read instead of buying FOOD. This crushed me!!! She would rather learn to read to maybe find a job then eat!!!
Greg instantly recognized that he had been called to talk with Amy Joe for a reason. From then on out, every Tuesday he’d meet Amy Joe to have lunch, and began teaching her how to read.
“I have been blessed with two amazing parents and a family that has always had resources to provide me with anything I wanted to do,” Greg explained. “Amy Joe has not. So now not only do Amy Joe and I sit and have lunch, I’m teaching her to read. I rent one library book a week and we read it together Tuesday and she practices on her own throughout the rest of the week.”
But Greg didn’t stop there.
He took her to have her hair done, bought her some new clothes, took her grocery shopping, and put her up in a hotel! They’re both hopeful that with her new skill set and fresh start, she’ll be able to get herself a job and really turn her life around.
Greg explained he doesn’t want accolades for helping Amy Joe. The only reason he shared the story is to encourage people to look for ways to help others in their daily lives.
I wanted to share this because maybe this can lead to someone helping another person. There are a lot of people out there like Amy Joe, not all are hungry, homeless, or hurt. Some could be your family or friends. Helping someone could be as easy as saying hello and smiling. I have been fortunate enough in my finances that I can take care of Amy Joe, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Sometimes, all it takes is one person to change your life forever. As Greg says, “You never know what you can do for someone until you try.”
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