Recently, “Jimmy,” a St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Homeless Help Center guest came by to thank those who had helped him. Jimmy wanted to show his appreciation for the meals, and the laundry and the care at a time when circumstances had brought him so low – brought him to a place called homeless. Each day that the ladies served him, he thought, “I should be serving them – that was the way I was raised.” But, things were getting better, he had come into a small windfall and was moving to New Mexico where friends and opportunity called. Jimmy brought SVdP an envelope. On the envelope, which held his generous donation of $40, he wrote, “Thank you for the food, and clean clothes, bus tokens, etc. – God Bless” and “For in Jesus, in our hearts, in many ways – Amen! Pay it forward in hope!” He apologized for the note’s disjointedness and said it was hard to think and to write when you don’t get much sleep because it’s so cold. He used to think he was “all that.” Now he is happy to follow the path before him and trust in God. Jimmy said, “You have to use what you have to move out of the line.”
All were moved by Jimmy’s thankfulness. Care and gratitude create everyday miracles, illustrating the transformative power of love. In this season of thanksgiving – let’s all be grateful for what we have and especially for the kindness all around! And, let’s all remember to pay it forward in hope.