We all see the commercials asking us to help animals and children. You know, the ones that make you cry. The ones that we sometimes turn off because we watch them and immediately feel overwhelmed. Like, what can we possibly do to help ALL those children? Or, what can we do to possibly help ALL those animals? It is overwhelming.

There was a lady named Gaby in her late twenties, walking down the street in Chicago on her way to work. This was the same street that she always took to work. On this day she saw a homeless woman sitting on the ground with a sign that read, “I am hungry. Please help.” Passing by the homeless on her way to work was something that had become ordinary to Gaby. She saw it on a daily basis so she didn’t think much of it anymore. On this particular day, Gaby felt a nudge from the universe when she walked by this one homeless lady with the sign. So, she decided to give her $100 dollars. Then she walked away.

The lady with the sign who was homeless had a name. Her name was Margaret. She had been living on the street for a little over 2 weeks now. This was her first time ever being homeless. She had left her abusive boyfriend of over 5 years. After being in the hospital for the last time due to injuries from him, she decided she wanted to live instead of die. She knew this is what was going to eventually happen to her if she didn’t leave. So one day, she left him while he ran to the gas station quick, with no money, no clothes, and no belongings except for her ID. She didn’t know where to go so she found a new home living on the streets. She had no family. She had aged out of the foster care system at the age of 18 ten years ago. She managed to get by with enough food for the last 2 weeks but was still learning every day about life on the streets. When Gaby gave her $100, she was ecstatic. She already knew what she was going to do with it.

Margaret went to get food, asked for help to find a Battered Women’s Shelter, found one, and took a taxi to get there. Once there, she was able to stay there, use the resources available to get counseling, help her get back on her feet, find employment within the facility, and get a place of her own eventually. Fast forward to 3 years later and Margaret is now an Advocate for Battered Women at this shelter, almost finished with her college degree, has a place of her own, and hits the streets every week with others to help other women who are homeless and living on the streets.

Gaby continues to walk down the street on her way to work everyday-helping others and reaching out to them whenever she can. She has no idea what that $100 did for Margaret and the ripple effect it created. Gaby has no idea how many people she has helped by giving Margaret that $100.

Don’t ever think you can’t help just one person because there are so many that need help and it is overwhelming to the point of not wanting to do anything at all. Maybe only you can help one person, but whomever you help, may help many more….because of YOU.

Love & Blessings,
Tara

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