Gift Cards for Mandy

The other day I needed to go pick something up at Rite Aid, by work.  I was on my way to meet a Lecture group, who was interested in my speaking.  I needed make up.  I needed a cab.  Both could be gotten in/near that location.

I ran in, not thinking about anything, but when I came out, I saw someone I thought I’d never see again… Mandy.

“Mandy?” I asked, confused.  When last I had seen her, she was happy, she was clean and clothed and fed.  She had a man with her, and I remembered being worried for her.  But, I never thought I’d see her again.

She looked up, and we talked for a bit.  I’ll admit I was running late and really didn’t have the time to put into the conversation.  But, I stayed long enough for her to explain that she had gotten a job, but the person she was working for had gone into the hospital, and had not called her back since.   She hadn’t heard from anyone again.  So, she was back here.

I freaked!  Where had she been living? – I asked.  The weather wasn’t as brutal as, say, Boston, but it wasn’t exactly mild either.  She told me she went to her place in the park.

I looked her over.  Somewhere along the line, someone had given her a jacket and slacks.  And, now, she sat with a young man.  He was polite, but definitely protective, and – of course – I was suspect. She calmed him down, and I told her I had to go.  But, she stayed in my mind.

Today I bought her a $10 gift card to Burger King.  Thinking that she could get a few meals with it – albeit not healthy ones – I opted there over the other places that Rite Aid was selling gift cards to.  I knew the Burger King right near her had closed, but though there were others.  Nope, they’ve closed too.

Epic fail.  Cruel epic fail.  Basically, I told her, “Here’s a card for food that you can’t get and I spent money on rather than giving it straight to you.”  As I’ve stated here before, I don’t give straight money.

My own work situation is precarious at best.  I can’t afford to simply gift out $10 at a time.  I wish I could, but that’s just not the case.  I need to save for my future, and I need to pay my bills now.

This is why I reach out to you – and everyone else who might be interested.  I have started a Go Fund Me called Gift Cards for Mandy: http://www.gofundme.com/GiftCardsforMandy.

I hope that people will find it in their hearts to donate a little to help this woman who has somehow stolen a piece of my heart.

Thank you.

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