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.