Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Sharing a Birthday with a Homeless Friend

--by Esclarmonde, posted Apr 19, 2010

I live in a big Scandinavian city that unfortunately has a lot of homeless people. Luckily there are small ways of helping them even though you may not have a lot of money.  One way to help is to buy their monthly magazine. By doing this one day,  I got to know a young homeless man who was often standing at the train station, selling the magazine.

He was a refugee from another country and I can only imagine what kind of psychological scars he must have had from living in a war-torn country, escaping it and then ending up being homeless.  After a while, I discovered that his birthday was close to mine which meant that we were born under the same sign of the Zodiac, something we talked about once in a while.

I met him last year shortly after his birthday, and without thinking, after congratulating him, I asked if he had had a good day. He looked down and said that he hadn't really celebrated. I felt so stupid.  

I just couldn't bear the thought of this nice, young man being alone on his 25th birthday with no presents, no cake, no songs, nothing! So I went home and looked in my yarn basket and as luck would have it, I had two yarn cores of pure wool left. I set to work and knitted a scarf for the young man. As the yarn had become somewhat dusty since I don't knit very often anymore, I went out and bought special detergent for the wool so the scarf would be clean when he got it.

I ran into him on my own birthday as I was going shopping. I had hoped to meet him so I had carried the scarf around with me and a piece of my own birthday cake. He was very happy with these gifts and so was I.   The light in his eyes and the heartfelt hug he gave me was the best present he could have given me!

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Readers Comments

jsmc10 wrote: This is so nice, thank you for being there for him and caring when so many others wouldn't
grace wrote: So interesting story!
AnnieJ wrote: What a sweet story!
Ithunn wrote: Very inspiring story. I may copy you one day!
rBrianna.Love wrote: If there were more people like you on this earth we wouldn't be so descructed. I mean helping out with atleast one short thing. Buy them food. Buy them a scarf. A pair of shoes. Once a day you should help at least one person.
denis khan wrote: “then he said to him who had invited him, “when you give a dinner or supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor your rich neighbors, lest they also invite your back, and you are repaid.

“but when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed and the blind.

“and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just. ” (luke14:12-14).

Sindhu wrote: Great job esclarmonde. Very kind of u. I got inspired by u. The thought that u made someone else's birthday spl on ur own birthday is simply awesome. Btw belated happy birthday to u both. Keep it up.
Laura wrote: Thanks for brightening this individuals life by your kind gesture. I am sure that it brightened a spot in his life. :)
Rebecca wrote: I am touched. Not everyone has the ability to see a need and even though some do - few actually try to fill it!

We need more poeple like you in this world! Just think what would happen if each of us found someone in need and asked them to celebrate our birthday's and other holidays with us!

God bless you!
sethi wrote: Thank you for being who you are.

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