Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Hiker Joe and The Circle Of Life

--by joyjoy, posted Jun 6, 2008

I work in a bank and have lovely relationships with many of the customers.  Its not one of those banks with long lines -- its the kind of bank when you walk in, everyone says hi, we know when your husband has surgery, or the grandkids are coming for the weekend, we know your name and speak like friends. 

One of my customers in his 70's owns and runs a barber school in East Baltimore.  He is connected with several nonprofits and I have 2 nonprofits of my own - we are like kindred spirits! 

One days, he said to me that I really had to meet his niece in Florida -- Dee.  The next day Dee called me and we talked about her projects of gathering blankets for the homeless and pitching in the community wherever there is need.   We spoke for over an hour and found out how much we have in common!  

It turns out that her blanket program is growing in leaps and bounds and has a man traveling the country to deliver blankets and organize bread donations from around the country.  And on that day, he was on his way to Baltimore that day.

This man, Hiker Joe, stays wherever place is offered and didn't have an offering for that night.  I quickly seized the opportunity!  My husband travels a lot for work and has quite an accumulation of "points" for different hotel chains; so we made a few calls and within 1 hour, Holiday Inn agreed to allow us to use what points we had (which was not enough for the 2 nights needed) and Holiday Inn comped the rest of the points! 

'Hiker Joe' called and was very thankful for the room.  He then continued to Baltimore City to give out the blankets to the homeless.  He also set up a weekly pick up program with Panera Bread in Baltimore and now every Thursday evening Panera Bread will be giving us the bread, bagels and sweets they have not sold during the day to distribute to the homeless.

How beautiful can life be, when each person goes their little bit to seize the opportunity of service!   And the next time you walk in a bank, just remember what can come from one connection with one person!

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Readers Comments

Sunshine wrote: So moving! Fantastic!
Grammagussie wrote: Loved your story. My church did the same thing with coats and passed them on to the police department to hand out to the homeless in the winter.
starbrite wrote: Such an inspiring and uplifting story. A kind act just keeps going and growing. Thank you for sharing. ~StarBrite
Hiker Joe wrote: Joy,
I am still grateful for your kindness in making my trip to Baltimore happen. I often think of my new friends I found living on the streets of Baltimore. John, Darryl, Dwayne, Renel, and Morris are always in my prayers and I hope the opportunity will soon come where I will be able to help them and others find their dreams. So much of our lives seem to be wasted in waiting for the right moment and I’m thankful you did not hesitate to help me. I hope to be back on the road in the fall exploring our great country and finding those who can still dream even when they find themselves living day to day on our streets.

Thank you for all you do to help others.

Hiker Joe
ComedyTragedy wrote: And that is the why we Should eat at Panera Bread and Sleep at Holiday Inns!!!!
Maumauc wrote: Passing it on, spreading it around, reaching out - such loving deeds when done in His name. Keep up the good work dear sister, sounds like He has you well connected in life. agape'
aurelia wrote: Amazing ... By the grace of God we will join together and make this world a better place! Your story is testimony to that! :0) ~Aurelia
PHSteacher wrote: This is quite a story. My dream is to some day be able to be something this momumental.
irongrace wrote: totally amazing. we need more people like you.
perseverance wrote: what a great networking it was.In this world we do not know who will help you.That is decided by HIM. You have to be good and you get the help all the time.Great one Thanks

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