RAmused: #RAndomAoK 31

RAndomAoK #31

August 21st

In honor of Richard Armitage’s birthday, I made a donation to Cybersmiles Foundation, but because I believe in acting locally, I also pledged to give to Michael, a homeless man who lives near my school. The first part was easy, the second, more difficult because Michael isn’t always at his usual corner.

A bit about Michael. He is a regular near the cemetery on Las Vegas Boulevard North. There are lots of homeless people camping on the edges of this particular cemetery, but Michael is the one I have come to know the best. He looks like he is in his thirties, but he may be younger because life on the streets ages people.  He is a rangy man with wild sandy brown hair. I believe he has mental health issues. When he is lucid, he is normal and when he is not, he stalks that corner having furious conversations with the voices in his head. I wish I were equipped to do more to help him (well, all of them actually), but I don’t have the skills or resources. I do what I can.

Yesterday after work, I was in luck. The light was red, the tailgater behind me had to cool his heels, and Michael was just walking up to the corner on the other side of the street. I waved him over I handed him the 45 dollars (Sorry, Richard. I just feel weird about handing someone $44.44. Digging out four pennies at a stop light just isn’t going to happen. I’ll call that extra .66 cents a down payment on another year of excellent performances from you). Michael looked at it in disbelief and smiled. As he walked back to the other side of the street, he threw down the paper sign he carried and did a fist pump in the air.  Have you seen the movie “The Breakfast Club”? If you have, you know the moment. That made me smile.

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16 thoughts on “RAmused: #RAndomAoK 31

  1. Thank you, Yve. Sometimes it feels wierd sharing this sort of thing, but that moment when he did the fist thing still makes me smile. Sadly, he’s back on the corner with his sign.

    I wish I was rich. If I were in the 1% I would never behave like I was *of* the 1%.

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  2. Indeed. I still kind of have a thing for Bender. He looks a bit like Chop, doesn’t he?

    Thirty years. Damn. I’m watching Last of the Mohicans . That was twenty years ago. I don’t feel like I’ve been alive as long as I have.

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  3. I think it really did. I’m thinking maybe I should set aside twenty dollars a pay check and give it to him right before Christmas so that maybe he can afford an actual room for a couple of nights. I’d like to think that he could get out of the cold when the weather turns its most bitter.

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  4. This was inspiring. This is one of the hardest kind of gifts to make, I think — person to person, in a situation where so many questions remain unanswered, without asking yourself what the gift will be used for or worrying about “expectations” and so on. The difficulties inherent in this situation are one reason we prefer to give to big charities and abdicate the responsibility for this kind of decisionmaking and avoid the potential negative ramifications of this kind of gift. Good for you. NO FEAR. I was impressed.

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  5. Ha, I hit the big 50 last month and I keep reading of people from my childhood dying. Recently it was Batgirl and the girl from F Troop. Yes, Chop and Bender r the rough around the edges guys. I too kept my money local and it went to my son’s school. He attends a non-public school that serves kids on the high end of the autism spectrum. This school is there for those kids who have a hard time in a regular public school for many reasons. The school is able to adjust teaching strategies, they do not suspend kids, and they have various therapists on staff to handle whatever the kid is struggling with at school or home. On RA’s birthday they held an open house of the new location as they needed to expand because of a waiting list. In keeping with his theme of helping kids, I wanted to pay it forward so another kid can benefit from this school.

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