About 6 years ago, Dale (not his real name) found himself without a job and in need of some extra help. So, he came to Bethesda Mission, not for shelter or recovery, but just for some guidance.
After helping out and doing some community service, Dale was able to find a job working construction. But there was one condition. He needed to wear steel-toed shoes. This was certainly a reasonable request, but for someone who has been out of work for a while, that was an impossible purchase! So, Dale decided to take his chances and ask if Bethesda could help.
Dale had made an impression on a number of staff members – mostly because of his resourcefulness and his free-spirited personality. Recognizing the need, Chuck Wingate decided to take him shopping for shoes.
After some negotiating, the shoe store decided to generously offer a discount. Bethesda was able to purchase boots for Dale at a reasonable price, allowing him to go back to work!
About a month ago in 2013, Dale stopped by Bethesda’s offices unannounced carrying an odd looking gift: An old, worn out boot, filled with dirt, and a beautiful plant growing out of it! Heading straight for Chuck’s office, Dale announced that those old boots that we bought for him 6 years ago had finally worn out and he had brought one of them back. He is now able to buy his own replacement shoes, but Dale wanted to say “thank you” in his own creative way.
The shoe-turned-planter now sits proudly in Chuck’s office – a reminder that something as simple as shoes can make a great difference in one person’s life.
Do you have a similar story of a simple act of kindness to share? Leave it in the comments section below.