Tag Archive | homeless

Man Offers His House to Homeless Family for a Year


Tony TolbertBy Lee Cowan

(CBS News) For most parents, when a child leaves the nest it’s usually for good. But at age 51, Tony Tolbert has come home again. And it’s for all the right reasons — or so says his mom.

“He is so giving, and he’s always been that way,” said Marie Tolbert.

Tony grew up in a home that always seemed to have a spare bed — thanks to his father – Jimmy Tolbert.

An entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, Tolbert’s dad extended a hand to almost anyone down on their luck. In fact, Tolbert can’t remember a time there wasn’t someone extra living in their house — and that gave the Harvard-educated attorney an idea.

He decided to take his dad’s generosity one step further.

He announced he was moving back home, because he was giving up his own fully furnished L.A. home, rent free, for a full year  — to a family he’d never even met.

“You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah,” Tolbert said. “We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.”

But to whom? Tolbert sought out a shelter for homeless women and children called Alexandria House. It was there he found Felicia Dukes.

Needless to say, she couldn’t believe the offer when she heard it.

“They had a young man that wanted to donate their house to you for a year,” Dukes recounted. “And I’m looking at her, like, what? Like — Are you serious?”

Dukes had been sharing a single room at the shelter with three of her children. But it was for kids only and her older son couldn’t join them. So not only was the family homeless and broke, but separated.

Until the boxes arrived at Duke’s new home — Tolbert’s old one. And shortly after the boxes, her son showed up too.

“My heart just fills up and stuff, um….I’m just really happy,” Dukes said tearfully.

And those weren’t the only tears of joy.

Tolbert also became emotional when he talked about the life lessons he learned from his father, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love,” he said. “And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world.”

Not a bad thought to begin the new year.

source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57561565/man-offers-his-house-to-homeless-family-for-a-year/

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Thank you and many blessings.

 

High School Student Overcomes Hunger and Homelessness to Graduate


By Bernard Watson

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) –

Frederick Dukes may be a teenager, but he is wise beyond his years.

“A lot of people talk about doing things, but you can’t talk about it. You can’t think about it. You can only just go and do it,” said Dukes, a senior at Washington Senior Academy.

For the last two years Dukes has been homeless and often hungry.

“I’m still a high school student. Even though I am dealing with the hardships of adults, I am still a young man and teenager at the moment in time,” Dukes said.

When Duke’s stepmom moved back to North Carolina, he decided to stay in Atlanta.

He said that meant living the life of a nomad.

Friends and later faculty have helped, but it hasn’t always been enough.

“My lowest moment over the last two years was this Christmas break when it was cold and I didn’t have anywhere to stay,” said Dukes.

Despite all the hardships, Dukes will graduate from one of the top schools in the state.

“I knew if I didn’t stay on myself, nobody would. If I didn’t care, nobody else would care. If I didn’t help myself, nobody else would help me,” said Dukes.

“It’s pretty amazing when students go back and reflect and pretty much talk about who inspires them, but students like Frederick Dukes inspire me,” said Tiauna Crooms, the principal of Washington Senior Academy.

“Your environment is not what makes you. Who you are is what you do and the decisions you make is what makes you who you are,” Dukes said.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

source (and video): http://www.wafb.com/story/18312118/high-school-student-overcomes-hunger-and-homelessness-to-graduate

Second Chance with a Golden Voice


This is such a heartwarming story. I feel so happy for this man being given a second chance to live out his dreams. He seems so grateful for the opportunity that was given to him by a stranger.

Two things can be learned from this story:  One – we all need to take the chance and lend a helping hand to others. You never know when a simple gesture can change someones life. Two –  even when you’re at your lowest point, keep the faith and keep going. Things can turn around for the better when you least expect them to.

Ted Williams Today Show Interview

Ted is reunited with his mother after 10 years

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/07/2011-01-07_ted_williams_man_with_golden_voice_and_mother_reunite_on_today_mom_says_dont_dis.html?r=news

Struggling Single Mom Wins Lottery Jackpot


REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Once-broke single mom Garina Fearon wears a $54 million smile yesterday. photo by:William Farrington

She’s been homeless, bankrupt, a robbery victim and assaulted on the job — but radiant Rikers Island guard Garina Fearon now has 54 million glorious reasons to start living la dolce vita.

The 34-year-old single mom from East New York, Brooklyn, who has endured a lifetime of hardship and poverty, told The Post she’s the mystery winner of last Friday’s Mega Millions drawing.

“I wanted a better life. I was struggling as a single parent,” a beaming Fearon said yesterday. “I’ve really come back from nothing.”

She never imagined such joy was possible when she was down to her last $25 six years ago and forced to file for bankruptcy.

Hard times struck again two years later, when burglars robbed her apart ment while she was at work guarding dangerous inmates.

Fearon, who spent part of her youth in a homeless shelter with no stable family, went on to endure sickening abuse from the monsters in her care.

“She’s had feces thrown in her face and on her uniform in the years that she’s been there,” said a fellow jail guard. “She’s a tough young lady.”

How she won is as remarkable as her change of fortune.

Fearon said she bought the wrong ticket at a Sutter Avenue bodega, where she went to play Powerball, not Mega Millions.

“I only play every six months or so,” said Fearon, who has a 16-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter.

She held on to the ticket all weekend, and didn’t think about it until Monday, when she asked a co-worker for a newspaper. She scribbled the winning numbers on the back of an inmate pass as her shift ended.

As she waited for the bus, she made the amazing discovery.

“I was about to fold up the lottery ticket,” Fearon said. “Then I saw the numbers, and I started running from one part of the parking lot to the other screaming.”

She still hasn’t come down from her high.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said. “It’s something unexpected.”

The first thing on her “to-do” list was to talk to supervisors at the Correction Department. She said she feels too loyal to the job to let it go, even with all that money coming her way.

“I’m going to go to my job to get some days off,” Fearon said. “I don’t want to resign.”

Fearon said it was her correction career that rescued her from her financial ruin.

Her top priority is taking care of her ailing mom.

“I’m from Jamaica,” Fearon said. “I have a sick mother. She has diabetes, and I’m going to buy my mom a house in Jamaica.”

Fearon said she will take the lump-sum option, which will pay her about $30 million before taxes. Beyond that, she’s not sure what she’ll do next.

“I don’t know anything about all this kind of money,” she said.

source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/gilded_cage_for_jail_guard_YfbhNwgqc0ICMGZHedBeYO

Reunion with an AmEx angel – Random Act of Kindness


THANKFUL:Jay Valentine returns yesterday to the spot where he was lent a credit card by Merrie Harris.

A Manhattan homeless man had an emotional reunion yesterday with the kindhearted ad executive who lent him her American Express Platinum Card outside a SoHo restaurant, in what became a shining act of generosity, trust and honesty.

“I didn’t have to thank him. I trusted him all along,” said Merrie Harris, 45, as she hugged Jay Valentine, 32, outside La Esquina on Kenmare Street.

Harris lent her card to Valentine there Monday after he asked her for change. Most people who witnessed the act of extreme generosity doubted he would ever come back. But a short time later, he returned with the card, stunning many and earning Valentine the title of Most Honest Homeless Man in the City.

“What he did was no surprise to me,” Harris said yesterday. “People keep telling me, ‘Why would you talk to him and trust him?’ But are we only supposed to trust people we know? What would Bernie Madoff’s friends be saying?”

Valentine told The Post that he was surprised to be handed the card, but he never thought to take advantage of Harris’ generosity.

“I wasn’t tempted at all,” said the 32-year-old Brooklyn native. “She trusted me, and I didn’t want to violate that trust. I would never do that.”

Valentine said he has been homeless for a few years, since he lost his job at a real-estate company that had allowed him to sleep in the office. He said he now spends his nights in an Internet cafe whose staff allows him to sleep on their chairs. He said he was hungry and low on cash on Monday when he saw Harris standing with friends outside the restaurant.

“I asked her for change and told her I wasn’t working,” he said.

“She said she only had a card. She said, ‘Can I trust you?’ I said, ‘I’m honest, yes.’

“I went and bought a few things and came back and gave her her credit card back, and everybody was surprised.

“I said thanks for trusting me. I guess she had a good sense of judgment. She knew I was trustworthy.”

Valentine said he bought deodorant, body wash, a pack of Nat Sherman cigarettes and Vitaminwater. It all cost about $25, he said.

“She was really lucky it was me she ran into” and not someone who would have stolen the card, Valentine said. “I was really in need. I only had a couple of dollars on me.”

“It sets a good example that people in need — like I am or worse — can and should be trusted,” he said. “Everybody in the restaurant was surprised. They probably thought I would run off with the card.”

source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/reunion_with_amex_angel_dFCLsWzzXEj2mwhFn6g2IJ