In February, I wrote a column thanking the many company presidents, friends, and industry supporters and vendors for contributing to help Detective George Bender, a 9/11 hero. After I shared an email with George Bender’s wife, Kristie, from a contributor thanking her husband George for the work he and others do on behalf of the rest of us, Kristie wrote: “Wow. That’s incredible. You and all these people are helping us and thanking George. Neither George or I realized that people care and appreciate just how much his life and that of his family got turned upside down. We really thought no one cared. You have shown us that people do care and people like you exist.”
In my previous column, I also asked readers to share their own uplifting stories by emailing me at email@example.com. It’s important to acknowledge what we all know deep down in our hearts: Most people do care about other people, and on a daily basis so many people make a difference in the lives of others.
In fact, I’m proud to share another amazing story, this time from Kathi Markou at Odyssey Limo. Bless your soul Kathi, and your amazing Shore Tower neighbors!
It was the dead of winter and so terribly cold, so we did a collaborative fundraiser for the poor – “we” being the residents at my building, comprised of 400+ condos. Together, we donated food, money, clothing, shoes, backpacks and sleeping bags for the homeless. We worked with a local church group and toured the city with seven SUVs, stopping at “tent cities” where many of the homeless reside. We made seven stops, feeding people hot meals donated by Rocco from L’Incontro (25 trays of pasta), as well as many dishes cooked by several residents (50 lbs of beef, 50 gallons of minestrone soup, salads, desserts etc…).
We also collected over 1000 lbs of clothing, and bought a lot of new clothes, too. With the money raised, we purchased 50 pairs of new jeans, 50 pairs of boots, 50 jackets, socks, new underwear and back packs.
It was rewarding beyond words to meet so many gracious people. Everyone had a story of their own to share. They were not alcoholics or drug addicts… they were just poor. I’ve learned so much from them. We made a difference in their lives and they made a difference in ours.
Now, not a day goes by that I don’t think about the homeless and less fortunate. I am proud to say that we collected and distributed 70 more coats in February, and our fundraisings efforts at Shore Towers are going to continue indefinitely. I am deeply honored to be part of this.
It’s heartwarming to know that there are so many people that really do care, and I would again like to urge anyone who has a story to share to email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.