Everyone Has A Story

The other day I was waiting for a friend outside at my local Starbucks. As I was standing there, I noticed a woman sitting on a low brick wall. She looked to be in her seventies. She was bundled up in a couple of coats, her head was down. She had two small plastic bags next to her on the ground. I assumed that was all of her belongings in those bags. I felt the need to talk to her.

I said hello. She lifted her head and said hi. She then apologized and said she was not having a good day. I asked if I could get her something at Starbucks. At first, she said no. I could tell she was processing what I said. I honestly don’t know how many people go out of their way to talk to someone who is obviously struggling. After a couple of minutes, she said, well, maybe a Frappuccino of some sort.

I ordered the drink and brought it out to her. She smiled and said, “Thank You So Much.” I know it was a small gesture, but I hoped having the delicious drink just might brighten her day for just a few minutes. We didn’t say much more to each other. I didn’t want to pry and ask questions, but I couldn’t help but wonder what her story was.

Over my time with Volunteer Network OC, I have had the pleasure to meet and talk to many of our homeless neighbors. I say pleasure, because so many are wonderful to talk to. Some share their stories. Others just want to talk about current events, which they are very up-to-date on. Some just need someone to listen. We also are so blessed to be able to distribute socks, food, hats and much more each month. Nothing is taken without a “May I” and a “Thank You.”

When I left Starbucks later that day, I couldn’t help but think about the woman I had met. I was thinking about her life when she was young. When she was in her twenties, it would have been during the time of hippies, Flower Power, The Brady Bunch and Woodstock. I wonder if she had a family. Was she a mom? A grandma? Maybe one day I’ll see her again and she will share her story with me. Maybe not, but for just a few minutes, I was able to get a smile from someone who probably doesn’t smile much. There is peace in that.

Would you like to touch someone’s life? You can help by volunteering. Please download our free app on Google Play or the App Store, register, search events and with one click, you’re ready to volunteer. Thank you for volunteering. #volunteeringmadeeasy

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone” ~Shannon L. Alder