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Pay It Forward

I walked into a McDonald’s to grab a quick bite, and I wasn’t expecting to see a couple in front of me asking management for a possible free meal. They weren’t getting very far, and I started talking to the man, who had told me that he had lost his job and he was currently having no luck finding a new one, and that he was very scared because he didn’t know how he was going to be able to provide for his wife and kids. I instantly empathized and then some. I have been jobless and homeless, luckily without the added stress of having kids on top of that. Thankfully I always had friends or family that would let me stay with them while I got back on my feet.
I decided that I would buy them a meal, and some extra burgers and fries. It was only twenty bucks and that wasn’t going to break the bank. So I did, and it felt really good because I was able to help someone, like there was always someone there to help me when I needed it. Being able to pay it forward, even if you aren’t paying the person who helped you back directly, is a profound thing because it isn’t about paybacks and debts; quite contrary, anyone who truly lends a helping hand only expects you to do the same if someone else truly needs it.

Stephen “Jeeves” Asbach, California

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The Pool and The caregiver

I used to have an older client as a caregiver, who wanted to participate in the special Olympics. He specifically wanted to swim but, sadly didn’t have many people volunteer to help him practice. At first he was a little frightened of being in the water but ended up loving it after practicing and becoming comfortable.
He had a great time during the actual race and was smiling the entire time. There was a lot of people there cheering him on, they even made shirts for him to show their support. He couldn’t stop talking about the event for weeks. Although it was part of my job, it felt rewarding to help someone who unfortunately was unable to help themselves do something they enjoy. It was heartwarming to see him set a goal for himself and have a community of people help him reach it.

Megan Kesler Helena, Montana

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The Man, Wheelchair, Bottle and Bible

I was walking home from work one day when I saw a man in a wheelchair trying to get across the street. I asked him if he needed some help, and he said yes. As I was wheeling him through the crosswalk, I noticed he had been drinking a lot. We started talking, and he broke down crying, revealing his son had passed in a car accident.
At the time, I always kept a small Bible in my backpack, so I shared a couple verses with the gentleman from Revelation 21 verses three and four and John chapter five and verses twenty-eight and twenty-nine about Jehovah’s promise for the dead. We talked a little more, and I asked if I could check in on him after leaving him at his apartment and he agreed.
I stopped by the next day and found him at home, and he told me: “I want to thank you. I was going to kill myself last night, but what you shared with me really helped.”
I was happy that the love and hope that the Lord Jehovah bestows upon us is able to pull us out of our darkest moments. I was happy that I had run into him the way I did and that somehow it was the thing that he needed then and there. I checked in on him many more times to make sure he was still doing okay, but eventually I lost contact with him and I still think about him and pray that he is well.

Andre Gurule, Reno Nevada

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The Lone Man By the Highway

One time, me and a group of friends decided to take a trip to Missoula to hit up the mall. When we got there, I saw an old man sitting by the on ramp entrance of the freeway, with a help needed sign. It was ninety degrees outside and I was saddened because it appeared like nobody else who passed him by would even acknowledge him. I pulled up beside him and rolled down my window and he approached the vehicle and graciously accepted the twenty dollar bill I had to spare. I will never forget how excited he looked and I always hoped that I was not the only one all day or maybe in hours who had shown some compassion and care towards him. With any luck that twenty dollars helped him a lot.

Brandon Eury, Helena Montana

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An Empathetic Hand

A young woman I was in love with for years was sexually abused when she was young. When the time came to help her power through that, I did. Her mom had still been married to the gentleman responsible (not aware of the abuse). I convinced her to tell her mother, and it caused a rift between them, I am sad to report. She didn’t believe her daughter. This threw my former partner even further into depression. It was a tragedy to be so close too.
My boss and I were able to discuss the issue and he recommended her to a therapist. Upon their First session, the woman contacted C.P.S. the guy bailed the state he was a resident in and disappeared to our knowledge. As difficult as this all was, I wouldn’t have given up that shared part of our life for anything. The emotional damage wrought was tremendous, and whole nights would be spent, just letting her scream and be mad. Cry, and fall into despair. I watched this poor girl fall apart and all I could do was hold and console her. Try to build her back up every time I saw a portion of the wall fall down, I would very attentively do my best to pick of the pieces and mend them back into their place as best of my capabilities.
My shoulder damp, and eyes black and baggy from weeks spent just holding her whilst she cried until 8, or sometimes 9 in the morning. Years of pent up pain being exorcised. All night long and there was nowhere I would have rather been.
This went on for months and though we didn’t stay together, I will never regret being there for her. I pray to God that I helped make a difference. I pray that whatever amount of love I was able to pour into her was enough to pull her through that and help initiate the healing process. You never realize what life can do to people until you see the worst that can happen. All we need in moments of extreme morose and distress is an empathetic hand to hold ours and walk us through the darkness. We all need one at some point in our lives and I am just glad I was able to fulfill my part when the time came. With any luck she can pass it on when the right opportunity arises (which I know she will).

Aaron Drake

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An Ear Can Be The Best Therapist

I always feel needed when I help my buddy out. He is going through a rough time, unemployed, a bad break up, just down in the dumps. When he needs anything, I let him call or text me when he is feeling overwhelmed cause I know he doesn’t like to be alone. I know he isn’t feeling the best and I’m just glad I can be there for him. I get a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and all I am doing is something as simple as talking. It is literally one of the easiest things you could do, and it is awesome how much it helps. We all do it every day and don’t consider how necessary and healthy it is.
It makes me feel fulfilled because all it is volunteering my ear. No money spent, no long hours at a shelter. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, it just shows how easy it really is. All you gotta do sometimes is to talk and listen to someone you know is going through a rough time. Makes them feel cared about and not so alone, and it makes you feel wanted/needed and we all want that to a certain degree. Helping others in a way helps you as much as it does them. All it takes is a little effort and some care.

Michael Chasey, Helena Montana

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Dead Truck on York Road

One time on York Road, my brother’s truck battery died and it was negative twelve outside, at midnight. He had forgotten to plug his truck in and the cold weather drained his battery. I had remembered to plug in my truck and kept my battery charged. He called me and woke me up so I left immediately because it was snowing and such a cold night. I was able to make it to him pretty fast and used my jumper cables and charged his battery.
He gave his thanks and I was just glad he could get a hold of somebody before he got too cold. The temperature was dropping fast so I am glad I was able to get his heat back on and he could go home safe a sound. I felt good after doing it and went to sleep happy knowing I helped someone and that someone would do it for me.

Roy “Boo” Lowry, Helena, Montana

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