Today was one of those days that I waited until the end of the day to give away my $10. I got home from my theatre rehearsal and headed out around 10:15pm to find someone.
I saw many people, but didn’t feel compelled to give anyone the money. I don’t know why. I am often asked to explain how I pick people. There is really no secret formula. It is more spontaneous than thought-out. Some people think that I only look for homeless individuals. That is not the case. In fact, I think it is just as interesting to learn what someone who makes a six-figure salary is going to do with the money as it is someone who is homeless. Granted, I feel better about giving the money when I know that it gets used for something that has value to someone else.
Tonight I found Aminta sitting alone on a bench at a bus stop waiting for the D6 bus. She was eating a slice of pizza from a big slice pizza joint. I felt bad interrupting her, but I figured if she had time to eat a slice of pizza she probably had time to chat with me for a few minutes. I explained what I was doing to the 27-year-old and she accepted my $10. Usually the people I approach, especially late at night, appear a bit nervous or uncomfortable but she was very calm and relaxed.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Aminta works at Target and has been in DC for about three months. Her mother, who was living here in DC, got the swine flu and she moved her to take care of her. In a weird twist of events, she arrived here on her two-year wedding anniversary and ended up separating from her husband on precisely that day. “We are still great friends,” she told me.
I asked her what she planned to do with the $10. She said, “I am going to save it for one year and then we can get together and figure out what to do with it then.” Interesting answer. I scribble my John Hancock on the bill and date it in some attempt to mark the bill as the one that I gave her.
I see the D6 pulling up and tell her that I think her bus has arrived. She gathers her things, accidentally dropping her to go box of pizza on the ground. Thankfully, the pizza stayed inside the box. We shook hands and went our separate ways into the night.
It would be interesting to meet up with the recipients at the end of the year. Maybe we can throw a little party or something? Would be interesting to see who would come. Perhaps some people who have followed the blog would come as well as some recipients. I will keep that idea in mind.
By the way, I have not forgotten about Mark from Day 29! I am going to follow up with him tonight to see what he has decided to do with the $10.