Before I introduce you to Andrew, I have two updates. The first one is a big one. After 285 days of unemployment I have accepted a position with the World Wildlife Fund and will begin next week! Don’t worry though, the Year of Giving will continue! Perhaps this will give me a new perspective on giving. Thanks to so many of you who have given me encouragement throughout the past 9 months.
Day 191 was one of the days that I was struggling with my dying laptop. I had been over at my brother and his wife’s house all day trying to rescue it. It was nearing the midnight hour and I rushed out of the house in pursuit of a recipient.
I saw a man walking along North Lynn Street in Arlington and stopped to see if he would accept my $10. I tried hard to convince him to participate, but he stuck to his guns and said he didn’t want to “get involved.” Strike one. Back in my car and across the Key Bridge into DC. I headed over to the “Social Safeway” on Wisconsin Avenue where I found Andrew studying the contact lense solution at 11:40pm. The 22-year-old is in DC for the summer doing an internship for his master’s degree program in international affairs at Georgia Tech. I asked him if he always does his shopping around midnight. “No, I just happened to have time now,” he responded.
When Andrew is not studying and working he is training for his first marathon. I have never had a desire to run a marathon. I could see trying to do a 10-miler, but I have no interest whatsoever in running 26 miles!
The grandson of Eastern European immigrants, he has lived abroad in Bulgaria for four months. He talks about his grandmother fondly. “She is 86 and still going strong!” Maybe his grandmother and his time in Bulgaria
have fueled his interest to get grant money to go to the Black Sea region and study the relationship between highly bureaucratic governments and the degree of development that has occurred within the country. If you can offer any suggestions on how Andrew can secure grant funding for this specific project, please leave a comment here.
“So what are you going to do with the $10,” I ask. He says that he will put it toward an outing with his “Little.” That’s right. Somehow Andrew finds time to be a Big Brother to a six-year-old in Atlanta. “I feel that the best way to help those who are disadvantaged is to volunteer my time and be a positive role model for them.” I couldn’t agree more. “Somehow you got to break the cycle,” he concludes.
At the end of our conversation, I learn that Andrew will be joining the Air Force upon his graduation from grad school. “I just got my bars pinned on,” he tells me. With his international interest I am not surprised when he tells me that he plans to serve in the Intelligence Division. I am sure he will go far. Thanks in advance for your service to our country.