After a woman refused to be my recipient, I spotted a father and his son riding bikes together at Dupont Circle. They seemed like perfect recipients.
I approached them and asked if they had a second. “I probably won’t be able to help you though,” Jim said. I get this often because most people think that I am going to ask them for money. When I told him that I wanted to give him and his son, Addison, my ten spot of the day, his eye brows perked up.
As it turns out, Jim is a former office manager / loan officer of a brokerage firm here in DC. Unfortunately the banking crisis left him in the same boat that I was in earlier this year; out of a job. “It’s been about a year and a half,” Jim says. I told him that I was out of work for 285 days and I think he could tell that I understand some of what he is going through.
At one point, Jim laughed at something I said and he grabbed his right side of his abdomen. “Don’t make me laugh, I’ve got a hernia.” Without insurance he has put surgery on hold which is not a good thing. Left untreated they can lead to severe complications. Would some doctor in the DC help Jim out and operate on his hernia for free? Come on DC doctors, step up!
They said that they were probably going to use the $10 for some groceries, but I later found out Jim was at a convenience store when a woman attempted to purchase a candy bar with her credit card. She was informed that there was a minimum amount required in order to pay by credit card, so she just put the candy bar back. Jim stopped her and offered to buy it for her, which she gratefully accepted. He also told her about the Year of Giving and the ten dollars that he had received. The rest of their ten dollars was spent on some groceries and a $1 lottery ticket which I assume didn’t win, or they would have told me.
I asked both Jim and Addison if there was anything they needed or wanted for the Lend a Hand project. Jim quickly said that he would love to land a new job (see the Lend a Hand section for details on what he is looking for). “Oh, and someone to operate on my hernia,” Jim added. Addison had three requests, “I’d like to meet President Obama, Ellen Degeneres, or Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.”
I have an idea, what if one of Addison’s idols offered to sponsor his dad’s surgery? Maybe we could kill two birds with one stone.
Jim was thinking about Addison’s “wishes” and added, “You know what I would also love to do, is have dinner and drinks with Bill Maher, he’s hilarious.” He started to laugh a little but his smile quickly gave way to a grimace of pain as he grabbed his abdomen again.
Some other little bits of trivia… Jim has become a bit of an amateur genealogist and has traced his family back some 40+ generations. Along the way he discovered that he has connections to President Bush, Frankish leader Charles Martel and Charlamagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans. I know my dad would be excited about the Roman ancestry part – he is so into Roman history these days.
Anyway, I let father and son continue on their bike ride. After all, it was a gorgeous afternoon – just perfect for exploring the city on a bicycle.