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Posts Tagged ‘OH’

Today I went to downtown Dayton again attempting to find Pappy from Day 7.  I thought I was in luck a man walking toward the corner where I met Pappy at with a coat that resembled his.  I ran across the street and ran under the bridge area yelling “Hey Pappy”.

The man turned around and I said, “Oh, you’re not Pappy”.

“No, I’m Ted,” he replied,”can I help you.”

Hmmm, well yes you can.  I told Ted about the project I was working on and that today I wanted to give him $10.  “Are you serious,” Ted replied, “you don’t know what this means to me.”

When asked what he was going to do with the money Ted replied, “look over there at the BP, do you see the girl walking with the purple pants on.  That’s my girl, I’m going to go buy her and I some food.”  He then said, “maybe tomorrow you will meet her and give her $10.”  Ted made me laugh with that reply.  “You never know,” I replied.

Ted told me that Pappy had left for the day and he was leaving as well, “The cops give us tickets after 3:30 you know.”

As we walked back toward the streets Ted told me he was young and dumb and it really messed his life up.  He’s been on the streets for 8 years now and doesn’t see being off of the streets anytime soon.

“You’re a real gem,” he said.  “Most young girls would never be brave enough to confront people like me and you were very willing to talk to me, that shows you are a real genuine person.”

Thanks Ted!

-Melinda T. from Xenia, OH | Dec. 24, 2010

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Quinton stands a few feet away from his suitcase. (photo: Melinda T.)

Today (Dec. 23, 2010) I walked over to talk with Quinton R. while he was waiting at the bus stop.  So far he seemed to be the shyest of those I’ve met during this adventure.  Quinton thought it was just amazing that Reed had given $10 to a stranger everyday for a year and was even more amazed that it was being carried on by others.

 

I noticed his suitcase sitting near the bench so asked if he was going somewhere for the holidays.  He had no plans of going anywhere for the holidays as his family lived in the area.  He had the suitcase because he had just picked up some clothes that were given to him and the suitcase was the easiest way to transport them back home.

When asked what he thought he would do with the $10 Quinton said he had been eating hotdogs daily lately because it was all he could afford so the money was going to go toward a meal other than hotdogs.

-Melinda T. from Xenia, OH

 

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Photo: Melinda T.

A few days ago while speaking with Reed on the phone I was telling him about my dog Max being a Therapy Dog.  Later that day Reed saw a news story about a service dog that helps an autistic child.  The dog was trained through a group called 4 Paws for Ability.  Very ironic because 4 Paws for Ability is located in Xenia, Ohio where I’m currently living.  Reed had no idea of this at the time.

I’ve lived in Xenia for almost a year and a half, drove past  4 Paws for Ability several times but never actually stopped to check it out.  I decided I should head over to 4 Paws for Ability and donate $10 to a volunteer there.  I gave the money to Charlene who in turn donated the money to 4 Paws for Ability.

Connor says hello to Melinda. (Photo: Melinda T.)

Charlene showed me around the facility and introduced me to quite a few dogs.   In total 4 Paws for Ability has 200 dogs but they are not all living at the facility.  Some of the dogs live at a Correctional Facility where the inmates there train the dogs, other dogs are living with foster families.  75% of the dogs at 4 Paws for Ability are rescued from animal shelters, I thought this was just amazing.  After working with the dogs if a dog just doesn’t seem like it will be a good service dog they place the dogs on PetFinder.com.  All dogs placed on Pet Finder have went through extensive obedience training so you get a fully trained dog.

4 Paws for Ability has designed the inside of the facility to resemble a home.  They have an area in the facility which is set up like the living room in your home.  This area has toys, television with video games and a computer.  The area is somewhat barricaded and was designed for children who are getting a service dog to be able to spend a day in a home like setting with just them and the dog as the parents view the interactions from outside the area.

Outside the building is a 2 acre area which is sectioned off into different yard type areas for the dogs to play.  Outside I was greeted by Connor who is currently going through training.  Connor was playing in the area which was made up to look like a typical backyard area with swings and play-sets.  During the warmer months the children can spend time outside interacting with the dog.

4 Paws for Ability play area (photo: Melinda T.)

If it weren’t for participating in the week of giving I may have never walked into 4 Paws for Ability.  Thanks to this opportunity I may have just found an additional opportunity to volunteer.

4Paws for Ability has ongoing needs for donations.

-Melinda T. from Xenia, OH

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Today I went to donate blood and was on my way home when I saw a man named “Happy Pappy” standing on the side of the street when I was at a stoplight. I detoured around and parked at a nearby McDonald’s and headed across a few streets then under a bridge to speak with him. I explained the project to him he accepted the $10 and said “Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses”. The next words he spoke almost left me speechless. Pappy said, “would you like to know what I think about those on unemployment, I think they have got too used to the check coming to them without having to do anything that they just don’t want to work. There is work out there, I’ve mowed lawns, painted houses”.

Pappy decided it was time for him to head to McDonald’s to warm up. I walked back across the way with him and sat in a nearby McDonald’s and we sat and talked for an hour until he said he needed to go.

The conversation with Pappy was very broad. He is 61 and a Vietnam War Veteran and showed the scars on his legs from where he was hit with shrapnel. He has been married twice and has children. Currently he was renting a room nearby but has been on and off the streets for 12 years. He spoke of coming home from Vietnam and working as a Publisher at the local Veteran’s Hospital and then having to return to the Veteran’s Hospital for nearly 2 years of rehabilitation therapy after being in a car accident and didn’t know if he was going to ever walk again.

He’s attempted suicide twice, and showed me the scar across his neck from his most recent attempt in 2001. Pappy attends church 7 days a week and spoke of the 3 different churches he attends service at. He shared how he has been on many prescription drugs due to illnesses, one of those being Hepatitis however he decided to heal himself through God and garlic herbs rather than healing himself through pharmaceutical companies.

He spoke of getting caught panhandling without a permit which has a fine of $154, he went to court and his punishment was making him wait 1 year to get a panhandling permit so he is still on the streets with no permit. He says he has figured out the best place to stand where he can see in all directions and if he sees the police he folds his sign up and walks away, so far this tactic has worked for him.

Pappy said he was going to use the ten dollars for food.

Unfortunately the picture I took of Pappy wasn’t clear. I’ve tried going back to his spot but was unsuccessful in finding him.

-Melinda T. from Xenia, OH

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Melinda met Nick while he panhandled at an exit ramp. (photo: Melinda T.)

Today I met a man named Nick.  Nick was standing near the exit ramp.  I felt drawn to give the $10 to him so I parked nearby and walked across the way.

Nick has been on and off the streets for a year now.  Nick was extremely skeptical to speak with me at first because he thought I was with the police and quickly pulled out his panhandlers permit to show it to me.  Perhaps I was just as skeptical as this was the first time I had ever approached a person standing on the streets panhandling.  I assured him I wasn’t with the police and he accepted that and then shared his life with me.

At the beginning of the video you see a quick shot of an ID.  This is Nicks ID showing that he is homeless, I never knew there was such an ID available.  He shared with me the views of inside the homeless shelter where he has spent a few nights and said the conditions there are awful and not a place for anyone to be but it keeps him out of the elements.  He invited me to take a visit with him to the homeless shelter however I declined that offer.

Nick said today was his first day out on the streets and he was there trying to collect money so he could purchase Christmas gifts for his children.  He was addicted to pain pills at one point and his life had went downhill since then.  He’s currently not addicted to anything and is trying to get his life back on track by getting a job so he can pay for a place to live and not have to sleep at the homeless shelter or jump from home to home sleeping on people’s couches.

I would have liked to speak with Nick a bit longer but the temperatures today were extremely cold and the wind we were encountering didn’t help.

-Melinda T. from Xenia, OH

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Today I found myself at Speedway Gas Station; I walked in and stood near the coffee station with clear view of the front door.  I had decided the next person who walked in the door I was going to give $10 to.

Marvin and Melinda

In walked Marvin G.  He was in there to get a Sugar Free Vanilla Latte for his wife and they were out of it so he was trying to figure something else to get her.  I approached him a told him about the project I was working on and he was amazed at the generosity.

When asked what he thought he would do with the $10 he asked if he could give it back to me.  I explained he could give it back to me but I would have to give it to someone else however if he wanted to give it to someone it was his to do with as he pleased.  He said he would figure out something to do with it.  When asked if there was anything he needed he said he didn’t need anything however it would be wonderful if his grandkids that lived in Phoenix, Arizona would come visit again because he really misses them.

-Melinda T. from Xenia, OH

 

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Day 4 – Mike

Mike with Melinda's dog Max at Lowe's. (photo: Melinda T.)

The Lowe’s in our area allow well-behaved dogs in the store so today I was doing some shopping with my dog Max.  Max was dressed as Santa Claus and enjoyed the extra attention.

He is a therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International and has put in many hours at Summit Academy in Xenia, Ohio.  The students there take turns reading stories to him.

As we walked in the store, Max was greeted by many workers but was also greeted with a hug by a young boy whom attends Summit Academy and has read many stories to Max.  Walking through the store we met a man that worked at Lowe’s named Mike.  He went to Max and was petting him and I decided this is the man my $10 will go to today.

I explained to Mike the project I was working on and he was totally blown away.  I love seeing the reactions of people when I tell them what I’m doing.  Mike gave me the biggest hug and a kiss on the cheek and said, “God will surely bless you.”  Mike wasn’t sure exactly where the money was going to go but spoke about how he buys one lottery ticket each week so he may use the money for that.

Max hard at work at Summit Academy. (photo: Melinda T.)

As I was walking away I heard Mike say to another man in the area, “that was totally unexpected.”  It’s the unexpected reaction of people that makes this so rewarding.

-Melinda T. from Xenia, OH

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