Hayley Runnels was preparing for her Christmas celebrations when an unexpected knock on the door up-ended her entire day and taught her a lesson she would never forget.
The young man named Darius knocked on her door, introduced himself, and offered to rake her yard to earn a little cash. While her yard was covered in leaves, she said no. During the holidays, every dollar was carefully budgeted…there just wasn’t any extra room to pay for a miscellaneous expense.
I came back inside and pulled warm cookies out of the oven, and looked at my son, and the word, ‘No’ came to mind. Sternly, firmly, and without further direction. I knew exactly what that meant, so I ran outside and found him 3 doors down, right in the middle of getting another door shut in his face. Shame on me. Shame on me. Shame on me.
She called him over and explained that she needed to go and get cash from the ATM, but that she would be glad to help him out.
I went inside, dressed Hayden in a rush, grabbed his bag, my bag, the tray of cookies, and my phone. I hauled everything out and locked the door behind me. I headed to my car telling him I’d be right back. Can you guess what I forgot? My keys.
She began walking to the ATM which was four blocks away. She called her husband to come and let them back into the house, and by the time she made it back to her home, Darius was just about finished with her yard. She got his name and phone number, intending to share it with her friends and family to help him get more business.
About that time, the neighbors across the street waved him over. Adam pulled into the driveway and we went inside. I told him the story, hoping that he wouldn’t get on to me for dipping into our budget. He shook his head and smiled and gave me the look that I know so well- the one that just screams, ‘What am I going to do with you?’ I laughed and turned around. I thought it was over, but I was wrong.”
My sweet husband took off across the street to shake his hand and offer to try and help him get hired on with Academy. How amazing is Darrius? How amazing are my neighbors, and my husband? How precious is my two year old who yelled, ‘TANK YOU’ as Darius was walking across the street to his next job? How humbled am I? Very. Very. Very.”
Her story reminds us all that helping each other in our times of need is what the holiday season is all about. As the story spreads, people admit to learning from her experience!