No one can truly understand the helplessness that this mother was facing unless they had been in the same situation themselves. This man had no idea what it felt like to face the prospect of being unable to feed his children, and being scared of asking for help. Parents are terrified that their children will be taken away at the first sign of neglect, and this mother was clearly in over her head. She asked a stranger for spare change, but never imagined this in return.
I had a mother approach me with her two kids a few months ago. She asked for some change and I gave her a few bills. She thanked me and then her daughter looked up and said something to the effects of “I guess we can eat tonight.” It took me all of two seconds to decide on what I needed to do.
I took them grocery shopping. I didn’t even do shopping for myself that month, but I said whatever. I got the mother in touch with a social worker at my facility and assured her they would not take her kids away. They would help her in the meantime until she got up on her feet. I still talk with the family and the kids are doing fine.
Her fear was genuine, with so many stories of children being taken away, she thought it might happen to her if she asked for help. This man didn’t care that he might not have enough for his own food that month. He only cared that these children would have food to eat, regardless of how it would affect him over the next few days. And that is an admirable thing.
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