Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Matt Is One of the Best People I Know

He works in downtown Boston on a fairly popular street in the financial district for a mortgage company. That’s all wonderful but it isn’t what makes him great. Over the weekend he told us about a guy who is homeless that lives in the alley behind his building. Every day Matt shares one cigarette with the man and they chat about work, life and how he ended up in the situation he is in.

A former contractor, Karl has been living on the streets for a while now. After very tough times in the market forced him out of his union job, he was unable to maintain paying his bills and sadly ended up where he is.

According to Matt though this has not done anything to damage the guy’s disposition! He is always ready to share a laugh, a smile and directions with lost tourists.

Now Matt, is the kind of guy who just loves the world, will talk to anyone and it is like his mission in life to bring a smile to everyone else’s face! He and Karl struck up conversations months ago but I just found out about him this past weekend when Matt started pulling a whole bunch of clothes together.

I asked if he was getting rid of stuff for Goodwill and he said no, that he was putting a bag of stuff together because Karl had indicated that if Matt was ever planning to get rid of stuff he would be more than willing to take it off his hands, seeing as though they are about the same size.

Tears almost sprung to my eyes. How sweet is that! I have a sneaking suspicion he will do the same come the fall and donate a bunch of warmer clothes to him.

We were talking this morning about the spelling of Karl’s name (which sadly he’s not sure is a C or a K so I’m taking liberties here admittedly) and if Matt happened to know how long he had been homeless when something he said struck a chord.

“Its kind of sad that people like him are just ignored and feared.”

My response was to say that people are just people and that everyone has something in their life, whether they put it right out there or not is inconsequential, we all have issues it is just that some of us are better able to hide them from the rest of the world.

Then Matt said something that really hit home. He indicated that most people are just one bad month away from being in the exact same place as Karl. Sadly, it could not be truer. As a guy who works directly with the financial information of hundreds of people on a weekly basis, no one knows better than Matt how serious that statement really is.

Because we happen to be so fortunate in our lives that we have clothes that fit us, a roof to sleep under and shower to get clean in, it is important that we do whatever we can to help those who are not as well off. Matt started his mission with nothing more than a full bag of clean clothes he was tired of wearing and it has already made a difference in Karl’s life. He wants to do more good deeds and random acts of kindness now!

How can we join him?


Green Ayer News said...

Yay, Matt, and Jenn, you're totally right with the title!

Karen said...

Nice thing to do. I agree that Karl could be any one of us. Sadly, a lot of homeless are mentally ill and I think that is where fear comes in for most people.

KC McAuley said...

Matt is amazing and awesome and married to an equally amazing, awesome babe. :-)

TheresaJ said...

This was a great read to start my day with. Thanks! You got a really good guy there, Jenn! Keep us posted on Karl...

Almost Precious said...

Jenn - Wonderful post, very inspiring, it touched many lives today. :)

karen said...

Can you imagine what would happen if we each "adopted" one homeless person and did what Matt did for Karl?

Jenn said...

Wow everyone, thanks for such overwhelming responses on this post, both here & on FB. Matt was blown away yesterday by it but I told him -- one good turn deserves another!

Not to mention thanks for the compliments & suggestions! You're the best bloggy friends!! :-)

draagonfly said...

One bad month away from being in the same position...

TOO TRUE. This past year that I've been unemployed, I can't tell you how many times I've thought that very thing. On the worst days, I've even gone so far as to think about what I would need to live in my car for awhile, or how I could maybe buy a friend's tiny travel trailer and live in that. It's a scary thing to think about, even knowing I have family to go to if it were really that bad.

I think this is why the homeless are the cause I think about and act on the most. I hand them $5 instead of $1 when they ask (twice now I've even given away the last few dollars I had), or the other day when a homeless guy (John) walked up and asked if I had spare change, not only did I give him a five, I stood there and talked with him for a bit, then hugged him when I had to go. It was obvious he hadn't been hugged in a long time and I wished I could hug him every day.

Matt is most certainly one of the most awesomest guys I know. Always positive and upbeat, intelligent, thoughtful, all around nice guy - they just don't make many like him these days! I'm grateful to know both of you!