I’ve just read about an act of kindness, gentleness and caring to from one person to a complete stranger who was in distress, who I just met in the Chat Forum. As it’s a new and raw situation, it’s not appropriate to write about it now; but it’s prompted me to tell about a prior occasion that reflects similar values, that I was unable to write about then (I’m going to change some minor details to protect identities).
A few months ago I received a message from one of the forum posters, to tell me his story. He’s a single father with three children, who’d lost his job. The debts had piled up and there was a clerical delay in getting payment from social services. He was in the Debt-Free Wannabe Forum asking for help and advice. Sadly the problems compounded and it got to a stage where he had genuine worries about feeding his children.
This was compounded by the fact that with a lack of childcare and transport, the practicalities of shopping were difficult but the additional cost of online delivery thwarted that as a solution. One kind soul said she had a voucher for free delivery she would post to him if he sent his address. He did that, but instead of sending the voucher, she simply went online, ordered a week’s shopping to feed the family, paid for it and arranged the delivery.
P.S. The joy of this for me is that it was unasked for and given without guilt or obligation from someone he’d never met. I would hate the forums to become a place where people start to come and ask for financial help from strangers, but sometimes you need to admire the sheer beauty of humanity.
P.P.S. When I say cry, I mean my eyes went wet and I got a flush of emotion; not some great balling wail – I’ve at least a modicum of masculinity to protect.