Close to my heart. I will never forget the day I met Francis. It was very cold and beginning to drizzle with rain. As I walked towards Target, I couldn't help but notice a young man sitting outside OfficeMax. This was unusal for the area. What was next to him was a trash bag and a bottle of water. It was just something about him that made me ask questions such as Why did he end up here? and What would he need to get back on track? When I left the store, I intentionally said, Good morning! and he responded with the same.
A couple of days later, I saw him again. This time I stopped and asked him the questions. He almost lost his ablity to walk right before Christmas from a car accident crossing a street as well as his job. He shared he wasn't from Jacksonville. He assured me he didn't do drugs or alcohol, just hooked on cigarettes and he was just down on his luck. I decided to give him a backpack to replace the garbage bag because I thought it would make carrying his possessions a lot easier. One evening, I realized, it was cold and maybe he could use a hotmeal. It was then my sister and I decided to not only to give him a meal but to take a suitcase and put in it a blanket, small pillow, water and other necessities. This act of kindness put a smile of surprised gratitude on Francis' face as well as ourselves. He was thankful to God. I believe this act of kindness gave Francis hope to return home to his family.
My sister and I have personally given dozens of suitcases, backpacks, bicycles and gifts cards to the homeless/ veterans. Will you join us to expand our campaign to make a difference to replace garbage bags with a "A Suitcase of Hope".