My homeless friend James has a brand new pair of shoes, courtesy of a woman who works at a Dunkin’ Donuts.
James walks several miles a day collecting returnable bottles and cans, and his shoes take a beating. He told me yesterday that he was going to try to get by for a couple of more weeks with the sneakers he had on. They were ripped and full of holes.
This morning, I planned to take a photo of those shoes and ask via Facebook for someone to donate a pair of size 8s to replace them.
The new shoes were hard to miss. An employee at Dunkin’ Donuts gave them to James when he made his daily stop for coffee a couple of hours earlier. He was happy and grateful.
“They might last me a couple of months, as much as I walk,” James said.
After I left him, I drove to work and saw Paul, a local man who — several mornings a week — delivers breakfast to some of the city’s homeless. He was in his car, making the rounds with homemade egg-sausage-and-cheese sandwiches. James is a regular beneficiary of Paul’s kindness, and they know each other well.
James turns 50 this October. He reminds Paul, who’s 70-ish, not to neglect his own health while he bestows kindness onto so many others. “You may be a church,” James said he tells Paul, “but you’re still a human.”
The same might be said of a woman who works at Dunkin’ Donuts.