As many can attest, doing good for others is a feeling like no other. Randi Emmans-Bailyn and her boyfriend John Suazo are no strangers to this feeling. The couple has a couple of projects helping those that are vulnerable. One of them is the project Backpacks, where they give out backpacks equipped with food, water, and socks, among other things.
Just a couple of days ago, they managed to do something quite remarkable—they reunited a homeless man Pedro (alias Franklin) with his family that he hasn’t seen for 20 long years. Some stories are best told by those who actually experienced them, so without further ado, let’s listen to the story that Randi has to tell about Pedro.
“I had been outside one night last week walking my dog when I overheard Pedro saying things like “Why do people just stand and look at me or laugh at me? I’m an extremely educated man.
Say hello to me. Do not ignore me and give me these looks.” I was so touched by what he was saying and it absolutely broke my heart. I run a program for those experiencing homelessness during the holidays and knew I wanted to help Pedro in some way. I came upstairs to my boyfriend, John, and told him how touched I was by what Pedro was saying.”
“I came upstairs to my boyfriend, John, and told him how touched I was by what Pedro was saying. He came downstairs with me and we were giving him one of the backpacks from my charity, Project Backpacks. The backpacks are full of food, water, socks, etc. and while giving this to him we really got to talking. He told us his story and how tired he was.
How he hadn’t actually slept in 8 years because the ground was so hard and how he never felt comfortable sleeping in case someone took his only belongings. We asked him in that moment what he really wanted and he said he just wanted to be reconnected with his family. We asked him for any details he could remember (he hadn’t seen or spoken to his family in 20 years) and the piece that helped the most was him remembering his Grandmother’s address.”
“John and I got to searching the internet and John was able to find numbers linked to the address. After calling many wrong numbers he received a call back from his Uncle Pierre. He immediately knew it was his nephew after saying how intelligent this man was. His uncle broke down crying and was ecstatic to be reconnected with Pedro. Pierre said he would fly out immediately to come and see his nephew and take him home with him. We got to connect with his Uncle, Cousin, his mother and multiple aunts.”
“I ended up posting about it on social media and began raising money to at least get Pedro a couple of nights in a hotel to get some good rest. Within 72 hours we had raised about $6500. We got Pedro in the hotel for the week, provided food, new clothes, a phone and essentials. We were able to pay for his Uncle and Cousin’s trips to LA, their rental car home, and their hotel.
We also gave the family the remaining money to help get Pedro back on his feet.”
“We got to go to dinner with the family and Pedro and get to know them. It was incredible to see the love they all had for each other and how the 20 years apart didn’t change a thing. They got back home with him yesterday afternoon and he is feeling incredible.
Pedro is incredibly kind and intelligent.
We feel so happy to have met him and will absolutely keep in touch with him. We are even planning to go visit him in Charleston sometime soon! He touched our hearts forever and we’re going to miss him. We cannot wait to see what this chapter holds for him.”
This is how people reacted to this post:
Melissa Salazar – Not all homeless are bad, they are truly put in situations that drag them down and all they need is a helping hand. What they did was amazing. I know this feeling because I,was lucky enough to help a homeless veteran find hope. And move on to a better life. God bless you all.
April Hill Faulkner – What an amazing story.
I’m so glad he is back with his family and to hear he is going back to school to help others. Prayers going up for him.
Kathleen Hess – How rare to see such compassion. And they put it into action! Thank you! And wishing the gentleman success at his studies n future.
Brenda Bernice Torres – Both are a blessing Thank you for doing that for some of us have got lost family on the streets that need guidance and love to get back home
Dana Jenkins – Love this !!! This is how true change starts in our country ! One person at a time .. prayers for the rest of the homeless population. Praying homelessness ends in our great country
This Article Was First Published on boredpanda.com