Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A good deed indeed

Hubby Jim works for a funeral home. The owner has a reputation for helping young people who have had a rough life.

Jim got a call yesterday asking him to do a Limo run to the St. Louis Airport. He said, "Sure" and thought to himself "that's going to be easy money". What they didn't tell him was that he was picking up 10 young men who were from the Watts Ghetto in Los Angeles. These young men are former gang members who had made a commitment to turn their lives around. Jim's boss had invited them to his farm in Missouri. As part of the selection process, the young men had to write essays of why they wanted this opportunity. Jim had tears in his eyes as he told me they had written about how they wanted a chance to get out of the ghetto and be the dad they never had for their children. Jim drove the limo with the kids. The other limo had the two chaperones and the luggage.

These two pictures are an example of the area where the boys are from.

Jim was head of our local High School Art Department and taught high school for over 30 years. So he is incredibly comfortable with teens. He was a little uneasy about transporting 10 gang members - at least until he met them. He said he felt like he was back in the classroom watching kids being kids. These teens had never been been out of the ghetto. And here they are having just experienced their first plane ride, been picked up in a limo, and now have a good ol' boy from Missouri teasing them about snakes and all of the other hazards they might experience where they were heading. Lol, he said their eyes were big as saucers.

They stopped at Golden Coral for lunch. As Jim describes it, these were BIG boys and he couldn't get over how high they piled their plates. I suspect Golden Coral took a loss on these guests lol. After they had gone down the road a bit Jim opened the privacy window to say something to the kids - but he quickly closed it again. Apparently there had been just enough time for the food to do its thing and the boys were having a farting contest. It stunk to high heaven!

The place they are staying is like a country club. They have a teenis court, basketball court, swimming pool, a lake for fishing or swimming, a club house, wide screen TV - you name it, they have it. They have all sorts of outings planned. I cannot imagine what the cost is of sponsoring an event like this - plane tickets, food, transportation... I'm just glad there are people in this world who are willing to reach out to those who need a helping hand. I wish I was more that way, but I guess there is only one person who can make that happen, huh *looks in the mirror* - yep me.

Have a great day all and let's all try to do just one nice thing for somebody else today - something as little as a smile or hello to someone who looks like they need a smile can make all the difference in the world!


ChicagoLady said...

I would have been nervous too, driving 10 gang members or even former gang members to the boonies in MO. I think it's great that they want a better life for themselves and their kids. It just goes to prove that not all young men growing up on the streets have no future. I hope they will take advantage of the opportunity given to them, and learn about life outside of the "ghetto."

Intense Guy said...

Thats a big limo too. With 10 strapping teens in it. I hope they take something tangible home with them from the experience.

Hmm.. A nice deed... a nice deed... Oh I know!

*Goes and packs a dozen of those green pine tree air fresheners into a box and mails 'em to Jim*

If that limo were here in PA, it would fail its next "emissions check."

Thanks for the thought provoking entry Punkn! *hugs*

Intense Guy said...

Punkn, the "ghetto" picture you have doesn't do justice to how grim Watts really is/was.

Street after the riot

This came from grim reading about life in Watts

The more I think about it, the more I *know* I'm sofa king lucky.

LadyStyx said...

*nods to iggy* I think we all are.

*sends a case of Febreez so Jim can hose down the seats in back of that limo*

Karla said...

That's a wonderful story! All a lot of these kids need is someone to care about them...I'm glad Jim is one of those ppl and his boss and I know you care about them too :-)...Have a wonderful week

Punkn said...

Lol Iggy, your kindness knows no bounds. I'll let Jim know the pine trees are on the way. He might need them for the return trip to the airport. I was trying to be conservative in the pictures I posted. The area these boys are from is apparently the ghetto of ghettos. I, too, hope they return with something tangible home with them from this trip.
Yep, we are sofa king lucky.

AliceKay said...

Wow, what a wonderful opportunity for those young men. I hope they have a great time while in Missouri.

Intense Guy said...

Let hope they don't get shown the "Pride of Missouri" however. That would be a hard blow to their egos.