What comes into your mind if you spot homeless people on the streets? Do you reach out to help them or continue on your way? One garbage man in Maryland just couldn’t ignore their plight and knew he had to help them out—by donating not only his money but also by investing his time.
One night, Arnold Harvey, a full-time garbage truck driver in Silver Spring, was driving through his trash-pick-up route in D.C. in 2007 when he spotted a disturbing sign—a homeless family sleeping behind a dumpster.
Harvey said that the scene made him remember his childhood—growing up in a Kansas City in a family with 12 children. That was the time when Harvey made a conscious decision and promise to his own self and God that he would help those in need if his life improved.
“Man, there’s something, I thought, I could do to help them,” Harvey said on the Meredith Vieira Show.
Harvey contacted his brother to help document the lives of the homeless people and first showed the video to his wife, Theresa, when it was done.
“It changed the whole expectation of our lives,” Harvey said.
“We decided that we have to help. We can’t just sit back and not do anything,” Theresa said.
The couple started giving out food bags, including some basic necessities like clothes and blankets, to the homeless people.
“As we started helping them, we saw a need, that there was more that we could do,” Harvey said.
The couple used their savings to set up a non-profit organization called “God’s Connected Transition” (GCT), which helps more than 5,000 people a month.
Homeless and low-income families visit GCT, which is located inside a warehouse in Gaithersburg, Maryland, to shop for food and items they need.
“It means a lot to my family,” one shopper, Tammilee Jules, told ABC News. “Because a lot of times—we don’t have everything that we need. And in those moments, to know that we can come to GCT and just freely shop, you know, without being embarrassed in any way, because the doors are open to us.”
“A lot of times you find yourself in situations where you lose hope,” added another shopper, Joyce Lee. “And so Theresa, she just (gives) you that shot of hope. And Arnold’s right there behind her, you know, and together they make an awesome team.”
The warehouse not only provides the basic amenities but also gives them opportunities to learn some trade skills so that they have better chances to improve their lives.
Harvey said they train them in administrative and other basic trade skills “because it’s hard to raise a family of four on $8.50 an hour.”
What a selfless mission! This family’s efforts to help the community is indeed inspiring—we definitely need more people like these.
Watch the couple’s story in the video below:
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | The Meredith Vieira Show.
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