As a businessman in a bustling metro area, Greg Smith gets stopped by homeless people begging for cash quite often. But then Greg’s life collided with Amy Joe, a kind homeless woman who never asked for anything! Greg shared what happened next on his Facebook page.
“Meet Amy Joe. For the last few weeks each Tuesday, Amy Joe and I meet in downtown Orlando.
Each day for about a week I saw Amy Joe at this corner and she never asked for money. She smiled and simply said, ‘Good morning, Sir. Have a great day. God Bless.’ I wear a suit to work everyday so I get asked for money quite often downtown, but never once from Amy Joe.
Every Tuesday Amy Joe and I now have lunch together. For 30 minutes to an hour, I get to hear how positive she is even though she really has nothing. [But] last week Amy Joe dropped a bomb on me…”
There was a reason why Amy Joe had struggled so much over the years and the reason wasn’t what most people would assume!
Amy Joe explained her background and shared that she failed to learn one very important life skill during her decades on the street.
“She cannot read. Amy Joe does not smoke, drink, have a drug addiction, or anything to that nature. She simply just has never had anyone teach her how to read. She told me how hard it was for her to find work not being able to read.
She began to tell me any money that she can collect she uses to check out library books that help with learning to read instead of buying food. This crushed me! She would rather learn to read to maybe find a job than eat!
I have been blessed with two amazing parents and a family that has always had resources to provide me with anything I wanted to do. Amy Joe has not. So now not only do Amy Joe and I sit and have lunch, I’m teaching her to read. I rent one library book a week and we read it together Tuesday and she practices on her own throughout the rest of the week.”
Even though most public libraries in the United States don’t charge for library cards, without proof of a permanent address, people like Amy Joe are given the option to rent the books for a small fee. Even reading costs something to those who have nothing – and Greg wanted to change that!
Greg says he doesn’t want attention or credit for anything, he just wants to spread the love and compassion to those we share the Earth with!
“I wanted to share this because maybe this can lead to someone helping another person. There are a lot of people out there like Amy Joe, not all are hungry, homeless, or hurt.
Some could be your family or friends. Helping someone could be as easy as saying hello and smiling.
I have been fortunate enough in my finances that I can take care of Amy Joe, so that’s what I’m going to do. You never know what you can do for someone until you try. Who is your Amy Joe?”
There is always something you can do for others, even if it’s just cracking a smile for a weary stranger, like Greg suggests!
Her appearance was rugged, but her inner spirit shone through like a beacon and that’s something Greg recognized right away. Hopefully the two will continue to meet on Tuesdays and improve Amy Joe’s reading skills!