At 7 Billion Ones, we have a special group of 'on fire', passionate volunteer advocates that help us with many aspects of the movement's operation and needs. We call them 'The Billionaire's Club'.
Winter is here, so a few days ago we made a simple 'call out' for help for some of our homeless friends that desperately needed tents and blankets to survive the frigid temperatures we have been experiencing. Within minutes of posting the request, we had several offers from club members to supply tents and blankets.
This is where the story gets more interesting. I was working at our gallery and I heard the door bell ring and I saw Kim Mathis, a 'Billionaire Club' member, walking in with many blankets in tow to donate. She was scheduled to come in however I didn't expect who she brought with her. At Kim's side were her two adorable children, Pete and Lily. Kim told me that when her kids found out about the homeless being cold and needing blankets to stay warm, Pete and Lily were moved to action. They said, "Mom we want to help too." So Pete goes to his room and picks out two of his favorite bedroom blankets. Then Lily gave to her mom her most cherished, absolute favorite blanket. Lily wanted to give away her Hello Kitty blanket. Both kids wanted the homeless to have their own personal blankets - to help the homeless and to show them they are loved.
I was so incredibly touched and inspired by Kim, Pete and Lily's kindness for our homeless friends. I took a few photos of these 3 heroes. We visited a little bit, we hugged, they gave me the blankets and they left to go home.
So what happened to the blankets? Just 2 hours after Kim left, I headed out to deliver the blankets. As I was driving, I saw a young homeless man walking down the street by himself. I actually thought I knew him and so I yelled out the window, "Hey Matt, I have something for you." The homeless man did not respond. I called out again, "Matt, it's Randy, I have something for you!" The homeless man ignored me and kept walking down the street.
This required a stronger action, so I whipped the car around and came up beside him. It was then I realized, I made a mistake and it wasn't Matt. I actually I never have met this man before. However, I asked him, "Do you need a blanket to help stay warm." He walked over to the car, his face showing more hope and life in it. He said, "I could really use a blanket. Thank you." So I handed him a heavy one but then he noticed the 'Hello Kitty' blanket sitting right on top of the stack in the backseat of my car.
The man really surprised me with his next words. He said, "Can I have the Hello Kitty blanket too?" My first thought was that this was a strange request for a grown man to be asking. He continued, "My wife has a young daughter. Her name is Livy. She has always wanted a Hello Kitty blanket, but we have never been able to buy her one. Can I have the blanket to give to her?"
My heart just about blew out of my chest. This was a 'Godcidence' for sure. Lily's simple act of love and kindness to give away her favorite blanket effected somebody in a major way that could never have been anticipated. This little girl, Livy, who I will probably never meet is now staying warmer with her new cherished, absolute favorite Hello Kitty blanket. That is what love is all about. Love changes lives in ways we can never imagine.