November is the Christmas wreath season in this area, of long working hours, but many people wait for it because wreathing is another good job opportunity before winter. At Mano en Mano, we had new clients requesting services like housing, food, warm clothes, medical appointments, interpretation, translation, social services, transportation, or even needing a friend to talk to about their goals and worries. We follow all of these direct requests with outreach and case management, where priorities are made and client needs are met. In my work and doing what I do, I get to learn something every day. I enjoy what I do and a case like this one makes our organization even more valuable.
In the month of November, I had the opportunity to meet new clients and learn a little bit of their life story. It also makes me realize the impact that our organization can make in one individual’s life. It was a Thursday evening when I had a phone call from Jose, who come to Maine to work for wreath season, asking if I could help him with transportation. Jose was laid off from work on a Tuesday and he needed to go back South. But there was another issue: he did not have any money for his bus ticket, but he had asked his wife back in Texas to send him money. He asked me if he could use my name so the money would be wired under my name. I didn’t see any problem.
Friday morning I received a phone call from Jose’s wife giving me a code number to pick up the money for his bus ticket. She also expressed how worried she was knowing that Jose was so far away in a new place with no money. I picked up Jose and took him to the bus station. Once we got there, he explained how grateful and lucky he felt with all the help he was getting. He offered some money to pay for all what was done, but I said he should hold on to the money because he was going to need it for the long trip. Jose cried and said he had very bad luck at work, making no money, but he was leaving very happy and was anxious to get home and talk about the wonderful people he had met.
A week later, I got a phone call from Jose, to say thank you once again from he and his kids. He would never forget what wonderful help we had given to a total stranger. Working and doing what I’m doing teaches me something every day.