Taking a chance when you have zero idea what the outcome will be can be a frightening time. That's half of the point of risks, though, isn't it? That leap forward into the unknown. The other half is the reward, the prize you get for your bravery and faith that you were doing the right thing.
This sort of speech can be applied to many things, but perhaps the most rewarding of all is the risk taken when you reach out to someone to help them, hoping they'll accept your efforts. A woman in Canada took this risk and it paid off in spades.
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The Good In Our Hearts
It's with hope that I say most of us want to help others. There's a bliss that comes with living selflessly, knowing your resources and kindness could bring assistance to someone in need or that you could make a real difference in the world with a bit of generosity. Be it a donation, volunteering of one's time, or helping someone sort out issues in their life, all forms of kindness are valuable and needed.
After noticing a man in need, one woman stepped up and offered what she could to help him rebuild his life, including a job.
Danielle MacDuff lives in the small town of Newcastle, Canada, where she works on her farm.
She noticed a homeless man, Brian Bannister, who would sit in front of a local chain store almost every day, accepting donations of cash or change while reading a book. One day, she decided to chat with him a little—a chat that evolved into a 25 minute conversation.
"I took the time one day and I knew from that very moment, I needed to help him get back on his feet," she wrote about him.
The First Step
So, she presented him with the best gift she could think of. "I offered him a job on my farm and he started the next day."
Bannister was shocked. "It floored me. It just came from the heart with her and I got to thank her every day," he told CTV News Toronto.
When he met MacDuff, he had been living in a poorly insulated shed, fighting through the harsh winter chill that was rolling through the town.
What He's Been Through
Bannister's whole story, MacDuff learned, was incredibly tragic. The 60-year-old had faced many struggles, including battles with addiction (which he overcame), surviving abuse, and losing two wives, one to a car crash and the other to cancer.
He said in the past two years, he had simply "given up," which led to him being homeless when MacDuff met him.
Thankfully, she saw all his exceptional qualities after just one conversation with him and knew he deserved another chance.
A Wonderful Worker
He started on her farm the very next day. She would come pick him up, he'd work for the day, then she'd return him to where he was staying at the time. He was an exemplary employee, and MacDuff was so, so grateful for his assistance.
"He's so kind, compassionate, he’s amazing with my children, my animals," she said. "And his willingness to help me on the farm is very, very much appreciated.”
MacDuff's farm houses 200 animals, including goats, horses, cows, and dogs. There's a solid morning and afternoon's worth of work, with a mid-day break in between.
Beyond giving him a job, MacDuff has helped him gain a few other luxuries, including his first haircut in two years, a cellphone, and some help applying for provincial government assistance.
Though Bannister was performing amazingly and was doing the best he'd been in years, MacDuff knew he needed more help than just working for her, especially seeing as she couldn't afford to pay him all that much. He needed a permanent solution to his housing problem to properly get his life on track.
So, she decided to reach out to their local community. She made a GoFundMe in his name and called upon people to donate what they could to get him somewhere to stay.
Of the original $5000 goal, she's raised over $10k for Brian.
An update to the GoFundMe from late February reads, "I have no words for the support and love I feel from all who have donated and shared. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I am blown away."
Helping Just One Person
Of course, Bannister is feeling the love as well. "It's overwhelming. I can’t believe anyone would care for me this much," he said.
MacDuff is equally thankful for his presence as well, saying, "He has no idea what this has done for me."
"If we could get everyone off the street ideally that would be my one wish, but it takes a lot of people to come together and that is what has happened for Brian. I think that's why we’ve come so far in such a short time."
Or Helping Everyone
The latest updates said that Bannister has been able to temporarily move into a hotel, a far step above the shed he was living in when the two met.
MacDuff's generosity and ability to see Bannister for who he truly was, a kind soul who had suffered far too much, has culminated in something beautiful. She took a chance on someone who was essentially a stranger and it could not have paid off any better.
There's room for everyone in our hearts if we're open enough, willing to spread love and generosity where we can. May we all have the same opportunity to help someone in need as MacDuff did, but if you want to feel the joy of helping someone, you have to do the work of looking for them too.
If you're looking for more information on your life and your individual sign, then you'll need your own zodiac reading. We're each on our own unique path and what some struggle with this season, might not be applicable to you too.
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