I am a volunteer for one of the charities that IAM Group Ltd. is supporting and I am very pleased to be one. I really requested the staff for this to remain anonymous since it does not matter who I am and my real goal in sharing this story is not for me to be identified and acknowledged but to share how little charity can help big in one’s life.
I am living in an apartment close to my workplace and just a walking distance to the mall. That way, it would be more convenient to me. I am not really used to living in the city but I have no choice but to adapt. Everyday, I have to walk to the mall to buy my daily needs (I tried buying it all at once one time but there will always be something I would need) and also, I make it a point to hand some food to an aged man who sits near the entrance of the mall to ask for alms. I know that in the city, it is a crime to ask for alms and is punishable by law to give alms. However, I just can’t turn my back to the old man while I am asking for my request to put the old man to the home for the aged. The request is already under way anyway so all we need to do is wait. When I asked him where his home is, he said it’s far away. He told me that he came from Yokohama, Japan and has lost his business in the city as well as almost all his possessions. He never had a family as well as his brothers were left in Japan and being gay, he never had a family of his own.
Anyway, I would always buy him some dinner and a single apple and also leave him with one dollar a day. I know it wasn’t much but I am really hoping the request processing would be faster. He would just receive the food and money and get up from his post and go home in the busy nights in the city (I get home around 8 and couldn’t see him until 9pm. He just waits for me and leaves his post).
The days went by and the papers were already on the last stage. IAM Group Limited has put my request in its priority so it only took me 2 weeks for it to be processed. It would also be two weeks since I have made my little service for the old man.
On Friday of the second week, I again went to my usual routine, thinking that he will be there waiting for me. He was not there. Instead, a young boy who calls himself Jay with his tear-stained face was waiting for me. In an almost undecipherable English, he told me to come with him. I tried asking him where but with the lack of knowledge of the language; I only managed to understand the word “home” which he keeps repeating.
He dragged me to a dilapidated home under one of the highway bridge. Around and above us, cars and motorists and the busy continue their usual way in the middle of the night. I reluctantly entered. Inside, there lies old and fragile body of the old man I bring apples to everyday. His hands were cold and his eyes were tight shut but he seems peaceful in his endless sleep.
I later found out from the boy that the old man has kept him since he was just young. He helps the old man himself by asking alms near the school which he could never enter. Every night, when the old man goes home, he would bring an apple, a little supper and a dollar to get them by.