Hi everyone! My name is Sharon and I am a mom, grandmother, and small business owner. My mission is to show my old friend Paul, see above, that his life is not about to be over; it's just beginning, and that he isn't alone. What Paul needs right now is a giant bear hug from Planet Earth, and I am inviting you to be part of how he's going to feel when he sees he does have hope, and things are going to be all right. His immediate needs, which I drove from Kansas to see about, are housing, proper nutrition, and working transportation. New glasses and a few other basic supplies come after that.
I will add to his story but for now he just needs to be scooped up and allowed to rest for a minute. All you need to know about me is that I have known this gentleman (and he absolutely defines the word) for 22 years. We have worked together, so I have personally witnessed his quiet, patient, and steady work ethic. There is nothing I value more highly than that, and he was perfect. That shirt he's wearing? It says "Maximum Effort", (Deadpool's catch phrase if you're not a fan) and while he just had it on by chance, if I was setting up the shot I would have asked him to wear it. Maximum Effort is his middle name. He and his brother lived with my kids and me back in the late 1990's, and, again, he just never failed to impress: he was consistently polite, grateful to a fault, a wonderful big brother to my girls, and a calm and steady presence when my world was hard to handle. I thought back then that I would be lucky to be half as wise and thoughtful in my lifetime, and he wasn't done yet: once he left us in Oregon to return to Orange County, California, which is home, he put himself through college, and is halfway through his masters.
He could have asked me for help, honestly I wish he had, but he's never asked for a penny. Through circumstances beyond his control, including a house fire and troubled family and friends he's trying to help, and a job ending, he is having to live in conditions I'm not going to share, because he is proud, meticulous, and fastidious. He is actively pursuing his career but meanwhile humble enough to take a seasonal job for which he is extremely overqualified, yet always with a sweet smile and not complaining. I will add that within two days on that job, he was made a manager. Paul made a master list of his goals, in order of priority, when he was a teenager, starting small and working his way up to life dreams...back then it was about two feet long, handwritten in his precise block print. He has kept on systematically working on that list in order until it's maybe half of a page.
I couldn't be prouder of Paul if I had raised him myself, and Dickensian nightmare he finds himself in is proving hard to escape due to the high cost of living here. He is taking his own steps to fix things, but I can't sit in my big house and watch this go on any longer, and still look myself in the eye. Just so you know, he was still putting on his brave face ("Doing great, Sharon, thanks for asking. Plenty of challenges, but nothing I can't handle!). I had to pry it out of him.
My friends, I will post more about my amazing friend/adopted son as the days go by, but for now please share this on, leave a comment if you have a minute, give a buck or two if it's laying around and you don't need it, God bless you if it isn't...but mostly share this on so this precious bright spirit in the universe doesn't lose hope and give up his shine. My hope is to give Paul a huge viral hug from all around the world. I love him and you will, too. Also: He is an incredibly smart, independent thinker, and might solve a problem for you one day! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Don't feel obligated to donate, but please, if you are impressed with Paul--and I'm only scratching the surface here--share his story with your friends. Any donations will be repaid if you p.m. me with your name and amount... won't be immediate, but this isn't a handout, it's just a jumpstart. Let's rain down