When Jeffrey is given a free shot to turn his life around, he decides to do the right thing rather than take advantage of fate. Later, he’s repaid for his kind heart in the best way possible. The only life that Jeffrey had ever known was on the streets. Since his childhood, Jeffrey has been homeless. His mother, Rebecca, was abandoned by her husband, and they were forced to live on the streets without a way to cover living expenses and rent.
Soon afterward, his mom fell ill and passed away. As much as he tried, Jeffrey couldn’t find a permanent job. He would often hear the same reason from potential employers: “Unless you’re able to be presentable and clean on the job, you can’t work here,” one employer told him. Jeffrey only had some clothes, blankets, and shoes, which he would push around in a rusty trolley. With no family or friends, he relied on his local shelter and soup kitchen.
He’d often ask the workers at a local burger place for their leftovers and scraps to survive. Jeffrey knew many people in the area and would help new tenants move into their apartments for a bit of money. He desperately wanted to find a job, but he knew he didn’t look the part. One day, as Jeffrey was looking through the trash can outside the burger shovel looking for food, he noticed a black object near the surface. He picked it up and realized it was a wallet.
Maybe one of the cooks dropped it, he thought. However, when he looked inside, he could recognize the ID picture. The wallet belonged to Alan, a small business owner who stayed a few blocks away. Alan’s cards, driver’s license, and cash were still inside the wallet, meaning he’d lost it by mistake. There was also a check for three thousand dollars inside it.
“This is life-changing money. I could get some fresh clothes, maybe rent a small studio apartment, and finally get a job,” Jeffrey mumbled to himself. Jeffrey sat down with the wallet in his hands and decided to think about it. For the first time, he remembered asking Alan for money a few weeks prior and saying no. But unlike most people, Alan told Jeffrey why he couldn’t offer any money.
“Listen, Jeff, I’ve been sick lately, and I need to save every penny I can to pay for my procedure to get better. I swear if I had a spare dollar, I would, but not today,” Alan told him. Jeffrey knew he couldn’t live with the guilt of knowing a man would suffer if he took the money for himself. Even though he initially felt that the check may have been a gift from God, he quickly realized that it was more of a test. Jeffrey walked a few blocks to Alan’s offices.
Alan was a carpenter who worked alone. Jeffrey rang for Alan, who sounded surprised by the visit. As Alan answered the door, Jeffrey greeted him straight away. “Hey, Alan, don’t worry. I’m not here to ask for any money.
You dropped your wallet outside the burger joint or something. It was in the trash,” Jeffrey said as he presented the wallet to Alan. Alan grabbed the wallet and checked for its contents before dropping to his knees. He began weeping as he held the three thousand dollar check in his hands. “You’re a lifesaver, Jeffrey.
You have no idea. My procedure was scheduled for tomorrow, and I thought I couldn’t pay it. I had no other way to find money in time,” Alan said. His tears ran down his face. To Jeffrey’s surprise, Alan gave him a big hug.
It was the first hug Jeffrey had received in years. Alan promised to pay Jeffrey back once his health procedure was done, and he was back to good health. A few weeks later, Jeffrey was outside The Burger Joint eating some leftover fries that Afrika could give him. He could hear footsteps approaching before he heard Alan greet him. Alan told Jeffrey that his procedure had been a success and that he’d fully recovered.
Jeffrey could see that Alan looked much healthier, which made him happy. “If it wasn’t for you, my wallet might have been lost in the trash forever, and my health probably would have taken a turn for the worse. For that, I’ll always be grateful,” Alan said. “I’m just happy to see that you’re doing well. Getting your wallet back to you is just doing the right thing,” Jeffrey replied.
Alan shook Jeffrey’s hand and hugged him before saying, “I’m gonna help you out. Please come over to my place, and let’s have dinner together. I’m sure we can figure something out.” That night, Jeffrey explained his situation to Alan. He explained how he tried to find work but was told he was undesirable.
Alan sympathized and offered him help. “I can make space for you to come and stay here at my house. We’ll get you cleaned up. I’ll borrow you some of my clothes and get you a job,” Alan told Jeffrey. Jeffrey started crying because he couldn’t believe his luck.
In the following weeks, Alan helped Jeffrey find work as a waiter at a nearby restaurant. Within a year, Jeffrey was able to save enough money to start renting a small apartment close to work and began studying toward his GED. He and Alan have remained close friends ever since. Soon, Jeffrey earned his GED and studied further, achieving a diploma in social work. When Alan asked why he’d chosen to study social work specifically, Jeffrey replied, “I want to help kids who found themselves in the same situation as me.
Children with nobody to turn to might not be as lucky as I was, but they still deserve assistance.” Later in his career, he formed an initiative with a burger joint where he used to ask for scraps. The initiative helped provide food for homeless children in the area.