Second Chance - on the way to the Second Cup
Jun 25, 2010
My life has been touched by volunteers, those who helped me personally and by volunteers who are responsible for the success of the many projects that I have been involved with, such as the Canadian Land Mine Foundation. This is a story that I have told often. It is about one volunteer who made a difference to me, personally.
There was a turning point during my life on the streets when I finally realized I needed help and I knew of a place that I could call for help.
I went out to the street, begging for money. I had done this many times before, trying to put enough money together for a cheap bottle of wine. This time was different. All I wanted was a dime. I don't remember much about the phone call I made. I only remember my desperation. The person on the other end told me to come on over to a place on Yonge street, not far from where I was.
It was a beat up old building, that I am sure is long gone now, and I dragged myself up the stairs. I must have been quite a sight as I came to the top; bedraggled, unkempt, probably hadn't washed or shaven for several days and wearing clothes that I had slept in for weeks.
As I stopped on the way up, to catch my breath, my fear of going forward almost caused me to retreat back down the stairs, but desperation kept me going. When I walked into the room at the top, a small woman with white hair looked up, and I blurted out, "I need help."
Nonjudgmental and unafraid, this volunteer looked up at me and said, "You're home."
After all of the rejection and all of the chaos that I had caused in my own life, this woman, who I came to know as Marg, gave me something that I had not had in a very long time. She enabled me to have hope.
Over time, I went on to meet other volunteers who helped me immensely along the way. As for Marg, I am sure that I was just one of many and she probably would not have remembered me a week later. But I will always remember her, and the difference she made.
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