Mitzvah and Me

Here is a nice alternating perspective of the relationship formed between Mitzvah Circle and myself.
First is an article I wrote, then followed by an article that Fran from Mitzvah Circle wrote.

So I'm sitting outside of Target with a new pack of Breathe Right Strips. Now normally this would not be an exciting thing, but sometimes small things take on a much deeper meaning. It's all about relativity. You see, I'm homeless, and I live in a shelter with 40 other men, and there is one guy there who happens to have a really bad snoring problem. Normally even this wouldn't be a big issue, but imagine it's you, and imagine that some of the other guys there are starting to get mad, to the point where they are waking you angry at night. Or when you wake up there is someone there confronting you and trying to push you into an actual fight.
Now picture you can't even afford to buy these strips so you can rest without having to sleep with "one eye open", or worry about someone trying to fight you over it.
This is where someone like Fran from Mitzvah Circle comes to the rescue. One call explaining this guys situation and she sends me a gift card to Target, and now when I get back to the shelter tonight this guys day will be made from one simple act of kindness, and he can now hopefully get some peace of mind.

This is just one very small example of how Mitzvah Circle changes peoples lives on a daily basis.
It wasn't very long ago when I had become freshly homeless, felt very alone, frightened, and if that wasn't bad enough my glasses were broken and I could barely see three feet in front of me. It was a horrible time, but then suddenly here is this woman who had read my story, and reached out to me, wanting to help.
Now this type of kindness was new to me. I always lived a good life in the sense that I treated others with kindness, but reaching out to strangers in such a manner was something I simply hadn't experienced, but here she was, fully intent on helping me, not only because helping is what she does, but because she said she believed in me.
Maybe something like this might still seem small to you reading this from the comfort of your home, but imagine you've lost everything, coming out of a 10 year depression, and tryly feeling it's you against the world. Yet here she is, giving me not only help acquiring new glasses so I can see, but giving me hope, and a sense of confidence.
Very few people have ever touched my life the way Fran and her organization have, and not just from helping me, she has honestly rubbed off on me, and now I can confidently say that I am a better person for it.

Since me and Fran have become friends, we have been able to share some of this same kindness to others around me.
There was "Pop's", an amazing older man at my shelter who was walking around with holes in his shoes during the rainy season. One call to Fran, and Pops had new shoes, and now me and Pops have formed an amazing bond and impacted each others lives on many levels, and is truly one of my closest friends.
All because someone was there to reach out and help and someone thought there was no help to be had.

Another great example is at the shelter people donate clothes, but some of guys are bigger and very rarely is there anything that we can fit into, and we can't afford new clothes, so we just watch everyone else getting new clothes, while we have nothing. Once again, this is where Fran steps in, and a few days later there is 2 boxes of clothes in larger sizes. It was like x-mas morning to us, suddenly we had new shorts, shirts, pants, and we're all walking around happy felling fresh and civilized once again!
I can't stress to you the impact that these little things have when you are in this situation.
Mitzvah Circle has since helped me supply myself and others in need of clothing, materials, bags to carry things needed to work, and the list just continues to grow!.

I also want to point out, it's not just things thats she has given me and others, Fran has become a very dear friend to me, one whom I can share anything with, and who never would judge me in any way, and will always give it to me straight in any situation. My life is truly better for having her come into my life, and the kindness that gives to others has truly been an inspiration to me. To the point where I now realize that my future will always involve helping others in some capacity. To stop now is simply not an option, and I have Fran to thank for this mindset.
I look forward to a long future of friendship, as well working with her in any way I can. So few people in this world give of themselves while asking nothing in return, and it's because of this that I would do anything for her, and will continue to to follow her example!!

Thank you Mitzvah Circle, the work you do touches peoples lives on levels that you could never even understand! The world is blessed to have people like you.



When I spoke to Boston Homeless in one of our early conversations, he mentioned that he was newly homeless and that his glasses had broken beyond repair.  Being nearsighted and without glasses, he told me that his world seemed cloudy. I am sure that it did.
Without glasses, I knew Boston Homeless was going to have great difficulty navigating the complex system of paperwork that was going to be needed for his survival. There would be paperwork to get assistance with food, medical care and to find a homeless shelter.  I knew providing eye glasses was an immediate necessity. I felt a great sense of urgency to create a relationship with an optical shop in Boston that would help us make this happen quickly and easily. No one wants to ask for something for free or at a reduced rate for themselves because it is embarrassing and uncomfortable.  This is why at Mitzvah Circle Foundation—we are the ones who  do the asking. Boston Homeless quickly became our partner in this mission—speaking to the optical shop and helping the process dramatically.  Just a few days later he had new glasses, the world seemed much brighter and it was a new beginning.
All his paperwork was completed in record time and Boston Homeless found himself in a well located homeless shelter.  When Boston Homeless asked me “How can I possibly thank you for the help you have given to me?” I instantly replied without a moment of hesitation, “You will help me help someone else.”  “How?” replied Boston Homeless in a tone of disbelief.  At that moment I knew that Boston Homeless did not view himself as someone who would be able to help someone else—after all—he was homeless and his life had fallen apart.  My instincts told me something very different. I knew he was going to be able to ease the burdens of people in need and that together we would help people who had fallen through the cracks.
Before long, we were sending shoes, toiletries, clothes and duffle bags to Boston Homeless and he was distributing them to people in need. Through our work at Mitzvah Circle Foundation I know that everyone has something to give.  We work at creating relationships and providing hope and dignity to all people in need. I knew that Boston Homeless was going to be a valued friend of Mitzvah Circle Foundation and together we were going to reach people who were living in poverty or who were not able to navigate the social service system on their own.  Mitzvah Circle Foundation has had the opportunity to touch the lives of people whom we would have never known without the help of Boston Homeless. 
Sometimes you need someone to believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself.  We believe in Boston Homeless.  When the world seems cloudy, helping others often provides some needed clarity.  With the help of Boston Homeless we are able to create hope in situations that seem hopeless for many –which is a priceless gift.  For this opportunity, I am grateful.