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  • Matthew Salazar

Who are we helping?

Updated: May 25

Today I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to better know Gabriel. I approached him with a couple of the bags I had prepared, and he very happily accepted them. As I asked him if he needed anything else he choked back tears and said that I had given him more than enough.

I noticed he had a small backpack wadded up sitting next him and I asked if that was the only bag he had to carry his belongings and he said that it was. So, I went inside the store he was in front of to get him a bigger one. The store only had a picnic/beach style insulated tote with a good length shoulder strap, so I settled for that one and brought it outside with a cold 1-liter iced tea.

As I walk back out, I see Gabriel, sitting on the concrete, eating one of the Clementines from the bag still visibly crying. This small gesture meant more to him than I could understand. I sat with him and asked how he was doing, he replied that he was great now but asked if we could say the Lord’s Prayer because the anniversary of his mother’s passing is tomorrow (5/5). He recites the prayer and as I’m listening to this man talk to me, his voice cracking, and eyes holding back tears telling me about his day, where he sleeps, how he ended up where he is, and it took all I had to keep from bawling – daily life is tough for Gabriel. However, hearing so much relief and happiness because someone noticed him and took the time to help and get to know him reassured me that the vision is on target.

This is the mission of The FarWell Foundation. There is no better way to portray what we know we will accomplish but to tell the story of Gabriel. The man who has, for all of the reasons he can and cannot control, ended up where he is – in need of help, in need of someone willing to invest in him…in need.

What is even more incredible about Gabriel is that when I asked if he had any friends in need, he said he did and that he could not wait to share what he had been given, this man in his lack was ready and willing to ‘Pay it Forward.’ At that point I had him follow me to the back of my car and I loaded him up with more items and slipped him $25 to which he proceeded to cry, and I then proceeded to cry. I promised him that I would get him a wagon to move items around in more easily when I come to visit next week and check on him. Before I left Gabriel offered me a fist bump, but I declined and asked if I could get a hug and he gave me the biggest bear hug that he could.

Goodness works, goodness Improves Lives…goodness is not weak nor is it naïve.

So, this is an invitation to all who read this, if you want to help feel free to send a DM and let’s figure out a way to get you onboard. Together – and only together can we do this.

Last thing I ask, if you pray, or you offer good vibes – whatever you do, think about Gabriel tonight and offer him some good energy. Vol. Summer is working hard to get the funds needed to help The FarWell Foundation get off the ground, but it will not succeed without your support.

**Gabriel gave me permission to use his picture.**

#SAVINGLIVES




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