Do you pass by homeless people on the street without giving them any attention or assistance? Could you give them some of your extra change? Could you point them in the direction of the closest social assistance center?
One woman from Canada actually went one step further than that.
Her compassion has resulted in life-altering effects, even though she may not have understood at the time how significant the impact of her seemingly insignificant act of kindness may be.
When David McDonald’s scooter experienced a flat tire, Kim Cormier was working outside her home in Kingston, Ontario at the time.
She was willing to keep a check on his belongings to ensure that they were not stolen while he went to acquire a new inner tube, despite the fact that he was a complete stranger to her.
Not only had Cormier not moved any of McDonald’s belongings while he was gone, but he also welcomed him in for supper when McDonald returned from his errand.
During the course of the meal, McDonald, Cormier, and her companion Andrew Embury grew comfortable with one another, which was the beginning of what has developed into a wonderful friendship between the three of them.
In 2010, McDonald experienced a string of setbacks in both his personal and professional life, which marked the beginning of his journey into homelessness.
The failure of his petrol station led to him losing his business. Not much longer after that, his home and his truck followed. After that, he and his partner of many years parted ways.
By 2016, McDonald was unable to support himself and was living in a park in Toronto. “I couldn’t even fathom what it would be like to be homeless.
I broke down and cried,” McDonald shared with CBC. “Because of this, it was challenging for me to accept assistance or charity.”
McDonald is eligible for a cash stipend from the government; yet, he chose not to take advantage of homeless services because, in his words, “other people are worse off” than he is and required them more urgently.
After leaving that park in Toronto, McDonald wandered around, sleeping with family whenever he could before settling down in a one-bedroom apartment that he shared with other people.
But because he was always at risk of being robbed and assaulted, he was forced to return to living on the streets, where he spent his time alternating his time between a tent and a broken-down transport trailer.
The following months saw continued communication between McDonald and Cormier.
Together with her spouse, she started providing assistance to McDonald by donating items of clothes, shoes, and a solar-powered bag that allowed him to keep his cell phone charged.
After some time had passed, the couple eventually informed McDonald that he was free to set up residence in their backyard.
McDonald was able to acquire a brand new tent that featured a mattress, couch, and refrigerator all thanks to one of her sisters.
McDonald has been making do with an improvised kitchen in the form of an outdoor fireplace, and he has been granted access to the restrooms and the laundry area within the house.
However, given that the tent was only designed for use during the summer, fall, and spring, Cormier devised a strategy to provide McDonald with a more permanent shelter that would also keep him warm during the winter.
Cormier started an internet fundraising campaign with the objective of raising $18,000 so that he could purchase McDonald his very own modest cottage.
On the GoFundMe page for the campaign, she noted that “we are attempting to gather as much money as can to assist ease the financial burden off of ourselves and David’s monthly contribution from collecting aluminum cans and his ODSP monthly housing allowance.”
After we have made the final payment on the cost of the tiny home, the ownership will be transferred into David’s name, and he will once again be the only owner of his residence.
Our long-term objective is for David to acquire ownership of his micro-home, relocate it to a permanent location where he would be able to live and reclaim his sense of independence.
The reaction was so amazing, including a single donation of $2,500 from a kind Samaritan, that the total sum was quickly raised.
It is anticipated that McDonald’s micro-house will be delivered before the onset of the winter weather.
Even though the brand-new microhome is easily moved to a different location, Cormier insists that McDonald is welcome to remain at her place for as long as he wishes because she considers him “part of the family.”
For McDonald, the value of being treated with human decency and respect is the yardstick by which Cormier’s generosity is measured. For Cormier, the value of material items is not the yardstick.
When he was asked about being homeless, he told CBC that being in that situation forced him to “swallow his pride.” “Her kindness exceeds my capacity to express gratitude in any form”