Homeless people usually beg for money to buy food. But one man in Florida found out that one homeless woman didn’t use the money she received to buy food. Instead, she went to the library. When he learned why, he was determined to raise funds for her.
In 2016, Greg Smith, who was working in downtown Orlando, would often pass by Amy Joe, a homeless woman, every day when he went to work. He noticed that Joe was different from other homeless people.
"Meet "Amy Joe". For the last few weeks each Tuesday, Amy Joe and I meet at the corner of Pine street and S. Orange ave…
“She never asked for money…” Smith wrote on a GoFundMe page that he created. “She simply said ‘Good morning Sir, have a great day. God Bless!!’ and smiled.”
“I wear a suit to work everyday [sic] so I get asked a lot for money quite often downtown … but never once from Amy Joe,” Smith explained.
Smith decided to have lunch with her every Tuesday, and “for 30 min to an hour I get to hear how positive she is even though she really has nothing,” he wrote.
One day when Smith met Joe again, she told him the secret of where she spends her funds.
“Amy Joe kind of dropped a bomb on me,” Smith recalled. “She struggle [sic] with reading.”
“Amy Joe does not smoke, drink, have a drug addiction, or anything to that nature,” Smith wrote. “She simply just has never had anyone teach her to read well.”
Joe also told him where she spent the money that she collects.
“She began to tell me any money that she can collect she uses to rent books that help with learning to read instead of buying FOOD,” Smith recounted.
Smith was “crushed” to hear this and decided to help Joe.
Amy Joe and I want to say thank you to everyone that has offered their help!!!! It's crazy what this has become and we both can't thank everyone enough. Many people have reached out to offer resources or encouraging words and i am glad to share this post that you now can offer whatever you wish. Whether it be $1 dollar, $5 dollars or a share/like on the video; whatever it is it will help bring more amazing awareness to help "One Person at a Time!!!" This has personally changed my life and I know it is going to change many more. Thank you all for everything you have already done!!! Who is your Amy Joe!?!? https://www.gofundme.com/
Greg Smith စာစုတင်ရာတွင် အသုံးပြုမှု ၂၀၁၆၊ ဧပြီ ၂၉၊ သောကြာနေ့
“So now not only do Amy Joe and I sit and have lunch, I’m teaching her to read. I rent one library book a week and we read it together Tuesday and she practices on her own throughout the rest of the week,” Smith wrote.
Smith told ABC News that Joe is happy whenever it’s time for their reading session.
“She lit up! I could see in her face that she felt amazing,” Smith said.
Smith explained on the GoFundMe page, which he set up to raise funds for Joe, that he wasn’t trying to “make anyone feel sorry for Amy Joe or brag about me doing something for someone less fortunate.”
“I want to be able to help anybody, whether it be giving them some food or clothes,” Smith said. “I don’t want to just narrow it down to helping people read because there’s so many other people that need more help.”
Smith also helped Joe work on getting her legal ID so that she could be placed in a permanent residence, according to an update posted on the GoFundMe page.
Some people may be a bit prejudiced towards homeless people, but before learning their story, one shouldn’t judge them based on their appearance and current situation on the streets. Take Amy Jo for example; she’s so positive despite her circumstances, and she’s trying to educate herself.
Hats off to Smith for bringing her story to light, and for his heart of kindness. To date, he’s raised US$10,085 for Joe. They have now stopped accepting any more donations.