Dana Lee Calabrese of Hollywood, California, was walking to dinner on April 30 when suddenly a homeless man collapsed in the middle of the street—right front of her.
She and her cousin, Jackie Lezette, called 911, while a young man and woman carried the man out of the street. They all waited for the ambulance to arrive.
When medics finally got there, Calabrese asked them if they would be taking the homeless man’s cart of belongings along. “No, are you? A million more dominoes fall a day around here,” the medics said to her.
The comment “sent chills down my spine,” Calabrese wrote on her Facebook page.
Calabrese, shocked by the medics’s response, decided to give them her phone number in the hopes that they would give it to the man, who was identified as Douglas Dean Hall, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran with a prosthetic leg.
“Not sure if he ever got the number or has any means of contacting me. I need him to know that I have his cart! He is an ex marine, a Veteran who lost his leg! He fought for this country and we repay him by leaving him on the streets,” she wrote.
Calabrese then took to Facebook and asked her social media friends to help locate the man. “I need your help!” she said.
Early June, a woman on social media, Maryam Ramezani, found Hall and replied to Calabrese’s post. “I found him. He is on Highland &Hollywood,” she wrote.
Word got around that Calabrese has been looking for Hall, so he needed to stay where he was at.
Calabrese, her husband, and a neighbor headed to the area on June 9 to find him.
The trio found Hall and Calabrese gave him his cart that she had hidden in the garage of her condo building. She said he was in tears.
“At one point he screamed on the top of his lungs ‘God is Good’! My heart is touched. Thanks to everyone who has been sharing my original post, you made this happen! Happy Endings Exist,” Calabrese wrote on her Facebook page on June 10.
In their conversation, Hall told Calabrese he wants to go to New York and plans to take the train there. So Calabrese set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise money for Hall’s transportation fees.
“He would like more than anyting[anything] to get to New York, and he wants to take the train. Please help me make that happen! Let’s show him some appreciation by getting him where he needs to go!” Calabrese wrote.
“The train ranges in price from $300-$450 for a value ticket via Amtrax from Union Station to Penn Station.
“I would like to add a little extra for food and anything else he may need while making the transistion to New York City. (prepaid visa card),” Calabrese wrote on the fundraising page.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the page has received a total of $2,410 surpassing Calabrese’s goal of $1,000. “We DOUBLED our goal,” Calabrese wrote on June 14.
It’s not clear whether Hall received the money yet, but whenever he does, he will be in for a great surprise.