Grisham, A Homeless Man, and My Spilled Groceries

For Thanksgiving, I have a story to share. Yesterday, I pulled into the crowded grocery store parking lot, where cars were stopped everywhere, waiting for a place to park. Towards the back of the lot, a homeless man sat under a tree with a book in his hand. The book was covered with a handwritten sign asking for money. Next to him was an empty space – where no one wanted to park. No one wanted to park their car next to the homeless man.
Honestly, I didn’t get it, and I was overjoyed by luck at finding a space. So I pulled into it, and dug through my purse looking for some bills. I got out of my car and said, “Hey! Whatcha reading?” He looked up at me in surprise. “Grisham,” he said with a smile. I handed him the money and smiled back, “I love Grisham,” I said, and walked away. By the time I came back out – he was gone. I was hoping he went to find food with the money I gave. 

After dealing with the long line at the grocery store, I hurriedly put my groceries in the back of my SUV, and unbeknownst to me, the gate didn’t latch. By the time I made it onto the street – three bags of groceries toppled out and into the middle of the left turn lane. I was horrified and worried my groceries were going to cause an accident. So I whipped back around – turned on my hazards – and got out of the car while a young lady had already crossed the street from the gas station to help me get my groceries out of the way. 

Every single one of my food items survived the fall – except for two bottles of sparkling lemonade -but, everything else I picked out for today’s feast was left totally unscathed. And, I couldn’t help but think, as I raced to get those groceries out of the way, that my willing gesture of kindness with the homeless man came right back to me with someone who was willing to help me out in my own time of need. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Author: Tonia Allen Gould

Tonia Allen Gould is the CEO of Tagsource, a 25-year-old Consumer Promotions and Marketing Agency, she's founder of the Finding Corte Magore Project, and children's book author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. Here, on this blog, she writes about whatever compels her at the moment. In her book, she explores the concepts of perseverance, hard work, bullying, and finding a place to call home for young readers. The impetus of the Finding Corte Magore project stems from Tonia's background - growing-up below the poverty line, in rural Indiana. A product of Indiana's foster care system, she is the first to say that books, a solid education and teachers, taught her there was a life for herself, tangible and within her reach, she just had to reach out and grab it. After publishing her first book, she decided she wanted to find an island and make it real, by naming it after the fictional place in her book, “Corte Magore,” and utilize it for social and environmental good. Today, the 29-acre island of Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua- through a joint partnership with Ambassador Francisco Campbell, the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S.-will be utilized by the Finding Corte Magore Project to work to keep Nicaraguan children in school. The Finding Corte Magore Project works virtually to connect a global community of students and institutions with the plight of educationally and economically repressed Nicaragua. The project involves showcasing and managing one of the country's own beautiful islands in its educational and environmental initiatives. The goal of The Finding Corte Magore Project is to create social awareness coupled with building a sustainable, positive and long-term educational impact on the country's children who have an on-average fifth grade dropout rate. In addition, Tonia is a promotional products industry veteran. She is the founder and CEO of 25-year old Tagsource, LLC (AKA TAG! The Creative Source). She currently serves on the BOD for the Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC), is an "Industry Voice", a recipient of a PPAI Golden Pyramid, and has been named on ASI’s Hot List. She is the recipient of Supplier of the Year award through the Women’s Business Enterprise Council West, as nominated by Fortune 500 companies.