Matthew Shore ’22
The day before Salve Regina University went on the pause, I volunteered for St. Paul United Methodist Church’s Grab n’ Go Handout. It was a very fast-paced event, in which volunteers made small talk with guests as we handed them each a sandwich and snack bag, and then they were on their way again. Dick, the event supervisor, and I, heard some of their life stories and how the pandemic affects them as we handed them their food.
But for one gentleman, I did a little more than give him a snack bag–hence calling this “Saving a Life”–and no, he wasn’t choking or anything. Let me explain.
This tall, broad-shouldered man, came up to Dick and me and started telling us his life. He told us his name was John* and he was born on Cape Cod but relocated to Newport with his girlfriend, who had kicked him out several weeks prior. John was only 19-years-old and had no money, place to stay, or other resources to get him back to the Cape. Not going in-depth with details due to its saddening nature, he explained that he and his girlfriend faced a tragedy that I cannot even express in words.
While John talked with Dick, I went to my car and collected some cash from my wallet. I handed the money to John as he was saying his final thoughts.
In that moment of giving him the money, I knew the saying, “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” was 100% true. Never have I received a look of such gratitude in my entire life, and I knew I had quite literally, saved his life.
My heart feels warm knowing that I helped this young man, and I pray that he is back on Cape Cod with his family or in Newport taking shelter somewhere warm. Hope to you soon, John.
*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.