Pass It On®
UNITY

Five And Alive

I grew up very poor and with a single mom in the throws of addiction. Often there was no money for food, and I was hungry a lot.

On my fifth birthday (1986), a couple close family members were invited to go to a park to celebrate my birthday. No cake, no presents, not a problem. Except for my auntie. She had an envelope in her hand.

Before everyone sang happy birthday, I saw a little boy, probably my age, and a woman, digging in the park dumpster for food. Something happened to me. I begged my mom to invite them to my party but my mother was not a fan of strangers. She said no.

I was intrigued, I didn't know others struggled like me, it hurt my heart. I watched them as everyone sang. I watched them when my auntie handed me an envelope. I watched them as I opened it until I saw the contents, a crisp 100 dollar bill. My mother was enraged that my auntie would give me such a large amount of money. I think my auntie trusted me more than my mother with cash.

We were poor, I didn't eat 3 days a week, I had a very hard childhood. But i had never dug in a dumpster for food. The struggle, the suffering...I had never seen anyone else struggle. It just wasn't right if it could be prevented.

My auntie kept talking over my mother, telling me, I can do ANYTHING I want with that money. So I did. I walked to the dumpster to the boy and his mother. I explained to the boy that it was my birthday and my one present was a $100, and I wanted to give it to them. There were so many tears and thank yous.

I, and my auntie, understood how powerful it was to give the only money I've ever seen away. My mother never did. I paid dearly for the action that night, by the the of my mother that could not score. But it was worth it.

I think about that boy and his mother often

Previous Story All Stories Next Story

Share Your Own Personal Story
Pass It On®

Your story is really touching. Thank you for sharing. :)
Shannon, Akron, Oh

What an incredible act of generosity by your young self, Erica! I applaud your beautiful soul.
Mary, Seattle

I salute the writer of this story. I was also from a poor family and I can remember when I was 9 years old [[19570 my Dad ordered me to take my shoes off and give them to the little girl who never had school shoes, something I will never forget till the day I die, my Dad's wonderful heart was Blessed as he helped many poorer people then what we were.
Liz, South Africa

I like it because the kid gave a homeless guy money
Troy, lbj

This was a good story cause the kid gave 100 dollars to a homeless women and kid
Alan, lbj