It was an early spring morning when we first met Ed pacing up and down our parking lot. He explained that he had arrived early on the train, and when we invited him inside to wait he shared with us one of the most remarkable stories we had ever heard.
Ed had been adopted at an early age and had grown up in Boston. A troubled young man, he had started drinking and doing drugs while still in school and things had quickly spiraled out of control and into addiction. By his early twenties, he was in jail. Yet, in Ed’s words, “Jail worked for me.”
While in prison, Ed accepted responsibility for turning his life around. Inspired by his own experiences, he decided to study substance abuse counseling and ended up working in the same prison where he had once been held. His real life experience gave him credibility among the inmates and he felt fulfilled by his new career path. Soon, he was working on his Master’s degree.
Then, Ed suffered a horrible accident.
While crossing the street Ed was hit by a car at high speed. The accident landed him in the hospital for months with numerous injuries and head trauma. Ed lost his job, and then his home, as the medical bills piled up. But Ed refused to give up. He threw himself into physical therapy and never once turned back to alcohol or drugs.
His journey to recovery now brought him to Mission of Deeds, where, despite a missing truck and a missing caseworker, we managed to send Ed home with everything he needed to fully furnish his new apartment. Having spent his last few dollars on the train out, we even drove Ed home to meet the truck now loaded down with a bed, kitchen set, sofa, and more.
A few days later, Ed left an emotional message of thanks for us. His voice cracking, he said he would never forget the kindness our volunteers had shown him, and finished by saying,
“You didn’t just make my day…you made my month.”