Generosity from where I least expected it

One of our #1 priorities at GiveSafe is getting more beacons out there to those who need them. One way we do that is by hanging out at the Millionair Club Fridays 12–2pm. Jess (operations) was gonna meet me there; I had all the beacons plus cardboard signs that help explain the project. I stepped out of my U-District house at 11:30 to drive down (okay, okay, maybe it was 11:50).

One problem. Dead battery. 😩

With no jumper cables, and too much to haul in a rideshare, I ran back into the house and asked a roommate for cables. No dice. A second checked his car but none still. I turned to the neighbors. I knocked on three doors. No answer. I even asked a construction crew working on a house. Nothing.

I was growing despondent; beacons weren’t getting given out, plus I was stranding Jess. I started wandering towards a church at the end of the block to inquire within. As I entered the mostly empty parking lot, I noticed an older woman at her rusting, late-90’s minivan packed to the GILLS with stuff. I’m not proud to share this thought, but it went off immediately in my head… “Now HERE’S someone who almost certainly has jumper cables; she probably needs ’em weekly.”

I walk up. “Excuse me, would you by chance happen to have jumper cables?”

“Yeah, I’ve got them back here somewhere.”

She goes to carefully open her trunk, revealing a tightly packed “wall” of goods, including a printer and a desk.

“Remote office?”

“Not really. I’m homeless, living out of my van to save money.”

She jigsaws some items to reveal a crate, which gives up a set of jumper cables.

“Here they are! They’re yours.”

“What?”

“I’ve got another set, don’t worry.”

“Absolutely not!”

“You’ll probably need them again sometime so just keep them.”

“…I’m at least gonna buy them off of you.”

*I take out $10*

*She firmly refuses*

At this moment I realize that, here I am trying to get somewhere to give beacons out, and here I am introduced to someone who just might one.

“I’ve at least got something for you then.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s called a beacon…… “​

Sandy’s from Bellevue and has a heck of a story which you can read here. In her words, Sandy took the beacon because it “gives me resources I need, and keeps me connected to services too.”

I added $10 to her beacon, and headed off to jump my car, beaming.

Sometimes, generosity comes from where you least expect it.

Why is it that those who have the least often have the most to give?


Oh, you made it this far? You’re still wondering what ended up happening at MCC? Let’s cut to Jess, who’s at a big empty table with nothing to offer but a grin:


When I get there 40 min later, I initially tell her I was out distributing a beacon. This is the face I get:

But all’s well that ends well, and we end up meeting some pretty incredible individuals that if you’re in Seattle, I truly hope you’re able to meet soon.