Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve All! This blog is a Community Love Project...a chance for everyone to help a little, to help one person in a BIG way. I encourage you to read on and sign up to follow this project. -------------------- As I sit in bed this morning, with a warm cup of coffee, anticipating a fun, relaxing day with my family...I am filled with thoughts of a kind man I met two weeks ago & wanted to introduce you all to. His name is Andrew Kazior and he is homeless. I met him three weeks ago at the Draper family homeless outreach event called "Feeding San Diego". This 4th annual event provides food, hygiene products, blankets, clothes...and really, in my opinion, most important things...LOVE and support to this community of people who have found themselves in a very unfortunate situation. The event is at The Alpha Project winter shelter http://www.alphaproject.org/programs/winter-shelter-program/ has a primary focus to shelter participants from the elements during the coldest and wettest period of the year, but the program also offers a comprehensive blend of services to assist participants to establish their own self sufficiency. - See more at: http://www.alphaproject.org/programs/winter-shelter-program/#sthash.tKARSX48.dpuf Stella, who is now six, and I have enjoyed being a part of this event over the last two years and feel blessed to have an opportunity to be involved. This year, I decided to offer "resume services" to anyone who was trying to find a job. I was nervous in many ways and scared that this idea was over zealous. To my suprise, in pouring rain and a large crowd, God steered my feet directly to someone who absolutely needed this type of help. As I got to know Andrew and his story of how he ended up homeless, I was moved by how positive and optimistic he was about his future. Deep in his eyes, you couldn't deny there was pain and sorrow, but he seemed to be doing a great job of not letting that taint his outlook. He shared with me EVERYTHING from where he went to college in Poland, the Engineering degree had obtained and used to create a very successful career in the packaging industry, his love of photography and his two grandchildren and how he thought San Diego was a beautiful city and a wonderful place to live. He also shared with me how his road to his current situation began...when his company, where he was a supervisor at a packaging plant, was purchased by a larger company and he was laid off. After searching for a while for a new job with no luck, he decided to persue one of his dreams and start his own photography company, so he began gaining clients to capture weddings and family events, in addition to wildlife and airplanes, which seemed to be a big passion for him. He sought out companies like national geographic to purchase his images and seemed to be doing ok. Living on some savings and also still pursuing a new job in the packaging industry he had so much experience in. After trying for some time to gain employment, he decided to try a different coast and leave behind the cold and memories of an unsuccessful marriage too. The idea of California sounded warm with new possibilities and hope. The journey had a bad hiccup when he experienced a bad car crash in Arizona and was rushed to the hospital for lifesaving care. Unfortunately, everything he owned was in his car and this is where the story really goes awry. Everything was stolen, including his laptop, 2 professional cameras and all of his self-identifying documents saying who he was. Perhaps by this time, his savings bubble he referred to had reached a remarkable low and couldn't recover from the impact of a bad car accident, stay in the hospital & then no way to earn an income? (no cameras or computer to capture/edit/send images?). Somehow, he made his way to california where he has been trying for the last few months to regain all of his personal identification documents that prove who he is & that he is an american citizen (he has an accent which might raise flags to many employers). From what I could gather, it sounds like this process is a lengthy and expensive one, so he has been trying hard to pull together enough money to get all these things taken care of. He has high hopes that once all his documents come through, he can start seriously trying to interview. With out proper documents, or the money to re-issue them...employment is basically impossible to regain. In the meantime, Andrew does odd-jobs to survive, stays away from dangerous people and gives thanks to the Alpha Project for providing him with a warm, dry place to sleep, as well as other help. We have started working together on creating a new resume for him and creating a list of things he needs to get back on his feet again. I understand that there may be holes in or parts missing from Andrews story. My mission is not to find the holes or fear what I don't know. My mission is to simply love and provide hope to this man who was so inspirational to me in so many ways. My idea is to raise financial funds to purchase actual things he needs like a bus pass (he's been trying for a month to get one), meal assistance, clothing/suits for interviews, first month's rent, etc. During a self-growth course a few months ago, one of the biggest lessons I learned was that when we want to make a big difference to help people in need, one of the best ways to start is by helping ONE person. I believe we can all help one person somehow, in someway. Everyone has the capability to do that. So please join me in following Andrew's journey & helping in any way possible. I've included a "donate now" button on the right of this blog for anyone who wants to make a financial contribution. I'll be updating the blog weekly with the funds that have been raised & what will be purchased for Andrew...or what is needed for Andrew. I have a strong feeling in my heart that this man has something great to offer the world...please help me in helping him get back on his feet!!