As we came around the final bend, I saw him standing at the corner of his new street. I had only spoken to him just a few minutes before where he had given directions to get to his place. He saw us and waved us through.
Lets call him Mr A.
Taking a quick look at him you see a tall stoic man standing I'd say 6ft 4, his face weathered with a hint of the world on his shoulders, vanity is the least of his worries but don't judge him. His clothes are hand-me downs from goodwill donations which means they are tired, faded and well worn.
This man came close to losing everything, his life a mess but he stands strong, his main concern his girls and how they are coping.
A mistake/ an accident caused the house to burn to the ground taking all their material possessions with only their clothes on their back.
You might think this is bad enough a situation but when you talk more you actually discover that he is a grandfather and guardian to two teenage girls who were orphaned (I dare not ask the circumstances) and Mr A is also a carer to his wife and on a pension.
He mentioned how his invalid wife only just managed to escape as the fire ripped through the house so rapidly. Saved by some locals who risked their lives. He laments how much he wouldn't have coped without his wife.
Through circumstances my wife found out about Mr A's predicament, we had a computer desk and a tallboy we could donate, she also put the call out to her workmates and we were able to russle up more donations of bed linen, towels etc. We were even suprised that Kennards Hire donated a trailer so we could get the items there.
His appreciation was evident, it must be hard to rely on the kindness of others, especially someone proud. Being on a pension, finanical pressures had meant he could no longer afford contents insurance (which pains me so much as I work in the industry), his main concern in life was to support his two girls through school and get the best life for them. He has sacrificed a lot to help them. As i suppose any parent would.
What stands true with him is a strong sense of right and wrong, he said to us that he was completely honest with the circumstances to both the police and the insurance company. It shows his integrity and obviously a strong core belief that you don't compromise.
Many (including myself) would have already crumbled under the burden that he bares, I'm sure he hesitates to ask "what next". He said his family has been full of bad luck.
He bid us a heartfelt farewell and a handshake, I offered any help he needed and to call.
We got home after dropping off the trailer and I just said to my wife, "we did a good thing"
He still needs some help, as they were based in Fletcher (schools) and he doesn't want to change schools as the eldest is in year 12. She has just got her licence and has a car but can't afford the Third Party Property Insurance (and he doesn't want to try his luck). They are living in Tanilba bay and are doing a huge amount of travelling in the larger more expensive vehicle(about $40 a day for petrol).
They are also without computers/ peripherals which are essential for HSC, they are also in need of a lawnmower. If you know someone who could donate one of these items please email me or. We would also like to maybe raise the approx $300 for insurance on the car.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.