More than 100 children and 20 call me dad

Okay, so here’s a fun twist to my life. My friends approached me asking if I wanted to go garbage picking, and I laughed and laughed. They were serious though, so I went with them to see what was going on, you know if I should check them into the local loony bin or what.

We drove to Oakville, this super gorgeous city with beautiful women jogging on the sidewalk (in Malton, you don’t see this, you usually see people running for their life). Anyway in Oakville, once a year they do this cool thing where people can put their used items on the curb, for other people to come and take. Not garbage, but actually useful items like furniture, electronics and nic nacs. The reason this is great for us is that we know people who need things for their home, and we can’t afford to pay for all of that stuff out of our own pockets but we can spend time looking through items on hundreds of curbs and pick out the items.

We found some great treasures including working computers, tvs, and of course furniture.

We found a beautiful solid wood office desk, that was way too heavy but so nice we didn’t want to leave it. We knew who we would be giving it to and were excited to get it there. Nathan and I had to take this thing in the elevator up 3 floors and then down a long hallway, and then up a narrow flight of stairs and we were wondering how we would do that last part, this desk might have been several hundred pounds with no real place to hold it while taking it up the stairs. When we got to the location a young black teen was standing around outside in the dark and to my amazement asked if we needed help.

This surprised me, at first I figured he was one of my former kids who was now a teen but I couldn’t recognize him at all. I didn’t want to say anything though because if he was one of my kids and I couldn’t remember, then he would be hurt and I would feel terrible. It’s fair to say that I’ve worked closely with over 100 children and teens at this point, and I can’t remember them all. Sometimes I’ll be walking in the mall and they’ll walk up and hug me, most are way taller than me now. Even some of the girls. There’s a young man who comes over for dinner 2-3 nights a week, he’s a tall, muscular super dark skinned black youth. He doesn’t knock, he just finds his way in somehow. I’ll be watching tv, and turn around and there he is. I know he’s from one of the churches, and he’s a good kid. Always listens to me, never causes me any problems.

It took a long time for the 3 of us to get that desk up the stairs, it was really brutal. I was so impressed with this young man that I offered to buy him a whole pizza, and he wasn’t even surprised at all, as if he hung out with me before. We drove him over to 241 and got him a media pizza and some soda, then drove him home. I still have no idea if he’s one of my kids I worked with in the past but anyway, God bless him for being such a help.

Now in Guyana, and other parts of the world, this is how we got most of our possessions: picking through the dump. I remember my first tricycle, right out of the dumpster, and my uncle made 2 solid wooden rear wheels for it that weren’t held on by bolts, so they would wobble as I rode, I loved that bike so much and you know what, it’s still being used today. I have a photo of me riding it in my underwear and it’s one of my favorite memories.

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