Clients and Staff Pay it Forward, Receives Overwhelming Donation

LEC Participants Learn a Valuable Lesson about Kindness, Compassion

The Life Enrichment Center at Volunteers of America Texas is a place of learning for dozens of induvials with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The day program offers numerous indoor activities as well as a few outdoor activities on occasion.

On what appeared to be a regular hot day in June; clients and staff of the LEC saw an unusual sight. Weak and drenched in sweat, Thomas Becker was released from a Houston hospital with no way home. He found himself walking down Yale Street and as fate would have it- and unbeknownst to him-he'd walk directly to the place known for helping most vulnerable – Volunteers of America Texas.

Deneen Lewis, LEC program coordinator, "We went up to him and asked him could we help him in any way." Lewis said the man told the group he had just left the hospital where his eyes were dilated. "He said he had been walking for a while and asking people to give him a ride home, but no one would help," Lewis added.

His final attempt would not only grant him his wish, but would soon produce a bountiful blessing for the LEC. Lewis continued, "He offered to pay us $20 if we would just please take him home. I said, 'no sir, you don't have to pay us. VOA Texas is in the helping business, we'll bring you home!'"

Compassionate yet cautious, "I asked the man if he had any weapons. He said he had a little pocket knife and I asked him to surrender the knife to me before he entered into the van and he complied."

Beck was finally on his way home. "He kept wanting to pay us. We refused the money, but told him if he ever found his way near the LEC again we would not refuse a case of water," Lewis said with a smile.

Weeks later Beck, still overwhelmed with gratitude, intentionally found himself in the neighborhood again with water in tow. But it wasn't just one case; he donated ten cases of water to the LEC.

That day, clients at the LEC not only learned valuable lessons related to activities of daily living, they learned that random acts of kindness and compassion to assist others in need go a long way; and that they too can make a difference in someone's life.