Herbert now gives what he once received. Meet one of our truly inspirational heroes.
My name is Herbert and I have a special place in my heart for Second Harvest Food Bank.
Years ago I had a job as a machinist, making about $100,000 a year. I lived well and put my kids through college but didn’t really save any money. I spent it as I got it. When my marriage ended, I was emotionally and mentally rocked and ended up losing my job and my family. I became homeless and stayed at a nearby shelter for 8 months where I got food through the Food Bank. I could not believe what my life had become. I never thought that I would be in a situation where some days I didn’t even have a cracker to eat. When I think that there are children out there now, in that same situation, it breaks my heart. I don’t sympathize with them, I empathize with them…I have been there.
One day, I did not even have enough coins scraped together to get on the train so I thought I would sneak on and try to avoid the conductor. Well, sure enough, as soon as I turned around, there he was. As he started to write out a ticket, I said “I don’t have money for a pass, I am penniless. On the days I can get enough coins, I pay for a pass, but not today. I am just trying to get to the library to look on the computers for work. The man said, “you’re looking for a job? How is your driving record?”
He took me to a place where they were hiring bus drivers. He gave me an application (and the $250 ticket for the train violation) which I brought back the next day. It took months to finalize but eventually I got the job! When I look back on this time in my life, I don’t have shame, just pride that I didn’t give up. I asked for help and thanks to people like you, I got it. I wanted to survive and eventually give back to the people that helped me.
That is why it is so important to me to give to Second Harvest. The Food Bank gives people something so basic but necessary. There were days where I couldn’t focus because I was so hungry. No one should have to worry about where a meal is coming from. Every meal counts so every dollar counts. I’m grateful that I now get to donate regularly to the Food Bank and feed others just like me who need a hand up during a time of crisis. I’m living proof that you can make it through and give back too.