We recently received a call from a gentleman explaining that he was a Vietnam Vet who used to come to the CEC and wanted to bring in a donation. Having trouble remembering who this might be, we scheduled a time for his wife to drop the donation at our office. The minute a sweet, grayed hair lady entered our lobby wearing gloves and a mask, referring to her husband as the one who played the harmonica, we knew exactly who they were!
After serving his country, he was now a disabled veteran of the Vietnam War. Jimmie and his girlfriend, Deborah, lived in a home in Haltom City for years. He was receiving disability income and she had a job. As she remembered, 2004 was a rough year for these two. Deborah lost her job and her mother passed away. Jimmie and Deborah found themselves unable to make it and came to the CEC for help.
CEC staff remembers Jimmie because he loved to play his harmonica and often brought it with him to “entertain” the volunteers and others waiting for food. As time passed, they experienced ups and downs and remember praying with Ronnie Parish, the VP of Community Services. It was that gentle prayer of comfort that endeared the CEC into the hearts of two people just making it from one day to the next.
Without Deborah’s job, it was too hard to live on Jimmie’s disability income alone and although food from the CEC helped, these two eventually moved in with his mother. Eventually, they both qualified for Social Security Income and Deborah gained employment so they quit coming to the CEC. Together for 20 years, these two stuck it out and are very happy to say that they got married in October of 2015. They lost Jimmie’s mother last year.
The donation Jimmie and Deborah wanted to make was fifty $100 dollar bills. Yes, these two donated $5,000 to the CEC! As I explained to them that this sort of thing doesn’t happen every day we were sincerely grateful for their donation, Deborah simply told me that they would much rather give than receive and wanted to pay it forward. As it turns out, Jimmie’s mother left a small inheritance and that is how they made this remarkable donation. This older woman came out during COVID-19 to make a generous donation so that others could be helped through these trying times. Just loving hearts making the world a little brighter for others.