My friend Linda gave me a necklace for the holidays; a lock that read 'Inspire'. I cried when I read the note in the box that it was to benefit the Los Angeles Poverty Dept. I love John Malpede and all he has done over the years with LAPD. That she had found John too, made me so happy.
I decided to stay open to when and where to pay it forward so I kept the necklace in my purse. This weekend I was in Salinas at a training for organizers in the homeless movement there; which is a horrific situation as they are about to lose their Chinatown encampment. A young woman who went to Ferguson as soon as Mike Brown was murdered and had worked there for a year, was in Salinas helping the teaching team.
I watched her leadership for the days of the school and before I left I took her aside. I told her the story of Linda and the lock and said I was paying it forward because she Inspired me. The lock causes tears and as her eyes watered as she told me that she has 30 homeless where she lives in Oakland that she has been caring for; something she never shared with anyone. We hugged and cried, learned something new about each other and she felt seen and appreciated.