My Giving Key said KIND and was given to a man named Robbie, who has inspired and given me so much this past year. Robbie is experiencing homelessness, living on the streets in my city. I met him when I stopped to check on his constant companion, a dog named Kalub. The sight of this dog causes many to stop and take notice. Most want to be sure Kalub is fed and has what he needs, while others have offered to take him home. However, Kalub made me stop and notice Robbie. As I got to know them, it became apparent that Robbie was just like you and me, but fell on hard times.
Robbie found his dog tossed inside a dumpster at only a few days old. Like many dogs, Kalub became family to his homeless owner, who asked for money to pay for veterinary care and bottle fed him into the healthy dog that he is today.
This dog doesn't just bring Robbie joy; he also provides needed purpose for his life. Robbie calls Kalub a hero, when in reality Robbie is the hero. This kind and generous man, who had been forgotten, went above and beyond for another living creature. Someone with so little, yet so much to give.
Robbie's friendship inspired me to start a non-profit called Kalub's Keepers to share compassion and provide backpacks with necessities to our local homeless community. The majority are single adults without family support, like Robbie, with many different reasons for living on the street. The fact is that many of us are just a few missed paychecks away from being without a place to call home.
I could not think of a better person for my Giving Key than Robbie. He not only became Kalub's Keeper, but he also became someone we call friend. A friend who once felt invisible, but is now noticed because of Kalub. My hope is that by distributing backpacks and needed supplies we can let people like Robbie know that we see them. They are NOT invisible...in a way, our backpacks are Keepers too!