After falling victim to severe domestic violence, the Vaughn family fled their home with no possessions, other than a new van and enough money for fuel. They found themselves in Billings, Montana, where sadly, due to the tragic events that had taken place, son Malachi, was institutionalized for nearly five months. This was done in an attempt to assist with his Post Traumatic Stress.
Dawn was working when they first arrived in Billings, however, due to health issues that she is now facing, she has been unable to work for the past year. Although safe from domestic violence, and still in good spirits, this family of three was now homeless, living in their one possession, a van, that also had just broken down.
Then, as fate would have it, Gary Smith saw the Vaughn family parked, along with their puppy and kitty and he just knew:
“These are good people and I have to help them.”
After suffering a near-death experience as a child, he always felt he was left here on this earth for a bigger purpose. Helping the Vaughn family in anyway he could was just another way of fulfilling that purpose, and paying it forward.
The full interview, conducted by the Billings Gazette, can be watched below. If you listen closely, you will hear Mr. Smith speak some of the most powerful and truthful words you will ever hear.
“You don’t have to be wealthy to help people.”
Wow!! Spot on! Exactly the message we here, at Hooray Cafe, are trying to spread.
There definitely is this hidden stigma that attempts to dictate the way that we view helping others. The general consensus harbors the same assumption, that in order to donate or assist, it must be done in the form of money, meaning charity is something that the wealthy do. However, this has become completely inaccurate as we move forward, diving back into the meaning of ‘community.’ It now seems as though more and more people are beginning to understand the power of a good deed, as opposed to giving a dollar.
In Mr. Smith’s case, networking within the community and asking for available resources is exactly how he was able to help the Vaughn family, getting them one step closer to being back on their feet. This story carries a very valuable lesson that we can all gain from. Never underestimate the power and strength within a community.