How a simple 'Hello' changed this man's life forever!

A man who lost everything and landed up living on the streets after his family was tragically murdered, has been given a second chance… by a simple act of kindness!

 

Sea Point, Cape Town – One evening, two weeks ago, Toni Venter stopped at her local shop on her way home to pick up a few things. On the way back to her car she noticed a homeless man, one she sees daily, sitting in his usual spot.

But this time instead of just walking by, she decided to stop and speak to him. This is how she met Thomas, and this is how both their lives changed that day.

“We started chatting and I asked how he came to live on the street and what he used to do for a living. His story was so shocking”

His story is incredibly tragic. Thomas’ life fell apart when his entire family was murdered in an armed robbery… he lost all hope and his way, and just couldn’t pick up the pieces again. This is how he ended up living on the streets.

“You can see the pain and sadness in his eyes, a broken man needing human kindness to uplift him again. That evening I promised Thomas that I would somehow help him.”

Toni immediately contacted her friend, Peter Greenwall, who arranged to get the homeless man a hair cut, a clean-shave and a shower. Thomas told the two that for the first time in many years, he “looked and felt human” again.

Living on the street has many detrimental effects on a person’s health and well-being. Toni and Peter knew that cleaning him up was just one aspect that Thomas needed and together they started the journey to helping him get back on his feet.

Thomas’ teeth had badly deteriorated so Peter approached the Dental Wellness Trust of whom his sister, Dr Linda Greenwall, is the founder, to ask for assistance. Dr Clifford Yudelman, who is affiliated with the Dental Wellness Trust, immediately agreed to assist in repairing the damage done to his teeth.

Thomas had also previously worked in the security sector and Toni took to her social media to try find him work in the same field. She knew that someone would know someone, who would be able to help him and within 24 hours Teresa Zive of Talon Security Services in Sea Point saw the post and offered to help.

“I contacted PSIRA and confirmed his security certification, gave him a cellphone so that he could be contacted and between Teresa and myself we coordinated an interview for Thomas at her office.”

The interview was set for 8am and when Teresa arrived at her offices an hour earlier, she found the eager man waiting for his new opportunity. The interview could not have gone better and Thomas was offered a position immediately.

“Thomas starts work tomorrow!!!! I cannot begin to thank Teresa Woods Zive and Neil Zive for helping Thomas with more than just a job. They have given him his life back and restored his dignity.

It’s amazing what taking a few minutes of your time to talk to a person can do to change their lives.

Thank you to Peter Greenwall, Dr Linda Greenwall and Dr Clifford Yudelman as well!

Without your kindness and compassion this would never have been possible.”

It’s stories like these that remind that a simple hello can lead to a million things, and an act of kindness has the power to change someone’s entire world!

How a simple 'Hello' changed this man's life forever! Thomas


Sources: Toni Venter
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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