[I] started to get to know Kevin about two years ago as the energetic and extremely efficient guy who runs the showers on Saturdays at Mary’s Kitchen. He quickly moves people through their turn supplying them with all the shower essentials to allow the most people to opportunity to get cleaned up.

As I first got to know him he would insistently nag me by asking, “Is the coffee ready yet?” knowing full well I didn’t make the coffee or have anything to do with checking to see if it was ready. It evolved into a playful game every Saturday regarding when and how he would ask me that burning question.  His goal was to ask me at the exact moment that I seemed to be very busy. Those brief interactions grew and soon I found out that he was truly excited to be volunteering and working with a friend of his in the heating/air conditioning business. There was an employee that was going to quit and Kevin was working for free to be able to take the job when the other employee left.

In exchange for Kevin’s work he was given access to the work truck to sleep in.  Unfortunately, the employee that was intending to move on kept pushing his exit date further and further out, leaving Kevin in a “no-win” scenario. After many months, that employee decided not to leave the company and Kevin was forced to find a job elsewhere.  Kevin’s patience and drive paid off and he found a job as a dishwasher for three days a week. It wasn’t much but you’d think he’d been hired for a 100k job because one of the first things that he did was share his good news with everyone.  He was so happy to be actually employed. I was a dishwasher in a former life and it’s the yuckiest job I ever had, and I’ve had some yucky jobs. Kevin has been beaming with pride as he tells folks of the good praises he’s getting and the friends he’s making at his new job.

What really warmed my heart though was not just seeing Kevin’s excitement but the fact that he was so pleased to be able to take himself to the movies with his first paycheck. This lead me to think it would be nice for Joy Squared to do something simple for Kevin to show our appreciation of his tireless volunteering on Saturday mornings. So we decided to get him some movie cards and a gift card to Walmart. It was not much for us to do, but when I gave them to him, he became so quiet I was sure I had embarrassed or offended him, but as he livened back up, he said that he was very surprised that we would do anything like this for him that he didn’t know what to say in the moment. Having known Kevin for a couple years now, causing him to become speechless was something new.

Kevin’s dishwashing job has now grown into full-time work and he’s extremely proud to be working. He’s talking about saving up to be able to rent a room and needs to get a bed and he really wants his own TV. This is a man that is too modest to ever ask for help for himself despite the fact that he helps many people every week through his time at Mary’s Kitchen. I sure hope when it’s time for him to move that Joy Squared can help him again with the simple pleasure of having his own bed and a TV to relax with.

One of Joy Squared’s missions is to actively assist people in need like Kevin and we are always looking to service more folks in need. You can partner with us by donating to the Joy Squared ministry.  Your donation will provide support for folks that need a little helping hand. Thank you for taking the time to partner with Joy Squared and the work we are trying to do.