With the winters coming closer, it is a difficult time for the less fortunate among us, but thankfully there are good Samaritans there who know how to make a difference to them.
Natalie Barnes a bus driver from Milwaukee is being praised for her extraordinary act of kindness, because not only did she offer a warm place for a homeless man to spend his night, but also took extra steps to make sure her gift kept on giving.
The Milwaukee County Transit System said that as Barnes was on her evening shift driving the GoldLine, a man named Richard stepped aboard.
It was Oct. 13 and a reportedly chilly evening, with a projected low of 32 degrees, when Barnes met Richard again, she took her break, and got to know that Richard had been homeless for a week as he was forced to leave the place he’d been staying because it was condemned.
With the temperatures too low and no home to stay in, Richard asked Barnes if he could stay on the bus through the night.
“At some point in our lives, everybody needs help,” Natalie said, “I wanted to do what I could to help Richard in some way.”
So the pair shared the bus for the evening. Riders came and went, but Richard sat for hours, doing the only thing he could to keep warm.
Barnes showed more kindness to Richard by buying him a meal during a layover and offered to buy him anything he needed from the Dollar Store the next day. “Now I don’t know what to say but to say thank you,” Richard said.
Soon the night ride was going to come to an end which meant that Richard would be out in the cold again homeless, so Barnes contacted a friend from Community Advocates, which is “the largest human needs advocacy agency in Wisconsin.”
That friend found Richard temporary shelter at Autumn West Safe Haven until they could find him a more permanent setup.
MCTS says that Barnes often packs peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to offer hungry riders and is no wonder that she has been commended by MCTS three times during her three years of service?
“Natalie’s kindness, compassion and respect for this man in need are what MCTS Excellence is all about,” County Executive Chris Abele said.
We all need to follow Barnes example and make the world a better place to live in.