Dana Lee Calabrese’s recent night out in Hollywood took a totally unexpected detour. While walking to dinner, she and her cousin saw a homeless man collapseon the sidewalk. Theycalled 911 and waited with the man, homeless veteranDouglas Dean Hall, until paramedics arrived.
As EMTs loaded Hallinto their ambulance, Calabrese noticed they weren’t packing his shopping cart of possessions along for the ride.
After one EMT callously scoffed at herinquiry over whether or not they would be taking his belongings along, Calabrese knew that task was now hers. She gave Hall her contact info via theEMTs andwheeled his shopping cart toward her building. When Calabrese didn’t hear from Hallin the coming days, she hit social media, urging everyone she knew to help her find this man pronto.
Weeks later, shefinally got a lead. She grabbed his cart, raced toward the potential meeting spot, andthere he was!
Calabrese told LittleThings, “This story isnt mine. It is about Douglas and how the power of social media, the power of people sticking together, is a force to be reckoned with.”
Keep scrolling to learn about what shedid after she reunited Hallwith his possessions.
Recently, Dana Lee Calabrese and her cousin were headed to dinner in Hollywood, California when fate revised their evening plans.
A homeless man, whom the pair later came to know as Douglas Dean Hall, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, collapsed right in their path.
The pair immediately dialed 911 and waited for help to arrive.
As anambulance pulled up and EMTs began loading Hallonto a gurney, Calabresepolitely asked one of the paramedics if they’d be taking Hall’s fewbelongings to the hospital as well.
In response, she told GoodNewsNetwork, all she got was a, “No, are you? A million more dominoes fall a day around here.”
Disgusted by this utter lack of respect for a man who’d risked his life protecting this country’s freedom, Calabresedecided to take protecting Hall’s cart in her own hands.
She gave the paramedics her phone number for himto get in touch for his belongings later on and wheeled his cartover to her building.
Then, she waited.
After not hearing from Hall for a few days, Calabresehit social media, asking everyone she knew to look out for him around town so she could give him back his cart.
A few weeks later, Maryam Ramezani contacted Calabrese she’d found Hallon the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave.
Calabrese, along with her husband and their neighbor, set off toward Hollywood and Highland, with Hall’s cart in tow.
She told GoodNewsNetwork, “So I was rolling the cart down to the meeting place, and I saw him coming from across to street towards me and I basically just started jumping and clapping ’cause I was so excited.
“I was screaming out his name, ‘DOUGLASSSS!’
He was looking at me really excitedly but he also looked confused, because I dont think he actually believed that someone held onto his stuff.
“He cried several timesand at one point he screamed God is good! at the top of his lungs.
He just kept telling me that I was an angel and kissing me on the top of my head.
Calabresetold LittleThings of this experience, “Sometimes the small things are the really BIG things to someone else.
“It was really hard to contain my emotion. He was so emotional and thankful, I will never forget it.Helping someone is powerful.”
And Calabrese’s efforts haven’t stopped there.
After learning that Hallhas been trying to get back to New York, she decided to gift him with her social media prowess and help him raise the money he needed for his trip.
She built him a GoFundMe page and has been blown away by the response it’s received.
In just 24 hours, they raised all the money Hallwould need for his cross-country train ride and the pot keeps growing.
Calabreseplans to gift Douglas with a Visa Gift Card at a surprise going away celebration once this week comes to a close.
As Calabresetold LittleThings, “Sometimes what you think is just the right thing to do, other people think is extraordinary.
“I get embarrassed every time someone calls me an angel, or gives me a compliment because I really do not feel like I did anything to deserve that title.”
Calabresetold LittleThings that living through this experience taught her that, “If anything it has made me want to take a more proactive role in my community.
“Los Angeles has one of the largest, if not the largest homeless population in America, so there are many more people to be helped here.
“This lit a fire under me, the overwhelming support from the campaign has really made me want to do so much more. I think I am just getting started.”
This woman stepped up when no one else would, helping one veteran weather a storm that otherwise might have cost him everything he owned.
What do you think of this story? Have you ever spent time helping the homeless? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/woman-protects-homeless-mans-cart/