A nice story (for a change)
I found this story from the Rock hill, South Carolina herald, and was compelled to share with you.
Published: Thursday, Sep. 24, 2009 / Updated: Saturday, Sep. 26, 2009 11:35 AM
He works so others are not homeless
By Andrew Dys, Columnist - firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday marked 41 days that the 6-foot, 4-inch tall guy with the tattoo of Jesus on his left arm and the gray ponytail has worked at Walgreens pharmacy on Celanese Road.
“In the photo department,” Ed Peirce said. “The 2-to-10 shift. Proud to do it.”
Peirce, 54, is a former stockbroker. A few years ago, he sold his business — a computer training center in West Virginia — and came to Rock Hill to be closer to his grown daughter. He had two rental houses in West Virginia and a third house in Rock Hill's Spencer Estates he owns with his sister. He planned to rent out the houses and live off the income.
Yet for 41 days he has gone to work. He took the job, he said, “to help pay the bills on the properties.”
In two of those houses are families who rent from Peirce. One man worked in construction and has a wife and two little kids. A second man worked in utilities contracting and has a baby in the house. But both tenants got laid off several months ago.
Peirce refused to evict them. He didn't throw the families into the street, though he has every right to.
“I sat with them and prayed for better times,” Peirce said. “These are stand-up guys. Family men. Proud. They paid me before, when they were working. You don't show your faith, your Christianity, in words. You do it in deeds.”
Peirce now lives in the Rock Hill house.
He'd begun to fall behind on his own bills because he didn't have the rental income. Rather than evict his tenants, however, Peirce let them stay.
Afternoons, Peirce heads into Walgreen in his 12-year-old pickup truck, or sometimes on his motorcycle. He waits on customers — the only gray-haired, pony-tailed grandfather in the joint.
“He's growing his hair for cancer,” co-worker Kevin Cooper said. “Great guy, that Ed.”
Peirce, until recently, had short hair. He decided to grow it long so he could cut it and give it to Locks of Love, a charity that gives hair to cancer patients who have lost their hair to chemotherapy.
On the counter near his register is a bucket and picture of children who ride a charity bus called “Kids for Jesus.”
“A great guy, generous,” said Richard Suttle of the Kids for Jesus ministry.
The bucket is for collecting brownies that customers buy and donate to the kids.
“We donated more than 800 brownies this morning,” Peirce said Wednesday. “We also took some brownies and other donations to the Children's Attention Home today before I came to work.”
The children's home is a 36-bed set of buildings that gives the neediest children among us, those without any choices and who have nowhere else to go, a safe haven. The idea to help came from Peirce and another worker in another Walgreen store on Cherry Road.
“He brought things the kids would like, and he brought things they need,” said Libby Sweatt-Lambert, the children's home executive director. “He's been here twice.”
Sweatt-Lambert, who has spent decades helping strangers, heard Wednesday that Peirce is letting renters live in his homes without any fee until they can pay him back. She has heard every story of grace — but Peirce might have topped them all.
“What an awesome guy,” Sweatt-Lambert said of Ed Peirce.
Peirce, an ordained minister who loves God but isn't much for organized religion, makes it plain that his role in life is to help people. He carries a Bible in the saddlebag of his motorcycle and will stop and preach on his way to the biker church he attends.
“So what if they are strangers,” Peirce said of kids he helps. “Help the poor. That is the calling. It is supposed to be the calling for all of us. Every miracle starts with an action. I am not doing anything I am not supposed to do to help another man on this earth.”
And to help do it, he works in the photo department at a drug store, the late shift, for $8.50 an hour.
What a shining example of what we (as Christians) should strive to be! In his service...Lonnie