Delivery woman looks inside customer’s trailer and decides to raise money for a new home ADVERTISEMENT Sometimes, thanks to ordinary peopl...

** Delivery woman looks inside customer’s trailer and decides to raise money for a new home ** Delivery woman looks inside customer’s trailer and decides to raise money for a new home

** Delivery woman looks inside customer’s trailer and decides to raise money for a new home

** Delivery woman looks inside customer’s trailer and decides to raise money for a new home

 

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Delivery woman looks inside customer’s trailer and decides to raise money for a new home
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Sometimes, thanks to ordinary people showing extraordinary kindness the life of a fellow human being in need can be completely changed. That is what happened to a homeless man by the name of Lee Haase.

While Angela Nguyen worked delivering pizza for Domino’s, she got to know Lee as he made the same order every week. But soon she started getting concerned for the old man’s well being- especially after seeing the horrible conditions in his temporary trailer. With winter fast approaching, she decided to help her favorite customer – and managed to touch both him and the entire world in the process.

A social job

When you work in delivery for a while, you tend to develop a relationship with returning customers which most find to be a pretty pleasant part of the job. After all being a delivery guy or gal can be pretty tedious so to have at least some of your customers being people who’s name you know and who you can small talk with on the job, can help make the shift become more enjoyable.

A social job

And once in a while someone will touch your heart so much they will not only be a customer, but turn into a friend who you care about. That is what happened to Angela Nguyen from Minnesota. Since 2013 she was working for Domino’s and as a friendly, kind-hearted soul liked the social aspect of this job, as well as the flexible hours. One man she often delivered pizza to was Lee Haase who lived on the outskirts Anoka County.

A loyal customer

Saying Lee lived in Anoka County is actually a bit of a simplification, as this older man was more or less homeless. The only home he had was a worn down, tiny and rusty trailer which did not look like a suitable place for any human being. Angela got to know Lee a little bit since this man was one of her most loyal customers.

A loyal customer

Every Saturday like clockwork he would order a pizza around 10:15 am and as it happened, this was a time when either Angela or her adult daughter Sarah worked. Because of that both women were familiar with this sweet old man and they looked forward to seeing him every week, deliver his pizza and chat for a bit.

Seeing someone in need

When people suspect someone is not doing so well in life, unfortunately a common reaction is looking the other way. Everyone is so busy with their own lives and troubles, that most don’t have the energy or time to really care for others than themselves and their closest friends and family.

Seeing someone in need

But then there are those people that seem to be angels on a mission to earth, and wherever they see suffering and sadness they feel it’s their obligation to do anything they can to help. Both Angela and her daughter Sarah belong to that second category. They both started getting concerned about Lee the longer they delivered to him, and the more they realized how bad his living situation was.

Lee’s challenges

As it turned out, Lee had had a few difficult years that contributed to a deteriorating situation he no longer knew how to get out of. Angela and Lee had only ever delivered pizza to his subpar trailer, but he had a home before he was forced to so drastically downgrade his living standards.

Lee’s challenges

But in 2015, his humble house was severely damaged when a tree fell on it during a storm. Lee, being a in a strained financial situation already, couldn’t afford to pay for the expensive repair. But of course he couldn’t live in a house with a gaping hole, and tree in the middle of it, either.

Personal tragedy

So Lee was forced to move into a deteriorating trailer close to his former house. The trailer was in truly poor condition also before the storm that destroyed his house, and it definitely didn’t look better after. As if this wasn’t enough of a blow to Lee, an even bigger tragedy hit him just a few months later.

Personal tragedy

His dear son died in a snowmobile accident. Losing a child is one of the most difficult things to go through even under the best possible living conditions. But in Lee’s case – he had to deal with the shock and grief while also being essentially homeless, and suffering from a deteriorating health condition. The old man was completely at loss for what to do.

Realizing it’s bad

Angela and Sarah got to hear Lee’s difficult story piece by piece, as they met him on their delivery route every week. They took a liking to the old man and he to them, so soon enough he felt comfortable sharing his sad story.

Realizing it’s bad

And both women felt even more alarmed once they got a closer look inside Lee’s trailer. Not only did it look like it was about to fall apart from the outside, the interior was even worse.

No electricity or plumbing

Inside the tiny, claustrophobic trailer the women saw a crowded and barely livable space without heating or any electricity whatsoever. Even worse was the complete lack of running water or plumbing.

No electricity or plumbing

When Angela and Sarah first started delivering to Lee, they were unaware of exactly how bad his situation was as he would always greet them right outside the door. But once they got a peek inside, they started to get truly concerned for him

Winter around the corner

It was Sarah who first realized how bad Lee’s situation was, and she quickly told her mother who was not happy to hear the sad news. A main reason Angela was especially concerned was that she new winter was fast approaching. As insufferably hot as Minnesota gets in the summer, it also gets unforgivably freezing during the winter months.

Winter around the corner

Angela was sad and outraged a fellow human being lived in these terrible conditions and she was genuinely worried he would not survive the winter in this trailer.

More than a customer

As a first step and a way to at least somewhat improve Lee’s situation, Angela took money out of her own pocket and bought a heater for him. Temperature was quickly dropping and even though she knew it wasn’t enough, she wanted to at least do something before she could think of a more long-term solution for Lee.

More than a customer

She had really taken a liking to the old man, and enjoyed their weekly chats. She would often stop on the way to him to pick him up some coffee and a doughnut to enjoy for breakfast, before his pizza. He had turned into much more than a customer, she saw him as a friend.

Simple luxuries

Realizing Lee couldn’t actually cook for himself, as he lacked running water and electricity, Angela understood exactly how important the weekly pizza order was for him.

Simple luxuries

That pizza was the only hot meal he got for the weekend, and both Angela and Sarah made efforts to bring him coffee and other hot beverages and snacks most of us take for granted. After all, you only need a microwave and a coffee maker to easily enjoy these things at home. But for Lee, this was actually a luxury he rarely got to enjoy.

Caretaker to the core

Despite the new heater she had gotten for Lee, and despite the coffee and doughnut treats, Angela couldn’t let go of her feelings of worries and injustice over his situation. Caring deeply for others, even complete strangers, was nothing new for her.

Caretaker to the core

Before her pizza delivery days, she had actually spent years working in housekeeping for Minnesota Visiting Nurses. But in 2013 they closed her department, and Angela was faced with a tough decision when offered another job.

A big loss

The new job Angela was offered was at a local hospice, but to Angela that hit a little too close to home. Just like Lee, she had also gone through the unimaginable tragedy of losing a child.

A big loss

Her other daughter passed away while she was still working for Minnesota Visiting Nurses, and she couldn’t bear the though of working so closely with people who are all in the last stage of life. It would remind her too much of her daughter. So instead, she decided to leave nursing, and take care of her grandkids full-time.

Taking a break

Angela knew her daughter Sarah really needed the help, and she was happy to get a break from the daily grind and just care for her family for a few months. After many years of working hard, now being with her grandchildren felt like the right thing.

Taking a break

Many people who have spent most of their adult lives working full-time reach a point when that is just too exhausting, and simply doesn’t leave enough time to enjoy things such as grandchildren.

A lucky decision

Had not a suitable new job opportunity come along, Angela and Lee would probably never have met. But after a few months of just caring for home and children Angela realized her daughter’s job might be the perfect thing also for her.

A lucky decision

After all, having zero income is not realistic long term. Sarah was already working for Domino’s and the women realized they could both work part-time and care for the kids part-time, as long as they worked opposite shifts.

A great team

In the end the solution worked out perfectly for the family, as neither woman had to work full-time and Sarah didn’t have to spend money on childcare. And this mom and daughter team would yet again prove they were a resourceful duo when it came to helping Lee.

A great team

They decided they needed to involve the entire community to truly make a change for this man. They felt it was their duty to do something more than what they were capable of by themselves. So what was their next step?

A fundraising campaign

Angela decided the best move was to set up a fundraising campaign for Lee and simply ask for help. She was convinced there were many other kind souls out there, who wouldn’t want a fellow human being live in such horrible conditions in the middle of their beautiful community.

A fundraising campaign

But she had no idea the care for Lee would go way beyond Minnesota, and even reach far outside America. In just a couple of months, Lee’s story engaged thousands all over the world.

A massive success

In only two months an impressive $32,000 was donated by caring and concerned people from as far away as Australia. Angela was overwhelmed and inspired by the response.

A massive success

Of course she had hoped they would get some money, but with this big sum she could now go bigger and bolder in her plan to improve Lee’s life in a more drastic way than she had dreamed possible. And she had her daughter and the entire local community behind her.

A new house

Angela of course shared the good news with Lee, but she didn’t say exactly what her and the community were planning for him. But in fact, thanks to the big sum of money they could do much better than just repair his old house. They instead bought him a brand new one.

A new house

Unlike his old house and trailer, this was completely equipped with electricity, plumbing, a kitchen and spacious living quarters. This was the kind of home where Lee could comfortable spend the cold winters and hot summers without worries.

Dedicated volunteers

The community of volunteers who joined Angela and Sarah in their efforts for Lee, donated all the furniture and necessities needed for the new house to truly turn into a livable home. And finally the home was ready for Lee to move in.

Dedicated volunteers

Not only did the volunteers make sure he had everything he needed inside the house, they also stocked his kitchen cabinets and fridge ahead of his arrival so he wouldn’t have to worry about getting groceries for quite some time.

The best gift for Christmas

Since Christmas was right around the corner by the time the house was all ready, the volunteers led by Angela and Sarah made one final touch to the house to make sure Lee would feel extra welcome.

The best gift for Christmas

They bought a Christmas tree, decorated it, and made sure to put some Christmas presents underneath. So now the house wasn’t just a home, but one filled with the holiday spirit. This would indeed be a Christmas Lee had never experienced before, and would surely never forget.

Moved beyond words

When Lee entered his new home with Angela by his side, he was greeted by Sarah and a big group of volunteers- all of them complete strangers to him. The old man was visibly moved when Sarah hugged him, and expressed how he was so grateful to all of them for doing this.

Moved beyond words

Angela gave him a tour of his new home, including the spacious bedroom which was bigger than his entire old trailer. Above the bed was a sign with the inspiring words “Joy, hope, love, peace, believe.”

Everyone benefited

Angela and Sarah proved that by seeing the needs of one fellow citizen in despair, and feeling the moral obligation to do something about it – you can indeed make a difference.

Everyone benefited

Despite themselves being neither rich nor without personal problems, their kind spirits helped give Lee a home when he desperately needed it. This group of strangers turned friends celebrated by singing Christmas carols together, in Lee’s new home. And they were all happy he no longer needed to order pizza just to get a hot meal.

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