The best of the human spirit

Human kind was blessed with compassion, and although we don’t always exercise this gift, people step up when tragedy strikes.

It’s been said that the worst situations bring out our best, and I can attest to that after witnessing the flood of support for a close friend of mine who lost her home on Monday night.

A group of us were playing trivia when my friend Mikayla received a phone call from her dad saying that her house was sinking. She and her brother live with their dad on an old transport boat from the 1940’s south of Vancouver on the Fraser River. Mikayla jumped out of her seat and fled the restaurant, closely followed by a friend of ours whose immediate reaction was to follow her and help.

The next morning I discovered that at 2am her home had been completely submerged, but thanks to my friend Kieran coaching her through the process, Mikayla was able to salvage her personal items before the boat went under.
I spoke to her that afternoon, and through her desperate tears she told me she was cooped up in her dad’s girlfriend’s two bedroom apartment with five people. Offering up my home was a no brainier, and then setting up a fundraising site to collect donations from those wanting to lend support was the obvious next step.

Since Monday night Mikayla has been inundated with calls from people offering their thoughts and prayers, a place to stay, food and clothing, plus access to a shower and laundry. Over 40 people have collectively donated over $2,500, and most of these people are earning just over minimum wage working two jobs to afford living in Vancouver. With only one week until Christmas and the extortionate costs for retrieving the boat from the bottom of the river, this financial assistance is invaluable to Mikayla and her family, and I’m hoping that over the next few days that total will creep even higher.

When I told Mikayla about the donations, she fell to her hands and knees on my kitchen floor and wept, saying her heart isn’t big enough to accept all the love she’s receiving. I bent down and held her hands, and explained that we are the ones who have been blessed with the opportunity to help her. People thrive on being good, on the satisfaction of contributing to something greater than themselves. I said that her challenge, above everything else, is to accept the generosity from those who want to help, who are as grateful as I am to be able to make her life just that little bit easier.

Though you may not know Mikayla personally, if you’d like to make a donation, your contribution would be greatly appreciated. For most of us it’s hard to imagine what being homeless really feels like, especially one week before Christmas during one of Vancouver’s coldest recorded Decembers.

This time last year I went searching for a way to lend support to others over Christmas. This year the opportunity found me.

10 thoughts on “The best of the human spirit”

  1. How could I expound on your telling of this story ?
    Love, hope, faith, indurance…you mentioned them all already.

    Stay strong for eachother.
    For once we lift a person up…we should never let them go.

  2. Hi, Suzanne, I feel so sad for your friend….what a hard thing to go through….losing your home….I want to donate and just went to do it….and realized I have lost my credit/debit….I tried to find it and couldn’t find it….SO, I called my bank to put a stop-payment on it….and am getting another one sent to me….DARN it….

    I will being waiting for my new card and send some help to your friend …. I am so happy to help her…..Love from your old friend in Paradise, California….yep, I really live in Paradise…….From Barbie

    1. Hi Barbie thank you so much for your desire to support Mikayla. I’m so sorry you’ve lost your cards! I’d love to visit Paradise one day. It sounds like the perfect place for you to be living. Lots of love to you!

  3. Sorry to hear about your friend and her family. Although, as usual your words are right on the spot. For such a young person your wisdom always rings true. May you be blessed during the holidays. And may 2017 be a great year for you. I think of you more often than you post. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful life.


    1. Wolfman!!! It’s always so wonderful to hear from you and to know you’re still out there. I wish you the most joyful new year full of adventure, discovery, truth and love. And of course hiking! No life could be complete without that! Thank you for your kind words and endless support. I feel a lot of positive energy entering into 2017. Embrace it! 🙂

  4. You have to feel for your friend and family when something like this happens at this time of year; what you have been doing to help them is truly wonderful.

    Thanks for taking the time to write your great blogs this year, I look forward to reading more next year. Have a great Christmas and all the best 2017

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and for sticking with me again this year! I hope the Christmas spirit is spreading to those who need it the most and I also look forward to sharing more in 2017. A Merry Christmas to you and a wonderful NY!!

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