While Dana Lee Calabrese was waiting on her friends for dinner, she witnessed a homeless veteran collapse on the street. Even though she had fun plans for the night, Dana Calabrese became a real life Good Samaritan that day. She went out of her way to help someone in need.
Dana was very concerned when she saw USMC veteran Douglas Dean Hall collapse. Hall had lost his leg in combat. Dana looked after him while waiting for help to arrive. Her selfless actions would have a profound effect on this man’s life.
When the paramedics arrived, she asked them what would happen to this man’s possessions and would they take them with Hall?
“No, are you? A million more dominoes fall a day around here.”
Dana upset with the callous response, decided to do something about it.
Dana understood that paramedics have a job to do. However, it seemed so wrong to become emotionally numb to the people they were helping.
“Don’t get me wrong, I understand that they have a very hard job to do, and perhaps you get desensitized after working in such a large city with such an immense homeless population, but I just couldn’t bare this person losing what I believed to be all he had in the world.”
Living on the streets and being ignored is hard enough to deal with, but to lose what little belongings you own is just horrible. Dana knew that Douglas’ grocery cart of personal items was all that he had in life, and she wanted to protect it. So, she did the only thing that she could, she She grabbed the cart and wheeled it all the way home.
Once Dana got his belongings home, she did not know how to get in touch with Douglas after he was taken to the hospital. She immediately posted a photo of the cart on Facebook pleading for help finding this man!
In a happy twist of fate, Dana’s neighbor found Douglas on the street. He was fairly easy to find since he was holding up a new cardboard sign with his name on it along with a handwritten note saying that he was trying to get to New York.
“I’m not asking for a handout, just a hand up. Anything would help.”
Douglas told Dana he had friends in New York and that he missed the city. Dana secretly set up a GoFundMe account for the former Marine in hopes of getting him from LA to NY.
Dana was overwhelmed by all the generous support she received from the GoFundMe account. She raised a few thousand dollars to help Douglas travel across the country. She also received hundreds of messages from both friends and strangers with offers of housing for Douglas once he arrived in New York.
“I thought I would have enough to cover the ticket and maybe a little extra for the transition. But, there is quite a lot extra now…I’m extremely excited for this.”
“He knows that I am getting him to New York because I told him that I would make that happen. At that point, he was crying and telling me I was an angel. He also at one point screamed out ‘God is Good.'”
Dana said they have become fast friends, and she hopes they remain friends for life. She also said that she will now wonder and worry about him.
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