Greg Smith frequently passed by a homeless woman named Amy Jo on his way to work.
While in the beginning, they began exchanging brief pleasantries, the pair have become an unlikely set of friends since.
Smith is the founder of an Orlando, Florida based company, Hybrid Athletics, LLC. At 25, he is a sales account executive by day and a personal trainer by night. He sees Amy Jo while he moves through the city in his dapper suit and tie.
Greg first began seeing Amy Jo every day at the corner of Pine St and S Orange Ave in downtown Orlando. Smith is frequently asked for money by other homeless folks, but Amy Jo only greeted him with gentle remarks such as “Good morning sir,” and “God Bless!”
Drawn by her positive outlook on life in spite of her current situation, Smith began having lunch with Amy Jo every Tuesday.
As their friendship developed, Amy Jo shared a shocking truth with Smith. She cannot read.
Amy Jo admitted that she uses the money she collects to find books to help her learn to read.
When others ask Greg why he bothers talking to a homeless woman, Smith’s response, “I have been blessed with two amazing parents and a family that has always had resources to provide me with anything I wanted to do. Amy Joe has not. So now not only do Amy Joe and I sit and have lunch, I’m teaching her to read. I rent one library book a week and we read it together Tuesday and she practices on her own throughout the rest of the week.”
There are many other homeless people just like Amy Jo — they have not had the resources in life to get their basic needs met, like buying enough food or learning how to read. Smith believes in helping others to realize their full potential.
The best part about it is that Smith and Amy Jo have built a friendship and share many stories during their scheduled reading sessions. We can all take a page from these two and learn a valuable lesson about humanity, just by taking a moment to talk with someone.
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