God continues to bless me with opportunities to share my goals, mission with houseless, develop my personal story and shower me with gratitude on a daily basis:
Some of my followers have felt or asked if I abandoned my Sok-Man mission work, it is quite to the contrary I have stepped up my mission work and am in the process of expanding still giving socks out, adding underwear and have been taught by one of my Angels how to make prayer bears for the children on the streets plus individuals who are suffering from cancer. (yes I have learned how to sew this summer) more on this later.
MIKE: With this being said let me share with you that my Biggest Angel in the field is truly an Angel today. My friend, teammate, brother in arms was taken to heaven Aug.8th 2018 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We talked saturday before he left this world and shared some plans for the future. Michael Pettenuzzo was a friend for 57 years from 1st grade on, we laughed, cried, acted as immature as any adults could, loved, discussed life’s goals, children, marriage, religion, travel, being a father, husband and our love of our Chicago Blackhawks. Anyone who knew Mike was blessed because he was one of the most talented individuals athletically, but more than that he could capture your heart with his smile and gleaming twinkle in his eyes in a heartbeat. Mike was that rare individual whom everyone became a better person just because he entered your life. Mike and Lisa, his wife were always supporting my Sok-Man mission with socks, clothing, and a place to park my RV on their property every time I came to New Mexico and a blessing when I left. Michael I have reached for the phone more times than I can count since you left this world, I will always love you and never forget you.
AMBER: another angel that crossed my path the other day was sitting by a stop sign flying her kite which read “anything will help” a common sign that is flown by our houseless. She was a charming young lady from Cincinnati who was of a late teenager or young 20 ish girl, she has a boyfriend from Lombard and a tiny puppy, tough way to travel. As I approached I let her know I was the Sok-Man and told her what I did, as she could see I had 2 pairs of socks for her and while I presented her with my gift of love she started to cry saying “you have no idea how much these mean to me” (something that I hear quite often) I assured her I knew how important they were, she opened her boots and said she didn’t have any socks. Her sniffles faded as she shared with me that she was trying to get back home, that the last 3 years on the road have not been good to her and she learned a lot from the road. The main thing she shared was that her decisions had been very poor and compulsive which led her down a very bad path and wanted to go home to reestablish her life with her family, lick her wounds and start over. I was pleased to here she had a plan to go home reconnect with her family, make amends and start a new. I hugged her goodbye wished her good luck and said I’d pray for her. She smiled and said thank you I need them.
MARIE: will be very upset with me since I am call attention to her which she shies away from but I have to share her story. I coached her on an adults women’s softball team and we have loosely kept in touch but lately we have started meeting for lunch with some of the old team members. Marie just retired and started making little tiny prayer bears for individuals who are suffering with cancer and she drops them off at local hospitals. I told her that I have run into may of families that are out on the streets houseless and I wanted to give the kids something, plus I wanted to help give these bears to cancer patients also since I have so many people through cancer the most recent my 57-year-old friend Mike. Marie agreed to have me over and teach me how to do it….last week I went to house and we laughed so much my side hurt, as that was going she was instructing me on how to sew on a sewing machine something that I have feared my whole life but have also wanted to try. She took me by the hand and slowly and patiently how to outline a bear, pin the bear together, make the prayer pocket sewing it on then, sewing the bear together and stuffing it with pillow stuffing.
JASMINE: This young lady works at McDonald’s in Marengo, one night I wandered out much further then I had planned. The night started off beautiful nice breeze, sunlight, so I took off for a long walk leaving behind my fanny pack with materials that have helped me out in other situations (you see I am a diabetic) a stupid one at that since it’s just come upon me and I am fighting that label as hard as I can. Anyhow I was walking through a beautiful cemetery, which is a favorite pastime of mine as I turned towards home the humidity became stifling each step that I took towards home seemed that I was stuck in quicksand, as my legs started to shake, my mind was no longer able to keep focused and I was becoming very dizzy and losing it. Knowing that I have been in this position before I knew I was in a whole lot of trouble, I also knew my blood sugars were somewhere in the high 50’s to low 60’s which is not a good place to be with no fluid, no sugar, no carbs to draw from. In the distance I saw those magic yellow arches, telling myself just a few more steps, while I trudged along it became evident to me that I was way past being in trouble but more of a life threatening situation. I got to the McDonalds but the inside was closed it was 11:30. I banged on the door this young lady looked at me and must have seen or realized I was in a whole world of hurt so she came over to the door let me and as I explained I needed orange juice, chocolate or something to boost my blood sugars up, she quickly got me the things I needed, I sat down cooled off let the drinks do their work and in 20 minutes I was fine and back on my feet. Jasmine took a chance opening that door but saved my life. Today I went back to the McDonalds talked with her manager, shared what her employee did and gave her money for saving my life. At first she was very reluctant but I insisted, we took this picture together and she whispered you blessed me today I am saving money for school so thank you…..no Jasmine …..Thank you.
If you want to help the sokman and bear lady out here is what donations we are looking for: Sok-Man financially is always critical, but outside of that I am looking for socks long heavy socks, underwear mens medium and small women’s usually small.
For the Sok-Man and Bear lady we are looking for fleece for the bears, doesn’t have to be new we take anything, pillows again not new just ones your throwing out with stuffing. (all the pillows are bleached, washed and sterilized so don’t work)
Everything can be sent to: Tom McNamara / Care of D. Witchie 1009 State Route 23, Harvard, Illinois 60033-9422
Thank you everyone in advance for all your support and love