Emma and I went to Toronto on Saturday to spend the afternoon poking around hidden gardens and have dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. We had a great time and found a few lovely man made waterfalls.
One thing I also did was help a few homeless people out. Just simple things like buying flip flops for a man with no shoes, giving change to a pregnant woman, and giving half a sub to an elderly man rummaging through the trash. Nothing we couldn’t afford.
I talk a lot about Emma on the blog but I don’t often mention one simple fact. She’s autistic and developmentally delayed. So you can imagine my concern when she didn’t show up at 3:15pm from her day program. My concern worsened when she wasn’t home at 3:45pm. I was just about to call her when the phone rang.
“I thought he was homeless,” she wailed from the other side of the line.
“Who?” I asked in bewilderment then got a disjointed answer in reply. I finally pieced it together. Someone on the street had a sign asking for help cashing a cheque so they could get a bus ticket home. The cheque was for $800 and he was going to leave $20 in the account for Emma for being so
Luckily Emma has limits on her account and could only take out one hundred dollars. That didn’t stop the guy from snagging it as he was removed by security… two minutes too late. And, double luckily, the bank is only charging her $7.50 for a bounced cheque. We can live with that.
It makes me wonder how someone can take advantage of someone who’s obviously special needs. All Emma needed to do was speak for the man to realize she wasn’t average. Plus she’d have needed help to use the bank machine. I don’t understand people can take advantage like that and, honestly, while I wonder, I don’t think I want to understand.
We had a long talk about only sharing what you can afford. We can afford $4 flip flops, we can’t afford eight hundred dollars. And I explained that cheques aren’t safe, that people can write anything on them and it takes days before that’s discovered.
“But why do banks let this happen?” she said shocked. I had no good answer.
Emma’s doing fine now, happily chattering to herself (and the cats) about computers. Now it’s my turn to shuffle around the budget… and to be glad it’s only one hundred dollars and not the whole eight.