Prism Health North Texas

One gift card can change a life

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“My hand was shaking as I handed the gift card across the counter to the cashier. She took it, but not without giving me a long look-over. She ran my gift card for the meal and I walked to the drink station.

I got water from the fountain and tried not to guzzle it down.  It was ice cold compared to the Dallas summer heat outside.

“Order 52!” I walked to counter and picked up my tray: two sandwiches and fries. I was so hungry.  I found a table in the corner and breathed before slowly unwrapping my sandwich. This was the best food I’d had in a long while. It was okay to enjoy it.

I looked out the window; the sun was high, but on the decline – probably about 2:00 pm. It was great to be inside, with AC at this hour of the day.

The empty wrappers went into the trash; I took the opportunity to use a real restroom. Since no one was there, I threw some water on my face and cleaned up a bit. I walked out, wishing I could have stayed longer before going back into the heat.”

A fast-food gift card is more than a meal for hundreds of North Texans. One $5 gift card allows a person the chance to eat, get hydrated, escape from the heat, use the restroom, and clean up.

Jess’s turning point was at a McDonald’s with his case manager. Jess struggled with substance misuse, contracted HIV, and was homeless. At this meeting, Jess connected with services and staff that empowered him. He worked hard and, today, he is virally suppressed, living in stable housing, and is 1 year sober.

$5 dollars can be the turning point in a person’s day. The every day that we may often overlook in search of the extraordinary is, in fact, the extraordinary that we are in search of.

Over the past 5 years, almost two million unrestricted dollars were raised by LifeWalkers – 2 million dollars going to empower turning points in lives like Jess’.

If you are one of the many past LifeWalk donors, thank you. You’ve funded many turning points for folks like Jess.

If you haven’t given to LifeWalk or you have before and want to again, please do. It takes a village. Thank you.