Meet my friend Seán.
Seán is a medic in the US Army.
He’s currently on deployment in Afghanistan…been there since June, and has a long way to go.
In the last two months, Seán’s dealt with some insanity.
On top of the awfulness that comes with war (the stuff he doesn’t usually tell me about), desert life in general has been kind of rough for this guy.
A few weeks into his deployment, he got stung in the kneecap by a scorpion.
Then, just a few days ago, he ends up with an infection that results in him having to get his eyelid lanced without anesthetic. I’m gonna let you think about that for a minute.
Despite the awfulness, I’ve never once heard Seán complain.
In fact, when I’m having a rough day, despite the fact that my “problems” are miniscule compared to what he’s dealing with, Seán is the one to cheer me up.
As if that wasn’t enough…
Some of you may already know that I’m running a fundraiser to commemorate my upcoming birthday. I’m raising money to benefit The Queens Galley, a local soup kitchen/food pantry that is particularly important to me. My goal is to raise $1500 by the end of August. Earlier this morning, I posted the link to my Facebook (as I’ve been doing usually once a day since I started the fundraiser), saying:
Currently at 37%. My birthday (the real thing!) is in 4 days…I really want to make it past 50% by then. Do you think we can do it?
Almost immediately, I received a notification that Seán had sent a donation. I was blown away. Here this guy is, dealing with some of what I imagine are the worst possible circumstances. Handling 139 °F heat in full battle gear. Dodging scorpions and IEDs.
And he still makes time to give back.
I sent him a message thanking him and telling him what a rockstar he is.
“it wasn’t a big donation, but you’re welcome “
I explained that his donation would actually afford us over 120lbs of food from the Hudson Valley Food Bank…and that’s a BIG deal.
He asked me who the food went to, and I started explaining how the Queens Galley serves local residents who need a hot meal, whether it be because they’re homeless, or because they can’t afford to feed their families AND pay the rent this month…Since they don’t accept government grants, the Queens Galley doesn’t have to ask for “proof” of poverty. Anyone who is humble enough to walk through the doors is able to get a meal.
I was in the middle of my explanation, when Seán said “BRB”.
I didn’t think anything of it.
And then…another notification from Crowdrise.
Seán had donated a second time…enough to bring my fundraiser up to 50% of the goal.
The largest donation yet.
I’m stunned. Completely bowled over.
When I told him as much, his response was simple:
“I know what it’s like to be hungry”
It’s as simple as that.
I’m humbled. Inspired. Overwhelmed.
Seán Halpin is a true hero, with one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever encountered. We could all stand to learn a bit from him.
I just needed to share that with you all…it was too much amazingness to keep to myself.