Opportunities to help

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, August 1, 2019

An unusual thing happened of the past two weeks in Phoenix, Arizona. Patrick Hoagland was a bit down on his luck; he’d been laid off from his job as a forklift operator. He was applying for other jobs, but nothing seemed to be a good fit. Instead of letting it get him down, Hoagland got creative.

He made 200 copies of his resume, made a sign reading “Please take a resume. Laid off. Looking for a job.” then went and stood on the side of a busy road in 110-degree heat.

People did stop to take his resume, including the owner of a marketing firm, who then shared a photo of Hoagland and his sign on social media and Linked In. People responded — thousands offering words of encouragement; others, offering actual jobs. Because of his ingenuity, Hoagland was ultimately able to sort through all the offers and find the best fit, which ended up being a concrete company.

But it was because of the marketing director’s decision to help a stranger that Hoagland’s story had a happy ending. Melissa DiGianfilippo said she was impressed with Hoagland’s creativity, his big smile and willingness to bear the heat in pursuit of his job-finding goal. While his job skills didn’t align with her business, she made the effort to see if someone in her network of contacts could help him.

“I think in general, this is a good reminder for people that it takes just a few minutes sometimes out of your day to really change someone’s life or make their day better,” DiGianfilippo said in an interview.

It is a good reminder that the unexpected can happen with even the smallest of efforts. It’s a good reminder to help a neighbor or help a stranger — to make the effort.

Opportunities to help abound. Don’t let them get away.