What do you think of when you see a homeless person sitting by the side of the road? Do you wonder how they got there? If they have a family? What they were like as children? Do you think of them at all?
Alan Duffany, 52, has been homeless most of his adult life. He has family in Tennessee, but he has been living on the streets of Sacramento for years.
That’s where he met Jody Revak.
Jody would see Alan as she drove around town and would often stop to give him some change. With the holidays coming up, though, Jody thought she’d see if she could give Alan a little more than pocket change.
Alan was panhandling on the side of the road one December day when Jody pulled up, rolled down her window, and asked him a question that would change his life:
“Alan, if there was something I could get you for Christmas, what would that be?” she asked.
Jody was probably expecting him to ask for a new coat or a hot meal, but he decided to tell her his greatest Christmas wish.
He told her if he could have just one thing, it would be to see his sister in Tennessee.
Jody’s response left Alan in tears.
“I’m going to make that happen for you,” she said.
Jody enlisted the help of her friend, Stephanie Rice, and together they worked to make Alan’s wish a reality.
They told him to meet them at the Greyhound bus station where they handed him a ticket to Sneedville, Tennessee, where his sister, Rose Cooper, lives.
Before he left, they also gifted him with new clothes for the trip.
As he waited for his bus, the smile on Alan’s face told Jody she had made the right decision when she decided to help him.
“There was just something about him that I just connected with,” she said.
Rose says Jody and Stephanie are “angels” for helping Alan out, but the two women insist they were just doing what they thought was right.
“I don’t think anybody should be alone at Christmas,” Jody said. “And if I could make one wish, I’m grateful that I could.”