The power of kindness should never be underestimated as it has saved lives, changed lives, and left people with big smiles. A lonely old lady experienced the latter two after she tasted the power of kindness from her neighbors. How did they help the woman? Find out.
The world could benefit from a myriad of things, and kindness is one of them. When someone shows kindness, it does not only have a direct effect on others, but it also has a positive impact on oneself.
Being kind is quite self-explanatory, but there are a variety of ways one can express it. Be it opening the door for someone, delivering a bouquet, buying someone a gift, or giving them money, kindness can have a greater impact than many think.
It is one of the greatest attributes someone can have, and that attribute goes a long way in making the world a better place. It is important to note that sometimes, it takes only one act of kindness to change someone's life, and a certain Minneapolis woman's story proves it.
At a point when she had almost given up hope and was on the verge of frustration, a simple act of kindness from her neighbors would change her life. Here are the full details.
INSIDE TAYLOR'S STRUGGLE WITH HOUSING
For almost two decades, Linda Taylor lived happily in her house in Minneapolis. She had purchased the apartment in 2004, but unfortunately fell victim to a scam real estate deal and was forced to sell the house. However, she continued living in the apartment as a renter.
In 2006, Taylor's landlord was caught in a mortgage fraud that affected more than 45 homes, including Taylor's. So, a new landlord, in the person of Greg Berendt, purchased the property.
Taylor met with Berendt's rent demands for the next few years without issues. However, things began to fall apart for Taylor during the coronavirus pandemic.
She lost her job at a local nonprofit organization, where she had worked for three years. This affected the woman's finances, and Berendt increased the rent twice to make matters worse.
Still, Taylor tried to keep up with the $1400 monthly rent, using her savings, money from family, and government subsidies. But sadly, she could not cope for long and began struggling with rent money.
Then, in early 2022, Taylor would receive a shocking notice that would leave her heartbroken. The notice from Berendt asked Taylor to vacate the apartment by April 1, 2022. The Minneapolis native made it known that it felt like her world was crumbling. According to Taylor:
"It felt like the world had been pulled from under me. My house means everything to me."
The woman could only continue living in the house if she could buy it from Berendt at $299,000. Sadly, Taylor could not afford such an amount, which broke her, as the thought of being homeless was overwhelming. "I could not sleep, I could not eat. I felt defeated," said Taylor.
THE KINDHEARTED NEIGHBOR THAT LISTENED
Nevertheless, Taylor was determined to stay and was ready to do whatever it would take to get her home back. So, she shared her problems with Andrew Fahlstrom, her neighbor and a housing rights organizer.
Fahlstrom, who had always thought of Taylor as a cheerful neighbor, decided to help. As a housing rights organizer, Fahlstrom was used to seeing cases like Taylor's and understood what she was going through.
So, he spoke to other neighbors about Taylor's difficulties, and in no time, the word had spread around the entire neighborhood.
Fahlstrom confessed that Taylor's story was compelling, making people listen and offer help. Not long after, the Powderhorn Park Community group was ready to begin mobilization on their sad neighbor's behalf. Fahlstrom noted:
"We have an active local neighborhood group because we are within two blocks of George Floyd Square."
TAYLOR'S COMMUNITY TO THE RESCUE
So, the organizers sent a letter to Berendt in February 2022, asking him to delay the eviction and begin talks with Taylor about buying the house. Thankfully, the landlord listened. He extended the date to June 30 and even reduced the sales price to $250,000.
Next, the community began efforts to raise the required amount before the deadline. The neighbors organized a block party, a social media campaign, and an art show, where Taylor sold some of her artworks. In addition, the organizers opened a fundraising page and many well-meaning individuals donated.
In the next four months, the community had raised $275,000, which was enough to cover the purchase of the house and other maintenance bills. Taylor was shocked and could not believe how much her neighbors loved her.
On May 31, 2022, she closed on the apartment and could finally heave a sigh of relief. "When it's yours, it gives you a different type of feeling. I'm safe, I'm secure, and I have a home," Taylor said.
The homeowner also noted that she would repay the kindness by helping people around her. Her story is proof that in a world filled with hatred, there are still people with kind hearts.
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