At the corner of a busy intersection, a youth had his head deep in a garbage bin. As we watched, he pulled out a soda can, examined it closely, and then placed it carefully in a sack he held in his other hand. Then he put his head back in the bin.
We turned the corner as the light went green, but not before Big A remarked, "I want to give that boy a job." I replied, "You could." We went round the block and back to that corner, where the youth was about to walk off with a now half-full sack.
The car stopped, I rolled down my window and called him over. He was polite, careful, wondering if he'd done something wrong. Big A asked him if he wanted a job, and he said yes. He was, he claimed, 18, but could have actually been a year or two younger. He had no home and no parents. I assumed everything he owned was in the backpack he wore over his shoulders.
Big A gave him some money and I wrote down the address of his warehouse and general directions. We promised that if he made his way there he'd have a job, a bed and some food. (Big A houses some of the staff in barracks above the main warehouse, and provides rice for their meals as well as drinking water and afternoon tea.) An extra hand wasn't really needed at the time, but as my husband said, "No one should have to forage in a garbage bin to live."
Later that evening, the warehouse manager called. The boy had arrived. Big A gave instructions to assign him a bed, to make sure he bathed, and asked the staff to supervise him carefully over the next few days. We hope the youth will take this chance to make a living, to learn how to fish, as it were, and do good with it. He didn't seem like a drug addict or a petty thief, but we really had no idea who he was or of his background. Still, we could let him change his stars, if he so wanted. The rest is up to him.