BackLook: The solitary 40-ish woman trudged one very cold night down Indian River Drive in Jensen Beach, only a few miles inland from the Atlantic. In one hand that extended downward, she lugged two water jugs; with the other she carried a four-month-old baby. A neighborhood couple pulled over and offered help.
That afternoon, Donny Poole climbed into the backseat of his car so that his wife could drive the wary woman and her nursing baby home.
Moving away from an abusive boyfriend, Sheila* had arrived in Florida expecting shelter in her aunt’s empty apartment and use of her car. But the homeowners’ association did not allow anyone under 50 to reside within their gates.
Sheila managed to find a room to rent, but still had no car. No car, no work. And no work meant a government agency crawling down her neck threatening to take away little Joey*.
Donny and his wife Allison continued to give Sheila lifts when they found her traveling by foot. Eventually, the couple fronted the single mother the price of a used car. Today, Sheila’s baby is still safely residing with her.
In Florida, where the Pooles reside, the number of homeless children is 83,900. The Pooles have demonstrated through their act of love that it doesn’t always take much to make a difference in a child’s life.
Allison states, “I would like people to know they can do what we do; if they see something that needs attention, do not assume the person, or family, or child, or dog, will be taken care of by someone else. It is a chance for them to do something.”
Donny Poole is a welcome name inside the boxing ring. For 16 years he fought all over the world, achieving the rank of #2 in the world. Donny Poole is a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame.
To many, Donny and Allison Poole are a very unusual couple. It isn’t fame that makes a difference, nor is it money. It is the heart. Truly those who help another in need are our Hometown Heroes.
HAVE A HERO TIP? Hometown Heroes are in every town and city. They are regular people who have made a positive difference in their community, impacting others for the better. Send your Hometown Hero tip to Kelly Jadon at firstname.lastname@example.org.