For those who may have wondered if there’s any good left in the world, just turn to Chicago woman LaToya Ellis as proof there are still people with kind hearts.
The mother of three fell on hard times when she was laid off from her managerial position at the fast-food sandwich chain Jimmy Johns, and later evicted from her apartment. Ellis stayed with friends and family for a while, but eventually moved into a homeless shelter.
Ellis’ story was then covered by local TV Station ABC 7, which quickly went viral with many wondering how they could lend a helping hand. Ellis, who is also an advocate for the homeless, was overwhelmed by the support, but quickly received the best Christmas present when a donor called Ellis and said he’d cover a year’s worth of rent in the neighborhood of her choice.
“It’s indescribable. I didn’t know how to process it,” Ellis said, recalling her reaction when she received the phone call. “No one has ever done anything like that for me.”
Her new home now allows for her children to have their own rooms, and since the gracious gift from the anonymous donor, good samaritans have also offered basic needs such as household supplies, gifts for the children and job services.
Ellis plans to use her year wisely by saving money to open a catering business and eventually finish up her bachelor’s degree. She also intends to spread the goodwill.
“Most of all, I just want to pay it forward,” she said. “I’m going to continue advocating, I’m going to continue volunteering — it’s not just about my family.”