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A homeless man living on the streets of Sacramento is heading to a new home after his Christmas wish was granted by two women who wanted to provide an act of kindness.
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“Every day, I would drive past him and I would hand him a dollar here, quarters there,” good Samaritan Jody Revak said.
Revak said she saw Alan Duffany, a 52-year-old homeless man, panhandling nearly every day while driving along Sacramento’s Jibboom Street.
“About two days ago, I was driving up and I rolled down my window and I said, ‘Alan, if there was something I could get you for Christmas, what would that be?'”
He responded, “I just want to get home to see my sister.”
“And I said, ‘You know what, Alan, I’m going to make that happen for you,'” Revak said. “At that point, he just put his hands in his face and started crying.”
So Revak and her friend Stephanie Rice launched a plan to provide Duffany with his Christmas wish.
“There was just something about him that I just connected with,” Revak said about Duffany, adding she just wanted to give back.
The two women purchased a ticket for Duffany to travel by bus the next day, from Sacramento to his sister Rose Cooper’s home in Sneedville, Tennessee — a 64 hour trip.
“We said we’d meet him at the Greyhound station,” Rice said. “You’ve never seen a man pedal so fast to get to that Greyhound station.”
But first, Revak and Rice had to get Duffany ready.
“We had all his clothes laid out and we went to Walmart and we outfitted him head to toe with all brand new clothes,” Rice said.
Cooper was elated and said she is expecting her brother to arrive shortly before midnight on Christmas.
“I’m going to be excited,” Cooper said. “I know he will be, too, and there will be tears of joy.”
Duffany and Cooper grew up in the Placerville area, but she later moved to Tennessee. Cooper said she is eager to welcome him there, where he will be surrounded by friends and family — and have a permanent place to live.
As for the two women from West Sacramento who made it all possible, Cooper said, “I just think they are angels from God. And I just want to bless them so much and, you know, give them a Merry Christmas and tell them how much we’re really thankful and appreciate their help.”
But for Revak and Rice, their only motivation was compassion.
“I don’t think there’s any angels,” Revak said. “I just hope that anybody would do what we would do.”
At Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento, where Duffany was a regular guest, there is a good feeling in the air.
“Getting a chance to go home for the holidays? Yeah, it happens quite a bit,” staffer Joe Smith said. “Just not enough.”
Christmas wishes were not granted for everyone, but for Revak and Rice, it’s a start.
“I don’t think anybody should be alone at Christmas,” Revak said. “And if I could make one wish, I’m grateful that I could.”