Elderly Man Sits On Same Busy Corner At Night. Woman Discovers Truth And Makes Brave Decision
Cailyn Finkel 8/12/2017
We're supposed to take care of our elders, but that's not always what happens! A lack of willing family members, external causes and fixed incomes all make life harder for some of the most vulnerable in the elderly community.
That's why 76-year-old Paul Lomax stands on a Phoenix, Arizona corner everyday - rain or shine - and has done so for years.
Screenshot via 12 News Arizona
Paul is on a fixed government income and can barely afford his home, let alone the extras that growing old with his wife requires. So, each night, Paul walks to the corner of a busy Phoenix freeway and tries to sell his copper coins.
With the bit of extra cash Paul earns from selling his coins, he takes care of his beloved wife. They have been married for more than 50 years and he would do anything to make her happy and comfortable.
With no knowledge of his backstory, one kind samaritan named Lisa Fandrich saw Paul standing outside in the brutal summer heat and knew she had to help.
Lisa spoke to 12 News Arizona about their very first interaction.
"I saw this man this elderly man crossing over the overpass on the 51 in the middle of summer at 8:30 at night pushing his wheelchair and a walker... I didn't see any water so I stopped and got a couple bottles of water and said it's time for me to hear his story because there's a reason why he's here."
Day after day, Lisa saw Paul standing on the corner and she was finally understood why.
In an emotional exchange, Paul told Lisa that he sells the coins to make sure he can provide for his wife. Lisa told 12 News Arizona exactly what Paul said.
"He told me that he moved here with his wife 36 years ago and they've been married for 54 years and he does this to make extra money."
During their conversation, Lisa asked Paul if he was worried about standing on the street with his valuables - and without missing a beat, Paul told her that "God watches out for me."
Tyler Karl, one of Paul's friends, also spoke to 12 News Arizona about the elderly man's kind nature.
"He is one of the nicest, most genuine people you'll ever meet, one of the most trusting people as well."
After hearing about Paul's story, Lisa knew she had to help. As soon as she got home, Lisa started a GoFundMe page that explained the reason why Paul spends hours sweltering in the hot Arizona heat and how he just wants to take care of his wife.
At first, Lisa wanted to raise enough money to give Paul a little breathing room if any mishaps were to arise. She had no idea that the campaign would take off like it did...
In a little less than a year, donors from all over the world contributed more than $30,000! Lisa took to the page to share how excited she was and how she promised Paul was going to be the only person who received the money.
"Thank you to everyone who has donated! I can assure you that Paul will be receiving every red cent donated. I haven't decided how long the campaign will be up for. I want to get Paul and his wife a decent amount. They have no family here in Phoenix so we will make sure he gets all the money. I am hoping to work with a friend who is a producer for a local news station.
On top of this, a local church is interested in adopting Paul and his wife for Thanksgiving! There are so many wonderful people in this world and I think we all could use a feel good story right now."
Hopefully this overwhelming amount of support shows Paul that people do care about his well-being and don't want him to have to sell his precious coins on the corner anymore! He can keep them on display in his home.
Screenshot via 12 News Arizona
Learn more about Paul's incredible story in the video below.