Editorials

Formerly homeless boy, repo man understand their fellow man’s plight

Repo man felt bad taking elderly couple's car. Here's how he made it up to them.

Jim Ford, of Belleville, felt terrible when he had to repossess an elderly couple's car in Red Bud. He raised money to get it back for them, plus repaired it, plus filled it with Thanksgiving goodies. Here's his encounter with them.
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Jim Ford, of Belleville, felt terrible when he had to repossess an elderly couple's car in Red Bud. He raised money to get it back for them, plus repaired it, plus filled it with Thanksgiving goodies. Here's his encounter with them.

Miguel Billings is 10. He plays the baritone. He lives with his adopted family in Collinsville.

Miguel once lived in a tent. He intimately understands homelessness, because he once was.

So he took his baritone out to the curb and started playing. He didn’t stop until he raised $5,320.

That is more than enough to build a home for a family in Haiti. He was moved by the plight of families.

“They never recovered from the earthquake. Everyone thought that they were okay, but then the hurricane came and flooded most of the houses,” Miguel said.

After all, at age 10 he’s already walked a mile in their shoes.

Jim Ford is a repo man. He lives in Belleville. He’s been shot at reclaiming vehicles.

He decided he shouldn’t just sneak away with people’s transportation. He decided to talk to them about what he had to do.

He had to take the 1998 Buick of an elderly Red Bud couple.

“When I got home that night, I said to myself, ‘They are a real nice elderly couple. I gotta do something. I can’t just take their car,’” Ford said.

He raised money from other repo men and friends to pay off the couple’s debt. He fixed up and cleaned up the car. He raised an extra $1,000 that he gave them.

Then his friend threw in a Thanksgiving turkey.

Sometimes you imagine walking in their shoes, find they can’t afford shoes so you buy them a pair and put a shine on them.

Miguel Billings is raising money for Haiti relief funds by playing his baritone in his driveway.

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