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I’ll admit when I first met Milenia and Face I wasn’t sure how they were going to feel about me, but almost right off the bat I knew how I felt about them.  They certainly aren’t your average couple, but instead dynamic, interesting and I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone like them. It’s more than just the tattoos that each tell a story, and it’s more than the fact that they were once train riders themselves.  It has more to do with the degree to which they serve those around them.

On day one that I began as a volunteer, Milenia showed me around the place, instructing me on how things worked. What they hygiene room was, and how many shirts people were allowed to take from the closet. All the while she was helping in the kitchen, being asked to check the email, and planning to somehow sit down and write thank you cards to some of our supporters.  She never once showed an ounce of stress. She reminded me of a saying my mom used to use, “dynamite comes in small packages.”  She couldn’t have been taller than 5’4” but that never stopped the way she gracefully managed what seemed to be utter chaos around her. It was an absolute pleasure to work along side you Milenia, to see what the meaning of hard work and compassion is. I admire how the kids at Sox Place always flocked to you, to boast of their success or vent in times of hurt.  I strive to be a woman in my community, where people feel they can always come to me for celebration or advice, and know that I am there for them, much like how you were always there for the kids here at Sox Place.

“Face, what an interesting name,” I thought to myself when I first stepped into Sox Place. Maybe I heard them wrong when they introduced me to him.  Sure enough that was his name.  Face is the type of person that just gets more rewarding to know as time goes on. He’s the quiet type when you first meet him, but as time went on I felt like I got a little bit closer to discovering more about his personality, funny, joyful, and full of life.  However what was evident from beginning to end is that Face is one of the hardest working people I know.  He never let me fill up the water jugs, he never let me take out trash, and he was always available when we had a donation drop off that needed to be moved inside.  When you need help, Face is the kind of guy that will absolutely be by your side. While he worked at Sox Place, he also sometimes spent his mornings working construction across the street. I remember one of the first days I worked with him, he had been working construction all morning, and then helped around Sox Place for a while. Later that afternoon I found him sleeping on one of the dog beds underneath the foosball table.  I thought to myself, if everyone worked hard enough to find a dog bed a place of solitude, we might live in a very different society.  More than hardworking, Face has a huge heart. As the days began to grow colder he would ask if we could open a little early so that the babies outside could get warm.  On Face and Milenias last weekend at Sox Place, I got a picture sent to me telling me a story about how Face gave this little guy his skateboard because his old one was sold by his Dad in order to pay for rent. It was those “little” acts of kindness that Face performed on the daily that really made me understand the kind of person he was.

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I only worked with Face and Milenia and Jeebus for five months, and I hope that someday again I will get a chance to see them, and meet their little boy that’s due this spring. Thanks for being such a blessing in my life and making such an impact here at Sox Place. I already miss you guys so much but I know that your new adventure of starting a family will be a wonderful time in your life!

– Keala

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