By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We’re heading into the season of giving when we hear, “It’s better to give than to receive.”

But is it really?

If you were suddenly given the chance to help someone out, would you — and could you?

The sign is rather to the point. All anyone had to do was ask KDKA’s John Shumway how to get the $500.

They had to be ready to commit about an hour or two on the spot to help a friend.

Tommar Lindsay and George Johnson had come to the Penn Hills Shopping Center to buy hot dogs for lunch and were not the least bit deterred by the rules of this gift.

They couldn’t keep the money for themselves. They had to think of someone in need who was not a family member or lived in the same residence.

Lindsay thought of her friend, Mary Potter.

“It’s a friend of mine. She has three kids, she [doesn’t] have a job, she [doesn’t] have family that lives in Pittsburgh,” Lindsay said.

She knew Mary was in a class at Life’s Work on Forbes Avenue in Uptown. After confirming Mary was there, she, her friend and John Shumway went there to help Mary.

Mary Potter was nervously waiting on Life’s Work’s front walk. John Shumway asked about her personal situation.

Potter: “No job. I have three children – two girls and a boy.”

Shumway: “How do you make ends meet?”

Potter: “I do what I gotta do – hair, I braid, babysit, do what I gotta do.”

Without transportation of her own, she depends on buses to get her to her classes and to pick up her two daughters from daycare. Her son was with his father.

Mary watched in shock as John Shumway gave the $500 to her friend, Tommar, before it was given to her.

The $500 will go a long way.

“Children’s winter clothes, shoes and yes for myself – buy myself some shoes and stuff – I can’t believe y’all did that.”

Through her business classes at Life’s Work, Mary is hoping to find work, independence and security for her children.

Friends who care – she clearly already has.

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