The girl was late to class every single day, and she wouldn’t say why. The teachers had spoken to her father on several occasions, but all they got from him was “sorry.”
It was only when the school administration asked him to open his SUV that they learned the hard-to-swallow truth.
James Schweikhard and his 10-year-old daughter, Maddy, had recently moved to a new city, and they had a lot of unpacking to do.
After unpacking all the boxes, James got his daughter enrolled in school. But one of Maddy’s teachers would soon discover the horrifying truth about her father.
Ms. Malkim didn’t like James from the very beginning. Something was off about him, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
She kept a close eye on Maddy the entire time. So when she started showing up late for class, Ms. Malkim decided to have a word with her father.
You see, a few days after Maddy joined the classroom, her father’s SUV had broken down, which was their only form of transportation.
Maddy had no other choice but to walk to school as she wasn’t eligible for school bus transportation.
However, the walk from her house to school was long, and she couldn’t get to school on time.
Then, one day, when James came to pick his daughter up, he saw a bunch of police officers around his car.
Ms. Malkim noticed how exhausted his daughter looked and assumed the worst.
James felt a lump in his throat as the officers asked him to open his trunk. What was going on?
James knew the police didn’t care about people like him. So he braced himself as he opened the trunk.
Maddy and her father had been homeless for over two years, and they kept it a secret. They lived in their SUV.
James and Maddy had no other choice but to leave their hometown. It wasn’t safe to live in Oklahoma anymore.
Sadly, James couldn’t afford an apartment as he was still unemployed. But how did the officers react?
When Officer Butler realized James and his daughter were homeless, he knew he needed to help them.
He reached out to the local community and shared their story.
Officer Butler and the community found a decent job for James and even helped him with the paperwork to rent an apartment in a good neighborhood.
But that wasn’t all.
A mechanic and tow truck company paid for the SUV repairs, and people from all over the world donated clothes and furniture to James and his daughter.
James couldn’t believe it. They would finally have a real roof over their heads.
“It was a hand up, not a handout,” people explained. “He had already done most of the hard work getting his life together.”
Still, this kind gesture was enough to bring James and his daughter to tears.
Now, James and Maddy have their own house – something they didn’t think was possible.
They felt so lucky to be surrounded by many kind and caring people and authority figures. But what about Ms. Malkim?
Ms. Malkim apologized to James for thinking he had something to do with his daughter being late. She didn’t know they were living in their car.
Although James was surprised by her initial reaction, he forgave her.
James knew Ms. Malkim was just watching out for Maddy. She had good intentions.
And if she didn’t call the police on him that day, they would probably still be homeless.