Pass It On: Playmaker Helps Caretaker

(WREG-TV) This week, our gift is back up to $900, and luckily our playmaker knows just the person who can use the money – a church caretaker who’s down on his luck, but not on friends.

James Cole and Mike Scoggins are with Memphis Building Trades, a group representing several local unions, and want to help by passing $300 on to us.

Now with $900, we went to the University of Memphis where playmakers Lou Paris and his wife Dr. Sylverna Ford are waiting to help a lifelong member of their church.

“He has a congenital condition with his leg and they had to amputate one of his legs. While still in rehab, his belongings disappeared from his home and literally all he has is the shirt off his back.”

Lou was talking about Albert Smith, who’s worked as a caretaker at St. Andrew AME Church for more than 50 years.

He’s been in the hospital and rehab for so long, his rooming house put his stuff to the curb.

Our playmakers say he may not have much, but you’d never know it.

“His mood is just great. It’s upbeat in a way I don’t think I could be if I had lost one of my legs.”

“He has a great spirit. You feel it. You sense it when you’re around him. He cares about people. He’s just a gentle, kind spirit.”

It’s nice to be able to count off 900 Benjamins again, and Lou and Sylverna had even more to add.

After Lou counts off all that money, Albert’s a little overwhelmed.

Albert has months of rehab to go, including a new prosthetic that WIll get him up and walking again. This week’s surprise helped everyone see that day is at least in sight.

“It really felt good to be able to do something to help Albert because we love him! We do!”