The Miracle Walk and $150K Donation to RVA's Homeless
BOOMER catches up with Shawnee Hansen, 2014 Boomer & Shaker Award winner and founder of the local nonprofit Richmond Friends of the Homeless.
Shawnee Hansen is the founder of Richmond Friends of the Homeless and a winner of one of the 2014 Boomers & Shakers Awards, as well as the recipient of what she calls a $150,000 miracle.
In August she reported this stunning story back to us: “You may recall as part of my story with the Boomer & Shaker Award that I was planning to walk the Camino de Santiago [in northern Spain] to celebrate turning 65 and 30 years of working with those in need in Richmond. The two-month pilgrimage would give me time to think about this next chapter of my life. On my third day, I met two men who came to our country as refugee children from Cuba. We were seated together at dinner. They told me their fascinating stories and are both wildly successful today. They asked what I did and I briefly told them about founding Richmond Friends of the Homeless. The one man took out his iPad and looked us up and me personally. He showed it to the other guy and he nodded. He then closed his iPad and said. ‘This is the 4th time I have walked the Camino. God whispers to me, “Mike, go walk the Camino – there is someone who needs your help.” So I clear my schedule and walk. I believe you are the one he meant for me to meet. It is organizations like yours who helped us become who we are today. I am sending your organization $150,000!!!’ The check has arrived and cleared the bank. All he asks is that I share this story with the people of Richmond. “If a total stranger from Miami so believes in what you are doing in your community, what are the people of Richmond willing to do – will they match it?” I completed my walk in 51 days and did  miles. Hope you might be wiling to share this miracle.”
The story has appeared on Virginia This Morning and in the Richmond Friends of the Homeless newsletter. Thus far, the organization has received an additional $2,400 locally. (Tax-deductible donations may be made to the organization at 4600 Jaydee Drive, Moseley, VA 23120.) Visit RFH at richmondfriendsofthehomeless.org or on Facebook.