The past month has been all kinds of amazing for 12-year-old Jaheim Benton, a member of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team from Chicago, which won the US National Championship title in August. As the parades rolled in and the city honored their local heroes, a different story emerged – Jaheim was homeless. His family had been living in separate homes and shelters since July when his mother Davonna lost hours at work.
When a local business owner heard the story, he decided he had no choice but to step in and offer assistance.
“I said maybe we can help take care of rent for a year,” Spencer Leak, Jr., Vice President of Leak & Sons Funeral Home, tells Ellen’s Good News. “I told his mother, 'When you find a place, let me know and I’ll write the check for a year.'”
Spencer says he was moved by Jaheim's family story, particularly because of Davonna’s attitude about the situation. She wasn’t bitter, nor did she feel sorry for herself, instead she was determined.
"She stressed that she was a working person who just fell on hard times,” Spencer recalls. “She was saying she wanted the focus to remain on the team not on her, because this team has brought the city together. How often do you see people at restaurants watching a Little League game? There’s been so much momentum. His mom did not want it to be shifted to her, which I thought was honorable.”
In response to Spencer’s act of kindness, people around the world have also chipped in to help the family. The Good Samaritan says he has heard from people as far away as New Zealand, calling to ask if they can donate food, take the family shopping or send gift cards.
While Spencer says he is by no means rich, he’s happy to help someone who deserves it. He estimates the offer to be worth around $12,000.
“[It’s] a lot of money to us, but it would mean the world to Jaheim’s family,” Spencer comments. “I can make up that $12,000 in a couple months.”
He adds, “It was an awesome feeling just talking with his mom because she’s so strong.”