A Neighborhood Hero

I received this email about someone familiar to many Midtowners:

Jeff Cain has provided newspapers to our neighborhoods since 1965! In the wee morning hours while many of us sleep, he throws The Commercial Appeal, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
You might have seen his tired old red truck –on its very last legs –slowly cruising on your street. His broken down vehicle is making it tough for Jeff to continue his a hard-earned living and more difficult to deliver our papers consistently on time.
Many of us would like to thank Jeff by helping him to purchase a well-functioning used SUV and to cover related expenses. Please join us to show that love and thanks begin at home and with our neighbors, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season.
If you too would like to help, a check payable to Jeffrey Cain can be dropped off for deposit at the Independent Bank on Union near Belvedere or you can drop your check, payable to Jeffrey Cain, at either 1542 or 1560 Harbert and we will deposit it for you in the special Independent Bank account on Union set up for Jeff. Our goal for Jeff is to have enough money collected by January 15, 2014.

Email links are: tomberdeja@aol.comor dbollheim@comcast.net.

Mr. Midtown Republican and I speak to Jeff almost every day. He passes us in his dilapidated truck as we take a morning walk. He is friendly and helpful. In the past, he has offered to watch our dog for us when we were out of town. He checks on us if he doesn’t see us. He makes sure we get our newspaper. He brings dog biscuits for dogs he knows. He asks after us when one of us is sick. He puts the newspaper close to the door in inclement weather or when someone is ill.

It took several Christmases to understand that he will not cash checks sent to him as thanks during the holidays. Friends in Central Gardens had similar experiences. How many people today act so humbly? We have learned to send him gift cards instead.

Even though he has to get the newspapers at 2 a.m. (and the CA doesn’t make it easy for him, moving distribution from the headquarters on Beale to Whitehaven – go figure.), wait for them when they are late, wait for the USA Today, Wall St. Journal and New York Times to arrive from out of town, bag them and put in inserts, he doesn’t fail to do his job. If you haven’t received one on time, chances are the CA has messed up, not Jeff.

He doesn’t even get gas money from the paper. If someone complains and doesn’t get a paper, $3 comes out of his own wallet. Nor does he get any perks. Carriers were not even invited to the company picnic!

Some people would have a “screw them” attitude. Not Jeff. He doesn’t shirk from his duty.

There aren’t many like him anymore. He is old school and that’s a good thing.

It’s ironic that the liberal publication that pushes entitlements and spending on the poor doesn’t feel so generous itself. Liberalism and Socialism will never be the true nature of charity. It’s one person giving willingly to another and that’s something conservatives understand.

Jeff Cain deserves the help and attention he can get. If anyone knows a contact at one of the television stations, I will gladly let them know that Jeff is a great human interest story and a good man.

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