When the brutal winter weather crawled into Oklahoma City this week, Tommy Kelley loaded up his four-door Jeep Wrangler to fulfill his long-standing mission: providing the homeless community with food and shelter.
It wasn’t a simple task. In fact, it took tremendous effort from a man who is trying to make the most of his “second chance at life” since becoming sober four years ago.
In 2017, Kelley started the foundation Someday Soon — which provides the homeless community with basic necessities and transportion — to fulfill this very mission.
After seeing reports that frigid temperatures were expected alongside snow and ice, Kelley had urged his social media followers to donate to his foundation so he could “get as many coats, blankets, tents and sleeping bags to our less fortunate” as possible.
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“It’s a tough world out there but let’s show some hope to those who might be lacking,” he wrote on Facebook.
It turns out he was able to do much more after the donations started to roll in.
With $10,000 in donations and an extra $5,000 from his own pocket, Kelley was able to provide upwards of 30 people with a motel room or drive them to get a hot meal.
“[I’d] ask them what they need. It they needed a place to stay … they were getting a place to stay,” Kelley told Fox News.
He recalled telling them, “Hop in the car, let’s go find you a place.”
And in that Jeep, Kelley also drove to stores and stocked up on blankets, jackets, gloves, hand warms, tents and sleeping bags to bring to homeless camps in the area.
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“Anything that you could think of that would keep you warm we dropped off,” he said.
In some cases, Kelley would sit outside and eat with them just to remind them that “they are still human” and that “someone out there cares no matter what.”
That notion helped him when he woke up one day in August 2016 and realized that he “had enough” and reached out for help with his alcohol problem.
“The way I see, it most of us, most of the world, we are just a few bad decisions … a big mistake or an accident from ending up there,” he said.
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Because he was able to get a second chance, he created Someday Soon with one goal: to make sure not one person feels forgotten.
Since then, he and an incredible team of volunteers, equipped with a 20-foot cooker, began serving upwards of 1,000 hot meals to the homeless community every month. They would set up a spot on the streets of Oklahoma City and serve anything from hot dogs to tacos to spaghetti.
Even during the pandemic, Kelley and his team worked to deliver as many meals as possible.
His goal has always been to “spread hope”, not only in himself but for all those around him.
“You might not be great right now but someday you will be,” he said.