BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One of the most talked about segments of Hand it On is the story of David Fernandes, a homeless man WAFB learned about on a cold day in February.
Our Hand it On project was on the streets, surprising people with money to help them pay their heating bills. Our last one for the day was David.
When we found him, he was homeless; he didn't have a house to heat. All David wanted was a chance to work. He now has that and much more.
These days, David lives and works in Gonzales. He is the maintenance and security for a motel there and he has some friends, the motel owner Pretti Patel.
David says he constantly thinks about living in the woods. "Every time I sit there and start complaining about something to myself, and I thin, really? I mean I think, I had to wait three minutes for that thing to microwave, or I actually got to cook this and then I think, well, gee, you used to have to get up at 4:30 in the morning in the middle of nowhere. I kind of scold myself every now and then."
One of the things that stands out about David is his faith. Even with all he was going through, he kept the faith. He would ride his bike from Airline Highway to St. Joseph's Cathedral downtown. He invited me and my fiancé to represent his family at his baptism on Easter Eve.
"That was really the greatest day in my life," said David. "You get to the point where you think, 'that's it - This is how things are going to be," and you don't keep trying. But God sent [Greg] to me; and for whatever reason, it all worked out."
So many of you stepped up to help David because he didn't ask for a hand out. He asked for a job. TheKiwaniss Club got him glasses. He felt like a new man after a shave and a haircut.
Nine months later, and David keeps the faith.