Westside Pride: Community hero receives “Random Act of Kindness”

As a champion of the #PowerOfWe – the impact of compassionate action around a collective vision – Westside Future Fund finds joy in sharing real-life stories of this philosophy in action.

The most recent example happened immediately following WFF’s Nov. 2 Transform Westside Summit.

Community advocate and nonprofit leader John Barrow of A Better Way Ministries was in attendance at the Oct. 5 Summit when community pillar and legacy resident Mother Mamie Moore delivered the opening devotion.

“I saw her getting out of a big white MARTA van, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it at the time,” said Barrow. “I guess I registered it in my mind. Before and after she spoke, I prayed for her. I was so moved after her remarks that I invited her to come and speak at an event I was having with my ministry.”

Barrow, who had been building a relationship with Mother Moore over the last few months, thought his weekend event would be a great opportunity for her to see and visit with some of the members of A Better Way Ministries who’d been volunteering in the neighborhood.

Mother Moore, who uses a wheelchair, replied to Barrow with gratitude, but hesitance. “I would,” she said, “but I don’t think MARTA runs that far.”

Barrow was blown away, having never considered that she didn’t have her own transportation.

“I thought back to my own time when I didn’t have transportation and how hard that was. And I empathized with how challenging it must be for her. For her to be such an integral part of the community, I felt it important for her to have quality, reliable transportation.”

With that, Barrow put a plan in motion and, less than a month after extending the invitation to Mother Moore, was able to surprise her at a Summit with a wheelchair-accessible van that she could now use to get around the community and beyond.

Barrow pictured with Mother Moore as she sees the van for the first time.

Barrow donated the vehicle to the Beloved Community, Inc., the nonprofit of which Mother Moore is a founding member, that will now allow others with disabilities to take advantage of it as well.

“This has become much bigger than a van. It’s become an opportunity to bring people together,” said Barrow, who has been working with members of the community to find drivers for the van. “There are a lot of people in the community looking to be involved and looking to be a part. This would be something, something meaningful.”

When asked about Mother Moore’s response to the unexpected gesture, Barrow replied, “She was speechless and very grateful.”