FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A South Florida man wanted to make a difference in the life of a homeless family first chronicled on CBS’ “60 Minutes”
For years he’s given to charity, but never has he been struck to do what he did Wednesday, give up his timeshare on Fort Lauderdale beach to someone he’s never met.
“I haven’t felt that good in years doing something for someone,” said Marty Shapiro.
He is giving the unusual gift to the Metzger family: 12 year old Austin, 15-year-old Arielle and their dad Tom. They were profiled last month on the popular news show about homeless families in Orlando living in their cars.
Compelled by what he saw Shapiro brought the family to South Florida for the holidays.
The kids were thrilled to see the surf as was Tom. who was a bit taken back by the generosity.
“They have never really had a real vacation so this is cool,” said Tom Metzger. “I feel a little guilty because here I’m on vacation and they are on vacation and I feel like I’m supposed to be doing more.”
As Shapiro spoke with the children, they realized they had something in common. Both had lost their mothers when they were just a few years old.
“She was 31 years old,” Shapiro told them.
“We don’t have any memory of her other than two. One was it was Halloween and I was screaming at her because she made my face green,” Arielle Metzger: “And then the other was her lying in her casket.”
Since their story aired the Metzger’s have been on the move: lobbying Congress for help, campaigning to help homeless families, and as of last Friday, moving into a home.
The transition from the confines of a truck bed has been harder than they expected.
“I still find that while we have a lot of house, they still gather in this one little area right where I’m at. If I’m on the couch, or if I’m in my room they kind of gather towards me,” said Tom Metzger.
The metzgers certainly have endured a lot together. This week, they’ll endure something new; a vacation.
“I would always here kids say ‘oh I’m going on a cruise’. I’ve never been on a cruise. Kinda don’t want to, I’m scared of the water,” Arielle Metzger. “But just to be able to do what other kids can do and enjoy time it’s really cool.”