Entertainment And News

After An Uber Driver Gave A Ride To An Elderly Veteran And Noticed How He Was Living, She Decided To Take Matters Into Her Own Hands

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Woman embracing elderly man

After noticing how an elderly man's home looked after dropping him off, an Uber driver decided she couldn't stand by and continue to let him live like that. Lauren Mulvihill showed the importance of getting the community together for a good cause after she was hired to pick up an elderly veteran from the hospital and learned the devastating circumstances of his home.

When Lauren drove an 89-year-old elderly veteran home, she noticed that he was living in squalor.

In June 2019, Lauren, an Uber driver from Henry County, Georgia, thought she was only going to be earning a quick fare after being hired to pick up 89-year-old Ronald Dembner from the hospital after he was discharged and no one else was able to take him home.

However, when she managed to get Ronald to his home and helped him inside, she was shocked at the state of his house.

"I thought I was going to be greeted by family members," Lauren told 11Alive. "Honestly, I thought somebody — a brother, sister, son, daughter, somebody — was going to be at the door. Then I realized it [was] just him."

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It was then that Lauren learned Ronald was both a widower and veteran who lived alone with his dog, King. His living conditions were concerning and his house was practically falling apart, with dirt and filth covering every corner.

"I said, 'Do you have anybody who is here to help you? Do you have anyone who checks on you?'" she said. "And he said, 'No.' He has absolutely nobody." 

Lauren explained that she couldn't leave Ronald to live in a house like this, especially since he was scared to call someone to come and clean it for fear that they would end up taking his home away from him. And with his old age, he was unable to get around on his own to clean and pick up after his dog.

"Everybody said, mentally he's fine, he's just older. So nobody will help," she said.

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With no other choice, Lauren began cleaning his house herself and reached out to people in her local community to help too.

Refusing to leave Ronald in this condition, she spent hours cleaning up his home, scrubbing his kitchen and bathroom from top to bottom. However, it wasn't soon after that she realized she might need more help as the cleaning job was much too big for one person.

After spending hours on the phone, trying to find someone, she eventually chose to create a Facebook page titled "Helping Mr. Ronald," seeking out any friends or people in their local community that were available to come over and help clean up with her.

Dozens of volunteers arrived at Ronald's home and began cleaning and stripping apart the inside of his property. In under a week, they had successfully managed to rid his home of all its garbage and the old furniture, even ripping up all of the old carpeting.

Out of all the work done to his home, Ronald admitted he's most grateful for their time and energy.

"Friendship; to be together with people who care — genuinely care for another person's concern," he told 11Alive. "That's what I was most thankful for."

Lauren's initiative to help a complete stranger after noticing how he was living is a testament to the impact that just one person can have. In the end, the dozens of people who came together to help weren't just showing up to clean his home, but also providing companionship and hope to an elderly veteran who had been forgotten.

"The things that are happening are so profound and being done so quickly and efficiently, I just don't have the words to explain how grateful I am, how thankful I am," Ronald said. "God bless them all for what they've done."

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.