“My2cents4u” with Tony Fulton, President of Hallmark Homecare, LLC

Sep 7, 2023 / • HHC News & PR

I think I was eleven years old… that was the first time I ever helped Alice. In hindsight, it was my entrance onto the stage of senior care. Alice was a lady from church who had called Mom asking her to “send one of the boys over to help around the house”. At the time, Alice was probably capable of cleaning her house, washing dishes, and taking the trash downstairs. But she knew it would be safer for someone else to do it, and she wanted to give a young boy an opportunity for work. As it turns out, Alice ended up teaching me too. You see, an eleven-year-old is not quite old enough to ponder the deeper things, but he’s also not too young to understand a little something about them. Let me explain.


I was an obedient boy, so when Mom said, “Go help Alice”, I went and helped Alice! I looked forward to those days when I would walk to her little third-floor apartment off 17th & Courthouse Avenue because I was paid fifty cents each time I went. Fifty cents was a lot of money to me! But Alice gave me something else: she gave me my first experiences of serving and earning. I remember the feeling of satisfaction for having done something important to earn that fifty-cent piece. I distinctly recall looking at the face of John F. Kennedy on that coin and thinking to myself that this was valuable because the man on that coin did something valuable, and I must have done something valuable to earn it. It was a short walk from Alice’s to Midway Grocery where I would spend that coin on a package of football cards so, admittedly, I didn’t spend too long pondering the value of something earned. But I do remember knowing “something” satisfying about having helped Alice. I still feel that special “something” today through my work with Hallmark. It was Alice’s fifty cents, and she allowed it to become MY fifty cents because of something I did for her. And what did I do for her? I helped her with little things. I helped her remain independent. I helped her stay at home. I gave her a little visitor to look forward to each week.

Now I understand this article is personal to me such that I take greater meaning out of it than others. But I’m willing to bet, dear reader, that you too have experienced the deep satisfaction of having helped another person through your work. Consider for a moment, however, that the person who accepted your help was actually helping you. Alice provided me the opportunity to do what human beings were placed on this earth to do: to love. Certainly, it is an act of love to expend oneself – even if only a little – in serving another. She allowed me the opportunity to experience that.

Alice passed away many years ago, but I take this opportunity to say today what I didn’t quite comprehend at age eleven, “Dear Alice, thank you for what you gave to me. It was worth infinitely more than fifty cents. I’ll pay you back when next we meet.”