This past tax season, a couple walked in our office and they were drenched in sweat. We had already done their taxes and they were just waiting for their refund, in which case I knew something was wrong because I had spoken with the wife just the day before.
I was with a customer and then wrapped that return up, and greeted them and introduced myself to the two kids, ages 5 and 6, who I hadn't met previously. I went through our normal routine and offered them chips and soda and then asked what was wrong. They asked to use the phone because their van had broken down and they just walked 3 miles carrying both the kids. They felt embarrassed but had to stop and get something to drink at our office.
What I learned from this point were the horrible series of events that occured in the last 48 hours. The kids were the husband’s children from a prior relationship. Their mother's apartment had burned down a few days before and they were displaced and our clients had to go and pick them up. The children were telling stories of the fire and all the smoke (it was sad and cute at the same time) and they were letting us know how far they had to walk, and how their toys got "burnt up" in the fire.
At this point there was little we could do but luckily I had the big Liberty Tax wrapped hummer and asked if they would like a ride. It was the least I could do. I loaded the kids up with snacks and sodas and brought the family to their small home which they were sharing with a handful of other family members.
Thankfully their direct deposit posted the next day and I recieved a call at the office thanking us for everything we had done. I'll never forget that because it was definitely one of our proudest moments this season.