A Heart-Warming Christmas Story

Tom Cronin San Francisco

I have a heart warming story to tell you my friends.

It involves my family that was able to help another family out. Hope you enjoy it~

Every year my parents have gone out to the streets of San Francisco to hand out gift packages filled with food and candies to the homeless. They also give out socks, sleeping bags, scarfs and other clothing to help them in the Winter season.

My parents, along with my good friends parents, the Clausons, approached their first homeless person of the day. He was disheveled, a bit confused, without shoes and looked beat up. With no possessions on him, my parents and friends asked “Would you like some food?”
He said a hearty “Yes” and then was asked “What happened?”

He said he had recently been beat up and had all his stuff stolen. His name was Tom Cronin. My parents then asked if he would like to have them contact anyone for him, and he pulled out of his pocket a card with his brother’s name on it. What happens next is a crazy adventure.

After getting him new clothes and giving him a sleeping bag, my Mom came home and told me about Tom. She told me to look up the name of his brother and within a few minutes I had found the information of his brother in Big Sur. My Mom contacted him and after a day, brother Dan came to San Francisco to try to find Tom, whom he had not seen in 14 years and who lost any contact with him this last November.

Tom Cronin didn’t choose to be homeless on the streets of San Francisco. He suffers from epilepsy, and can be helpless when attacked with seizures. Likely being deported from Japan (where he lived for over ten years) for overextending his visa, Tom found himself in San Francisco and upon suffering a seizure, became very “basic” and unable to take care of himself. In the process, any possession he had previously was stolen and he was left to suffer and just fade away.

Dan came to the city, and together with my Dad and Bill Clauson searched the streets. They visited the shelters, looked in the Mission district where Tom was seen last, and contacted friends who worked daily with the cities homeless population. For a few days, there was no luck. Dan filed a missing persons report and posted fliers all over. Still, no luck. Then a writer from the San Francisco Chronicle by the name of C.W. Nevius picked up the story and wrote an article about finding Tom. A website was subsequently created by Dan called Findtomcronin.com

What happened was magical. People started calling and emailing both C.W and Dan. They said they would be looking out for Tom. Here was a situation where a helpless homeless individual wanted to be found and his family wanted to find him. The family had everything ready for him, including social services and the medical attention he needed.

Through the searches and a little less than two weeks later, it came to be that police officer Rodney Barrera identified him and immediately brought him to the emergency room to be cared for. He looked further beat up and without anything again. The hospital contacted Dan and the family. He was lost and now he was found!

The family was overjoyed. Tom’s sister in Florida flew over the next day, crying most of the way over and his parents were so happy to hear he was alive and that they were going to see their son again. Dans efforts had been successful and he took Tom to a hotel room where he could care for him. Tom was first confused when he saw his brother, but when his brother told him who he was, Tom looked at him and started to tear up.

With the efforts of so many, a family was reunited. I’m happy I played a small part in this and wish a Merry Christmas to the Cronin family.

Article by CS Nevius today on the finding of Tom