May 11, 2007
A tip of the hat to one Donna Spangler:
Hours before facing a Tennessee execution chamber, Philip Workman had one final request: to give away his final meal, a vegetarian pizza, to someone sleeping rough on the streets of Nashville.
Prison officials at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution refused. “We can get some special things for the inmate, but the taxpayers don’t really give us permission to donate to charity,” a prison spokeswoman said.
Unable to donate the pizza, Workman — put on Death Row for killing a police officer in a bungled 1981 robbery of a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant — skipped his final meal and was executed in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The $20 (£10) budget for his “special meal request” went unspent.
A vile and petty example of the small mindedness of the bureaucratic system. Shits, in short. And then:
As daylight broke over Nashville, and as news of Workman’s final request spread, the biggest homeless shelter in the city was inundated with 150 donated veggie pizzas, worth $1,200. The money was raised by Donna Spangler, 55, who delivered them in person with a friend. She was not the only one who felt to compelled to act: other donors, mostly anonymous, delivered 40 or so other pizzas to either the same or other shelters in the area.
It's not a miracle of redemption or anything serious like that, despite the fact that there's still controversy over whether he was properly convicted (might even have been innocent), nothing serious to say about his attempt at a last little gift or anything.
“Philip Workman was trying to do a good deed and no one would help,” said Mrs Spangler, who recruited a co-worker to help her to make the huge delivery. “I knew my husband would have a heart attack. I put some of it on the credit card. But I thought we’ll find a way to pay for them later. I just felt like I had to do something.”
Thank you Mrs. Spangler, that's just made my day.
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That's bloody brilliant. I often get the impulse to make a grand charitable gesture, but my innate selfishness always wins the day. Thank Jebus there are some of us who don't allow it.
Posted by: sortapundit | May 11, 2007 1:54:16 PM