Herman Travis, 55, lives in Holly Courts, a low-income housing complex in San Francisco.
Every Tuesday, Travis fills a shopping cart with groceries from a local food bank and makes home deliveries to his elderly and disabled neighbors. He started doing it in 2007 and says when he first started, people were skeptical.
“When I first started doing it. People was cautious. They didn’t let me in their house, but after they got to really know me they would just be happy to see me,” says Travis.
Robert Cochran, a neighbor of Travis who receives deliveries from him, says he loves the joy Travis gets out of making his rounds.
“I sometimes sit back and watch you,” he told Travis. “And I seen the way you handle yourself with the residents. They know they treated with respect when they see you coming. And there are people in other complexes that have been trying to steal Herman for years … to pay him to come and deliver their food for them. ”
Cochran says it’s the little things Travis does that make him such a good friend.
And it doesn’t look like Herman Travis will stop delivering groceries any time soon.
“I’m doing something that people really need. And that makes me feel really good. So long as I have breath in my body I’m going to continue doing it. I sleep good at night,” says Travis.
Produced for Morning Edition by Jasmyn Belcher Morris.
StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.