Have you ever given a homeless person money and wondered how it was spent? Did he bought cigarettes or alcohol instead of food? Well, this generous guy took the time to find out. Josh Paler Lin, a self-described “social experiment prankster” wanted to find out what a homeless man does if he unexpectedly receive $100. Josh admits he was expecting the worst.
Josh, who has his own Youtube channel, randomly picked a homeless man on a 91 Freeway off-ramp in Anaheim. The man, whose name is given only as Thomas, was apparently surprised and delighted to unexpectedly receive $100 from a stranger. He almost cried as he describes the gift as “incredible”. He gave Josh a hug before going on his way.
At this point Josh, followed Thomas – secretly filming him to see what he will do to the money he received. Things didn’t look good when he appears to head straight to a liquor store. Although a little bit disappointed, Josh told his cameraman to “keep filming” anyway. What happens next was truly heart-warming.
Thomas came out of the store with a large bag. He went to a group of homeless people, pulled out some foods that he bought from the store and, in an act of touching generosity, he shares it with other people living on the streets this Christmas.
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Josh was impressed by this simple act of kindness. He hurriedly went to Thomas, told him they’ve been filming him the whole time. And he asked why he thought of others instead of himself.
“You thought I was going to get all smacked up drunk, huh?” Thomas said: “There’s things money can’t buy. I get a happiness out of what I’m doing.”
Thomas revealed how he ended up in the streets. He gave up his job to care for his step-dad who suffered from cancer. Two weeks after he died, Thomas’ mother also passed away and the condominium where he lived was sold, leaving him homeless.
“A lot of people are just victims of circumstance,” he adds. “They didn’t go homeless because they’re lazy… There’s a lot of good people who are homeless.”
Josh was so touched by his story that he handed Thomas another $100. He also successfully raised almost $50,000 for Thomas after launching a fundraising page in Indiegogo.com to give him a fresh start. After being uploaded, the video has already gone viral with 51 million views.
“I was going to catch him drinking beer and… say, ‘Bro, why’d you buy beer? I thought you needed food,’” Lin recalled. Instead, Lin said, “My heart just melted.”
You can support Thomas’ fresh start here.
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