Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Thanksgiving Joy For A Homeless Man

--by cappjoc99, posted Nov 30, 2014
Sometimes the people who are noticed the least can do the most to lift us up... On Thanksgiving morning I got up early to run in the local 5K, figuring it would give me the motivation to get back into running. It was barely above freezing that morning so everyone getting ready to run was hopping around trying to stay warm.

On the side of the road, sitting in the grass, was a man wrapped in a blanket. It was pretty obvious he was homeless and as usual, most people pretended not to see him. I went over and talked with him for a few minutes before the race. In the midst of the idle chit-chat, he told me that he was a veteran and had hoped he might be able to earn a few dollars that morning to be able to go buy a Thanksgiving dinner. He had a glimmer of happy memories in his eyes when he talked about hot turkey and stuffing.

There was no work, everything for the race was done by volunteers. It was time for the race so I told him I'd talk to him more after. He said he would be there watching "the parade" that he hadn't expected that morning, and watching to see me cross the finish line. I thought about this man during most of the race. I'm in the military and it always hurts to see someone who served going through such a rough time. He hadn't asked me for anything, but I wanted to do something for him. But what? I only had a couple dollars, certainly not enough for a thanksgiving dinner for the man.

After the race I went back over and sat in the grass next to him, which got me more than a few odd looks from other runners. We talked for probably half an hour about all sorts of things, including the faith we both share in Christ. During our conversation I gave him the cash I had. He didn't want to accept it but I told him I wanted him to have it, it might get him a little something extra during the day. Then he said something that I didn't expect. He said "this has been so nice. Thank you. I haven't really talked to anybody in a real long time." "Wow", I thought.

This man is thanking me for just talking to him? I'm nobody special." After I said good bye, I went up to a couple of other people who were involved with the race. I asked them if they had a couple of dollars for a homeless veteran who just wanted to buy a hot Thanksgiving dinner. I think he ended up getting enough for a good dinner that night. I went to the run to try to do something for myself, but he did more for me than I could ever have gotten out of just running. He showed me how to smile through the rough times and reminded me not to take for granted the many blessings I have. 

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Readers Comments

MaryBeth wrote: What a very blessed thanksgiving day for you and for your friend. So very kind! You not only gave what you had in your pocket, but more importantly of your time and that is more precious than money. Wish more people were inclined to share of themselves along with the dollar. Thank you!
petroskryf wrote: Perhaps this was the best race you ever had. You were a winner -- in someone else's heart, and in mine. Thank you for sharing!
MrsP wrote: This was the sweetest thing i have ever read. Not many people take the time to talk to someone in need. I also think some people are afraid of the homeless. I do not know why. You are a great person. I bet the both of you went away feeling god's presence. God brought you to that race for a reason. Great story.
Herremon wrote: I think you won that race, my friend. You won it in the way that matters.
wavingatyou wrote: People are great stories! You're now part of each other's! Thank you :)
mindyjourney wrote: Thank you for listening to heart and connecting with homeless man. I'd say you are winning the kindness race, my friend :))). Blessings.

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