Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Making the "Big Issue" Magazine Seller's Day


--by wayfarer, posted May 19, 2008

In Britain we have a magazine called The Big Issue which homeless people sell. Half the money raised goes towards their next batch of magazines and the other half is theirs to keep.

One day I was out walking with Julie, my wife, on a bitter cold day when I came across a Big Issue seller. Poor guy looked frozen. I bought a magazine without looking at it and gave him a little extra money.  Further down the road I realised that I had bought the same issue a few days earlier in Glasgow.

When he saw me turn back and walk towards him the poor guy looked a little worried (I'm a big fellow).  I think he thought I was going to complain about something.  Instead I gave him the magazine back and said, "I've read this one. Why don't you sell it again to someone else?"  The way I saw it he would double his profit.  I didn't want my money back and he could sell the same magazine again. 

I'd heard of other folks doing similar things and didn't think it was such a big deal. But, by the expression on the guy's face, I think this must have been the first time it had ever happened to him. He was surprised and delighted!  So for the price of some pocket change he experienced some kindness, got to make a little extra money and I got to feel like I'd just made his day!!!

Win, win!

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Readers Comments

wotserface wrote: In Nottingham you can't turn the corner without someone trying to sell you the big issue. So I appreciate how hard it is for some of them to sell them. That was a most selfless and generous thing to do wayfarer, and I'm sure that it made that man's day, it's a lesson to us all X
EvieG wrote: We can never underestimate the power of small actions on people in great need. Bravo.
lmil1954 wrote: Hey, I just found this one, dont know how I missed it except perhaps that I had my 15 year old granddaughter for the weekend and coulndt get very near my computer:) Nice story, thanks again for sharing!

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