The Internet can be a cruel, sharp-tongued place, that’s true.
But it’s also filled with wonderful people. And those folks have been so moved by Thomas, a kind-hearted homeless man, they are going to give him more than $US103,000 — probably a lot more.
The money being raised for Thomas is still growing by leaps and bounds on Indiegogo, and the crowdsourcing campaign is only four days old. It has another 27 days left to go.
In the time it took us to write this post, it climbed from about $US101,000 to over $US103,000. Some 5,155 people have donated so far.
As we previously reported, it all started on Monday when YouTube prankster star Josh Paler Lin published a video about Thomas, a homeless man, which went mega viral, racking up nearly 2 million views in about a day (now up to almost 22 million views).
Lin wanted to find out what happens if you give a homeless guy $US100. He randomly chose Thomas (who nearly refused the $US100 as too much money) and then secretly followed him with a camera.
Thomas went straight to a nearby liquor store. But instead of buying booze, he bought food which he proceeded to distribute to other homeless people in a nearby park, people he didn’t even know.
Here he is handing bread out to another homeless person.
Lin was so moved, and shocked, that he came out of hiding, apologised for secretly filming Thomas and asked to hear his story.
It turns out that Thomas had been on the street for about four months. He had to quit his job to take care of his terminally-ill parents when insurance wouldn’t cover all of their needs, he told Lin. After they both died, within weeks of each other, the condo was sold out out from under him to pay their bills and he had no job and no place to go.
“There’s a lot of people that are just victims of circumstance and they didn’t go homeless because they’re lazy or … it could be a divorce, one thing leads to another and the man sells his boat, his home, everything, and all of a sudden he finds out he’s got no money. There’s a lot of good people that are homeless,” he told Lin.
We’ve been updating our original post with the total amount of money raised as it climbs ever higher, but this outpouring of generosity to help Thomas deserved another shout-out.
We’ve reached out to Lin, too, to hear how he feels. Yesterday, when the total hit $US100,000, Lin posted this comment to the campaign, “I cannot believe we almost raised $US100k within only 3 days… You guys completely shocked me… I’m planning on a huge surprise for Thomas with this fund. Coming up soon! Love and thank you guys for all your support!!
Here’s the video that started it all: