Here’s a feel-good story for the holidays.
A video published Monday about Thomas, a homeless man, went mega viral, wracking up nearly 2 million views in about a day (and counting).
And now, the Internet is about to give the man more than $US13,000. (It could be way more — the Indiegogo campaign is raising hundreds of dollars a minute).
Here’s what happened: YouTube prankster star Josh Paler Lin wanted to find out what happens if you give a homeless guy $US100. How would he spend that money? He approached Thomas, who was holding a sign on the street asking for money, and gave him $US100. Thomas was near tears at the amount and tried to refuse but Lin insisted.
Lin then followed Thomas with a camera. Thomas beelined for a liquor store.
But it turns out, Thomas bought food at the store. He then walked to a nearby park and handed the food out to other homeless folks, people he didn’t know.
Lin, who was hiding and filming, was floored. He came out of hiding and apologised to Thomas.
Thomas has been homeless for about four months, he told Lin when asked. He wound up on the street after both of his parents died. They had grown ill and their insurance didn’t cover all of their care, so he quit his job to take care of them. After they died, their condo was sold to pay the bills and he had 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.
The man touched Lin so much, he insisted Thomas take another $US100. But it touched viewers so much, they insisted that Lin set up a crowdfunding account where they could donate to help get Thomas back on his feet.
In the time it took us to write this post, the account went from $US10,000 to more than $US13,000. The Internet is going to be very generous on this one. We’ll update this post with the final donation number when the fund raising ends.