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10 Heartwarming Acts Of Kindness Done By The Poor

Marc V.

Uplifting news stories are getting few and far between these days—all we hear about are wars here, disasters there, and just plain bad news everywhere. Admittedly, these stories tend to get kind of depressing. This is a list with the stories we need, the kind that rejuvenates us and restores our faith in humanity. Not only that, it’s nice to know that the ones who get the limelight here are the poor. Too often, we stereotype them as nothing more than lazy bums, when we don’t realize they can also be capable of doing good deeds. As this list shows, some of them are just downright awesome.

10 Schoolgirls Got New Clothes

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Eleven schoolgirls at a special needs school in India got a special treat when they were given new clothes by a generous donor. However, what made this moment special was that the donor wasn’t a rich man at all—it was a 64-year-old beggar.

Khimjibhai Prajapati used to run a small tea store until it folded and he was forced to beg on the streets. However, that untoward event hasn’t changed his views on life one bit, as he has continued to help those more unfortunate than himself. In fact, upon being interviewed about the donation, he revealed that he had wanted to give something to the girls for a long time and kept saving money until he could buy the clothes. A trustee of the school who witnessed the donation heaped praises on Prajapati and called him a genuine philanthropist.

9 The Traveler Who Looked Like Jesus Christ

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While this particular act of charity didn’t involve money, it did involve the priceless act of saving someone’s life. Folks at a truck stop in Oklahoma had a doozy of a problem back in October 2012, when a frantic couple pulled over and asked for help. The woman had just given birth to a baby with the umbilical cord tied around its neck. The baby was unresponsive, and the bystanders feared emergency medical personnel wouldn’t make it on time.

Fortunately, level-headed homeless man Gary Wilson knew what to do. He took instructions perfectly from a 911 dispatcher, unwrapping the umbilical cord from the baby’s neck and gently massaging its back. Medical personnel who arrived at the scene later commended Wilson in handling the situation calmly and correctly. Though he had vanished the next day, one employee of the truck stop noted that Wilson looked like Jesus, “with the long hair and beard.”

8 Nigerian Beggar Gave His Alms To Flood Victims

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Last year in October, middle-aged beggar Simon Ozoemena saw how a recent flood devastated the residents of the Anambra region in Nigeria and decided to help out. Ozoemena, who is also disabled, personally took $188 from the alms he collected in various churches and turned it over to government officials. They were moved by his act of charity and promised to use it wisely for the benefit of the victims. When asked why he donated such a substantial sum when he relied solely on begging to survive, Ozoemena simply said, “They were better off than me before the incident.”

7 The Wandering Chinese Beggar

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Photo credit: CFP

When he was 18 years old, Wang Zhiyou discovered that his real parents gave him to another family because they were too poor to raise him. At that point, he realized the desperate situations in which the poor often live, and started begging as a way to help them.

His routine typically includes staying in a particular locale and begging there for a month. Afterward, he would contact the media and ask them to find a needy person, to whom Zhiyou would then hand over the monthly proceeds. In his 15-year-long “career,” Zhiyou has given away more than $6,000, according to the receipts he collects from his beneficiaries.

6 A Big Reward For Honesty

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Photo credit: Today

Whoever has the notion that honesty doesn’t exist anymore may have never heard of Billy Ray Harris. In February 2013, the 55-year-old homeless man from Kansas lucked out when a woman accidentally dropped her engagement ring—worth thousands of dollars—into his cup as he was begging on the street. The woman only realized her mistake some time later and rushed off to meet Harris. She found him at the same spot and asked him if he found her ring. He said he did and proceeded to give the ring back to the grateful woman, who then gave him all the money she had on hand.

However, that reward was nothing compared to the Internet fundraiser that the woman’s fiancé put up for Harris. Netizens who heard his story contributed to the fund, which soon ballooned to more than $100,000. Harris later explained that although he was tempted to sell the ring, he knew that it wasn’t right and patiently waited for the woman to return to him.

5 Widow Donated Her Land For Orphanage

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On her 100th birthday, an Indian widow named Sindhubala Mishra decided to put her little plot of land to good use and donated it as a site for a children’s park and orphanage. Mishra, who married when she was nine years old, recounted how she was forced to live on the streets after her husband died only two years later. Her family and in-laws wouldn’t take her in, so she begged for alms to stay alive. Over time, she managed to save enough money to buy her land.

Now, her only wish is that her donation give homeless children a proper chance in life. Her generosity has inspired other individuals and groups to contribute funds and supplies for the project, with some offering to build the orphanage and park for free.

4 Panhandler Paid The Hotel Bill

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Curtis Jackson, a homeless man from Chicago, saw his chance to repay kindness with kindness in 2011 when he found out that a woman he knew well had recently found herself jobless. At the time that she met Jackson, the 39-year-old single mother worked at a bank and owned a house. After losing her job—and subsequently, her house—she stayed in a hotel with her young son after child welfare officers warned her against living in her vehicle. When she wondered how she would ever pay the hotel bill, that’s when her savior appeared. Remembering how kindly she’d always treated him, Jackson would pay the bill every day with the money he solicited around the city. He has paid a total of $9,000 in bills, but doesn’t mind one bit, remarking that as long as he has God, it doesn’t matter if he has no money.

3 The Insanely Generous Beggar

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Photo credit: Bangkok Post

Aiam Cambhiranon could have very well just kept the copious amounts of money he acquired through 34 years of begging near a Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Instead, 63-year-old Cambhiranon displayed a heart of gold unlike any other when he donated a total of $76,000 in today’s dollars over a three-year period towards the reconstruction of the temple.

He first made a huge donation in 2011 and has done so every year. The monks who ran the temple were awed by Cambhiranon’s act of kindness, and noted that he has remained humble and self-effacing despite gaining a rock-star status among the pilgrims there. The only change in Cambhiranon’s life came when the monks persuaded him to live in the temple because he was being eyed by local robbers. Volunteers have guarded Cambhiranon and the temple daily ever since.

2 Homeless Man Cleans Other People’s Homes

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Being homeless hasn’t stopped Les Wesniewski from lending a helping hand towards the less fortunate. The man—who lives in a homeless shelter in Mustard Seed, Calgary—decided to help his neighbors out when a recent flood hit their town in June 2013. Together with some volunteers, Wesniewski went from house to house everyday and assisted the homeowners in cleaning up the debris from the flood. Wesniewski later stated in an interview that he didn’t mind volunteering and he was just happy he could help. His fellow volunteers added that Wesniewski’s actions have served as an inspiration to them and the community.

1 Unnamed Beggar Handed Over Two Months’ Worth Of Begging For Earthquake Victims

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Photo credit: Yaxin

Remember that biblical verse in which Jesus said that the small donations given by the poor mattered more than the large sums of money given by the rich? This is one such example. In April 2013, an unnamed Chinese beggar walked up to a fundraiser for the victims of a recent earthquake in his hometown and donated $160. The man had collected the money over two months and wanted to help out his fellow citizens.

The story of his generosity has spread through the Chinese Web, with one commenting “he is the most beautiful beggar.” This wasn’t the only act of kindness that the man performed—a month earlier, there were reports that he also gave money to a child suffering from leukemia.

+ The Living Bulgarian Saint

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Photo credit: Snopes

Dobri Dobrev is well-known to many people in his native homeland of Sofia, Bulgaria, where he has been regularly begging on the streets for decades. What many do not know however, is that Dobrev doesn’t keep a single cent from the proceeds. Instead, he uses the money to fix various churches and monasteries and pay for the upkeep of orphanages.

So far, he has donated over $52,000 while living on a measly pension of about $100 a month. Dobrev, who is nearly 100 years old and lost his hearing in World War II, discusses his mission in this local television interview.

Marc V. is always open for a conversation, so do drop him a line sometime.