14-Year-Old Saved from Crime-Ridden Neighborhood Gives Homeless Man Shoes Off His Feet

March 7, 2019 Updated: May 15, 2019

Teenager Laron “Ron Ron” Tunstill grew up in a bad neighborhood, but since working with non-profit homeless outreach organization PURP (“People Uplifting Real People”), he’s turned his life, his attitude, and his values around.

On a Labor Day outing, the teen came across a homeless man sitting on the ground wearing tattered shows, covered in holes. The boy’s heart went out to him. In silence, he sat down next to the man, untied his own shoes and handed them over. The homeless man was taken aback and initially refused, but Ron Ron was adamant. “He was poor. So, you know, I just did what I had to do,” Ron Ron explained, speaking to CBS News, who covered the story.

Today a 14 year old from West Louisville, KY gave his shoes off of his feet to a homeless man! While other 14 year olds…

Posted by Purpme on Monday, 5 September 2016

“Ron Ron and I went out with bean soup and corn bread and just went out to spread love in our neighborhood,” PURP founder Jason Reynolds told ABC News. Reynolds witnessed Ron Ron and the homeless man’s entire interaction. “They sat and talked to each other,” he observed. “The homeless man explained that he had gone through a lot of loss and hurt in his life, and Ron Ron was very moved by his story.”

PURP, collectively proud of Ron Ron’s selfless gesture, posted a photo of the pair on their Facebook page depicting Ron Ron in his shoeless feet with an arm over the homeless man’s shoulder. The picture was captioned: “While other 14 year olds are shooting and joining gangs Ron Ron is living out his purpose in life.”

Ron Ron’s act of kindness is being felt around the world (Photo courtesy of Purpme)

Reynolds has been mentoring the previously troubled teen and has watched him grow into a respectable young man. Ron Ron has volunteered for PURP for over three years.

“When I first met him, he was wild,” Reynolds joked. “The streets affected him a little, and at one point, he was fighting more, being disrespectful.” Reynolds tutelage dug Ron Ron out of his “bad phase” and he’s never looked back. Reynolds is humble, crediting “God’s grace” for the 14-year-old’s transformative change of attitude.

Ron Ron gifting a care package as part of his ongoing outreach work (Photo courtesy of Purpme)

The photo of Ron Ron and the homeless man quickly went viral and garnered hundreds of supportive responses. “This is awesome,” wrote one: “I was always taught it’s better to give then receive.”

“Many people live their whole life without discovering the best part of living,” added another.

Posted by Jason J. Reynolds on Tuesday, 21 August 2018

And it seems that the young benefactor has truly surpassed the terrible teens: he is somewhat bashful about his act of generosity. He was “just doing the right thing,” he said.

PURP have created a GoFundMe account to help further their outreach work, with a goal of $10,000. To date, they are over halfway towards reaching their target. “We just want to start a movement of people loving and uplifting one another,” Reynolds explained.

The 16-year-old giving a motivational speech to students at Louisville’s Olmsted North School (Photo courtesy of Purpme)

And as for Ron Ron: “Now, he’s the one mentoring other kids,” Reynolds reported, with a smile. “It’s amazing.”

Watch Reynolds and Ron Ron on the T.D. Jakes Show regaling the story of Ron Ron’s bighearted giveaway, below.

What do you think of this young Kentucky boy’s act of kindness? Spread the love, and share this uplifting story with everybody you know and care about!