Two homeless men are being hailed for their efforts cleaning up the beaches of San Diego after being spotted on a webcam all the way from New Jersey 2,000 miles away.
Mark Pacana, a New Jersey resident on the east coast, has dreams of moving to San Diego; every morning, he wakes up and watches the shoreline of Ocean Beach through the Ace Tattoo Surf Cam.
Once this became his ritual, it didn’t take long for Pacana to notice a trend: every morning, around 5 a.m., two men made their way around the beach, carrying buckets and picking up trash.
Pacana was so inspired by the sight of these two selfless strangers, he wrote a letter to CBS8 asking them to thank the good Samaritans.
Inspired by Pacana’s letter, the news outlet’s Jeff Zevely decided to investigate the story further. He dialed Mark on a video call to get more details.
“Every morning,” Pacana told CBS, “I see a little minivan pull up, a beige minivan. They get out, they open the back of their minivan, they pull out two buckets, and they walk around the entire beach area cleaning up. God bless them for doing what they are doing.”
Pacana asked again if the news station could thank the men for their efforts to clean the beach. Zevely readily agreed, but he couldn’t have expected that he’d find not just two good Samaritans but two homeless men, selflessly cleaning the beach for free.
David Hendon and Marc Gervais are friends who live in a van near Ocean Beach with their dog, Pico.
When asked why they get up at 5 a.m. every day and tirelessly clean up the beach, Gervais told CBS, “I love this community and people come down here at night and break bottles and you know we are dog lovers and I hate to see a dog on a piece of glass and cut their paws.”
Hendon and Gervais are recovered drug addicts. They said that after getting clean, they decided they might as well pay it forward and put some good back into the world. For four years, they have picked up trash, swept the sidewalks, and even sifted cigarette butts out of the sand.
“We are homeless, not moral-less,” Gervais said. “My dad taught me the first time I went fishing, you always make a place look better than when you got there.”
Though they ask for nothing in return, they aren’t without need. As it turns out, their minivan needs some work, and if they don’t get help soon, the van will be towed, and they’ll be out on the streets.
Back on the east coast, Pacana was awestruck upon receiving news of Zevely’s findings. “Amazing,” he said. “To find two people, homeless, taking it upon themselves to clean up a beach area every single night. You know I’m warm, it warms me up especially considering all of the B.S. that is going on in the world right now.”
Pacana suggested setting up a GoFundMe to help out. Hendon and Gervais were too proud to ask for more than $1,500, but at the time of this article, the GoFundMe has already raised over $26,000 from strangers who were inspired by their selflessness.
On the GoFundMe page, one donator wrote, “The world needs more kindness like this. Thanks for doing your best to do your part. Wish I could give more. I hope the best for you. Be blessed.”
When asked if he would like to say anything to Hendon and Gervais, Pacana said, “Thank you for being a good citizen. More people need to take a page out of their book. God bless them, that’s amazing.”
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