When a woman gave money to a homeless man, she didn’t think twice about it. Months later, she’s surprised to see him again—clean shaven and ready to pay it forward.
In January 2017, ShelbyLynn Henry Alexander was waiting inside her truck when she noticed a man on the street. The man was holding a cardboard sign that read: Need a little help. Will pay it forward.
Seeing this and wanting to help, she went over to him.
“I pulled over by him, explained that I usually only gave food instead of money, and gave him three bills folded around my real estate business card in case he needed help finding another place to live,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Though she was uncertain if the man was homeless, she didn’t ask him anything. Alexander just took in his face, remembered his clothes, the dog beside him, and “the shamefulness in his eyes” when she gave him the money.
Months later, in September, Alexander got a call from a man who wanted to see a house and specifically asked for her. She agreed to meet him.
“As soon as I pulled into the driveway, my eyes were first drawn to a plump dog hanging out of the window of a truck that seemed as happy as could be,” Alexander wrote.
Then, out stepped the dog’s owner—it was the man whom Alexander had helped months earlier.
“He was wearing a collared shirt, freshly-starched jeans, boots, and had a clean-shaven face,” she wrote.
One look at the man’s appearance, Alexander was quick to judge him.
“The first thought that crossed my mind was that he had scammed me by pretending to need money in those dingy clothes, but I later found out that was not the case at all,” she shared.
It turned out that the man was facing a hard time after “his ex-wife had taken everything he owned, besides his dog, and had run off with another man,” Alexander explained. He was an engineer and just needed some help, not money.
In January of this year, I was waiting in my truck at a stoplight and noticed a man holding a cardboard sign. Written in…
The man had called Alexander to pay back her money and also to pay her kindness forward.
The meeting changed Alexander’s perspective.
“What I learned from tonight is that you never know what someone has going on in his or her life, and it can be so easy to judge from the outside looking in without knowing the circumstances,” she concluded her post.
We wouldn’t want others to judge us based on our appearances, so we should never do the same to others. Instead, we should reach out when we see people in need of help, and there is a good chance that your actions might make a great impact.