It’s easy to be charitable when you are doing well. But when you have very little, and the possessions you do have are the difference between life and death, for many people it is understandable to forgo that virtue.
But one homeless man living on the streets of Northeastern England never hesitated.
Watching as cars slipped on wintery roads, he did the unthinkable—he gave up his only blanket to give cars traction in the snow.
And when social media heard about it, they stepped up to pay it forward in a big way.
When Ross Brown’s car became stuck in the snow, he was understandably nervous.
Last Thursday, IT Engineer Ross Brown, was on his way to work in Newcastle, England, when there was a major problem. The roads were snowy and slippery, but it only posed an issue when his vehicle tried to make it up a steep bank leading into a parking lot.
Almost as soon as he had begun, the car was completely stranded; his wheels spun in the snow, unable to gain any traction.
“There were cars behind me, there was nothing I could do,” Ross said according to The Chronicle.
The 34-year-old was panicking; he had to get to work, and the people behind were getting impatient. Not only that, but his stationary vehicle also posed a serious danger to traffic around him.
That was when an unlikely Samaritan stepped to the rescue.
His anxiety did not last long. Shortly after he was stuck, an unlikely rescuer stepped up to help.
“This guy came up and tapped on my window and he said ‘I’ll put my blanket under your back wheel,’” Ross said according to The Chronicle.
The man, as it turned out, was homeless. Ross had noticed quite a few of these people sleeping around the park before, but he paid them little attention. Even at this point, Ross was not thinking about the man’s plight—he was simply thankful someone had taken the time to help him.
The blanket made short work of the problem, and soon Ross was on his way again.
“It gave me enough grip to move forward, and then I saw he went and helped the next two or three cars behind me,” Ross said according to The Chronicle.
Ross wanted to thank the man personally, but the good Samaritan disappeared.
As Ross drove into the parking lot, he was touched by what he saw behind him. The man continued to help other drivers in need despite his abject poverty.
Moved, Ross decided he would do something nice for his rescuer. After he parked, he resolved to meet the man and personally thank him by buying the homeless person a hot meal.
But when he returned to the entrance of the parking lot, the good Samaritan was gone.
“I didn’t really think about it much before, but for someone to give up their only blanket, in this weather, to help move cars, which are just a material possession, really made me appreciate how hard it must be for homeless people, especially in the cold like this,” Ross said according to The Chronicle.
So, Ross turned to social media and asked for donations. He had a new purpose—to pay it forward by gathering blankets and sleeping bags to donate to a city homeless shelter. He expected a few donations, maybe some old blankets.
But the response he received was overwhelming.
*** Help Wanted People ****If you have any old blankets or sleeping bags please let me know. I’m willing to pick them…
People from all over Newcastle banded together to donate whatever they could.
“I didn’t expect it to blow up as much as it did,” Ross said according to The Chronicle. “But loads of people have been saying they’d give me old sleeping bags and duvets and coats, so I’m going to collect them up and take them into a shelter.”
Still, he has not forgotten the good Samaritan who sacrificed an important possession to help him out of the snow.
“I went into town today to buy a sleeping bag, I’ve seen the guy before in town so I’m hoping I’ll be able to find him,” Ross said according to The Chronicle.
Here’s hoping they will meet again—it’s easy to be charitable when you are not freezing. That’s why this good Samaritan’s act of kindness is so special.