A simple random act of kindness can bring joy and hope to both giver and receiver. When the impact of that one act goes global—and is a massive inspiration to others to do the same — that is amazing.
Craig Wells was enjoying a family Saturday out, having a meal in a restaurant with his wife and three kids.
Something usual caught his eye as he looked out of the Japanese chain eatery Wagamama’s window in downtown Nottingham, UK.
A man was walking on the sidewalk in only worn-out socks, his toes poking out—and no shoes!
Craig was shocked. Without hesitation, he jumped up out of his seat telling his wife he’d be back in a minute and ran out to stop the man.
Carrying an old sleeping bag, the man named Mark was clearly homeless.
Craig told The Sun, “I asked him what size foot he was and he said ‘nine, why?’”
By a great stroke of luck, the men wore the same shoe size.
The 36-year-old, who is a devoted Christian, took the religion’s values of “love thy neighbor” to heart.
He immediately took off his own trainers and gave them to Mark. They were his favorite brand new Nike Air Max trainers costing $155 (£120).
Craig’s selfless act blindsided the homeless man. He couldn’t believe this stranger’s kindness. Mark burst into tears, thanked Craig and gave him a big hug.
Nobody had ever been so kind to him, Craig wrote on Facebook.
Mark went off out of sight and came back wearing the trainers—he was still crying.
“He needed shoes much more than me. It was that simple,” Craig explained later, happy to walk the streets of Nottingham in his socks until he could buy another pair of trainers knowing that he had done the right thing.
When Craig left the restaurant with his family, Mark was still outside. It was an emotional moment for both of them.
“We hugged again made sure he had shelter for the night, told him he is loved and that we will be thinking and praying for him,” wrote Craig.
This act of generosity caused quite a stir with people in the restaurant taking photos of the pair.
Craig wrote about the incident on his public Facebook profile and called for the story to be shared widely—not for a pat on the back—but to rouse people to action and help others.
“What I do want is people to recognize that Love is the greatest gift we have been given. It was given to us freely and freely we should give it away.
“So my challenge to you is this… How have you passed your love on someone today? Love is the best gift we can wish for, so PASS IT ON,” he wrote.
And people have been taking on his challenge.
The post has gone viral with almost 19,000 likes and has been shared more than 6,000 times, both on his own Facebook page, on Love What Matters in New York, and other media, according to the Nottingham Post.
Craig has received “hundreds of private messages” from people “all over the world,” according to the BBC.
Many members of Mark’s family thanked Craig for “being so kind,” reported the BBC.
Facebook commenters have praised Craig and told of their own inspired good deeds.
“I paid it forward. I bought a homeless man lunch … thank you for being my inspiration,” wrote one person told Craig.
Another commenter wrote on Love what Matters Facebook page, “I was in the dunkin donuts drive thru today amd i just kept hearing this loud voice in my head to pay for the car behind me. All i could tell was that it was a woman. Her order was small under 5$ but i just couldnt ignore that voice telling me to do something kind (sic).”