James Moss moved from New York to Denver in hopes of creating a better life for his 1-year-old son Zhi. He had received a job offer and a place to stay from a friend, but after he arrived, all those plans fell through.
He was suddenly homeless, and had to care for such a young child.
“It seemed like everything I was trying to do was falling apart,” Moss told KDVR.
A few days after the big change, Moss was on the street when he met a stranger with a camera, who asked why he moved to the city.
“Everything I do is for him,” Moss said, referring to his sleeping son. “The reason I made this move is for him, to be in a peaceful place, in the mountains, to experience things I didn’t while growing up.”
Then it came out—all of the plans he had set up fell through. “Right now I’m homeless, two days into town,” Moss told him. But he was determined to make life better for his son, regardless.
“I guarantee, in a month’s time, I’ll make anything that I need to happen happen,” Moss told him.
“It’s like, you have to be brought down to your humblest point so you can appreciate other things that are out there waiting for you,” Moss said.
“To anyone out there that feels like they want to crumble, just keep on working. Man, don’t let it consume you,” Moss said.
The man was so inspired by Moss’s positive attitude he asked how he was able to keep his spirits up through difficult situations. Moss said for him, it was meditation and prayer, and Zhi, that give him strength.
But talking about his difficult situation brought him to tears. “I never thought it would be like this,” he said. “I came all the way, so…”
The man told him, “You know, most people don’t want to share their pain.” Touched by Moss’s candid story, he told him he wanted to thank him—by giving him $1,000. The man introduced himself as Leon Logothetis, a philanthropist and motivational speaker who is on a mission to document acts of kindness he finds on his journeys.
Moss broke down into tears, and gave Logothetis a huge hug. “You have got to be kidding me,” he said.
He wasn’t—Logothetis then offered to put him up in a hotel for the next week as he gets his feet under him.
As he sobbed through the “thank you”s, other around the street corner started taking notice of what was going on. The video of Logothetis and Moss’s encounter was also shared on Youtube, where it racked up millions of views—including people who decided more needed to be done for this determined single dad.
About a month after the encounter, a woman met James Moss and his son and learned that the two of them currently stay in a shelter.
During the day he works as a barber, but does not have reliable transportation, and the weather was getting cold. She then set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for him, and soon the $20,000 goal was met in just days, and then more than doubled. People from the area also commented offering additional support—a car seat for the vehicle, free babysitting, clothes for the little boy if he needs, and so on. His boss at the barbershop also allowed him to bring his son to work until he could afford daycare.
“Phenomenal. Unbelievable,” Moss said. “It took off. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’”
Moss, moved by the generosity of strangers, was determined to pay it forward.
Thanks to the community, he was able to get back on his feet, find a place to live, and have a car to drive Zhi in. Wanting to give back, he got the word out that he was going to do a good giveaway at a park. He had been in that same position himself, with nowhere to go, and the support he received meant so much.
“I never thought a small act of kindness would spark such a chain reaction,” Moss said. “It blew my mind.”
“Those people are awesome,” Moss said. “Like angels in the sky.”
“From the time I got here, I’ve had nothing but good experiences in Denver,” Moss said. Even before Logothetis’s video hit the internet, people who didn’t even know him would offer him a ride just because he needed it, and so many small things kept adding up. “I’m just in shock. But I’m so thankful and grateful for everybody.”