It’s difficult to know a person’s entire story when viewing a snapshot of his or her life. One brief moment may give you insight into someone’s character or behavior, but it’s unwise to use that one point of reference to paint the entire picture of who they are as a person.
One woman learned that this week when she went to a McDonald’s in Fayette County, Georgia. She saw something inside that annoyed her, so she snapped a photo and posted it online — something most of us have probably done at one time or another.
But this post was not exactly well-intentioned. The woman had spotted one of the employees sleeping inside the establishment and thought it was unprofessional.
The woman said she had posted the picture in a private group. According to Fox News, she wrote, “Just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville.”
“I was in the McDonald’s in the middle of town and I saw this guy sleeping in the booth, I got and tell an employee that someone is asleep in their booth and her response was ‘oh yeah, we know hee hee, it’s ok’ and I said, ‘not really but whatever.’”
The man she was referring to was 21-year-old Simon Childs, and his story was much more complicated than a nap in a booth would tell you.
There were several reasons he was so exhausted: he’d recently lost his mom, he was a new father and he was homeless. Any one of those reasons would have been a good enough explanation for napping between shifts in the restaurant, but all three made that nap a dire necessity.
A woman took a picture of a man asleep at a McDonalds and complained on Facebook, and how the community responded changed his life forever.
“I’m not homeless, not now, thanks to her.”
— Matt Johnson (@MattWSB) June 24, 2019
“It kind of hurt to see my picture up there, you know?” he told KCBS-TV, referring to the unflattering photo and post. “I thought it was something negative and nobody would care about it.”
“Everything I do,” he said, “I want to work for it.”
But the community responded in a beautiful way. Instead of merely jumping on his case and beating him down more, people were impressed with the young father’s determination and diligence and rewarded him with a barrage of gifts.
Since our story aired last night, Simon received a free haircut from a local barber. He has a new job opportunity too, he told me. pic.twitter.com/IMeiu8ex50
— Matt Johnson (@MattWSB) June 25, 2019
Diapers. Clothes. A hair cut. Use of a car. A GoFundMe campaign (that has already exceeded its $5,000 goal). Regular everyday people and local business owners came together and blessed Childs, giving him a leg up and allowing him to secure a better situation for himself and his son.
“It doesn’t take a huge house or a lot of money to help someone, it just takes compassion,” Dawn and Carl Williams, who started the GoFundMe, told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal.
“I didn’t think the community would even care enough to do that, but they care,” Childs said.
The woman told KCBS-TV that she hadn’t meant to “shame any one person in particular,” but Childs says he’s not mad her because her actions are precisely why he is no longer homeless and has new employment opportunities.
Viewers have been inspired by both Childs’ character and how an unkind post turned into a movement for good. Childs and his son now have a new lease on life, thanks to the kindness of complete strangers.
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