Sleeping on the dirty streets, a forgotten man had given up on life, simply living for the next meal. This was until a stranger walked into his life, providing him not only with food but also hope.
In 2015, a starving and homeless ex-Army Ranger asked for money to purchase food at a gas station in Redlands, California. He was utterly blindsided by what he was about to receive instead.
Approaching a man named Max Zahir, the former veteran told him he was ravenous. The Good Samaritan was touched by the homeless individual's plight and chose to take extreme action.
A former veteran in Max Zahir’s car [left]; A former veteran crying in Max Zahir’s car who is talking to him [right]. │Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition
CRYING WITH HAPPINESS
In a video shared online, Zahir welcomed the ex-Army Ranger into his vehicle, where he drove him to a burger-joint drive-thru, buying him a meal and drink. The homeless man burst into tears, expressing:
"Nobody's shown me this kindness in a while."
Zahir explained that it was truly not a huge gesture and that the former veteran was deserving of so much more after serving the country.
A HEART OF GOLD
If this wasn't enough, Zahir chose to assist the helpless man on a more continuous and sustainable basis. He said to the former veteran:
"I go to work every day around four o' clock okay? And if you meet me at that gas station I'm going to buy you lunch. [sic]"
Even more than buying the homeless individual food every day, he offered him a job at his restaurant, "Celebrities Sports Grill."
NOT OVER YET
Zahir also expressed his hopes that maybe the homeless man will pay it forward when he eventually manages to get onto his feet.
Both of them hugged but once again, this was not where the Good Samaritans' humanitarian actions ended.
The restaurant owner started a GoFundMe page to raise money to provide various resources such as food, blankets, and sleeping bags to veterans without homes.
A man hugs his former student who helped raise money for him after seeing that he lived in his car | Photo: Youtube/FOX 11 Los Angeles
THE NEXT GENERATION GIVES BACK
Veterans or former members of armed forces, like many professionals in society, tend to be overlooked or forgotten, despite their significant contributions.
Another one of these neglected vocations is teaching. However, one educator's students didn't forget their teacher and his massive impact on their lives.
Elderly man who lives in his car thanks everyone who donated money and helped him celebrate his birthday. | Photo: Youtube/FOX 11 Los Angeles
In fact, they provided Jose Villarruel, who was living in his car, with a generous cheque they raised of $27,000!
Hopefully, as time goes by, each generation will continue to notice and lift up those around us who too many overlook -- making sure to give them the recognition and resources they deserve.