Homeless man begs for smiles instead of money

Jun 16, 2018
03:09 P.M.
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U.S. Army veteran Alan McCracken, who served the country for many years, spent 20 years on the streets of Las Vegas as a homeless man.


Local magician Rob Anderson shared a video of a trick he did on the man on YouTube on October 18, 2014.

Though he was homeless for over two decades, the Army veteran did not wish for anything much in life. All he wanted were a few dollars to get by.

He was just happy to make everyone around him smile even if they would not help him out. He held a sign that read, ‘Homeless trying to get by / Anything helps / God bless.’

One day, street magician Anderson walked up to him, took his sign and wrote down a sum on it. He then asked McCracken if that helped.

Before the veteran could say anything, the magician tore up the man’s sign into pieces. He noticed that the young man had dropped the lid of his marker when he was vandalizing the sign.


He bent down to retrieve it and asked him if he could keep the marker to write a new sign. 

McCracken was unaware that he was a target for a new viral video. Anderson just wanted to see if the homeless man was really the nice guy he claimed to be.


Sometime later, the veteran seemed to have realized who the man was and asked him if he was going to turn torn sign into a wad of money.

And that is exactly what the magician ended up doing. When he unrolled the torn sign, it was back in one piece, as some cash fell to the ground.


Inspired by the meeting, the magician set up a GoFundMe page for him and collected a whopping $40,000 to help McCracken get back on his feet.

When he went back to the veteran, he turned out to be a nicer man than what Anderson had imagined. He refused to accept all the money because he wanted to help another veteran.

McCracken then moved to California and was able to help Johnny Hicks to get his life together too.

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