In the small town of Sumner in Washington, D.C., a few years ago, Kevin Booth, a 32-year-old homeless man, found an abandoned bag with $17,000 in the food bank. He returned it, but what is most surprising is what happened later.
Kevin Booth has lived in Sumner for several years. He makes a living on social welfare. He is partially mentally handicapped. At the age of 3, he was diagnosed with autism, and at the teenage age, an abscessed tumor was removed from his brain. This made it difficult for him to find a permanent job. As a result, his credit rating was not the best and he could not find a home. Since 2012 he is homeless. Like about a thousand other people, he used a food bank.
It was no different on August 23rd when he came across an abandoned paper bag. An interesting find – he opened it and, surprised, took out $20. The bag was filled with money. He never had such an amount of money with him in his life and thought it would not happen again. Shocked, he wondered what to do. Eventually, he gave it to the first volunteer he met. He didn’t say what was inside and he moved away. Without suspecting anything special, assuming there was food in it, it was weighed. It soon turned out that it was not food. After opening, the police were called. The cameras did not catch who found the bag. However, it seemed that the honest finder was Kevin Booth.
In an interview with the local newspaper – The News Tribune said: “I was stopped later (officers) who told me what was there and I almost fainted.”
After 90 days of waiting for the owner of the cash, the money was transferred to the food bank.
THE VALUE OF HONESTY
In addition to food vouchers, Kevin Booth has gained wide recognition in the local community as well as around the world after hundreds of articles. This shows how much honesty is valued. Honesty and maybe something more. After all, he found the money and no one reported the loss. Theoretically, it would not be unfair if he kept the money. He could have secured a roof over his head for it, to change his life. But he gave everything he had to the needy. You can support some kind of charity with hundreds of thousands of dollars, but if you still have a few million left in your account, you are not growing up to Kevin’s heels.
Kevin Booth did not regret his decision. Although he was in a difficult life situation, he thought the money would be better suited to many others in need. He seemed to understand, like no one else, what they were going through.
STIGMATIZATION OF THE HOMELESS
Homeless people fall victim to prejudice and are stigmatized. The most common myths about homelessness are that they decide to be homeless themselves, are too lazy to work, or addicted. It’s easy to give opinions, but when someone comes up with such an assumption, they should ask themselves: “what do I know about this person?”
Such evaluations are most often due to an empathic gap. It is harder to get into the skin of a hungry person with a full stomach, even if we have experienced hunger ourselves relatively recently. We judge the suffering that has ended and that which we have not experienced differently.
The story of Kevin Booth moved hearts. A community collection was organized for him on Gofundme.com. As much as $14,755 was raised! This allowed him to change his life. He was going to find a roof over his head and get a driving license. From an unknown person with no prospects for a better life, he became famous all over the world. He overshadowed the fame of the person with the same name and life – the late American director, producer, lecturer, and musician.
Description of the fundraising:
“My father Kurtis, told me about **Kevin Booth*** a couple months back It wasn’t until about a week ago that I met him at my father’s Neighbors. **KEVIN** was in great spirits having just had gotten an award of sorts from the police of Summer. This is why…. Kevin, is in his 30s, (partially) mentally handicapped, and has been homeless off and on for the last 7 years-At times staying in group homes. He receives SSI and is not allowed to work or it will be cut off. He often visits food banks to be able to eat all month. On August 23rd 2018 – on his way to the overnight bread box @ the sumner food bank .. He came across a paper bag… Inside that bag was a large sum of cash- There was no one around to see that he had found it.. there was no one at the food bank to turn it into..and for 45 minutes Kevin sat there until somebody showed up at the food bank. AFTER that long of thinking about it… he decided this money’ is “going to feed a lot of people.”
When a young man who is mentally insufficient to provide for himself has the amount of cash( in his hand could literally turn his life around) and uses it to feed others what else can u say LOVE means then something like this?? Homeless people have hearts just like us …homeless people have families just like us… not all homeless people are on drugs… not all homeless people are insane.
The city of Sumner Washington provided him today with Police-citizen citation thanking him and praising him for making the whole town proud with the one choice that he made. He did not take one dollar from that bag Not one. Bless his ❤ and service to others that he made the choice based on knowing that MANY mouths would be fed w that money. Lets keep it reaI… MANY of us wouldn’t have made that same decision. But RIGHT now is OUR time to Give back to this selfless man who touched people’s Hearts and Bellys w ONE DESICION. The Food bank has been giving him Fred Myers gift cards at the beginning of the month in gratitude for that choice, BUT I BELIEVE THIS YOUNG MAN IS GOING TO BE BLESSED BEYOND BELIEF BY HIS CHOICES. Lets show him what these actions mean to Us… That we are ready to help him now. Lets see this man get into a place of his own and make this an amazing Christmas for his kind soul. Kevin agreed to have me start this although it wasn’t his idea and my father link this to his account so a trust worthy contact in his local vicinity would be in control / be able to discuss options of what Kevin decides to do with the money if we ended up raising a substantial amount.”