A woman riding on the subway says she was inspired after seeing a Good Samaritan give away his own winter boots to a homeless man on the subway.
What Jessica Bell posted about the moment is going viral on Facebook.
It began when a homeless man got onto Chicago’s public transit system night just as blistering cold winds and a snowstorm was hitting the city. It was immediately clear to Jessica he was struggling with keeping his feet warm and dry.
“So I’m headed home on the CTA Redline and there’s a homeless man sitting across from me,” wrote Jessica. “He’s older, weathered, minding his own business. His feet are so swollen he’s wearing the tattered gym shoes he has with the back folded down, like slip-ons. I don’t know how many pairs of socks he’s wearing in an attempt to keep his feet warm but there is blood seeping through.”
That’s when she noticed a young man.
“There’s another man on the other side of the doors; he’s younger, carrying a satchel and a suitcase, also minding his own business. He’s wearing a pair of big black snow boots. They look new; they look expensive; they’re built for a Chicago winter,” she wrote.
“Quietly, in a blink and you’ll miss it fashion, the younger man takes off the boots he’s wearing and passes them to the old man. He opens his suitcase and gives him a pair of socks as well. The young man puts on a spare pair of shoes from the suitcase. These shoes are nice too, but not as nice as the boots. They would have fit the old man just as well, but they were not what this old man needed.”
Jessica continued to watch the exchange. “He tells the old man to try and clean his feet and to make sure he changes into the new socks as soon as he can and then the young man gets off at 87th. Those of us who are close enough to see and hear the exchange are floored,” she said. “The shoes off his feet.”
Jessica later spoke to the Good Samaritan and learned that his name was Maurice Anderson, and that he was only in town from Kentucky to visit his family, CTV reported. She says he didn’t make a fuss about handing over the boots, something she noted. “I love that in a time and place where hate and apathy are rampant, quiet compassion appears without warning,” she wrote on Facebook.
Bell shared two photos of the older man putting on the boots, and the homeless man later told Jessica that the boots came as a great relief, because he was afraid his feet had become frostbitten from the cold.
Jessica concluded her post with a small prayer.
“I pray that we all are compelled to do similar.”
“I pray that we all allow empathy to invoke action.”
“I pray that we never forget that we have always had the power to be a blessing.”
“I’m inspired to continue to try to “be the change” and I pray you are too.
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