How many times have we witnessed, especially within large urban cities, those faceless homeless souls hunched in doorways, perhaps sleeping inside a cardboard box covered in newspapers for installation against the cold or sitting on a steam heated grating for warmth, against bone chilling freezing temperatures.
Most simply look past the shivering individual in the doorway, never making eye-contact, while a few may actually stop a moment and drop a few coins on the pavement, next to the homeless individual as their “good deed” for the day, and quickly move on.
And then there are individuals like Johny Hindle, who literally gave, not the shirt off his back, but rather the jeans he was wearing. When, he noticed the homeless man shivering in the freezing cold, outside a BP filling station in Wythenshawe, Manchester, not wearing any pants.
Hindle along with his fiancée, Courrie Webster, shared their encounter with Vinnie the homeless individual that has since gone viral on the internet
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Hindle recalls; “We had just been Christmas shopping and we had been speaking on the way to the petrol station about how freezing it was and how we couldn’t wait to get home and get warm.”
“At first we thought he was just sitting there until we saw the petrol station worker come out and give him some food and a drink,” added Webster.
The couple at that point decided to also give Vinnie some money to buy food, hoping that he would be able to sustain himself for the evening against the plummeting temperatures, which was forecast for the area.
Webster recalls the moment her fiancée decided to shed his Jeans, and give them to Vinnie; “It was only when Johny got speaking to him, he told him that a woman had taken his pants home to wash them for him and was bringing them back tomorrow so he had a clean pair.”
Adding; “Then Johny, without hesitation, took his own jeans off and gave him his pants.”
“He said he can’t stay outside in that weather with no pants. Luckily Johny, since I’ve known him, has always worn shorts under his pants and I’d never understood why. I’m now seeing why, as one day this was supposed to happen.”
Passably Becky Haigh was moved to tears after witnessing the incredible encounter and snapped several photos of the entire incident.
Webster said the man had been so grateful to receive the pair of jeans.
Adding that she was ‘unbelievably proud’ watching her fiancée’s selfless act, and that she and her eldest daughter, Lola, were welling up with tears.
“I am extremely proud of him and the selfless act he’s done,” she said. “He made sure someone was that little bit warmer on a freezing cold night. I’m proud he’s the dad to our son and such a role model to the four girls we share.”
However, Johny wasn’t finished, they decided that they would come back the next morning and bring Vinnie some additional clothing to keep him warm.
That night the young family packed a suitcase filled with goodies for Vinnie, the items included a pair of shoes, clothes, toiletries and a warm blanket for his dog, as well as a flask of hot soup and some snacks but when they drove back to the petrol station the next morning Vinnie was gone.
Johny drove around for hours looking for Vinnie. The next day he again drove around, with no luck. Vinnie had vanished. He was told that Vinnie was forced to leave after some kids began throwing fireworks at him, and he decided to go to a bus station for shelter.
Webster lamented: “we really hope he gets the help he deserves because he was so polite and so grateful.”
Some might reason that such a selfless act is extremely rare, however for those who believe that no act of kindness is simply random, that God chooses certain individuals to perform specific acts of kindness, consider this, what are the odds that a stranger would suddenly befriend a homeless individual in need of a pair of pants in subfreezing weather, and without any hesitation the stranger gives up his own jeans, because he just happens to have a spare pair of shorts underneath?
“Whoever oppresses the poor insults his maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors him.”