Heroes among Us – Des Moines Businessman Posing as Homeless Man Rewards Those that Stop to Help.
Jonnie Wright, a Des Moines businessman gave away nearly $1,000 while posing as a homeless man - by rewarding people who paused to help him. Standing in the freezing cold on the side of an Iowa road, he wore a sign that asked passersby for money. It was Christmas Eve and he was on a mission to spread some holiday cheer. People who rolled down their vehicle windows to help him got a sealed envelope in return.
Inside the envelope were a $10 or $100 bill and a letter from the man, Jonnie Wright. It explained that he wasn't homeless. It said he just wanted to pay back people who helped others. Here’s the note:
Merry Christmas and thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful donation!
I live in Des Moines but I am not homeless or destitute or without a job. Instead I am here to give thanks for the many blessings in my life by paying them forward and honoring you and others who give… Please take the money in this envelope and keep it, spend it, donate it, pay it forward, whatever your heart tells you to do.
Powerful story as the first person to give to the apparently homeless man was a woman named Maria who only had $16 to her name and gave $1 and donuts she had purchased. She received $100.
Proceeds went to the Bethel Mission, an emergency shelter in Des Moines.
January 2, 2014