“I’m no saint, but this small act of kindness cost me about £20.”
Images via Jonathon Pengelly/Facebook and Mike Mozart/Flickr.
It goes without saying that water is a basic human right that should never be denied to anyone. So when a homeless woman named Polly in Cardiff, Wales, was refused a drink at her local McDonald’s recently, a good Samaritan wouldn’t stand for it.
Jonathon Pengelly couldn’t believe his eyes when the cashier told the woman no. “I don’t know what was going through their minds but a lady, clearly homeless was asking for a basic human right; and for a multi-billion pound company, for them to say no is disgusting!” Pengelly wrote on Facebook.
Pengelly was behind the woman in line, so he offered to buy her and her friend something to eat and was shocked at Polly’s response.
“She asked for a single cheese burger and that was it,” Pengelly said. “We bought as much as we could carry so I knew she wasn’t going to be hungry.” He then sat and ate with them and was blown away by their positive attitudes. So he brought them back to his house, where they showered and brushed their teeth. While they cleaned up, Pengelly prepared some food to tide the women over for a few days.
Pengelly posted about the evening’s events on Facebook to raise awareness about the problem of homelessness in the U.K. “I’m no saint, but this small act of kindness cost me about £20,” he wrote. “I know 90% of people reading this will earn about 10 times that a day. … If you see someone on the streets, don’t look down on them like they’re nothing. You don’t know what they’ve been though! Spare a little thought!”
Pengelly’s experience didn’t just open up his eyes to a real problem, he made a friend as well. “Me and Polly have chatted on the phone and I’ve promised her that she will never go hungry or cold again!” he said.
Here’s Pengelly’s full post:
“Well, my night took an unexpected turn! So I finished my night out, ended up in the dreaded McDonald's queue. I couldn't help but notice the lady in front me, all she asked for was a cup of hot water.
The member of staff told her no. I don't know what was going through their mind but a lady, clearly homeless was asking for a basic human right; and for a multi billion pound company, for them to say no is disgusting!
My heart was shattered! So I spoke to her and told her to order what she wanted, expecting her to order everything. I was so shocked. She asked for a single cheese burger and that was it. We bought as much as we could carry so I knew she wasn't going to be hungry.
I couldn’t just leave this lady go, she was so warming and so lovely. So I sat with her, on the cold hard floor, in the middle of winter and you know what I did? I cried my eyes out.
You know if people of Cardiff walked passed them and didn't do anything because, financially, they weren’t in the position, I would understand. But people walked passed and laughed at them. I don't care who you are, If this was you; and you're reading this I hate you!
When I got to speak to them I was genuinely shocked at their story and how educated they were! So full of life and enthusiasm and they literally have nothing!
I invited polly and her mate back to my house and we all cooked enough food to feed them and their friends for the next few nights. We boxed them up and packed them in their bags.
Polly and her mate have had showers, brushed their teeth and they both said they have ever felt so appreciated in their life.
I'm no saint, but this small act of kindness cost me about £20. I know 90% of people reading this will earn about 10 times that a day.
It costs nothing to be kind, and I genuinely hope people share this to raise awareness of homelessness throughout the UK!
Me and polly have chatted on the phone and I've promised her that she will never go hungry or cold again! I've given her blankets, pillows and a back pack full of food.
If you see someone on the streets, don't look down on them like they’re nothing. You don’t know what they’ve been though! spare a little thought!
I don’t care if I look like shit cause I’m crying!
Polly, you’ve changed me!”