Now this is a holiday special. A YouTube video titled "How Does a Homeless Man Spend $100" has gone viral with more than 4 million views after it was posted on Monday, Dec. 22.
The heartwarming clip, uploaded by YouTube prankster Josh Paler Lin, started off as an undercover experiment that sought to answer the question of what happens with money given to a homeless person.
In it, California resident Lin lays out his grand plan for viewers. "Today I'm gonna give a homeless guy $100," he says. "I'm gonna follow him, and see how he spent it." Lin then walks up to a man who is holding a sign at an intersection.
"Anything is appreciated," says the man, whose name is revealed as Thomas. He humbly explains that all he needs is enough to feed himself. Lin, however, hands him $100, which renders the homeless man speechless.
"No, really. Are you sure?" Thomas asks. "I'm starting to tear up over here, that's like incredible. I've never… can I?" he asks before embracing Lin.
The video then shows Thomas walking away with his bag of belongings and hitting up a liquor store. Moments later, Thomas walks out with several bags of goods, and he walks off to a local park, where he is seen handing out food (chips and pies).
"Happy holidays, you guys," Thomas says to families as he gives them treats.
Watching this transpire, Lin decides it's time to come clean. He walks over to Thomas, points out his camera, and says: "I feel like I owe you an apology. You went to a liquor store earlier…"
Thomas responds by telling Lin how he ended up homeless. "Basically, I was living with my parents and my stepdad had cancer. They were getting hospice but it didn't cover. The insurance only pays so much. I quit work because I had to be available,” he says. "The building they were in is being sold — the condo — and I all of a sudden found myself homeless. That's about four months now. There's a lot of people who are victims of circumstance."
The video also includes a link to an Indiegogo fundraising page, that hopes to "Help Thomas Get a Fresh Start!" The crowd funding page, which kicked off Dec. 22, has raised more than 260 percent of its goal as of Tuesday, Dec. 23.
Watch the heartwarming video above.
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