Acts of Kindness
Diner has second thoughts after giving homeless woman her leftover food scraps
Something didn't sit quite right with Carmen after her "good deed" was done.
Jessica Adler
01.04.23

Most of us happily look to the holidays as a time of celebration with loved ones, with a special eye toward all the delicious food on the horizon.

Unfortunately, this isn’t true for everyone.

Unsplash - Libby Penner
Source:
Unsplash - Libby Penner

Some of us don’t have anyone to spend the holidays with, and many people don’t have the means to feast on a lavish supper, either.

Some go hungry for the holidays.

Carmen Mendez of Anaheim, California paid witness to this when she and her boyfriend were dining at a Raising Cane’s restaurant around Thanksgiving.

There, she encountered a homeless woman.

She was begging for leftovers.

But seeing something like this isn’t out of the ordinary for Carmen.

“I live in an area that’s not the greatest,” she told TODAY.

Pixabay - ArtTower
Source:
Pixabay - ArtTower

“Literally right outside my door there are homeless people at the parks. So sometimes I’ll go sit with them and ask about their day, and ask if they want to go to a shelter. I’m more than happy to put them in my car and take them there.”

Pixabay - Avi Chomotovski
Source:
Pixabay - Avi Chomotovski

Carmen saw the woman approaching customers for their leftovers when she was waiting for her food.

She couldn’t stomach what she saw.

“Not one person said yes, they all ignored her and threw it away it broke my heart. I have been volunteering with the homeless now for many years. They don’t repulse me or make me sick to my stomach,” Carmen wrote on Facebook.

“I hold them all with so much love. So I told Fred if I see her before we are done eating I will give her my food.”

Flickr - Tony Webster
Source:
Flickr - Tony Webster

Carmen and her boyfriend finished eating and, though Carmen looked for her, she couldn’t spot the homeless woman.

She was heartbroken over the fact that so many people would deny this hungry woman their scraps.

She had just five fries and a chicken strip left on her plate. As she was about to throw them away, the woman approached.

“I heard a very quite voice ask me if I had anything left. I turned around and it was her.. I gave her my food and watched her sit and eat it…..but something didn’t feel right…I felt like a horrible human being feeding her my leftover chicken strip..she deserved so much more…”

The woman deserved a full meal.

Flickr - Shoshanah
Source:
Flickr - Shoshanah

Carmen plead for the woman’s humanity.

“When I ordered the meal I asked the employee for a huge favor to please do not kick her out as we waited. I could already see the disgust on people’s faces as she sat at the table eating the leftovers I had given her. News flash people, not all homeless people smell like roses,” Carmen wrote.

Unsplash - Ev
Source:
Unsplash - Ev

The woman was making her way out of the restaurant when Carmen stopped her.

Carmen offered her dignity.

She told her she had a whole meal for her.

“The look on her face said it all. I have never felt something like this…pure, real gratitude. That hug she gave me was like a hug I had never felt. Those tears she shed were felt deep in my heart. I held her tight and let her let it out,” Carmen wrote.

Facebook - Carmen Mendez
Source:
Facebook - Carmen Mendez

Carmen had no idea that her boyfriend was snapping a photo of her embracing the homeless woman.

She shared the experience on Facebook.

That post ended up going viral with more than 122,000 shares.

“I wasn’t repulsed by it, I just held her,” Carmen said. “And that is a moment I will never ever forget. So next time (yo)u judge a homeless person think twice. Not all of them are homeless because of a drug addiction or because they are lazy.”

The holidays aren’t about hoarding presents and food. They are about sharing what we have at the moment and being grateful that we can do so.

With that in mind, it’s a good time for everyone to remember that the best people to share with are those that don’t have the same advantages others do.

This beautiful act of kindness is a wonderful reminder that we can lift up those that are down.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jessica Adler
[email protected]
Jessica Adler is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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