Acts of Kindness
Woman recognizes homeless man as former classmate and decides to give him a second chance
She had no idea how it'd go but she had to try.
Jaclyn Abergas
01.17.23

Sometimes, the most unlikely people are the ones who will raise you up.

In the early 1970s, Coy Featherson ruled high school.

He was the football team started, voted Best Boy in his class, and was going to play football for the University of Texas at Austin.

Coy’s whole life changed when he dropped out of UT-Austin.

His family could not understand and accept his decision.

Coy had disappointed them and ruined the family name, according to them.

They had basically disowned him.

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

Coy was devastated but he had no choice but to support himself.

He found a job working for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Frank Zappa.

Coy carried his equipment while on tour and that took him to different places around the country.

“I never had so much fun in my life doing something I really enjoyed,” Coy Featherston shared. “How many people get the chance to travel or hear the music every day of someone as big as Frank Zappa?”

He worked at this job for years until it was no longer available.

By then, he was living in Atlanta, Georgia looking for a job.

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

And that’s when his life started to fall through.

He needed help to pay for his storage unit, which had all his possessions, so he turned to his family for help.

But he was turned away because they believed Coy was a drug addict.

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

“I’m not a drug addict, never been a drug addict [and] never done drugs that would make me a drug addict,” Coy told his family. “You don’t know me that well, why would you think that?”

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

Coy lost everything and found himself living on the streets of Atlanta.

Eventually, he found himself back in Austin, living on the drag, behind the parking garage behind the St. Austin Catholic Church.

Although he’s used to this life, he has lost hope for his future.

Life is funny though and Coy’s life began to change because of a local newspaper.

The Austin American-Statesman wrote a piece about homelessness in Austin and Coy was featured on the cover of the article.

Leea Mechling saw the article.

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

Who is Leea Mechling?

She is Coy’s friend from high school.

“[An old friend] let me know that there was article in the newspaper – he thought he saw Coy. So I got online and found it … and it was (Coy),” Leea Mechling said. “I saw my friend. He was right there in front of the church feeding the pigeons. I just couldn’t leave him out there.”

Leea found Coy and brought him to her home.

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

The story doesn’t end there.

Leea told their other friends about Coy and they were so quick to help him.

They went straight to Leea’s house and brought him new clothes and shoes.

“The fact that he was in dire straits, really affected us,” Don Vanderburg, Coy’s old bandmate, added. “It’s like finding your brother on the street. You would bring them home and help them.”

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

Another high school friend, Pat Judd, wanted to help Coy and set up a GoFundMe campaign to get him back on his feet.

The initial goal was to raise $2,000. They ended up raising almost $19,000.

So many of his old schoolmates stepped up to help him and some strangers were moved by his story.

Coy wanted to thank every one of the donors who helped him get back on his feet.

“All I can say is ‘Thank you,'” Coy said. “Thank you in the biggest way.”

YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KRIS 6 News

Learn more about Coy’s story when you watch the video below.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
[email protected]
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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