A former foster child in Georgia touched hearts nationwide after giving the money he was saving towards an iPhone to a homeless man.
For months, 19-year-old Jesse Filler-Roberts kept the good deed to himself until his former foster home, The Center for Children and Young Adults, revealed his “secret,” reports WXIA.
"Jesse's actions are not typical of what most people think about kids in foster and shelter," said Kimberly Tinsley, Director of Volunteer Services and Youth Activities at CCYA. "Jesse is a a great example of a young man who is using his childhood challenges for inspiration and empowerment to be a good person and a good Samaritan."
It all began one December night while Filler-Roberts was working at Subway. The homeless man walked in asking for water.
Filler-Roberts had been working hard, hoping to use his savings to buy himself a Christmas gift: an iPhone 6s. It’s a luxury item to a teenager like Filler-Roberts, who had once spent a summer homeless with his mother.
"I know how it feels to walk around all night,” Filler-Roberts recalls.
But when he met the homeless man, compassion and empathy for a fellow human being overcame his desire for the gadget.
"I'll buy you a whole meal," Filler-Roberts replied, and then asked the man to stay until he finished his shift.
After work, Filler-Roberts ordered an Uber for both of them to the ATM.
Handing over $200, Jesse ensured the homeless man could spend one week of the cold holiday season at a nearby motel next to the one he had stayed at while homeless.
"I knew I could save up the money, again, because I have a good work ethic," Filler-Roberts said.
Filler-Roberts was right. Since then, the boy left foster home and is planning to start classes at a local technical college.
His story defies even more odds. Statistics show many fostered children end up homeless, sick or in jail after they leave foster care due to a lack of support, the Sanctuary of Home reports.
"Despite his unfortunate childhood, Jesse does not carry around anger or resentment in his heart. Instead, he carries gratitude and compassion," Tinsley added. "He is a role model for all fostered youth and all people demonstrating that whether you have a little or a lot to share, you should still share with those less fortunate than you."