An Alabama Chick-fil-A owner is getting national attention for giving a seemingly homeless man a free meal and some gloves to help keep warm in the frigid Birmingham, Alabama, weather.
The man reportedly entered the restaurant this past Wednesday carrying what seemed like everything he owned. “My son and I were at the location on Highway 280 in Birmingham, AL,” witness Andrea Stoker said on Facebook, “when a man came in to escape the 35 degree temps and strong winds with all of his earthly possessions strapped to his back.”
While other restaurants might have asked him to leave, the Chick-fil-A’s owner, Mark Meadows, approached him and began a conversation.
“Yesterday at around 3:30 p.m. a gentleman walked in--I don't know if he is homeless or not--but he walked up to me and asked if there was anything he could do to earn a little food,” Meadows told AL.com on Thursday. “I asked him if he had a pair of gloves because he kept rubbing his hands together.”
Meadows subsequently instructed an employee to prepare a meal for the man, and then gave him his own pair of gloves. “Most businesses would force him out,” Stoker wrote.
After Stoker wrote about the gesture on the company’s Facebook page, responses began pouring in from around the country. “I know the man and his family.....they are awesome Godly family. Mark is a perfect example of the hands and feet of Christ,” Facebook user Robin Cook commented. “Truett Cathy would be proud of this manager/owner,” another commenter, Larry Carruthers, said.
As it turns out, this isn’t the first time that Meadows has gained national acclaim for a good deed. In January of last year, he distributed hundreds of sandwiches and thousands of chicken biscuits to drivers stuck in the severe snow and ice storm that hit Birmingham and surrounding areas, and left traffic at a dead stop.
Meadows said he was not expecting his generosity to garner so much attention.
“I just did the right thing,” he said. “I'm simply awe struck about all this attention."
Meadows, who is reportedly a relative of Chick-fil-A owner Truett Cathy, said incidents like the one that went viral happen at his restaurant regularly, and he always strives to lend a hand when he’s able to.
“I did what anyone should do."