A stranger's act of kindness and a homeless woman's show of gratitude has gone viral.
At a Raising Cane’s restaurant in California, Carmen Mendez and her boyfriend, Fred, were enjoying their meals when she saw a homeless woman. The woman asked various customers if she could eat the leftovers they were planning to throw away.
"Not one person said yes, they all ignored her and threw it away, it broke my heart," Mendez posted on Facebook. "I have been volunteering with the homeless now for many years… they don’t repulse me or make me sick to my stomach. I hold them all with so much love."
Mendez told her boyfriend that if she saw the woman before they had finished their meal, she would give her the leftovers.
"I looked for her as we were getting ready to leave and couldn’t find her," she recalled. "I felt sad knowing all the rejection she had that night searching for a warm meal."
The homeless woman eventually asked Mendez for her leftovers, so she handed over one chicken strip and five fries. But she believed she needed to do more.
"I felt like a horrible human being feeding her my leftover chicken strip… she deserved so much more… so I bought her a whole meal… she deserved to eat a hot meal," Mendez said.
When Mendez ordered the meal, she asked the worker not to throw the homeless woman out of the restaurant. She gave the meal to the surprised woman, who then displayed an act of "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," Mendez said. "I held her tight and let her let it out. I wasn’t repulsed by it. I just held her. And that is a moment I will never ever forget. So next time you judge a homeless person, think twice… not all of them are homeless because of a drug addiction or because they are lazy."
On the Qpolitical Facebook page, many praised Mendez and shared similar stories.
"Many people these days are one paycheck or two away from being homeless," wrote Dan Jones. "To pay for this woman's meal is a true expression of love and compassion. Something we could all take some time in our busy lives to express for those less fortunate."