A man’s act of kindness about five years ago brought a smile to a homeless woman’s face, changing her life forever. His story has inspired many more to tend to the needs of the less privileged in their little way.
On a fateful Sunday morning in the winter of 2016, a Cardiff resident Jonathan Pengelly was standing on the dreaded McDonald’s queue when he witnessed the most dreadful scene play out.
Right in front of him, a homeless woman, who had stood in line for ages, like the rest, asked for a cup of hot water. To his horror, the attending staff bluntly refused the woman’s request, leaving her heartbroken.
Notably, the homeless woman, named Polly, was not the only heartbroken one on the queue. Pengelly recalled his heart becoming shattered upon seeing the homeless woman being denied a basic human right.
Recounting the incident in a now-deleted Facebook post, the man admitted he had no idea what went through the restaurant workers’ minds. He nonetheless found the behavior disgusting, especially coming from a multi-billion-pound company like McDonald’s.
Touched by her situation, Pengelly had no choice but to come to the homeless woman’s rescue. He asked her to order whatever she wanted, but to his surprise, she only ordered a cheeseburger.
The Cardiff man ended up buying as many food items as they could carry, so she would not have to go hungry again.
After they left the restaurant, the man, who had become captivated by her warming and lovely nature, sat with her on the hard floor outside. As they munched their food, Pengelly could only cry his eyes out, seeing her pitiable state.
Some passersby even laughed at the woman as they walked past. Eventually, he invited Polly and her mate to his house for a shower, body grooming, and a cooking spree.
After cooking, they boxed up all the food, which was enough to feed them and their friends for days. He also offered them blankets, pillows, and a backpack to contain their bounty, so they never had to hunger again.
In the end, the women admitted they had never felt so appreciated in their lives. The whole act of kindness cost about £20, which was a negligible sum to many. Concluding his post, Pengelly pointed out that being kind costs nothing.
Going further, he urged everyone to share his story and raise awareness of homelessness throughout the UK. He also encouraged people to desist from looking down on those on the streets and spare a little thought instead.
Doing so not only changed his perspective about life forever, but it also earned him a new friend, Polly, whom he has kept in touch with ever since.
Pengelly’s post went viral in no time. While many commended his act of kindness, others called out the fast-food giant for shunning a person in need.
However, McDonald’s has since denied the claims that they refused a homeless woman water. A spokesperson clarified that the company had no policy banning homeless people from their stores.
They also noted that their employees were mandated to attend to requests from the less privileged. They only turned down such requests when they came from those who had been banned from the restaurant for illegal or antisocial behavior.
Coincidentally, Polly allegedly happened to be one of them, hence the treatment she received.