When college student Casey Fischer went to a Dunkin Donuts shop one morning to grab her coffee, she never expected to have an interaction with a stranger that would change both of their lives forever.
She saw a man singing on the roadside and collecting change. Later, she noticed that same man walking into Dunkin as he counted his change to see if he had enough to buy something. The sight of him fumbling for enough change to buy a simple cup of coffee was heartbreaking.
Casey describes herself as getting “super annoying” as she tries to strike up a convo with a man who clearly didn’t want to be talked to, but she kept going anyway. She found out his name was Chris.
She bought Chris a bagel and coffee and asked him to sit down with her to talk.
Shocked by her kindness, he began to open up to Casey and tell her that people are generally pretty mean to him because he’s homeless.
As their conversation continued for another hour, he poured out about how he never knew his father and he lost his mom to cancer. He admitted that all he wants to do is turn into a man that his mother could be proud of.
Lost in his story, Casey realized that she needed to get back to class, but Chris asked for her to hold on just a moment so he could write something down real quick.
He said sorry for the bad handwriting and handed her the note with a smile.
Casey was in shock when she saw what he left behind on the crumpled piece of paper.
It read: “I wanted to kill myself today. Because of you, now I do not. Thank you, beautiful person.”
If it wasn’t for Casey’s simple act of kindness and time investment in a random stranger, he may not be here today. She doesn’t exactly know why she was led to talk to that man, but she’s so glad she did.
Read Casey’s full story that she posted along with the note on Facebook:
“Today I went to Dunkin and saw a clearly homeless guy singing on the side of the road and picking up change. Eventually I saw him stroll into Dunkin, as he was counting his change to buy something I began to get super annoying and talk to him over and over again even when he didn’t really want to talk. Since he had maybe $1 in change I bought him a coffee and bagel and asked him to sit down with me. He told me a lot about how people are usually very mean to him because he’s homeless, how drugs turned him into the person he hated, he lost his mom to cancer, he never knew his dad and he just wants to be someone his mom would be proud of (along with another hours worth of conversation.) this lovely mans name was Chris and Chris was one of the most honest & sincere people I’ve ever met. After realizing I really need to get back to class Chris asked me to wait so he can write something down for me. Handing me a crumpled up receipt he apologizes for having shaky hand writing, smiled, and left. I opened his note and this was it. “I wanted to kill myself today because of u I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person.”
Casey and Chris’s encounter has now touched the hearts of thousands around the world. Between the Love What Matters Facebook page and Casey’s original post, the story has been shared over 400,000 times.
It’s easy for us to underestimate the power of a small act of generosity, but Casey’s story is proof that sometimes a $3 cup of coffee and a little conversation can truly be priceless.
We don’t always know what’s going on under the surface when we meet people on the street, but we can be certain that we will never regret having been kind to them.
Homeless people in particular have a much higher rate of depression and suicide. So instead of judging how they got into the position they’re in, let’s love them through it, with a bagel, coffee…or just a friendly pat on the back that says, “Hey, I’m so glad you’re here.”
Like Casey, let us risk getting uncomfortable and maybe even “super annoying.” It might just save a life. 💛