With homelessness so rife in society, we are all guilty of passing by a homeless person on the street, avoiding their eyes as we blank out their calls for help.
However, there are some Good Samaritans out there who are able to put themselves firmly in the shoes of others. Craig Wells from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, is one such modern day superhero.
The 36-year-old sales manager was enjoying dinner out with his wife and three children at Wagamama in Nottingham city centre, when he caught sight of a homeless man through the window.
The man was shuffling past barefoot, with only his threadbare socks separating his feet from the pavement.
So many of us would just look away and remain in the comfort of the restaurant. However, Craig ran outside to talk to the man, whose toes were poking out of his ruined socks.
Craig asked the homeless man, whose name is Mark, what shoe size he took. It turned out the two men were both size nines.
In an extraordinary act of generosity, Craig took off his own shoes and gave them to Mark.
These weren’t just any old shoes either. They were brand new Nike Air Max trainers, which had set Craig back £120.
According to Craig, it was an ‘impulsive decision’:
He didn’t have any shoes on and his toes were poking out his socks. It was awful to see.
I looked at my wife and just said ‘I’ll be back in a minute’. I walked outside and stopped him.
I asked him what size foot he was and he said ‘nine, why?’ I told him I was the same size and took my trainers off and gave them to him.
Craig explained how it was an emotional moment for both men:
He couldn’t quite believe it but he burst into tears and said ‘thank you’. A few people in the restaurant saw what had happened and came out and took pictures of us.
We both got quite emotional. I said I wished him well and we went our separate ways.
Pictures showing Craig and Mark embracing quickly went viral, with over 500,000 people worldwide sharing the heart warming images.
Craig has apparently been ‘bowled over by the response’:
When I got home I saw some pictures on Facebook of what happened so decided to explain why I did it.
He needed shoes much more than me. It was that simple.
Taking to Facebook, Craig wrote a heartfelt post telling his story and encouraging others to make similar gestures of kindness:
I was in Wagamamas having a nice meal with the family when I was drawn to Mark walking along the street without any shoes on and his toes hanging out of his socks.
Immediately i ran outside to catch him. He mentioned how he didnt have any shoes and that he would love a pair. I asked what size he was and he was exactly the same size as me (coincidence..I think not).
So i took my shoes (my favourite trainers) off and gave them to him. He then started to cry and gave me the biggest hug saying how nobody has ever been so kind.
There is nothing worse than self praise and I certainly don’t want it. What I do want is people to recognise that Love is the greatest gift we have been given. It was given to us freely and freely we should give it away.
So my challenge to you is this.. How have you loved on someone Today?? Love is the best gift we can wish for so PASS IT ON !!
So many people have been touched by this story.
Hopefully this will encourage others to think about what caring acts they can offer while going about their everyday lives.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.