When traveling it is not uncommon to come across beggars. Often shooed away by doormen and security personnel standing watch over hotels or businesses, they instead seek out makeshift shelters anywhere they can find. Down on their luck, they sometimes find kindness in strangers and travelers passing through.
I have dropped coins into buckets, given food, and once invited a homeless woman and her young child to join me for a meal at a restaurant. I came across a heartwarming story today though that far surpasses any casual encounters.
Homeless man Jimmy Fraser was begging in Edinburgh, Scotland when he was approached by two young women travelers looking for directions. Annis Lindkvist and her sister Emma were on holiday and struck up a friendly conversation with the father of two who had become homeless 13 years ago after getting divorced. The three developed a friendship and after learning that Mr. Fraser would be spending Christmas alone, Annis invited him to come home with her to spend the Christmas holiday with her family.
Mr. Fraser said that “being homeless is cold, lonely and depressing and you get a lot of abuse from people”, and was delighted by her unexpected kindness.
Mrs. Lindkvist helped him get his passport and paid for his flights. Before he knew it, Mr. Fraser was on his way to Sweden to meet Annis’ husband and their three children. During his stay in Sagmyra, Sweden, Mr. Fraser experienced the Christmas markets, midnight mass, an ice hockey match, and met all of Mrs. Lindkvist’s family and friends.
Annis said it feels like Jimmy is now part of the family, and he has reportedly been invited to spend the upcoming Easter holidays with the Lindkvist family.
What a bold, brave, and extremely kind gesture.