It is amazing how your life can be turned around couple of moments after you nearly lost it. Lee Parker had plans to go for a job interview in the early hours of Monday, but since he was homeless already for several years and all his possessions were in a plastic bag, he was praying for a backpack where he can store them and go for the interview as common men.
Sunday night he and his friend Ivan White were walking around Elizabeth, New Jersey train station when Lee saw almost new backpack on top of a garbage can. He and his friend were stunned – this was act of God they thought. Lee took it and they walked a bit.
The surprise came when he opened it and saw inside a maze of wires hooked up to makeshift pipe bombs. Immediately Mr. Parker and Mr. White took the bag to remote area in case the explosives detonated and they went to the Police.
After this story went popular everyone hailed them as heroes for potentially saving the lives of hundreds, but there was one man who felt deeply moved and “saved” by the brave men. Donald Gonclaves a resident of Elizabeth felt responsible to say big thank you and give something back. He decided to run online crowdfunding campaign hoping to raise just a bit of money as sign of appreciation for Lee and Ivan. He set a goal of $10,000 with a plan to split it three was between the men and the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless – a local non-profit organization which actually found apartment for Mr. Parker afterwards.
The campaign not only reached its goal, but only for couple of days the amount was more than $28,000. Of course this money is a lot for the men, but Mr. Goncalves said that main thing is to show them that their brave act is significant for the people of Elizabeth and America as whole. And yes, Mr. Parker didn’t make it to his job interview on Monday morning since he was still in the Police station, but now has offers to start a job on several places.
The men were interviewed about their heroic act, but they stayed humble and real:
“Hero? No. I wouldn’t go that far. [I was] doing the right thing,” Mr. Parker said.
“I’m just glad I was able to realize what the situation was and react in such a way that, thank goodness, no one got hurt,” Mr. White added.
Now Mr. Parker has a job, apartment, two backpacks, but mainly a real token of appreciation and big thank you from the community of Elizabeth.
If you believe that this heroic act and incredible gesture will make the day of some of your friends, please share.