When a homeless man came up to the counter of the burger joint, Matthew Resendez asked him what he wanted to eat just like any other customer. Matthew then ordered the meal and paid for it himself. Unbeknownst to Matthew, though, an onlooker had seen everything and was about to add their own ending to the story.
Matthew, who worked at Burger King in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, was on an evening shift in June 2016 when the homeless man walked in. The apparently “disheveled” gentleman only had a handful of coins amounting to about 50 cents on him. He walked up and asked if this small sum would enable him to buy something to eat.
Instead of sending the homeless man on his way, Matthew asked him to state what he’d like to eat if were able to afford it. The gentleman explained that he was ravenously hungry, and so any item on the menu would be appreciated. Matthew then showed real compassion. Indeed, his actions later caused the Love This Pic website to call him a “saint in a fast food uniform.”
Matthew subsequently ordered the man a large, filling meal and paid for it himself. The server informed the homeless man that he should sit down and wait for his food to arrive. What’s more, unbeknownst to the teenager, his generosity had been witnessed by someone else in the restaurant.
Matthew later told his mother, Michelle Resendez, the story of what had happened that night. She was so pleased by his actions that she then wrote about them on Facebook, beginning her account with the words: “Proud mom moment!” She went on to recount her son’s act of kindness. “So proud to be his mom and I can pat myself on the back knowing I’ve played a part in raising this big-hearted young man,” Michelle wrote.
Michelle’s “proud mom” post and the shining example that Matthew had set to others earned him plenty of praise. Janie Mora posted, “So nice and so kind of him. You raised a beautiful person and we need more young men like him in our world.” Miranda Marie added, “Such a good young man.”
Matthew’s grandfather, Ruben Jr. Livas, responded to Michelle’s post by praising Matthew for his Christian values, comparing his grandson’s actions to the teachings of the Bible. “Proud of my grandson!” Livas wrote. “Matthew 25:35: I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” His biblical reference attracted hundreds of likes from those reading Matthew’s story.
Matthew’s grandmother Sylvia Livas also praised him for the way he’d responded to the homeless man, writing, “Matthew, you are an amazing young man with a big heart. God will continue to bless you always! Love grandma.” Other posters who knew Matthew’s family congratulated them for bringing him up to be kind and caring. One respondent, John Paul Suarez, posted, “Michelle, you and Mark always had good values as long as I known y’all. Y’all did a good job!”
Michelle’s Facebook post also revealed that there had in fact been someone watching the events that night in the restaurant, which was to add something new to the tale. “The story could end there and it would be a happy ending,” Michelle wrote. But as she went on to explain, the onlooker proved to be an “angel” waiting to reward Matthew for his actions.
The woman who’d witnessed the events subsequently decided that Matthew’s kindness shouldn’t go unnoticed. As a result, she stepped in to show her appreciation for his actions. “Not only did she write to the company to let them know about the caring employee that had working for them, she also rewarded my son with a very generous tip,” Michelle revealed.
The accompanying image that Michelle posted of her son in his Burger King uniform revealed that he had been given a $100 tip by the well-wisher. “That was awesome of Matthew to do this,” Irma Balderas wrote in response to the Facebook post. “I’m gonna share [the] story. We still have kids with golden hearts… proud of you Matthew… you never know when an angel is watching.”
Many people who were touched by Matthew’s story started sharing it on their own Facebook pages. And it wasn’t long before Michelle’s words had been shared more than 40,000 times. As Lisa Steve VanAmburg wrote, “I need to share this and should be passed on…. viral on social media. Act of kindness goes a long way. Great job Matthew!”
The “proud mom” post has also gained more than 160,000 reactions, with one poster, Tony White, pointing out that we often never know when we are being watched and are revealing our inner selves. “A great reminder to us all that people watch our actions, good or bad, whenever we are confronted with a situation that will show our ‘true colors’ and Matthew showed his!” White stated. “Way to go Matthew… keep up the good work and letting your light shine!”
Two years on, the story is still being circulated, with The Western Journal praising Matthew in an October 2018 article for doing his bit to help the homeless. A YouTube video detailing the incident was also uploaded at the same time, titled “Top Life Story.” The presenter concludes by saying, “Everyone loves to hear of people making a difference and getting rewarded for it.”
Matthew’s mother has also recounted a recent example of her son’s caring side. Michelle revealed on Facebook in October 2018 that her son has been working to help others again, this time by establishing a blood donation service at Michelle’s place of work.
Stories similar to Matthew’s are also hitting the headlines, such as that of a kind-hearted stranger buying a man a meal after seeing him struggling at the counter of a McDonald’s in Bendigo, Australia. Dave Love, interviewed on radio station Coffs Coast’s Hit105.5, said that the man had “reminded him of his dad.” He told the station that he’d subsequently heard that the man’s wife and child had died.
Recalling the event, Love told the station that his heart had melted when he’d seen the man sifting through a pile of coins. “We only put a big pocketful of change up when we’ve emptied our money box or something like that,” Love said.
His partner, Melanie Langley, posted a video of the incident on her Facebook page in August 2018. Underneath the video, Langley wrote, “I had no idea what he was up to as he ordered his morning coffee, but quickly realized and couldn’t not video this incredible act of kindness. Your true character is revealed when nobody’s watching. Oh and you wouldn’t believe it; his surname is LOVE.”
Love seemed to want to keep in touch with the stranger he helped, telling the radio show he would like to go and have a cup of tea with the person in question. Love added that he “was a really cute old man.” And the reason that Love had stepped in to buy his meal was that, “We’re Aussies. That’s what we do for each other.”
Langley’s post also went viral, earning 58,000 shares and more than 4.5 million views. With reaction figures like these, both stories clearly made an impression on the public. And this seems to prove that for many social media users, caring is worth sharing.