Charity runs amok in new “random act of kindness” video
Ripped from the Possibly Well Intentioned But Oh My Gaaaaaaaaawwwwwwd files, three Toronto men have created a fun twist on the popular “Neknominate” viral meme game by performing a random act of kindness (it’s called RAKnominate…like, where RAK equals “Random Act of Kindness”). Hoping that the transparency of their good intentions and the purity of their souls might inspire others, three dudes—Andrew Gronross, John Pitman and Andrew Mason—took it upon themselves to treat a Toronto homeless man named Jeff to a proper day on the town.
According to the Star, the three men chose to bless Jeff with their random act of kindness because of how dignified he was, as a homeless person. “He wasn’t being aggressive in his panhandling,” Mason told the paper. “We just saw him politely say ‘Good morning’ and ‘Hi’ to people, letting them decide if they wanted to help.”
Jeff’s quiet dignity was rewarded with a “random” (read: premeditated, deliberate and video-recorded) act of kindness. After summoning the human being to their car like an animal (“Come over here, man. Come up. It’s alright”), the three saints whisked Jeff around Toronto. The day out included a trip to the second-hand store, a haircut at Terminal Barber Shop, lunch at Burger King, and a warm bath in the tepid self-satisfaction of three self-styled humanitarians. “I can tell you got great hearts,” Jeff says, telling them exactly what they want to hear.
Look: these guys probably meant well. Okay. But the thing about charity is that it becomes disgusting and self-serving when you film yourself doing it, scoring your good deeds to triumphalist music and flashing thumbs up at the camera. The other thing about charity: THERE ARE WHOLE CHARITABLE NETWORKS THAT EXIST TO BETTER THE LIVES OF THE HOMELESS AND DISENFRANCHISED. Here is a list of some. (Tip: these places usually only accept money, not used belts or BK chicken sandwiches.)
Some fast food and new second-hand clothes (that you can wear while you continue to be homeless) are fine, sure. But if you really want to help someone—and not just inspire yourself and anyone watching at home—donating money to these groups is a better avenue than smug charitable vigilantism. At the end of the day, these three guys were probably set back like $60. But they have a story they can impress family and friends with for a lifetime. And isn’t that what really matters?
The video is embedded above.