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6-year-old's act of kindness toward homeless man inspires thousands

Posted July 30

A 6-year-old Virginia girl has a gift for seeing people who often go unnoticed, and her touching act of kindness is inspiring thousands. (Deseret Photo)

NORFOLK, Virginia — A 6-year-old Virginia girl has a gift for seeing people who often go unnoticed and her touching act of kindness is inspiring thousands.

Janiyah Lewis has always had a soft spot for the homeless her mother, Kenyatta Lewis, told Today. So it wasn’t a surprise that Janiyah immediately took interest in a man who was sitting outside a store, crying.

Janiyah asked her mother why the man was so sad and wondered if he might be hot. She decided it would be best to just go to the source and struck up a conversation with the man.

“Be happy it’s a nice day, it’s not raining,” Janiyah said to him. “Are you hot? Why don’t you go home, the ground is dirty?”

That’s when the man told her he didn’t have a home to return to because he’d lost his trailer and his wife in a fire.

“She looked at him with the saddest face and goes, ‘So that means you’re homeless. So you have no food because you have no refrigerator?” Lewis wrote in a Facebook post.

Janiyah opened her purse and handed the man a few dollars, suggesting he find some good food at McDonald’s.

"It was clear she made his day because his whole face lit up when she took out money," Lewis told Today. "He even commented on how surprised he was to see all of this coming from a 6-year-old."

Passersby noticed the interaction between the pair and quickly followed her lead by handing the man some additional change, Today reports.

"A 6-year-old led by example,” Lewis wrote. “Kids see no color and that's exactly how it should be. That gives me a little more hope for the world."

Lewis’s Facebook post, which included a picture of her daughter with the man, quickly caught fire. It’s been shared nearly 200,000 times to date.

The experience inspired Janiyah to do even more. She and her mother created a GoFundMe account to help feed and clothe the homeless in their community of Norfolk. They’ve exceeded their donation goal by over $500.

“It’s not just a statement that children are our future,” Lewis wrote. “It’s a FACT.”

Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.

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