A man followed a homeless person with a hidden camera to see how he spent his money.

Recently, signs like this popped up in downtown Sarasota, Florida. They say "Don't give in to panhandling. 93% of the money you give goes to drugs and alcohol."


Shortly thereafter, this video came out purportedly showing how a homeless man spent $100 he was given.

It's a scene you've probably seen a gagillion times (which is a gagillion times too many). A homeless man is asking for help on the side of the road, and finally an empathetic passerby offers money. Only this time it's not just $1 or $2 ... he gives the homeless man $100!


Touched, the homeless man (whose name is Thomas) hugs Josh (the other dude) and they part ways.

Josh has his film crew start following Thomas.

(Which, for the record — whether or not this is real or staged — is super creepy and very exploitative, but the end result is worth talking about).

And they spend the day following him.

They follow him to a liquor/convenience store where Thomas purchases some goods.

When Thomas opens his shopping bag, he reveals food he purchased for other people in need.

He did not offer food to just one group either.

Finally, Josh lets Thomas know that he's been following him to see how he'd spend the $100.

(Again, creepy. But the overall point of the video is worth a conversation.)

Thomas explains that a couple of years ago he lost his job, he took care of his sick parents (who died), and then he lost his home.

He says many homeless people were working and for one reason or another, they found themselves on the street.

One of the most eye-opening parts of the video is at 3:20, when the homeless man explains what brought him to his circumstance.

We are only as strong as our weakest link. So let's empathize with each other.

Again, whether or not this video was real or staged, it's cold in many parts of the country right now, and if you see someone asking for money, maybe remember Thomas and the other men, women, and children who could use a boost. Let's not assume what someone is going to buy with our money, and let's not make it our responsibility to judge what people buy. It's a good time of year to be giving.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.