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upworthy
Joy

Neighbor does an amazing act of kindness for father of 3 who lost his wife

“I see him doing the absolute best that he can with what he has.”

kindness, donald wilson, colin mcconnell

Colin McConnell surprises his neighbor with an incredible amount of gifts.

An incredible story out of Detroit, Michigan, shows how the power of kindness can multiply. Colin McConnell is a writer who lives in a duplex next to Donald Wilson, a single father, who lives with his 3 young kids, ages 5,3 and 1. Sadly, the mother of the 3 children passed away a few months ago, leading Wilson to raise them by himself.

"He told me that the kids are going to be around a lot more because their mother had passed," McConnell told WXYZ. "And the kids were walking up the stairs at the time. I just saw their little legs and my heart just broke instantly. I wanted to do something more for them. And he said, 'We don’t really have winter coats.’ I thought he had three daughters because the son was wearing his sister’s clothes — it was because he didn't even have clothes."

McConnell had tried to help the single dad by watching his kids from time to time or picking them up some donuts from the coffee shop. But he felt he had to do more. “I see him doing the absolute best that he can with what he has,” McConnell said. “I know from having conversations with him that he's having a difficult time, and so are his [kids],” he said in a viral TikTok video.


As a writer and entrepreneur, McConnell has a substantial following on social media. So he shared Wilson’s story on TikTok, hoping that maybe 1 or 2 people would help.

“If anyone wants to help me help this family and spread some kindness, you can go to my Amazon and it'll come right to my house and I'll give it to the family,” McConnell said in his video, posted on November 16.

@colin313

My neighbors daughters lost her mom not too long ago. I put some things in an Amazon wish list to try to help them. If anyone’s interested in helping me spread some kindness, please feel free to check out the link in my bio

The video received a tremendous response, and in the 3 weeks since it’s been posted has over 5.7 million views.

"I posted it, and I woke up the next morning and there were already boxes on my porch. I was like, ‘What?!’" he told WXYZ. “I didn’t think it would do that big and all of a sudden, it was thousands! I was like, ‘What! Oh my God!'"

@colin313

Replying to @user3549350178798 heres an update on the video i did @Colin313 o did on the little ones who lost their mom recently. Dad was moved to tears and cant thank you enough. Ill be doing more updates soon #commUNITY #bethegood #spreadkindness.

In a follow-up video, McConnell shared Wilson’s reaction to seeing all of the presents, and he couldn’t believe the generosity of strangers. Over a thousand people sent the Wilson family food, clothes, toys and gift cards. Later, after McConnell shared that the family had no furniture, the children received bunk beds.

The generosity was overwhelming for Wilson, who had difficulty accepting the gifts at first.

"That was the biggest thing for me, not feeling like I’m able to do it, or I’m not capable to do it, but Colin made it easy. He made me feel at home, he made me feel like a brother, like family,” he told WXYZ.

McConnell later shared that Wilson has 3 older children, half-siblings to the younger 3, and he was able to help them out through the donations, too.

santa, colin mcconnell, kindness

Colin McConnell with Santa Claus.

via Colin313/TikTok

The young children are going to get quite a surprise on Christmas day. McConnell found someone to play Santa and deliver their gifts on Christmas morning. McConnell says he’ll be dressing up as Santa’s little helper for the occasion.

Here’s the address to send the Wilsons a Christmas card.

The Wilson Family

℅ Colin McConnell

POI Box 32973

Detroit, MI 48232

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