When people learned about Kenneth Smith, they were heartbroken. The 80-year-old widower was standing on the side of the road and selling kindling for $5 dollars per bag. Jessica Pittman remembered him from a year before, when he stood at the side of the road alongside his late with, Helen, raising money to pay for her cancer-related medical bills.
A year later, he is alone…but still has to pay for all of those bills. While his wife died only a few weeks ago, he couldn’t stop selling because he would fall behind on bills. As an aging man, there wasn’t much work that he could do, but he could still collect kindling.
My heart breaks every time I pass him. He waves at every single car that passes. Friday I was at the stop sign as a funeral procession was passing by. And he was standing alert, with his straw hat over his heart.” Pittman wrote.
She posted the pictures on Facebook, at first just to encourage people to stop bye and purchase some kindling, but it soon spiraled out of control. People from around the world wanted to help, and a fundraiser was set up online by Kenneth Smith’s step-daughter.In just nine days, people had raised over $100,000 dollars for him, wishing him well and leaving notes of encouragement.
Smith was shocked at the outpouring of support. He didn’t want anyone to think that he was begging – he was willing to work – but people reminded him that they donated because they were inspired at his willingness to work hard and wanted to see him succeed
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