While riding on a Red Line train in Chicago Friday night, passenger Jessica Bell watched as an act of kindness quietly took place next to her.
Across from Bell was an older homeless man, whose feet were bleeding through his socks and his tattered sneakers. Maurice Anderson, in Chicago to visit his daughter, sat near him, wearing boots "built for a Chicago winter," Bell wrote on Facebook. Anderson asked the man what size shoe he wore, and when he replied "12" — the same size as Anderson — he didn't hesitate to take his boots off and hand them to the man. Having just arrived from Kentucky, Anderson dug into the suitcase he had with him, pulled out socks for the man, and changed into a different pair of shoes he brought.
"He's already in distress, he's out in the cold, riding the train," Anderson told ABC Chicago. "If I'm not reaching out to help someone, I can't say anything." Anderson and Bell said the homeless man was in shock by Anderson's gesture, and so appreciative, telling them he believed he had frostbite from the cold. Bell took a few pictures of the exchange, feeling compelled to share the simple but important moment. "I think that's what really resonated with me," she said. "It was a really selfless and quiet act, no fanfare. It just happened." Catherine Garcia