An homeless man donated $250 to a charity organization in Los Angeles. Ed Denst, age 77, collected $1 bills and donated them all to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Council.
Denst, a former Marine, has been living on the streets of Los Angeles for 23 years. Following a devastating divorce, Denst sold his home, spent the money, and has been homeless ever since.
Claire Padama of the Los Angeles Catholic charities board has known Denst for many years. She met him at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, where he gets a hot lunch every day.
As reported by CBS News, the money donated by Denst will help the organization provide the needy with utility and rental assistance. She was surprised, but appreciative that the homeless man chose to donate the $250, rather than spend it on himself.
Denst states that he is thankful for the help he has received, through charitable organizations, over the last 23 years. He points out that donating the money “makes [him] feel very good.”
The United Way released statistics on the homeless population in Los Angeles in 2012. There are estimated to be over 50,000 homeless residents in Los Angeles. The United Way blames loss of employment and lack of affordable housing for the high numbers.
Over 9,000 homeless people in Los Angeles are Veterans. As many as 33 percent of the homeless population suffer from mental illness.
Ed Denst may be homeless, but he is not bitter. He learned about the generosity of others through his own experiences, and wants to do the same for other residents in need.
Although he states that he is not religious, Denst admits: “give us this day our daily bread … that is very meaningful to me. I think that is how I have every day.”
It is unusual for a homeless man to donate $250 to charity, but for Denst, it simply made sense.
[Image via Wikimedia]