Karine Gombeau is a tourist from France who was on a vacation in New York City with her family. During sightseeing in the city, they bought themselves some pizza for dinner. Then they saw a homeless man on the street and decided to give it to him.
The homeless man looked pitiful to her when he was searching for food from the garbage pile. Many busy people just passed by the homeless man without lending a hand because they were simply used to seeing such scene.
Kind-hearted Gombeau walked towards the homeless man and had a few conversations with him. She gave him a pizza she bought so that he could fill his empty stomach. Feeling sorry as the pizza has gotten cold, she apologised sincerely but continued to smile.
“Thank you. May God bless you”, the man said.
The next day, she was shocked when a hotel staff came to bring her breakfast with some photos recorded of what happened yesterday. Gombeau did not realise that she had actually helped a guy who was none other than the Hollywood star, Richard Gere!
“When I went undercover in New York City as a homeless man, no one noticed me,” Richard Gere said. “I felt what it was like to be a homeless man. People would just pass by me and look at me in disgrace.”
“It was an experience I’ll never forget. So many times we forget how blessed we are. We should not take that for granted.”
Richard Gere was actually doing an experiment when he stepped out in New York City dressed up as a homeless man for his new movie, ‘Time Out of Mind’.
Many pedestrians were crossing the streets but no one actually took a glance to realise the homeless man was actually a super star.
To Richard and the production crew, what have happened from their experiment was definitely heart warming when Gombeau came up to him and lent him some food. However, it was also heartbreaking of how other people did not even take a second to glance and help.
“I was out there for the very first shot, 40 minutes plus – no one made eye contact with me,” Gere told People Magazine. “I was in one of the busiest places in New York. If I had been Richard Gere there, I wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds.”
“It wasn’t about me,” Gere said. “It was a perception about all of us that we tend to just skate along the surface of things. We never stop to really look and feel beyond the surface of what we see and there’s a whole deeper, more profound reality below that.”
Well done Ms. Gombeau! Thank you for your kindness in helping a stranger on the street even during your vacation. We wish that more people can be like you to make this a better world.