ANCHORAGE — Kenyada Waters was driving through town when she noticed a man on the side of the road. He was holding up a cardboard sign that read, “Laid off 2 long. Anything helps.” Waters noticed all of the cars in front of her drove right past him.
Something in her told her to stop and hear his story.
The man introduced himself as Richard and explained his situation. He told her how he’s been a tree-trimmer for nearly 20 years but found himself down on his luck after getting laid off.
Richard said his cellphone was cut off because he ran out of money. Standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign was his last resort. He told Waters that people would drive by him and yell out, “Get a job you stupid, lazy bum!” Richard told Waters that he had submitted over 20 job applications but since his phone was turned off, he wasn’t able to hear back.
Waters says his story inspired her to help. She decided to pay for two months’ worth of cellphone service for him. “This man cried in AT&T!” Waters said.
As soon as his phone powered back on, there was a job opportunity waiting for him in his text message log.
“It might be you one day!” Waters wrote on a GoFundMe page she has set up for Richard.
“Extend your hand don’t point it!”
This story originally appeared in USA Today: