Homelessness is an issue that has been prominent on our blog of late . . . Our friend Chris Tibedo has escaped the streets, although others are less fortunate. Given that it is starting to get cold out there, it warms our hearts to hear stories such as Kris Doubledee's.
Compassionate Kris is a bus driver in Winnipeg, where, earlier this week, he was driving the number four route along Portage Avenue. Close to Fort Street, Kris stopped the bus. The passengers looked on in amazement at the events that followed.
"I just started thinking 'Oh no, there's a problem or perhaps he's waiting for someone who's running to catch the bus'," recalls Denise Campbell. "Then he stepped off."
Those fortunate enough to be on board looked on as their driver, having left his cab, approached a barefooted man slumped on the sidewalk and carried out the most astonishing act of kindness.
"I asked him, 'Do you have any shoes?'" he explains. "He said 'No'. I said, 'If I give you a pair of shoes, will you keep them?' and he said he would'." So Kris removed his shoes - good, leather shoes that his wife had given him to keep his feet comfortable and warm during his long shifts behind the wheel - and handed them over. For the rest of that day, he drove the bus in his socks.
"There wasn't a dry eye on the bus - all the passengers were moved by this bold and selfless gesture," one passenger later admitted. Yet Kris didn't commit his kind act to impress or be a hero and, indeed, he has tried hard in recent days to remain anonymous.
The plaudits that he has received since being identified might not be sought-after, but he deserves them all, for reaching out and for striving to make a difference.
"I just couldn't imagine him going through that," he explains. "I couldn't imagine him walking a mile without shoes [and] I couldn't imagine how cold he was. It was cold, maybe seven degrees, and he was barefoot. I had to help him - anyone would have done it."
The sad fact, of course, is that not anyone would have done what Kris did and this is what marks him out as someone special, a person always striving to help others and an inspiration to us all here at OM HQ, where such qualities as kindness and compassion underpin our efforts in the studio.
"It's [just] kind of a thing with me," adds a man who gave much more than his shoes that morning. "[If] I see someone with a disability, or a need, I [always attempt to] take their pain away, or pray that they'll find [some] relief. I just do it because I've got two arms and legs and I use them every day - I've also got one heart and I try to use that every day too."
Here in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, we have nothing but admiration and respect for kind-hearted Kris, who has set an example that we should all strive to follow: To give the things we have to those less fortunate. To reach out. To offer hope. To help . . .