Josiah Duncan, a 5-year-old boy in Alabama, couldn’t let a homeless man outside Waffle House go hungry.

Everyday people turn a blind eye to the suffering of the homeless.

It’s not clear how many people in Prattsville, Alabama walked past the homeless man sitting outside the Waffle House. What is clear is that on one particular day, 5-year-old Josiah Duncan couldn’t do it.

A Child in Alabama Is Exposed to Our Dark Reality

“Why is he there?” He innocently asked his mom, Ava Faulk.

Like many young children, Josiah hadn’t come into contact with a homeless person before. He was blissfully unaware of the sadder predicaments of our society. As far as Josiah knew, everyone had a place to sleep, enough to eat and clean clothes lined up in a closet.

So when his mother told him that the man was homeless, Josiah didn’t even understand what that meant. His mom explained to him that the man didn’t have a home and that he was hungry. Josiah was even more confused by this: how could someone be hungry just outside a Waffle House where there is so much food to eat?

When it came time for Faulk and her son to order, young Josiah had just one thing on his mind. He asked his mom to buy a meal for the man outside. To Josiah, it was common sense: they had more than enough food, and that man outside didn’t have enough. They should share their blessings.

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Faulk was quick to encourage her son’s sense of charity and happily obliged. She was delighted to see her son wanting to be a good neighbor and take care of someone in their community. And so they invited the man inside and told him they would pay for his meal.

But when the homeless man took a seat inside the restaurant, no one came to take his order. Josiah took matters into his own hands, jumped up and took a menu to the man because “you can’t order without one.”

Josiah Wanted to Keep the Man Company While He Ate

Josiah didn’t leave it at that. It didn’t seem like enough to buy a meal for the man; because the man was alone, the little boy wanted to keep him company, too. Josiah sat down next to the homeless man as he made his selection from the menu, encouraging him to order whatever he wanted. The man asked if he could have a bacon cheeseburger. 

Before he could take a bite, though, Josiah asked if they could say a blessing together. The man nodded in agreement. Josiah sang a blessing, which moved the man to tears. He wasn’t the only one, though; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as other Waffle House patrons watched the touching scene.

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Five-year-old Josiah Duncan taught young and old alike a lesson that day: everyone is important. Like countless other people had done, Josiah could have simply walked past the homeless man and gone inside to eat his meal. He didn’t, though. He noticed the man, he asked about him, he spoke to him, and, when he understood that the man did not have enough to eat, Josiah made sure he got a meal.

Rather than judge the homeless man, Josiah only wanted to know what he could do to help.

Josiah’s mom said that watching her son that day gave her such a sense of accomplishment as a parent. She knows she’s raising a good citizen and a kind human being. Faulk said that Josiah reminded her that when an opportunity to be nice presents itself, you have to jump on it.

Kindness Changes the World

We forget but children often remind us of our better qualities. And that seems to be the moral of the story in situations like these: being kind to others is not only a blessing for them but also a blessing for ourselves. That Waffle House experience undoubtedly left a mark on young Josiah Duncan, one that will undoubtedly inspire him to do good for decades to come.


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