A heartwarming video captures socially aware teens doing their part.

Teens sometimes have a bad reputation for being self-involved or uncaring. But every day, countless teens around the world remind us that they aren’t just kind, generous, and thoughtful — they’re also the world leaders of tomorrow.

Perhaps that’s why a video of three teens helping out a homeless man down on his luck has inspired so many other people. Because when it comes to being socially aware and caring for fellow human beings, these teens could teach some adults a thing or two.

A Man Down on His Luck

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One night shortly after Christmas a few years ago, teens Ryan Cook, Joshua Mechell, and Alberto Montiel were hanging out and eating at a Chick-fil-A in Texas. As they enjoyed one another’s company, they noticed a man sitting in the restaurant by himself, counting change and crying.

“He had a worn bible on the table with a picture of Jesus and some change he was counting,” Cook recalled in a Facebook post. “The staff said he came in all the time but didn’t bother anyone or ask for handouts except when he is looking for water for his dog, Sock.”

It was that selfless act, a man who would only ask for something for his dog, that really resonated with the boys. They knew they wanted to help.”

“People were telling us how he never asks for handouts,” Cook added to InsideEdition, as per Yahoo News. “We saw him crying, and we saw him struggling to buy a meal. So I decided to buy him a gift card.”

Springing Into Action

The boys purchased gift cards to Chick-fil-A but didn’t stop there. They ensured the man, Eddie, would wait at the restaurant, and then they headed over to Dick’s Sporting Goods. There, they pooled their money to buy a coat, three shirts, a beanie, and a first aid kit.

Their action also inspired the store manager, who chipped in $20 toward the purchase and donated the display merchandise.

“Once we got back, I took this video,” Cook explained, posting the video to Facebook. “After we gave him the stuff, he said, ‘This is almost like Christmas because I didn’t get anything for Christmas this year.’ And I said, ‘Just think of it as a late Christmas present.’”

To InsideEdition, Cook added that it felt really good to give.

“It was an awesome experience. He quickly got out of his chair. He was so excited and happy to see something new in his life,” he said.

Cook also revealed that he and his friends kept in touch with Eddie, and they were saving to get him a motel room and a nice meal for Super Bowl Sunday.

Spreading the Message

Initially, the teens didn’t think about posting the video or the photo they took on social media. After all, they just wanted to help Eddie and to be good people. However, they also realized they had a powerful message to share, and maybe they could do more good by showing everyone how much their act had meant to the man.

“Just setting an example for everyone else,” Cook wrote in his post. “Be selfless and do good for others, then the world would be a better place for everyone. Felt the need to post this to inform others to do better not to gain anything from it.”

“We just want to make the world a better place to live in, and we want to inspire people to make a difference,” Mechell added to InsideEdition.

Setting the Right Example

This story is so heartwarming because it sheds teens in a positive light while also inspiring us to do good, selfless things as well. Just because someone is struggling or doesn’t have a home doesn’t mean they aren’t people.

Sometimes, doing your part means stopping and getting to know someone who seems alone. Perhaps it means donating to a food bank or giving your time to a worthy cause. Maybe it just means keeping an eye out to see how you can help others when given the opportunity. Or perhaps it means stopping and asking how you can give the next time you face a situation in which you may have previously walked away.  

As Cook himself said, being selfless and doing good for others just makes the world a better place.