After coming face-to-face with an unspeakable suffering, one man went against the grain with a gesture that was applauded for all the right reasons.

Joey Resto was taking the downtown “A” train to his home in Brooklyn after returning from his job as a caseworker at a law firm, when he was stopped in his tracks. There, alone in the corner, was a homeless man without a shirt, shivering from the cold.

Watched, but did nothing

Recalling that moment to ABC, Resto said that everyone avoided the man.

Everyone on there had separated themselves from him. He looked like he had gotten beaten up. He had patches of hair missing. He had no shirt on.

Joey Resto

“It was crazy that everyone was just looking and not doing anything. It was freezing outside,” he added.

The shirt off his back

At that moment, Resto refused to stand idly by, and instead did something incredible.

Approaching the man, he literally offered him the shirt off his back, then helped him put it on, looping it over his neck and arms. “He looked so weak and frail,” Resto recalled. “I had to help him, or he would not put it on.”

Resto then removed his hat and put it on the man’s bruised head. He invited the man to join him and his family for a hot meal, however by the time his stop arrived, the man had fallen asleep. 

Resto then called 311 to get him help.

Warmed up 

The video of that magical moment went viral, being viewed more than 13 million times, shared over 260,000 times and garnering more than 300,000 likes.

Suffice it to say, viewers were moved.

“It brought tears to my eyes because that’s how the world should be: We help each other. I am that type of person and sometimes people look at me like I am crazy but I love helping people,” posted one.

“I still won’t stop crying even after watching it over and over. Resto is an angel,” added another.

This is humanity!!! Be kind to each other. The world is a very difficult place as it is.


Kindness is free

In the end, Resto says that his actions were guided by one thing.

It just came from the heart. I don’t know how anyone could have walked past him and had extra clothing and not given it to him.

Joey Resto

It’s easy to turn your gaze from the suffering of others, the hard part is convincing yourself that it’s okay to do so.

Resto’s selfless act reminds us that following your heart to help- while it can seem lonely in the moment- is what truly brings people together.

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it costs nothing to be kind
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” – Bob Kerrey