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Man in a checked shirt and security camera footage of a boy speaking to an older man.

Boy Gives His Last Dollar to Founder of Wildgame Innovations

YouTube/ WBRZ
Uplifting News

Boy Gives His Only Dollar to a Homeless Man - Is Shocked to Learn His True Identity

This child’s actions inspired the most unlikely friendship.

Friendships can spark in the least likely places. But when one nine-year-old boy tried to do a good deed on a Good Friday, it was the start of a friendship no one saw coming.

It’s essential to lead with kindness and empathy, which nine-year-old Kelvin Ellis strives to do. He’s always wanted to help a homeless person but never had any money. So when he had a dollar in his pocket and saw a man standing outside in the corner one day, he was excited to make a difference. Little did he know who he was about to approach.

An Unexpected Emergency

Hunter Matt Busbice sits for an interview with Kelvin Ellis

Matt Busbice sits with Kelvin Ellis, the nine-year-old who thought he was homeless


One early March morning in Baton Rouge, LA, Matthew Busbice woke early to the sound of the fire alarm. He threw on some old boots and rushed outside of his condo complex, where he was relieved to hear that it was a false alarm. Still, the man was up, so he wandered across the street to his usual coffee spot for a cup.

Inside, Busbice ordered a coffee and decided it was a nice enough morning to do his daily prayer outside. He went to the patio, stood in a corner, and closed his eyes while waiting for his order.

Next door, Ellis was waiting for his father to finish up at an optometrist appointment. He saw Busbice standing there with his eyes closed and took him for a homeless man. The kid had a buck in his pocket and realized his chance to make a difference had come. He walked right up to Busbice, who was shocked.

“I’m sitting there, slowly opening my eyes and I see a kid that’s about my height coming at me,” Busbice told WBRZ News. “I open more, and there’s a dollar bill coming at me. I was dumbfounded.”

“I said excuse me sir, are you homeless? Because if you are, here’s a dollar,” Ellis recalled. “He was confused and didn’t know what to do. He didn’t take the dollar bill; I’m not mad about it.”

A Role Reversal

Instead of accepting the money, Busbice offered to buy Ellis breakfast. The boy checked with his father and then returned. He ordered a sandwich and a coffee for his dad, and then he and Ellis started chatting. Soon, an unlikely friendship emerged.

Eventually, Ellis learned that the man he had mistaken for homeless was the co-founder of Wildgame Innovations. He was also launching three new hunting companies and has appeared on reality television. His net worth is an estimated $5 million.

“You’re on Google? You’re that famous?” Ellis asked his new friend when he found out.

For his part, Busbice was touched that this kid was willing to give everything he had to a stranger and wanted to reward him. So, with the news crew in tow, he took his new bud to one of his shops and gave him a shopping spree.

“You gave the only money in your pocket to me, thinking I was a homeless man. That speaks volumes of your character,” Busbice told Ellis. “If [this generation is] more like Kelvin and they’re going to give, they’re going to be filled with joy,” he continued.

“They’re going to be happy, they’re going to change the community, change the parish, change the state, and they’re going to change the world. You have that power; you can do it.”

Now, their story is inspiring others.

“Heart of gold, I hope he never loses that kindness,” one person wrote in the video’s comments. “The fact that this child would go up to someone who he thought was homeless and tried to help him and address him as sir. What a sweet kid!” wrote another.

Others praised Busbice for his humility and called attention to Ellis approaching him mid-prayer.

“The fact that they never would have met if the man didn’t go pray is kinda amazing,” someone pointed out. “The fact Calvin appeared to Matt mid-prayer says so much,” added someone else.

Making a Difference

One of the most uplifting parts of this story is that it reminds you how to be a good human no matter how much money you have. Ellis had a dollar and made a massive difference in Busbice’s life, even though Busbice didn’t accept the money. For his part, Busbice was also inspired to give back and made a lifelong friend.

It’s a nice reminder that anyone can make a difference, so long as you lead with your heart. Thinking of others and trying to do something nice for someone else can go a long way for a person in need, but it can also give you purpose and meaning in your daily life. Whether that’s giving a stranger a couple of dollars for a hot meal or organizing a giant fundraiser, every little bit counts.

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