During the summer , some roofing contractors were working in London when they spotted a homeless man sleeping on a bench near their job site. Feeling sympathetic towards him, the contractors offered the man half a day’s work. The homeless man’s name was J.J. Murray, and he soon proved to be a hard worker. Murray was working for Empire UPVC and Roofing Specialists, which is located on the northern outskirts of London.
On August 14th,, Murray and his colleagues started a new contract to renovate a house’s roof in London. As they were passing a nearby public park, they noticed a homeless man sleeping on a bench. Wanting to help, the group of roofers decided to buy the man a cup of tea. The homeless man gratefully accepted the offer.
The following day, to the contractors’ surprise, the homeless man was waiting for them at the job site. Murray and his colleagues were amazed at the man’s dedication and work ethic. The story went viral after Murray posted it on his Facebook page.
“However, he also had a question for the contractors. Specifically, he asked if they might need some help with their roofing job one morning. While the Empire workmen were surprised by the stranger’s offer, they nevertheless decided to give him a chance.
So, Murray and his team told the homeless man to meet them at the address the next day. They said that they’d find the man some work to do. Then, when the Empire gang turned up at the house early the following morning, they were astonished to see that the homeless man had arrived before they had.
Understandably, the work party welcomed the extra pair of hands to help them with the roofing job. They also learned that the man’s name was John. Furthermore, Murray would post about the episode on his Facebook feed later that day, writing, ‘John was first on site and worked non-stop. I’ve never seen anyone so happy to be at work.’
Photographs of John helping out were also shared online. In the pictures, John can be seen carrying roof tiles and bags of waste and equipment around, looking more than content to be able to help his new friends. But Murray and his colleagues’ kindness hadn’t stopped with merely offering John work. They treated John to a Burger King meal for his lunch, for instance. They even indicated to John that it was only fair for him to be paid a decent wage for his morning’s labor before he went on his way.
However, that John had said something very humble to his new friends. According to an article published on the UK-based Independent news website on August 20th, John told the roofers that 15 or 20 pounds would be just enough to get him through the week. But the fair-minded workmen had other ideas. Indeed, they wanted to give John a little more than that to reward him for his hard work that summer’s morning and to set him up with a bit more cash going forward.
So, according to Murray, the Empire gang had a quick cash collection among themselves and gave John a far larger sum than the modest 15 pounds he had suggested. Between them, in fact, the roofers gathered 70 pounds or some 92 dollars and presented it to John. The homeless man was reportedly delighted as well as extremely grateful to the roofers for giving him the morning’s work.
In Murray’s Facebook post, he added that John’s gratitude had been a real eye-opener. Murray continued the soon-to-be viral post by writing, ‘Keep going, John. Got to be something good around the corner.’ The roofer then made a profound statement about the massive homelessness problem currently affecting the UK. He remarked, ‘Nobody willing to work should be living on the streets.’
But after receiving the cash, John didn’t simply slope off. Indeed, he showed his strong work ethic by asking his temporary colleagues if it would be possible for him to come back and assist them another day. The roofing contractors agreed readily and told John to return to the house the following Monday to help them out some more.
Upon leaving the work site, however, John said something heartbreaking to the Empire gang as he waved goodbye. His parting words were, ‘Thanks, brothers. It’s the most love I’ve ever had.’ And it may have been partly down to that message that Murray’s Facebook post became so widely appreciated.
Indeed, Murray’s Facebook update had been seen in excess of 23,000 times. It was also shared more than five thousand times in a very short space of time. The comments rolled in too, with most of them positive reactions from the worldwide online community.
In fact, Facebook users practically fell over themselves to congratulate the roofers for their act of charity towards John. One user commented, for instance, ‘What kindness shown to a complete stranger! Those great guys may have changed that homeless man’s life forever.’ And theirs was by no means the only positive voice to have remarked on the roofer’s altruistic actions.
‘Inspirational humanity,’ wrote another Facebook follower who was also moved by the workman’s good deed. But perhaps the best part about the story going viral is that the right people heard about John’s plight.
According to the Empire Roofing company, some compassionate individuals have since offered the homeless man accommodation. What’s more, Marie and his colleagues have received plenty of praise from their firm as well as from the public. And that’s clear from a message that Empire UPVC and Roofing Specialists management posted on the company Facebook page.
It read, ‘We can’t believe how this selfless gesture from the Empire team has gone so far. We couldn’t be prouder of the team. Well done, boys.’ And stories like this show that there are ways to help a fellow citizen down on their luck.
In fact, the gang of roofing contractors may well have changed John’s life for the better through their actions. But perhaps the last word should go to a Facebook user who commented on Murray’s post. They wrote, ‘If only there were more lovely people like you guys, the world would be a better place.’ And that pretty much sums it up perfectly.”