A Georgia community came together to help a new father down on his luck after he was shamed on social media by a McDonald’s customer who took a picture of him sleeping at the restaurant.
Simon Childs, 21, was recently working a shift at a Fayette County McDonald’s when he laid down at a bench inside the restaurant during his break, according to WSB-TV. As Childs closed his eyes, a female customer quickly snapped a picture of him and then posted it to a group page on Facebook.
“Just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville,” she wrote on the platform, according to the news station. “I was in the McDonald’s in the middle of town and I saw this guy sleeping in the booth. I go and tell an employee that someone is asleep in their booth and her response was ‘oh yeah, we know hee hee, it’s ok’ and I said ‘not really but whatever.’”
The woman didn’t know that Childs was homeless and struggling after the loss of a loved one.
“I’ve been going through a hard time with my mom passing,” he explained to WSB-TV.
On top of coping with the tragedy, Childs was working at the restaurant to provide for his baby son.
Childs said he saw the Facebook post and admitted it hurt him to see someone say that about him without knowing everything he was experiencing.
“Everything I do, I want to work for it,” he said. “It kind of hurt to see my picture up there, you know? I thought it was something negative and nobody would care about it.”
After WSB-TV covered the story, many of their viewers reached out to offer Childs support, and show him that his community had his back, despite what may have happened on social media.
When he came back to work after the segment aired, he found diapers and other supplies for his baby.
“They changed my life in a couple of days,” he said.
Local chefs Xavier and Theo Thomas even told Childs he could borrow a car for job interviews. A Fayette County barber even hooked him up with a free haircut.
“I didn’t think the community would even care enough to do that, but they care,” Childs told the station.
As for the woman’s attempt to shame him, Childs is focusing on the positive that came from the ordeal.
“I’m not homeless, not now,” he said, “thanks to her.”
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