A Man Who Used To Be Homeless Spent His Valentine's Day Giving Out Roses

His generosity even inspired others.

A Facebook post about a man who was once homeless is going viral because of the lengths he went to in order to make others smile this Valentine's Day.

The original post, which was shared by Australian filmmaker Lance Smith on Feb. 12, chronicles Smith's encounter with a man named Cameron two days prior on Nobby Beach, an area on the Gold Coast in Australia. As Smith recounts, Cameron was selling copies of The Big Issue newspaper near a local coffee shop Smith visited, and wished him a great day as he walked by.

Though that could have easily been the end of their run-in, something compelled Smith to ask to sit with Cameron, and the two struck up a conversation. Over the course of that discussion, Smith learned that Cameron had been in and out of homelessness for years and also battled schizophrenia and depression, making it very difficult to hold down full-time employment. 

"He started selling The Big Issue in December and told me since selling it his depression has significantly reduced, he feels like he has purpose, and genuinely enjoys getting up in the morning to go sell it," Smith wrote.

With that in mind, Smith then explained how Cameron expressed interest in giving others those same feelings of happiness and purpose this Valentine's Day by handing out $100 worth of roses to strangers. "I asked him how much he was going to sell them for and he replied, 'Nothing, I'll be giving them out for free. I just like to see the joy and smile on people's faces,'" Smith continued. "This blew my mind and put tears in my eyes." 

In fact, Smith was so moved by Cameron's desire to lift others' spirits that he accompanied him to a local supermarket and paid for half of the flowers himself. "If you're in the area (or close) I encourage you to head down to Nobbys Beach, say hello to Cameron and buy a Big Issue," Smith concluded. "He's a beautiful human with a massive heart and A LOT of roses"

That original post has been liked and shared well over 100,000 times, and in a follow-up post from Valentine's Day, Smith shared a video of Cameron giving out the roses to strangers. In the clip, Cameron says this is "the best" he's felt in years, and calls it "an amazing day."

Clearly moved by Cameron's kindness and great attitude, the video also shows those who received roses sharing the love. Some handed Cameron handwritten notes or bought copies of The Big Issue, while others gave him gift baskets or their phone number to use should he ever need help. "Every Valentine's Day from now on I'll do [this]," Cameron concluded. "Even if I get married."

As for how the day went, Cameron told the Gold Coast Bulletin, "It made me feel so good. I used a volunteer at a church, St John's. At the start of the day I worked in the kitchen and as the females and staff came in for lunch I'd give them all a rose."

A Plus reached out to Lance Smith for comment.

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