One man decided to make sure that everyone had something warm to eat during the cold winter months after losing his son who lived on the streets to drug overdose.
Massachusetts resident Peter Kelleher lost his 33-year-old son, Travis, three years ago, and said that it made him realise he had to do something to make a difference in the lives of the homeless. He became ‘Soupman’ who serves hot soup to the poor and the homeless on the streets.
“I had to do something,” he said. “And I came up with this brainstorm that I was going to make soup, and bring it out to the homeless.”
He encountered a woman one day who he said “could have been (his) mother” who did not have a hat or gloves. He was troubled by her plight, and gave her his own hat and gloves in a simple act that quickly went viral. A movement called “Support the Soupman” was born, and people started donating to Kelleher.
Al Roker joined Kelleher at work recently to see how warm clothes and hot homemade soup was making a difference to those in need.
He said, “It’s pretty simple, people helping people,” said Kelleher. “And it doesn’t take much to put a smile on someone’s face.”
Nowadays, he passes out soup and clothes from a set of school buses. “You don’t see people handing soup out of a school bus!” joked Al, as he helped Kelleher distribute cups of soup to those who approached.
His colorful school bus is now a source of hot soup and warm clothes for anyone who needs them. Kelleher estimates that since he first started this project, he’s given out more than 3,000 cups of soup, and has donated tens of thousands of winter clothes. He even travels with a portable shower, allowing people without homes to enjoy a hot shower.
He is now being invited by other cities and towns in different states asking him to bring his buses there and spread the message of how a cup of hot soup and warm clothes can help someone.
When Al asked Kelleher, “What does a hot cup of soup mean?” He answered, “Warmth and kindness and love,” Kelleher responded. “That’s what it means to me.”
Jesus said in Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’