Unfortunately, there are still many people who roam the streets on a daily basis, with no food, help or a roof above their head. According to statistics from the Coalition of the Homeless, it’s estimated that there are about 65,000 homeless people in New York City alone, including almost 25,000 children without a place to stay.
One musician from New York decided that he would do what he loves best to help some of these homeless people and families out.
The man, Will Boyajian, works as a musician and actor and performs as a street musician in the Big Apple in his spare time.
Just like many others, Will collects money in his open guitar case, but he always performs with a sign that reads:
“If you’re homeless or need help, take as much as you need from the case. I just like to play. #Hopefulcases”
In other words, Will is actively encouraging homeless New Yorkers to take some of the money of the tips that he’s received. Will was so touched by seeing the homeless people in his city, so he decided to do something about it.
At first, he started playing and donating money to homeless strangers just a couple of times, but he has since grown his generous activities into a charity organization called Hopeful Cases.
Will has even inspired other street musicians to do exactly the same.
“Hopeful Cases is an NYC based charity that uses busking and street performing to help combat the ever-growing problem of homelessness and poverty on an interpersonal level. We send performers down into the subways and into the streets to play for those who have, and give to those who have not,” their website reads.
“Our musicians do not take money from the case, and they do not take a salary. We are New Yorkers who care and people who love to play music.”
One of the NYC commuters snapped a picture of Will and posted it on Reddit, where it quickly went viral and was seen by hundreds of thousands of people.
The viral post also caught the attention of Will himself, and he was more than happy to elaborate on his musical activities to help people.
“I’m the guy playing in the picture. This is a project I started about a year ago, to keep myself from going crazy in NYC.”
“When I moved to NYC from little ol’ Upstate New York the issue of homeless really bothered me. This was how I felt I could help. The point of this project was to change the way we think about giving, the homeless and poverty.”
“As anyone who lives in NYC or any major city knows, your options are either to ignore it, notice till it eats you up, or do something. This is what I thought I could do. These people in need are our neighbors and fellow New Yorkers, and I didn’t wanna ignore them.”
“I’ve met some awesome people and had my notions of homelessness flipes 100 times. We’ve got a few other artists in the city who play with us, and to those wondering we do give 100% of the money away. We do this for fun.”
Will’s post was met by tons of comments about his amazing project, and he now hopes that more street musicians will join his cause. People also asked him a number of questions, and he gladly took the time to answer them.
For example, he mentions that there haven’t been many people who took all of the money at once because they wanted to leave something behind for the next person who needed help.
Unfortunately, the man also reveals that he’s received lots of criticism over the past year because people believe it’s a scam or a publicity stunt. Luckily, the positive comments far outweigh the negative ones and Will is happy to help out in any way he can.
An amazing and heartwarming initiative!
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