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04th May 2024

Businessman rewards boy after he mistook him for a homeless man

Ryan Price

A potentially awkward mistake resulted in an unlikely friendship.

A wealthy businessman had his “faith restored in humanity” when a 9-year-old boy offered to give him a dollar when he mistook him for a homeless person.

Matt Busbice, a successful entrepreneur and owner of a sporting goods store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had a rude awakening one morning when he was risen by a fire alarm going off inside his apartment complex.

As he explained to CBS News, the 42-year-old shot out of bed and ran outside to discover that there was no fire. Now that he was up, he decided to head down the street for his morning coffee, unperturbed by his mismatched clothes and dishevelled look.

When he reached the cafe, he realised that he hadn’t done his routine morning prayer yet, and decided to find a quiet spot in the corner of the shop’s patio in order to fulfil his daily ritual.

Security footage from the premises shows that as Busbice slowly began to get up after his prayer, he was approached by a boy with his fist clenched.

Expecting a confrontation, Busbice stood up, and as he did the boy opened his hand to reveal a $1 bill which he then offered to the affluent business owner.

According to Busbice, nine-year-old Kelvin Ellis Jr said: “If you’re homeless, here’s a dollar.”

Ellis says he had just received the dollar from his parents for good grades, and it was the only money he had to his name.

Instead of being insulted or offended by the boy’s assumption, Busbice was touched, and invited Ellis in to the cafe so that he could buy him a snack.

While sharing breakfast, the two were joined by Ellis’ father and all three of them formed a connection.

At the end of the meeting, Busbice promised to stay in touch and, days later, as a reward for his kindness, Busbice gave Ellis a shopping spree.

He took him to his sporting goods store – BuckFeather – and gave him a timer of 40 seconds to run around and choose anything he wanted.

As pleased as he looked standing alongside his new camo bike, Kelvin said the real satisfaction came from potentially helping somebody out.

“Joy, because I helped someone,” Ellis said. “Give something away, and you feel like you’ve got a lot of things from it.”

Busbice was taken aback by the 9-year-old’s maturity and sense of value. “If you give, you’re actually going to get more out of that,” he said. “I couldn’t grasp that as a kid. And if we can spread that around, everything changes.”

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