When members of the YouTube comedy group, Whatever, met a Czech national named Jaroslav in New York City, they knew they needed to do more than include him in a film. Jaroslav didn’t speak much English, but explained that he had come to the United States a few months earlier in hopes of finding work. Things did not work out as he planned. When he lost his job at a Florida hotel, he went back to New York, only to be robbed and then to end up living between homeless shelters and on the streets of New York City. He told member so of the group that all he wanted was to get home to the Czech Republic and see his family. Since the group was handing out warm clothing to people who lived on the street, Jaroslav’s story resonated with them. They fed and clothed him, got him a haircut and shave, and put him up in a hotel. Then, they bought him a plane ticket back to his home near Prague. The owner of a clothing company who was giving away the clothes says it wasn’t cheap, but Brandon Levithan said it was the right thing to do. Levithan said, “He was just stuck all alone. Even though I couldn’t relate to him, I kind of thought about his situation. Like, if I was stranded in any foreign country, how many people I could call to say ‘Please get me home.’ And it didn’t matter what the cost was. But he just didn’t have any support system to get him home. He tried contacting his family but he couldn’t get home. And his own country wouldn’t help him.” Levithan says the filmmakers plan to post a video of the experience as soon as they learn how the story ends.—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell
Good Samaritans meet homeless Czech man in New York, buy him a ticket home, by Tim Sprinkle, http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/good-samaritans-meet-homeless-czech-man-in-new-york--buy-him-a-ticket-home-014832347.html, Accessed November 25, 2013.
1 John 3:17 (NASB) But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?