A man dressed in ripped clothes who walks on Lake Street’ in Minneapolis usually spends his day begging for change. But when he strolled into Cesia Abigail’s cafe two weeks ago, he got something more valuable than a few spare cents.
Instead of turning away the man like most people would have done, Cesia Abigail, the cafe’s 25-year-old owner asked the man:
“Why don’t you have a job? You know nothing is given to me for free, right?”
The man named Marcus bowed his head in an effort to avoid eye contact and told Abigail:
“Well, I have a lot of felonies and no one wants to hire me for that. So, now I had to turn myself to the streets and get money the only way I know — stealing and asking for money.”
Abigail, whose business has hit a rough patch, offered the man a dishing washing job for the day despite her hard times. Abigail told Marcus:
“You want a job? Then I have one for you,”
Marcus, with a big grin on his face gladly accepted Abigail’s offer, saying:
“I will do anything for food.”
Cesia Abigail told CBS news:
“A lot of people are saying I’ve been a blessing for him, but at that point I was the one who needed a blessing,”
Before starting to wash dishes, Abigail gave him a sandwich and Marcus did something completely unexpected with it.
Marcus cut his sandwich in half, wrapped it in foil, then walked outside and gave a homeless woman the sandwich.
When asked about Marcus’ actions Abigail said:
“That really touched me”
Marcus ended up washing dishes for two hours, which was all Abigail could afford to pay him. The next day Marcus returned to the cafe again for work.
Since his first day at Abi’s Cafe more than two weeks ago, Marcus has been washing dishes each day for two hours. Abigail said she plans to reward Marcus by making his position permanent.
When asked about her treatment of Marcus, Abigail responded saying:
“Some restaurants wouldn’t even let you use their restroom. I don’t judge someone on how they look — go use it. I do not treat [homeless people] any different. If restaurants and businesses don’t do anything to help the less fortunate, then they become part of the problem”
Last weekend after Abigail shared Marcus’ story on Facebook, her post was shared over 30,000 times and got more than 1,500 comments. In essence, Abigail said that we as individuals have an obligation to help those need because it’s the right thing to do, no matter their past.
Some of the comments on Abigail’s post were:
“We need more people like this. We are all human; we make mistakes.”
“All we need sometimes is a helping hand,” another said.
Marcus has been living on the streets since he was 16 years old and it’s the only life that he knows.
“It’s going to be hard for him to let go of whatever addiction he has. I want to help [him], but [he] needs to want to help [himself.]”
Abigail has even offered to help Marcus’ out by managing his money better and saving 10% of each paycheck.
When asked about why she helped Marcus in the first place, Abigail said:
“Just like Marcus, I had my help. I had plenty of people to help make it to where I am today. They believed I could do it. People need to have someone believe in them.”
Perhaps Cesia Abigail is right, it is unfair to assume that a person is a lost cause and it is just as wrong to assume that life success is achieved all on its own. If Abigail has taught us anything, it’s that next time you see someone in need, offer them help or at least don’t degrade them for the life they are currently living.