A woman posted a picture of a homeless man sleeping inside a McDonald's and posted it on Facebook as a shaming attempt.
Little did she know her scheme would backfire.
The young man in the photo taking a nap on a bench in the dining area of the restaurant was 21-year-old Simon Childs.
Childs is an employee at the fast-food chain and was working a shift at the Fayette County location.
The female customer snapped the photo while he was sleeping on his break and posted it to a group page on Facebook.
According to WSB-TV, she wrote:
"Just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville. I was in the McDonald's in the middle of town and I saw this guy sleeping in the booth."
"I go and tell an employee that someone is asleep in their booth and her response was 'oh yeah, we know hee hee, it's ok' and I said 'not really but whatever'."
The unnamed woman had no idea that Childs had his fair share of hardships. He had been grieving over the loss of his mother and was working overnight shifts in order to help raise his baby son.
He told WSB's Matt Johnson:
"I've been going through a hard time with my mom passing. Everything I do, I want to work for it."
You can watch the full report on Childs' story here.
Woman taunts McDonald's employee for sleeping at work; turns out there's more to story www.youtube.com
After the interview, Johnson took to social media and updated WSB viewers.
A woman took a picture of a man asleep at a McDonalds and complained on Facebook, and how the community responded c… https://t.co/wsapQAPSOA— Matt Johnson (@Matt Johnson)1561420550.0
Childs was hurt upon discovering that his photo was circulating around the internet.
"It kind of hurt to see my picture up there, you know? I thought it was something negative and nobody would care about it."
But then, the unexpected happened. Instead of facing perpetual embarrassment for the photo, it elicited empathy from WSB viewers who reached out to the news station and offered support.
Childs returned to work and was pleased to find that a community in Georgia left boxes of clean clothes and fresh diapers for the young father.
"They changed my life in a couple of days."
Since his story aired on the news, things began looking up. Childs updated Johnson, telling him that he got a free haircut and acquired another job opportunity.
He also shared news that he secured a permanent place for him and his son to live.
Since our story aired last night, Simon received a free haircut from a local barber. He has a new job opportunity t… https://t.co/nj5IeWwVCX— Matt Johnson (@Matt Johnson)1561505040.0
Childs wasn't the only one moved by the kind gesture.
Chefs Xavier and Theo Thomas who own and operate Fusion Chefs Eatery down the street on Glynn Street South were also touched by Childs' story. They offered to lend him a car for job interviews.
Also...he has a car! The owners of The Fusion Chefs Eatery in Fayetteville have let Simon borrow a car as he works… https://t.co/FWEHPvlbeC— Matt Johnson (@Matt Johnson)1561505051.0
Xavier Thomas told the news station:
"It just touched our heart."
Theo Thomas also weighed, saying:
"It definitely will help him get around and give him a better opportunity."
Twitter shared their thoughts on his story.
@MattWSB Such an awesome positive turn to this story. Humanity isn't as doomed as we sometimes think lately,— lebeau32 (@lebeau32)1561513286.0
@MattWSB Love seeing such good people coming together to help out this young man and his baby. Maybe the woman who… https://t.co/QIuYSSFPPJ— JenGirl (@JenGirl)1561518246.0
@MattWSB @rolandsmartin What the enemy meant for his bad, God had it for his good...#GodIsGreat— Allie the Great (@Allie the Great)1561497153.0
@MattWSB I was JUST at that McDonalds last night. Had I known, I would have dropped off a donation. I have lived in… https://t.co/PtfXcDf29F— S. Marlene Wimberly (@S. Marlene Wimberly)1561467019.0
@MattWSB There are no chance encounters when blessings & mercy flow! She is the reason he is being elevated! We can… https://t.co/OKtjT03vmb— Burton55r@yahoo.com (@Burton55r@yahoo.com)1561514530.0
People asked how to contact Childs to offer additional assistance.
@2BGMEDIA @MattWSB Do you think I can call that McDonalds and make a donation over the phone? If so, could you plea… https://t.co/JCT2E8lJCb— Patriots #1 Fan (@Patriots #1 Fan)1561510237.0
@2Squirly @MattWSB Sure. The young man’s name is Simon Childs and he works the overnight shift. This will be his la… https://t.co/vZGZFPa5JM— S. Marlene Wimberly (@S. Marlene Wimberly)1561510694.0
As for the woman who tried to embarrass him on social media, Childs holds no ill will.
In fact, he is choosing to stay positive.
"I'm not homeless, not now, thanks to her."
According to the woman, she told WSB off-camera that she meant no harm by targeting Childs specifically in her Facebook post.
@MattWSB I have a good feeling that she learned a valuable lesson and is a better person for making a mistake. But,… https://t.co/rwKUjs1TdB— Laura B Touchstone (@Laura B Touchstone)1561436290.0
@MattWSB She’s going to regret this. It’s not cool to shame someone who has been through so much in life. She want… https://t.co/7p1Y4Cs83w— Susan W. Graham 🌊 (@Susan W. Graham 🌊)1561504091.0
Childs remains grateful for his recent change in fortune.
"I didn't think the community would even care enough to do that, but they care."
Everyone goes through a rough period in life, and Childs' story is a good reminder that we should show more compassion towards those who are down on their luck.
Besides, Facebook stories should focus on our own experiences, not that of strangers.
If you are interested in helping Simon Childs, you can make a donation on his GoFundMe page, HERE.