- Last Updated: 5:59 AM, December 1, 2012
- Posted: 2:00 AM, December 1, 2012
The city’s homeless experienced a boost in random acts of kindness yesterday as people were inspired to do good by the story of the hero NYPD cop who bought boots for a barefoot, shivering homeless man.
“I’m getting more money today,” said Judy, who was panhandling in the Port Authority Bus Terminal with her walker.
She credited the feel-good story of Officer Larry DePrimo — who spent roughly $50 of his own money to buy boots and socks for an unidentified homeless man in Times Square — for “bringing attention” to the plight of the homeless.
“When you are blessed, you should pass it on. They should make that cop a hero,” she said.
James McGrath, panhandling near Grand Central, said police have been nicer to him since the story came out.
“I’ve been called ‘brother’ twice by cops, yesterday and today,” he noted. “I take that as a good thing. That doesn’t usually happen.”
McGrath was moved by DePrimo’s kindness, and said he could sympathize with the shoeless man because he’s had his own boots stolen while sleeping.
“That affected me,” McGrath said of the cop’s generosity. “It was nice.”
Kerrin Randolph, who was begging in a wheelchair by a Grand Central subway elevator, had also heard about DePrimo.
“It doesn’t surprise me. You have to do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” he said.
“People give what they can,” he added, smiling even as a crowd walked past him without looking. “I’m blessed.”
Dominguez Lincoln, who was sprawled out among bags of his possessions at the terminal, said DePrimo “represents the 10 percent of Americans that do good.”
Nearby, New Yorker Quetzal Curry handed out McDonald’s cheeseburger meals to the homeless outside the bus station.
“I hadn’t even heard about the officer and the boots — I’d planned to do this today, but for any of us, it should be about paying it forward,” she said.
Curry hit the streets with a group of friends from Synergy Education, a Manhattan adult-education firm that runs personal-growth seminars.
As she and pals handed meals to two men on Ninth Avenue, the recipients were overcome with emotion.
“They were literally crying,” said the stunned Curry. “And it was so cold out.”
One pal gave his sweat shirt to the men, and Curry went back to her car to fetch blankets for them.
DePrimo yesterday continued to receive praise from thousands of strangers, many of whom posted kudos on the NYPD’s Facebook page. “The world needs more people like you!” posted Carol Hover, of upstate.
“Thank you! My daughter and I are going to NYC in the morning and rather than looking up, I think we will be doing a lot more looking at the people around us.”