PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A man from Philadelphia is celebrating the holiday by giving back to people who need it most.
David Alexander Jenkins is giving hope to the homeless with a simple Christmas card and a few dollars.
“They don’t expect me to walk past them. They may see me at soup kitchens every now and again, they may see me around the streets, but they have no clue that they’re going to get money in a card,” said Jenkins. “They don’t even know what’s in the card, they just see a card for Christmas.”
He lives in Rittenhouse Square, but for Jenkins, community is about more than just the neighbors down the hall.
“The ones who live underneath us, and by that I mean, underneath us in the subway systems, underneath us in the park,” he said.
Jenkins’ passion to serve blossomed years ago, following a walk from Market Street to Chestnut Street with his father.
“We walked along the sides and saw people living in boxes and newspaper as blankets,” said Jenkins.
After years of serving soup at Saint Mark’s Soup Kitchen, Jenkins wanted to do something more.
So for the last 10 years, he’s spent hours in the subways around Christmas time, giving out cards with anywhere between $20 to $100 tucked safely inside.
That’s how “Merry Christmas From: Anonymous” was born.
“I give them out to people thinking they’re going to have a little bit of Christmas joy where otherwise they wouldn’t,” said Jenkins.
This year he’s raised some of his funds using GoFundMe.
He hopes to give away about $2,000 to the homeless in his community one cards at a time.
“You learn the stories of people, one by one, and you see them, and you worship with them, and you commune with them, and you see that there’s humanity there,” said Jenkins.
So far, Jenkins has raised just over $1,000 on his GoFundMe page.
He hopes to make it to $3,000.
If you’d like to contribute, he’s keeping the fundraiser open for the holidays.