In a YouTube video that has gone viral, magician Rob Anderson walks up to a homeless U.S. Army veteran and rips his sign to pieces. If the video stopped there, it would be a despicable act.
Fortunately, it doesn’t. In fact, it gets much better.
Even as Alan McCracken watched a stranger destroy the sign he uses to collect money, he remained as respectful as you’d expect a military veteran to be.
“Can I keep the magic marker to make another sign?” McCracken asks in the video.
Then the magic happens — literally. Anderson is seen somehow restoring the ripped up sign to its original form, except the new sign is filled with money. It's quite a trick.
“How did you do that?” McCracken asked in amazement. “That’s so cool man!”
Since being posted on October 1, the video has received more than 1.8 million views.
But Anderson went even further after the video went viral. He set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the homeless military veteran. So far, more than $9,310 has been raised, almost reaching the $10,000 goal.
“Since filming the video, I have located Alan again and gotten to know him. Alan is just as kind in person as he appears in the video. He can often be seen in downtown Las Vegas with a large sign that says ‘SMILE’, just trying to bring a smile to strangers’ faces, even if they don’t give him any money,” Anderson wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“After speaking with Alan, he told me ‘I’m not out here to fill my pockets… I’m out here to fill my soul. The Lord will provide what I need.’ Alan does not do any drugs, and is proud to tell you about overcoming alcoholism much earlier in life,” he added. “He would love to find a job, but as he explained to me, it’s difficult to find a job when you don’t have a home to clean yourself up in, or a decent change of clothes to wear. If there’s anyone who would be deserving of assistance to get back on their feet, it is Alan McCracken.”