His plan was to help pass out food to homeless people in Louisville, Kentucky, on Labor Day, but one encounter led 14-year-old Laron Tunstill, Jr., to give his shoes away to someone in need.
The inspiring gesture came when Tunstill, known by friends as Ron Ron, went out into his community to do homeless outreach with Purp.me, an area nonprofit organization centered on "teaching our community how to uplift one another," the charity's website said.
"Ron Ron and I went out with bean soup and corn bread and just went out to spread love in our neighborhood," Jason Reynolds, founder of Purp.me, told ABC News.
"We saw a homeless man who had holes in his shoes, and, without hesitation, Ron Ron took the shoes off his feet and gave it away," he continued. "They sat and talked to each other. The homeless man explained that he had gone through a lot of loss and hurt in his life, and Ron Ron was very moved by his story."
Reynold's shared the photo, which has since gone viral. He said Tunstill's selfless act is just part of a bigger movement to "overshadow violence and negativity in the community."
"I started these Purp.me teams to replace the gangs and violence in our streets with community outreaches and love in our streets," he said. "We may not have much ourselves, but we do the best with what we got. We just want to start a movement of people loving and uplifting one another."
For Tunstill, the encounter was reminiscent of a situation all too familiar. According to Reynolds, the friendly teen was a "wild kid" who "grew up in a rough area where people get shot all the time."
"The streets affected him a little, and at one point, he was fighting more, being disrespectful," Reynolds explained, adding that, during Tunstill's "bad phase," he mentored him.
During that mentorship, Tunstill had a "change of heart" because of "God's grace," Reynolds said.
"Now, he's the one mentoring other kids," the Purp.me founder told ABC. "It's amazing. He's just so passionate to make a change in the world and inspire other people."
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