Paying it forward: Hand up, not hand out

Local News
mike namoff & leonardo scott_1534367897124.jpg.jpg

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — One man, who has to walk miles to work, almost didn’t get out of bed Wednesday. But he did, and what came next was a surprise.

Leonardo Scott is homeless and was getting called off his job after walking miles to get there. But, the generosity of one man changed everything.

His debit card was stolen last week and he was left with nothing. But now, it’s all about to change.

“You go straight back and I’ll guide you. Any tags you see out, tuck ’em in guys. Make it look good.”

Scott knows manual work is tough.

“Moving around, getting some things set up, loading the truck.”

But, Scott is proof working hard pays off.

“I had a whole truck come in. We’re unloading stuff, assembling stuff.”

You wouldn’t be able to tell, but he was just hired a few hours ago.

“I’ve been homeless about a month.”

But, he just got a new apartment near Baytowne and was on his way to his other job when he passed This Is It Furniture.

“I put it together, he’s walking to work, and then I started doing the math and I thought, he might be walking four or five miles to work and then back.”

The drive alone takes nearly ten minutes. Scott would walk this far, then get called off work. He was about to give up when he met Mike Namoff.

“Asked him if he knew of any work or had any suggestions. Instead of just sending me on my way, he’s like, ‘Here, grab yourself a newspaper.’ He didn’t have a dollar, so he gave me $20 and a sandwich.”

Thirty minutes later, he gave him a job.

“Complete strangers. We’re complete strangers. I didn’t ask his background. He doesn’t know about me. I don’t know. We’re just helping. I think that’s what makes a difference.”

Namoff said it was all because of Scott’s genuine attitude.

“All of this stuff wasn’t here earlier. He was part of all of it. We’ve got 50 pieces of furniture, throwing stuff in the dumpster. We’re about to do some campus deliveries. He don’t even know that yet.”

Namoff says he’ll also be giving him furniture to fill his new apartment and a sofa and bed for his kids. When Scott asked how he could ever repay Namoff, the response was brief.

“That’s the big thing. I think we need to pay it forward. In our big lives, when we’re taking care of ourselves, pay it forward.”

He’ll be working there until the end of the week when he can get back on his feet at his other job.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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