LOS ANGELES — By any logical standard, two years ago Eugene Yoon made the craziest decision of his life.
“I remember kind of just like looking up at the sky and being like, ‘God, are you sure about this? ‘Cause I’m pretty happy right now,’” Eugene said. “It felt like a calling.”
What Eugene felt called to do was one really big random act of kindness. He didn’t know who he was supposed to help or how, all he knew was that he had to help someone and it had to be life-altering.
And that’s when a video came across his Facebook page.
As we first reported in 2015, it was a video of a guy he never met named Arthur Renowitzky. After being mugged, shot and paralyzed 10 years ago, Arthur vowed that he would walk again someday. And when Eugene heard about that, he called Arthur immediately.
“He wasn’t going to give up until I was walking again,” Arthur said.
And Eugene did not have a medical degree. “I have a film degree,” he said.
Which makes you wonder then, how was Eugene going to make him walk again? “This is the part… I had no idea,” he said.
Eventually though, he learned about an exoskeleton device that can help some people walk again. Unfortunately, it costs about $80,000.
So, to pay for it, Eugene quit his job at a research company in Northern California, to hike from the California-Mexico border to Canada.
Along the way he posted videos of the adventure and asked people to donate on social media. Until, ‘round about mid-Washington state, Eugene learned that he had reached his fundraising goal.
A few weeks later, Arthur did walk — right into the arms of the total stranger who made it all possible.
“I call him my brother now. We are brothers. I’m just very thankful to have a friend like him.” Arthur said.
Since his story first aired, Eugene has been looking for another total stranger to help with another huge act of kindness.
And here he is: Alberto Velasquez lives in poverty with 24 family members under one roof.
Eugene met Alberto’s family on Skid Row in Los Angeles and then hired Alberto, a skilled seamster, to help start a clothing line called KIN LOV GRA. Proceeds will guarantee Alberto and his family a living wage and fund many other kindness projects to come.
Eugene may have started with a walk, but is now clearly up and running.
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