DOUGLASVILLE, GA (WXIA) — The story of a Georgia teen who performed a simple act of kindness touched thousands of people online, and now his community is taking a moment to recognize him.
Phil Powell is a senior at New Manchester High School in Douglas County, and was honored Tuesday night by the Board of Education for a touching gesture earlier this summer when he gave a homeless man the very shoes off his feet.
“We appreciate Phil for shining a positive light on New Manchester High School, the Douglas County School System, and Douglas County,” school officials said in a statement. “We are proud that he is one of ours.”
The moment came as Powell was working as a part-time greeter at Walmart this summer when the 18-year-old spotted a guest.
“I looked at his appearance, and I realized he had no shoes, oversized shirt, oversized pants on, and his wife had holes in her socks, so I just knew, ‘Something’s not right,’” he said. “I know he needs shoes, so let me just be a blessing for somebody else.”
Powell gave the man the pink Converses on his own feet.
Powell says he was just doing what he thought was right. He said people helped him out when he was younger and living without a home.
“I was homeless from I think age 8 till age 18,” Powell said. “I’m 18 now and my last time being homeless was last year, right around my birthday.”
Now, Powell just wants to pass it forward. He says he lives by the following message.
“My life is not the best. But at the end, I’m trying to make it the best. Whether I have something to give or not, if I see someone in need, I will always be willing to give.”