Giving the Shirt off his Back

Giving the Shirt off his Back


Earlier this winter, Joey Pesto, was riding the New York City Subway. He looked behind him and saw what appeared to be a cold, shivering homeless person. No one was helping this man. He later said of others riding in the car, “They were playing it safe.” So, Joey took off his shirt and offered it to the man. The man accepted, but could not lift his arms. Joey then helped put his shirt over the man’s head. Joey returned seconds later to give the man his hat as well. As fate would have it, someone recorded the scene and posted it to Facebook. 46 million hits later, Joey found himself on Inside Edition (video below).

Joe’s Perspective: I think my perspective can be summed up with Joey’s comments, “If you see something wrong and you see something you can do to help, do what you can. Don’t just look and stare and wonder.” It really doesn’t take that much courage to help a stranger in need. You just have to ask yourself how you would like to be treated if the situation was reversed. Go ahead, do the uncommon thing. Be the one who steps up. Don’t worry about what others will think or if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Do the right thing!

Your Turn: When you watch this video, what is your opinion of Joey? What is your opinion of those who stare and wonder, but do nothing?  What do you think you would do in this situation?

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  1. I see compassion. If you can help someone in any way do it. Who cares what others think do what you can to help. I would have done the same thing Joey did.

  2. This man steps and does what others wont because they are scared and have the wrong perception of people that are homeless.

  3. I see kindness and caring in Joey. The people who stared and did nothing probably weren’t willing to give up materialistic things to help a person in need. If I was in that situation I would have done the same thing Joey did.

  4. Joey is a kind soul. He already has made one mans life better and I can see him making more better in the future. Those who stare and wonder are such hypocrites because I’m sure they always tell their friends to help others and be kind but when someone needs help they just stand there or walk past. No matter what if you see someone in need of help or anything you better help them. In this situation I would of encouraged any guy on that subway to hand over their shirt to the poor man and if it came down to it I would get off the subway and buy him a new shirt.

  5. Joey did the right thing and yes Joey is right if someone is in need of help do what you can if you know you can. Don’t just sit and wonder even if its awkward for you do it because if you were in that positions you’d like help. I once too sat there seeing a homeless man wondering what he did to get where he was at. I got up and offered him food so i bought him food and he tanked and you can tell he didn’t eat for days so it felt good to give back.

  6. I would have done what he did. Joey is a leader, people should be looking up to him and achieving acts of kindness just like this man. He saw what should be competed, he saw the bigger picture of the situation, and knew it was the right thing to do. All it takes is a question and an act to make someone happier or make their life better. For the people who saw and didn’t do anything, it is a shame because if it was them, they would want that too. No matter the conditions, it never hurts to try.

  7. Joey knew that if he had been in the position of the man he would be hoping to himself that someone would help him and he wanted to make his thoughts a reality for him.

  8. When I watched this video my opinion of Joey was instantly that he was a very caring person with a big heart. My opinion of those who just stare and wonder but do nothing is that if you are not going to do anything to help don’t sit there and just stare, that is very cold and I would not be able to do that without helping in any kind of way. If I were in this situation I would hand the homeless man money and offer to buy him a shirt or food.

  9. I think that great of what joey did . Helping out homeless is a great thing . Even tho u may not to give up your shirt because it is your favorite that ok . What joey did is awesome . Im going to assume because joey knows it is a great feeling to do something good and he probably thought this homeless man is cold i will give him my shirt because i have plent at home . It doesnt matter what he thought the only thing that matters is he did a generous thing .

  10. My opinion on joey is that hes being a kind man, he went out his way to help another that needed help. When I watch this video I get mad and happy at the same time. Some people just like to stare and not realize what they have and what others don’t. I get happy because joey helped him he didn’t stand around and just look at him like he was crazy. If I were in this situation I would help the man out.

  11. I see a man that is willing to do anything for another person who doesn’t have what he has . This man is just doing what nobody else is doing, everyone is just watching him while he cold, starving.

  12. Joey is a kind heart man with a lot of compassion for others. He seen a man in need of help and instead of just looking away he actually took initiative and did something to help. I think the people who don’t do anything about it have to much pride to do something. I think they might get embarrassed and they might think it will negatively affect their character. Also they can have that attitude of the whole “that’s not cool” theory going on. If I had a shirt or sweater to give to him I most definitely give it to him, if I didn’t I would give him money to buy one.

  13. I see Joey as a good person trying to help someone in need. Joey didn’t care if he was cold he had rather helped the homeless man that was older then worrying about himself.

  14. My opinion on joey is that he is one of a kind like a few other people in this world because n everyone does that . Joey has a big heart for doing the right thing . The people who stare really wouldn’t care because if they really felt bad they would of gave this man anything . Giving this man anything would mean the world to him because all he has is himself .If I were in this situation I would give the poor man money and food or clothing .

  15. More people should be like Joey. Whenever we see a homeless person, most people would ignore them or maybe give them a small amount of money to help. We all need to make a difference in the world whether it will create a small or big impact.

  16. I have a lot of respect for Joey, he saw that someone was in need and he helped him. There should be more people like him and for those who want to do something for someone else they should because it is the small things that make someones day.

  17. I see courage in joey. He did what no one else would do on that subway. He stepped up and helped out a man in need, while everyone else was; “playing it safe”, which is very courageous and bold.

  18. Seeing what Joey did, I thought he was compassionate and respectful. I cannot say much for the people who just sat there and stared because I have no idea what I would do in that situation. I believed I would have helped the man out. I also probably would’ve given him some money to buy something hot.

  19. I see Joey as a role model, or a leader. These are the type of people you want to look up to and eventually become. He cares for others and has a great heart. He doesn’t put himself first, he thinks of others too . In this world we have many selfish people who don’t care about others. We should be grateful for what we have in life because we don’t know how long it will last. There are even people who will give others what they have when they don’t even have much to begin with. These are some of the most respectful and kind people you will find in this world. Most people don’t care much about homeless people and think badly upon them . They believe they are so much lower than they are and don’t consider what they have gone through. It’s a shame but that’s how most people are in this world.

  20. These kinds of people are what you call “bystanders” they are very aware of whats going on right in front of their eyes but choose to ignore the situation, and push it to the side. What this man did was the opposite from a bystander. He’s a leader, and not very often do you see these gestures from someone. He’s a kindhearted man and is a well worthy person in this world. If there were more people like him, our world would be a place of healing and goodness. He could’ve easily gone out of his way and ignored the man who was cold, and shivering but instead decided to remove the shirt off his back, and place it on the man who didn’t have anything. This was a act of kindness, and its truly inspiring.

  21. I am very moved by this and it has inspired me. The man did a simple act of kindness to make the homeless mans day and I think that is very sweet.

  22. i do not think this man is a leader or role model, but i do believe that this action is a good quality that most leaders and role models have.

  23. Joey displays characteristics of a great role model and shows immense courage. What he does for this man is something that other people on the Subway would not do. While everyone else stood back and watched, Joey took a step towards a brighter future for himself and the community.

  24. I feel like the man is putting other people before himself and I respect that, I feel like we need that respect in our country because we just walk by and don’t really see them on the side of the road begging for food or for money.

  25. I feel like the man is putting other people before himself and I respect that, I feel like we need that respect in our country because we just walk by and don’t really see the homeless people on the side of the road begging for food or for money.

  26. I have much respect for Joey. He stepped up and helped the man who was shivering and in true need of help. I believe in stepping up and doing what you can to help someone you see in need. You can’t help every single person in the world, but you can make a difference by doing what you can to help the person in need standing in front of you.

  27. I feel like this guy is showing compassion for the people who are less fortunate than him. He went above and beyond and is getting recognized for it.

  28. Joey stepped up and helped someone in need when no one else would. People need to be more open to helping others, especialy complete strangers who are obviously suffering.

  29. My opinion of Joey is that he´s a great human being for doing this. He took a chance to help a man out and he did. To the people who didn´t do anything, they have their reasons but I think someone should do something. I would like to think that I would have done the same thing, but I would have to be put in the situation first.

  30. He is a good caring man. It is sad that nobody else was willing to help the poor guy. It’d be great if everyone accepted eachother and helped eachother out like that.

  31. This week in character development in my school, we are talking about respect, and this is a great example of respect. Not only does Joe have respect for others to were he would, meteorically and fiscally, give some one the shirt off his back, but I also have great respect for him.

  32. I think that what Joey did was extremely courageous and shows what kind of person he is. Joey did what no one else had the courage to do, and made such a huge difference. He made a huge impact on this homeless man, that he will never forget.

  33. Joey is one in a handful of people who will go out of their way to help a complete stranger. This world will could have the potential to be something so much more if we had more Good Samaritans like Joey.

  34. Joey is one in a handful of people who will go out of their way to help a complete stranger. This world will could have the potential to be something so much more if we had more Good Samaritans like Joey. He’s courageous in his actions and extremely considerate to others.

  35. Joey is part of a handful of people who care about the well being of complete strangers. This world could be so much more if we had more Good Samaritans like Joey.

  36. I see Joey as someone who truly looks out for others and wants to impact people in a positive way. The people who stare and do not do anything are people who are not effecting society in a positive way. I would try to do something to help the man, also.

  37. Joey is a role model to all people. He has a lot of courage and other people should do more actions like him instead of just staring and watching. I want to be more like Joey because I love people and I want to be very helpful to society.

  38. I think that Joey values kindness and knows how and when to act of it. People who sit and watch but don’t do anything are held back with the fear of being awkward in situations. Some aslo don;t feel like it is their responsibility to help others. I would offer something to that man, maybe not the shhirt off my back but i would give him food or something. If i didnt have anything I would at least talk to him and show him kindness.

  39. 1. I see Joey as a brave, compassionate person who is willing to give up his temporary comfort in order to make someone else feel better.
    2. I don’t judge people who stare and wonder but do nothing. It takes a lot of courage to approach someone and sacrifice something for a total stranger.
    3. In this situation, I probably would have the intention to help the man in some way or at least get to know him but I am not sure that I would have the courage to actually act on it.

  40. i think joey is brave for stepping up and doing the right thing when no one else did. the people who sat and watched should have did something to help also. i would’ve helped the man who was shivering instead of watching.