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A homeless man has received £12,400 in donations after capturing the hearts of strangers in a series of viral videos.
Mike, 46, felt good when he was handed the money while sitting in the car of his friend Flip Wu, 24.
The couple met when Mike offered to clean the windows of Philips car in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
After graduation, Phillip traveled the country making videos for his social media accounts.
After initially refusing to talk to Mike, he decided to buy him a sandwich and offered him a car seat to escape the -10C temperature.
The two men struck up an unlikely friendship and Philip posted clips of his conversations on TikTok that attracted millions of viewers.
Soon we were approached by strangers who wanted to donate money to help, and within days thousands of dollars were pledged.
The next time they met over dinner, Philip handed over some of the money and revealed the results of the online fundraiser, recording Mike’s surprised and heartbroken reaction.
Philip Wu and Mike met in New Haven and struck up an unlikely friendship (Photo: SWNS).
Content creator Phillip, from Newport Beach, California, said: It was probably one of the best experiences of my life.
When I started this venture eight months ago, to live in my car and make videos, my dream was to give a large sum of money to a deserving person and change their life.
I never thought I’d make it another eight months.
We can help the homeless in the United States because just $17,000 changed their lives – we can make a difference in these people’s lives.
The money that changed his life is enough for Mike to live in a warm place for a year (Photo: SWNS)
For the past eight months, Phillip has been living in his car and traveling across the country.
He was at a bus stop on his way to New York when he saw Mike on the 31st. January 2021 met.
As they began to communicate with each other, they discovered that they had more in common than they initially thought.
Phillip said: I thought we were two sides of the same coin. We were both in a difficult situation, and at one point I decided to return to my family, but he didn’t – we found common ground until we broke up.
Strangers wanted to donate after seeing viral video (Photo: SWNS)
It was like living my dream, and he told me it was his dream to travel someday.
He is fighting for his life and trying to support his girlfriend for the rest of his life, and I live off my car in my spare time.
Mike told Phillip that his father had died when he was young and that he had lost touch with his family.
In his TikTok videos, he has admitted to being in jail multiple times.
But after his mother died last year, he decided to earn an honest living and started filling up with gasoline or washing windows.
Mike used some of the money to buy clothes, food and a phone (Photo: SWNS).
Philip admitted that his father died when he was young, and that he just decided to live in his car and move around after quitting his job as a bank analyst.
Phillip said: We have both suffered loss and it has brought us together.
I talked about the family we come from and how we ended up in this situation.
A few days later, Phillip posted soul-to-soul clips on his TikTok and YouTube accounts, and overnight those videos went viral, with nearly two and a half million views.
The vlogger said: I never thought any of these videos would be so successful.
I didn’t think it would be more than helping him, talking to him, getting to know him.
I just wanted to record a video of me and Mike sharing our experiences.
On the 12th. In February, on Chinese New Year’s Day, Philip handed Mike a red envelope containing $1,000 in cash – the most he could get in a short time – and he burst into tears.
Philip engaged financial advisors to help Mike manage his money responsibly and get his life back on track.
Mike bought clothes, food and a phone so they could keep in touch. He is also in the process of obtaining his social security number and birth certificate and applying for subsidized housing.
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