An often overlooked segment of the population is the homeless—especially among veterans. According to the latest statistics from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 57,849 veterans are homeless on any given night.
While we tend to see them at intersections and on highways, too many roll their windows up and look the other way.
Popular YouTube personality and magician Rob Anderson often tries to help the homeless. He usually starts with a magic trick, and finishes with a large donation.
In his most recent video, Anderson approached Alan McCracken, a homeless veteran, who was holding a sign that read, “Homeless. Trying to get by. Anything helps. God Bless.” Beside him was a sign that read, “Smile.” According to Anderson, Alan would try to make everybody’s day a little better with a smile-even if they did not give him anything.
Anderson, playing the part of a punk, walked up to Alan and asked if anything really did help. He then proceeded to take his sign from him, and rip it up in front of his eyes.
Just before Anderson’s big reveal, Alan asked,
“Are you one of those street musicians (he likely meant magicians)? You’re going to turn that into wad of money?”
After he asked his question, Anderson opened the sign, which was fully restored, and out fell a good amount of money. After the video ended, according to Anderson, he stuck around and helped him pick up the money.
Anderson makes homeless veteran’s day.
Watch the video with Rob Anderson and Alan McCracken below:
Mr. Anderson did not stop there. In the description under the YouTube video, Anderson included a link to a gofundme.com page he set up to help Alan.
According to the page,
Alan McCracken is a United States Army veteran who proudly served his country for 6 years before being honorably discharged. After his service ended, he fell on hard times and wound up homeless, living on the streets and eventually making his way to Las Vegas. Many will recognize Alan from the “Magician Rips Up A Homeless Man’s Sign ” viral video, where I, Rob Anderson did a magical stunt with his sign by tearing, restoring it and producing money from it. Many who watched the video were struck by Alan’s kindness toward me by picking up a pen cap that I dropped while drawing on his sign (if you haven’t seen the video, please watch it to understand context). Requests have poured in for more info about Alan by people wanting to know his story and how they can help.
Since filming the video, I have located Alan again and gotten to know him. Alan is just as kind in person as he appears in the video. He can often be seen in downtown Las Vegas with a large sign that says “SMILE”, just trying to bring a smile to strangers’ faces, even if they don’t give him any money. After speaking with Alan, he told me “I’m not out here to fill my pockets… I’m out here to fill my soul. The Lord will provide what I need”. Alan does not do any drugs, and is proud to tell you about overcoming alcoholism much earlier in life. He would love to find a job, but as he explained to me, it’s difficult to find a job when you don’t have a home to clean yourself up in, or a decent change of clothes to wear. If there’s anyone who would be deserving of assistance to get back on their feet, it is Alan McCracken.
I am starting this fund for Alan to provide him with a motel room in Las Vegas for 2 months, food, new clothes that he can wear to job interviews, and other basic necessities.