Customer gives 10K to homeless Christian newspaper vendors

Customer gives 10K to homeless Christian newspaper vendors (Image 1)

A regular customer of a homeless couple selling the FaithUnity Outloud street paper decided to give the couple a cashier's check for $10,000 last week.

Edith Puckett and her fiance Stephen Gilland have been selling the street paper for around eight months.

They were selling the paper Wednesday in the West End area of Nashville when a regular customer bought a paper.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, returned a few days later after becoming moved by the stories.

“Friday, he came looking for us, took us to lunch and he said he wanted to help us open a checking account,” Puckett said.

The man took the couple to a local bank, but it was too late for Gilland to open a checking account. The man took then took the couple back to the motel where they rent a room.

He then gave them $60 to pay for their room and an envelope with a check.

“When we got out of the car he said the check was for $200. I just went in the room and stuck it in the drawer,” Puckett said. “A couple hours later we took it out to look at it and it was for $10,000.”

Gilland said, “It was because Jesus put it in his heart to help us.”

The couple was able to purchase a motor home to sleep in from now on, pay some bills, help some of the other homeless people they know and save some of the money.

“This guy took the time to look at the inside, not the outside,” Puckett said. “He saw me the way Jesus sees me as someone worth helping.”

FaithUnity Outloud was started by a member of Global Vision Bible Church. The church, made up of around 300 members, is located in Mount Juliet.

The congregation has been publishing the paper for around eight months. The paper focuses on Christian based themes.

Many of the articles deal with issues like forgiveness.

“It is not just homeless awareness, but transformation of the heart,” lead pastor Greg Locke said. “It is not just getting you some clothes or getting you a hotel room.”

He continued, “Even some of our [members] who have fallen on hard times have sold it at times just to get ahead.”

The paper has 120 active vendors who sell the paper in Nashville, Franklin and Hermitage.

Pastor Locke said the paper is part of the church's commitment to the homeless community.

“Jesus was a homeless guy,” Locke said. “He said the foxes have holes, the birds have nests, but the son of man doesn't have a place to lay his head.”

Locke said members have been inspired by the change the paper has created for many of the vendors who sell it. Some of the vendors have become members of the church.

“It has lit a fire within our church and a lot of the folks come to our church now,” he said. “We have seen people's lives transformed. They get off dope and get into places where their life is different.”

People interested in selling FaithUnity Outloud can sign up Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Church Street.

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