A “heart shattering” encounter with a homeless woman in McDonald’s has “changed” the life of a Cardiff man who not only helped her out on the night, but has since vowed she will “never go hungry or cold again”.
Jonathon Pengelly met the woman, who he later came to know as Polly, after he ended a night out “in the dreaded McDonald’s queue”.
Writing about the encounter on Facebook, Pengelly said he had to intervene after the fast food chain denied her a request for a cup of hot water.
“I don’t know what was going through their mind but a lady, clearly homeless was asking for a basic human right; and for a multi billion pound company, for them to say no is disgusting.
“My heart was shattered.”
McDonald’s on Tuesday said Polly was denied service because she is banned from the franchise in Cardiff.
In a statement McDonald’s said: “There is no McDonald’s policy to ban homeless people from our stores and the vast majority of such requests are granted by our restaurant teams.
“Working with the local police, our Cardiff stores have had to ban a number of individuals due to illegal and anti-social behaviour which is why this individual was refused service.”
Pengelly told Polly to “order what she wanted”, but was “shocked” when all she requested was a single cheese burger, so “we bought as much as we could carry so I knew she wasn’t going to be hungry”.
And his generosity didn’t end there.
“I couldn’t just leave this lady go (sic), she was so warming and so lovely. So I sat with her, on the cold hard floor, in the middle of winter and you know what I did? I cried my eyes out,” Pengelly wrote.
“You know if people of Cardiff walked passed them and didn’t do anything because, financially, they weren’t in the position, I would understand. But people walked passed (sic) and laughed at them. I don’t care who you are, if this was you; and you’re reading this I hate you.”
Pengelly said after speaking with Polly he was “shocked” at her story and how educated and full of “life and enthusiasm” she was, despite having “nothing”.
So Pengelly invited Polly and her friend to his house where they cooked enough food to feed them and their friends for the next few nights. He also let them take a shower. “Both said they have ever (sic) felt so appreciated in their life.”
Pengelly implored others to help out the homeless, writing on Facebook that his small act of kindness had cost him just £20.
“I know 90% of people reading this will earn about 10 times that a day.
“It costs nothing to be kind, and I genuinely hope people share this to raise awareness of homelessness throughout the UK.”
Since meeting, Pengelly said he and Polly had spoken on the phone and he had promised her that she will “never go hungry or cold again! I’ve given her blankets, pillows and a back pack full of food.”
Pengelly ended his post, which has been shared over 30,000 times, by encouraging others to “spare a little thought” for those less fortunate.
“If you see someone on the streets, don’t look down on them like they’re nothing. You don’t know what they’ve been though! spare a little thought!
“I don’t cate (sic) if I look like shit cause I’m crying. Polly, you’ve changed me.”