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Watch This SLU Basketball Player Treat a Homeless Man to KFC, H&M and a Haircut

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Blake Carelli, Michael and Austin McBroom together after a shopping spree.
Buried under the avalanche of selfies, lost-dog announcements and motivational quotes that usually pollute St. Louis' social-media scene is a video so heartwarming and honest that we're willing to forgive it for being a tad preachy.

In a new video, Austin McBroom, a sophomore guard on Saint Louis University's basketball team, and his best friend, Blake Carelli, spend a day with a homeless man they meet on the street. When the homeless man, who goes by Michael, says he hasn't eaten in five days, the guys buy him some Kentucky Fried Chicken. When Michael admits his clothes, which he's worn for years, originally came from the trash, McBroom and Carelli set him up at H&M.

But nothing makes Michael happier than getting a haircut and shave from Carelli's barber. As he removes his visor and shows off his Michael Jordan cut, he remarks that it's his first in years.

"We wanted to put it out there to the community, to let people see that there are people in this world, in our very own city, that are way less fortunate than you are," Carelli tells Daily RFT. "We don't know exactly what people go through, so we said, 'Why don't we go down there and talk to somebody, get their background, see how they actually live.'"

See also: SLU Students, NASA Launch Camera Into Space

Carelli doesn't mind coming across as a little preachy. He and McBroom are both deeply religious and call themselves "followers of Christ," evangelizing by example. That's why they added a text intro to the video of their day with Michael -- to hammer home their message that people too often take blessings for granted.

"[Jesus] never received anything in return, but He was always looking to give to other people," says Carelli. "That's how I live my life, so other people can benefit from what I have to offer to them. I don't look for anything in return."

Carelli says he and McBroom didn't originally plan on turning the day with Michael into a video, but he's glad he did. The YouTube clip has had some success on Facebook and Twitter, and Carelli says even his old high school teachers have seen it and are reaching out to him.

"It's amazing our message that started so small that we just wanted to be between us and a few friends took off across the United States," Carelli says.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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14 comments
Jeff Plodzien
Jeff Plodzien

This is what humanity is about! I don't do it regularly, but maybe a couple times a year. If I see someone who I know is truly homeless and just not trying to scam everyone, I will but them a lunch or dinner or give them some money. People can make a difference!

Danielle C Dumey
Danielle C Dumey

Maybe they didnt fix his life in one day. but a smile and a kind word goes alot further then most think especially when you have nothing to start with. Nice Job guys! But keep doing it, EVERY little bit helps in some way. :) Trust and believe I would rather see teens/young adults doing more things like this in the news then another story of them breaking the law.

Brenda McBride Watson
Brenda McBride Watson

They seem like nice guys and living what they believe in. So not trying to be critical but one day in this homeless guys life didn't fix his problems. He might need mental health counseling, drug or alcohol rehab, job counseling at the least. The money might have been better spent as a donation towards those problems

Quinn Travis
Quinn Travis

Ummm...do u ever think that maybe he wanted it to go viral to send a message out encouraging others to help their fellow man more.....geez.... Dina Shepherd turn something positive into something negative.....good job. God bless this young man, I don't care what his motives were, nor am I going to question it.

Bradley Fastcode
Bradley Fastcode

Hope this video makes you feel better after they got your coffee wrong at Starbuck's earlier.

Dennis Hoppe
Dennis Hoppe

There are lots of people helping people but not video taping it. I'm very glad they helped this man out. Just not sure if it was more for them than him.

Zac Nevill
Zac Nevill

Awesome act of kindness. Happens everyday without the camera running and scripts! Way to go fellas

Dan Hamilton
Dan Hamilton

What a fantastic story! Hats off to him!

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson

Random acts of kindness. Restores faith in humanity.

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