Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Some holiday cheer for St. Pete's homeless

Evander Preston (middle) hands out gifts to the homeless at Williams Park indowntown St. Petersburg. Preston became the homeless' Santa Claus, giving all the good street men and women what they really wanted for Christmas.

Photo from Creative Loafing

At first, the homeless people who live in St. Petersburg's Williams Park didn't seem to notice. Strangers offering handouts aren't an unusual occurrence.

But Evander Preston's gift was a half-pint bottle of aged Kentucky bourbon with a Thompson torpedo cigar taped to it.

The crowd loved it. "Sir, you're going to heaven," said Jack Cross, a homeless Vietnam veteran and park regular.

Not everyone will agree, but it seems to me that this is what the spirit of Christmas is all about. Preston's gesture may not be a popular or politically correct, but he did it with the intent of spreading goodwil and joy to the less fortunate.

Read the Creative Loafing column here.


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