Social experiment videos always catch our eye, but this recent clip from two Vancouver men really captures the spirit of Christmas and gets us thinking about what the season of giving really means.
Walking around downtown, especially this time of year, we are constantly reminded of how grateful we are to have a roof over our heads, warm clothes and enough to eat. But when the opportunity to help someone in need is right in front of us, do we do enough?
Terence Chung and his friend Richard Garda, owners of the YouTube account VanCityVideo, asked the same question. “We have all done it – turned away someone who needed our help just because we didn’t want to be bothered or we felt we had nothing to spare,” Terrance admits.
He wanted to see if the excuse “I don’t have anything to give” was enough to turn down someone asking for help.
With an experiment in mind, he and Richard approached Trench, a homeless man sleeping outside Waterfront Station. When asked what he needed, Trench only had one humble request – socks.
“We brought him some socks and extra clothing as well. When we came back a second time, he showed us an act of generosity that deserves to be recognized.”
Terence says the video was inspired by their own personal experiences with those asking for help. “This video was a great opportunity to try to challenge our perception of why we were always so hesitant [to help].”
From the start, the experiment wasn’t a guaranteed success. “We were extremely nervous for this video shoot. We had no idea whether this project would work out or not as this was not a staged
interaction. We wanted to catch only genuine moments.”
“We were nervous especially about how Trench (the man in the video) would react if Richard walked up to him and asked for help. It really could have gone either way. Trench did not have a lot (as you could see in the video, he only had a small shopping cart of clothing), and to me it was completely understandable if he would not want to help Richard out,” Terence told Vancity Buzz in an email.
The video was filmed over one day on Saturday, December 13. The men partnered with Save-On-Meats who donated 15 Save-On-Meats vouchers for the pair to distribute.
That act of generosity is documented in the pair’s video below. Give it a watch to see how generous people can be.