Rivers Prather, who was 17 at the time, is forever grateful for Jimmy Gilleece's act of compassion.
Jimmy Gilleece, who owns a bar in Wrightsville, North Carolina, ended up saving a homeless teen's life in the most unexpected way. One day, he learned that one of his customers had lost her wallet at the bar, and inside it, was an incredibly valuable item: her wedding ring. She was inconsolable and Gilleece assured her that he would find the wallet and the ring. "She was frantic, really upset about it, so it just became my mission," Gilleece said, according to CBS News.
So, Gilleece looked through security footage to see if he could spot anything that gave him an idea of what happened to the wallet. He spent time looking through three hours’ worth of security footage from six cameras, scanning every detail and closely monitoring every clip. He finally discovered that the patron had forgotten her wallet on a bench outside the bar. Unfortunately, a man quickly passed by and pocketed the item. "After I invested all that time, I'm gonna find the ring," the bar owner said. "So I hired divers to come out the next day." He was finally able to track down the thief, identifying him as 17-year-old Rivers Prather. Gilleece could have easily called the cops but he decided to choose a different route especially after hearing the teen's story.
"He was living in the woods, and this is when it was 30 degrees outside. And he hadn't eaten in two days. I could tell he wasn't a criminal. He was just somebody who needed a little help," Gilleece said. The young man was estranged from his mother and was living in the woods just trying to survive. And then, Gilleece did something incredible. Instead of punishing the young man, he showed him compassion. Prather moved into Gilleece's home. "I couldn't have been luckier," Prather said. "Most other people would have just given the footage to the police and he chose to help me. He's made me part of his family."
Gilleece is clearly more than just a businessman, he's an incredible human. He has not only impacted Prather's life, thanks to his gesture of kindness, but all of us who hear about his story too. As part of Gilleece's family along with his fiancé and kids, Prather has got two jobs and a bright future ahead. And he isn't forgetting Gilleece's kindness anytime soon. "I say thank you to him every day," Prather said. "I'd do anything for him."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | CBS Evening News