“God bless you!” Elderly man with special needs rewarded for his generosity and compassion

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MOORE, Okla. - If you've ever driven through Moore, Oklahoma, maybe you've noticed a kind, older gentleman sweeping parking lots.

His name is Danny Wilson and, as a lifelong resident of Moore, that's how the 70-year-old has earned his living for decades.

"It's hard sometimes," Danny said. "I've got arthritis real bad in my knee and my hip, and sometimes it hurts real bad in this cold weather."

At $20 per lot, Danny doesn't make much, but what he has left over he spends on flowers for complete strangers inside John Ireland Funeral Home who have just lost a loved one.

Every morning, before sweeping the lot, Danny goes inside the funeral home to get coffee and find out who has passed away.

"And, he's always got a kind word to say, he'll always tell people that he's sorry about their loss and just pays his respect," said Funeral Director John Ireland. "He's got a heart of gold."

On a Wednesday afternoon in late March, Danny saw the grieving family of Ruth Sherman and, having just lost his own mother, his heart went out to them.

Wilson has special needs and, even though he shares an apartment with his bride of 18 years, Debra, his mother, in her nineties, still looked after him.

When Wilson saw Jennifer McInturff's family in mourning, he walked across the street to a floral shop, like he often does, and went back with a beautiful plant.

"He approached my sister-in-law and handed her this beautiful plant, and he said 'God bless you and I'm sorry for your loss' and he went across the street and picked up a broom and started sweeping," McInturff said. "And, I instantly got overwhelmed and emotional, and I thought, oh my goodness, you know, where did he come from and why did he do this for our family? He doesn't even know us."

McInturff wanted to reward Danny for his compassion and generosity, so she nominated him for a $400 'Pay it 4Ward' award from First Fidelity Bank.

Ireland set up the surprise, asking Danny to go to the funeral home at a specific time, where our news crew, First Fidelity Bank, and McInturff were all waiting.

"I just wanted to say thank you so much for the beautiful arrangement that you purchased for myself and our family," McInturff said. "We were having a difficult time that day, and you really put a smile on our faces and touched our hearts that day, and it was well-needed and, so, on behalf of KFOR, our family and First Fidelity Bank, I would like to pay it forward, and here's $400 for you."

"Thank you! God bless you!" Danny said as he hugged McInturff, his eyes welling up with tears.

"You're welcome," she said. "Keep doing God's work, Danny."

"It's hard to live without loved ones," Danny said. "My mom and dad are both gone on now, and sometimes I don't know what to do without them."

Everyone in the room gave Danny a hug, including News 4's Heather Holeman.

"They say you have a heart of gold," Holeman said. "You go across the street and you buy plants and flowers for people you don't even know. Why do you do that?"

"I like to help them out," Danny replied.

"How does it make you feel to know that you're so loved by the community and that you made such a difference in Jennifer's life?" Holeman said.

"It makes a good feeling," Danny said. "I enjoy it."

Danny Wilson and Jennifer McInturff

He says he is having a hard time adjusting to life without his mother.

"My mom took care of all my bills, she helped us out more and I make a mess out of it," he said. "I don't know how to keep stuff up."

Holeman spoke to Danny's sister, Debbie, in Georgia who is now helping him pay his bills on time.

Danny does drive and said he was about to head to an auto shop to have his faulty headlights replaced.

Mechanic Randy Cloud and Danny Wilson

"I don't know what's going on with my headlights," Danny said. "I may have electrical problems."

As fate would have it, McInturff's friend, Randy Cloud, who came along for the surprise, is a mechanic.

"It would be my honor to fix this for you," Cloud told Danny. "I will buy those headlights and replace them for him and pay it forward to him. He is God-sent, and he needs to know that."

"I'll never forget Danny Wilson," McInturff said.

She said she will keep the card from Danny's plant forever. He simply signed his name but, to McInturff's family, it meant the world.

"He was an angel in my eyes."

'Pay it 4Ward' is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank. If you would like to nominate someone for 'Pay it 4Ward,' click here.

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