Thu, 20 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT | By
Good news stories of 2012

Give a man a shoe...

NYPD officer gives barefoot man some boots. (© Courtesy of CBC News)
  • NYPD officer gives barefoot man some boots. (© Courtesy of CBC News)
  • Volunteers carry boxes of donated items into a free store of food and supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy operated by the "Occupy Sandy Recovery" group in the Midland Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, in New York City, Nov. 16, 2012. (© Mike Segar/Reuters)
  • Top: Oscar Pistorius wins the gold medal in the Men's 400m T44 final at the 2008 Paralympic games. Bottom left: Pistorius runs alongside a pure-bred Arabian race horse during the Doha GOALS (Gathering of all Leaders in Sport) forum at the Aspire Zone outdoor circuit in Doha on Dec. 12. Bottom right: Pistorius competes in the Men's 400m Semi Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 5. (© Eddie Mulholland/Rex Features;Fadi Al-Assaad/Newscom/RTR;Michael Steele/Getty Images)
  • Lost and found again. (© Handouts/The Canadian Press; CBC)
  • Los Angeles King's Mike Richards, left, and Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd, rear left, play street hockey with hockey fans and a few fellow NHL players atop a parking garage at the Forks in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 (© David Lipnowski/The Canadian Press)
  • Bus monitor Karen Klein, of Greece, N.Y., sits at the controls of a duck boat, an amphibious (© Steven Senne/AP Photo)
  • Clockwise from top left, Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke, Entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson of the television series “Dragon’s Den” and a homeless person sleeping on the street in Toronto during a cold weather alert. (© Mark Blinch/Reuters, Todd Korol/Reuters, Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
  • Caine Monroy, of Caine's Arcade, attends Creative Visions Foundation's Turn on LA event on Sept. 20 in Santa Monica, Calif. (© Matt Sayles/Invision/AP Photo)
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For one Winnipeg bus driver, random acts of kindness come naturally. On a cold day in September, Kris Doubledee pulled his Route 24 bus to the side of the street, jumped out and gave the shoes off his feet to a barefoot man. Passengers who saw Doubledee's generosity went to the media with the story and within days the driver was fielding calls from major TV networks in Canada and the U.S. When Doubledee gave the man his shoes, he had no idea the story would go viral. "You know, [it was] something I could do. It looked like he needed the shoes more than I did. Anybody would do the same thing," he told CBC. Doubledee said he hoped the gesture would be an inspiration for others to perform random acts of kindness.

Only about a month later, a similar story broke in New York, where an NYPD officer was unknowingly photographed giving another barefoot man a pair of boots. The photo quickly went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of comments on the NYPD's Facebook feed. Further investigation found that the barefoot New Yorker lived in government-sponsored housing in the Bronx and was seen barefoot again just weeks later. Many Internet commenters saw this as an opportunity for cynicism but it's a reminder that more than one random act of kindness is needed to fix issues as complex as homelessness.   

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