After being diagnosed with an intestinal tumor, Brice Royer was given some unique advice about treating his condition.
“A doctor told me that love and kindness is the world’s best medicine,” said Royer. “The problem is, I can’t buy love and kindness at the pharmacy, but I thought maybe I could give it away freely without expectation and kindness could help me heal.”
In March 2015, Royer posted an ad on Craigslist, selling “unconditional love” for $0. After his post went viral, Francesca Murray, a homeless, single mother, read it and was inspired by Royer’s positive attitude and willingness to serve others.
Murray reached out to Royer on Facebook, offering to come to his Vancouver, British Columbia, home and help by cooking meals for him. As the pair began to firm up their plans to meet, Royer learned of Murray’s homelessness, and was touched to hear that she often shared the groceries she could afford for herself and her daughter, Charlotte, 4, with the other women in her shelter.
Royer was touched by Murray’s giving spirit, and set up a fundraiser site hoping to raise $100 to provide a two-month supply of vegetable deliveries for Murray and her daughter. The site raised more than $2,000 and allowed Royer and his friends to arrange for 250 meals to be donated to the women at Murray’s shelter in addition to her two-month supply of produce.
“Because she is homeless and yet she wanted to help me, I was so inspired by her and wanted to pay it forward,” Royer told TODAY Parents. “I learned sometimes it’s those with the least who are often the most generous.”
Royer also learned that Murray’s allotted time in the shelter ends in February 2016, leaving him and his friends looking for a way to find permanent housing for her. The group has started a new fundraising site, with the goal of raising $25,000 by Dec. 25 in order to build Murray and her daughter a sustainable tiny home, designed to run on solar power and eliminate electricity bills.
Royer shared all of these surprises with Murray in a video posted to the Gift Economy YouTube channel, a channel started by followers of Royer’s journey who are also interested in giving back.
Murray says that she and the women in the shelter where she lives have appreciated the deliveries of groceries that Royer has provided. And, she and her daughter are looking forward to the prospect of having a home of their own.
“Charlotte is so excited to have our own home, and to know we won’t have to move around anymore,” said Murray. “When she saw how many people care for us, she was in tears and said, ‘Mommy, this was a wonderful day.’”