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Homeless man gets new wheelchair thanks to NYC strangers

Posted at 10:32 AM, Aug 10, 2020

NEW YORK -- Lori Gaeta gets a cup of coffee every day at a cafe on Lexington Avenue in New York City.

Last week, she got a cup coffee and started a conversation with a homeless man that changed both of their lives.

Gaeta says she met the homeless man, named William, on 61st Street. It was a conservation she couldn't get out of her mind.

“He was paralyzed in a broken down wheelchair. I just felt he could use a blessing,” said Gaeta.

All she knew about him is he is 61 years old and his name is William, he became paralyzed and is now homeless.

She noticed his wheelchair was being held together with duct tape and was falling apart. She asked him if it was alright for her to get him a new chair.

Gaeta sprung into action and started an online quest asking for help posting on a site called Nextdoor. Generous New Yorkers immediately came forward offering used chairs.

Then a total stranger, named Elizabeth Menegan, offered to buy William a new chair, spending over $200.

“You know that saying it takes a village to raise a child? Well, this took an entire neighborhood to bless this man. He has no idea he had a brand new chair coming to him,” said Gaeta.

William says he is grateful for the generosity of so many strangers.

“I don’t know her but I give her respect,” said William.

Gaeta says this story is more than getting William a wheelchair, she hopes that she can help William find a home.

This story was originally published by Monica Morales at WPIX.