Meet The 80-Year-Old Who Has Raised $35000 By Selling Wood

Thousands helped the man in donations while many others shared supporting and inspirational messages for the octogenarian.

Mississippi resident Kenneth Smith spends hours selling pieces of kindling wood on the road side, for $5 a bag, to pay for his late wife’s medical expenditures.

His wife, Helen, who died fighting cancer; used to help her husband until last year to sell wood to pay off her medical expenses.

"She was right here with me," he told local news."She would sit and wave at all the people that would come by." 

He still believes she's there in spirit.

"She's a proud woman because she's looking down on me," he said.

But now, Smith is all alone, living on a fixed social security income, trying to make his ends meet without any savings.

His son, Leslie, set up a GoFundMe page to help his father.

Since Helen’s death, the 80 year old widower has been trying to pay a mountain of bills with an income that's just been cut in half, according to the fundraising page.

So far, the "Wood Man's Widower fund" has raised more than $35,000 in just two days, with an ultimate goal of earning $40,000.

The wood chopper caught everyone’s attention soon after his story was shared on a Facebook post shared by a woman named Jessica Pittman.

“If y'all need any kindling wood please come buy from this precious 80 year old elderly man. His name is Kenneth. He parks on the corner of Carl leggett and west Taylor Rd. In Gulfport Right near bayou bluff. He is there every day for hours. Selling for $5 a bag. Background story: Last year he was there selling as well but he had his sweet little wife Helen with him. He was selling to help pay for his wife's doctor visits and bills. This year he is alone. He said his wife Helen lost her battle to cancer a few weeks ago and he is still selling to cover pay for her doctor bills. My heart breaks every time I pass him. He waves at every single car that passes. Friday I was at the stop sign as a funeral procession was passing by. And he was standing alert with his straw hat over his heart. Precious man. I can't buy it all!! Anyway... We can all spare $5 to help this sweet man,” read the post.

Pittman has been updating her Facebook page since then, and many people who came to know about Smith’s story came forward to help him.

Bobby Seymour stopped to buy kindling from Smith after seeing the viral Facebook post.

The wood man has inspired many to help him via donations not because of what he sells but because of his story of hard work and courage.

"I've never seen anyone more deserving of community support than this gentleman," wrote Beth Stork Bosarge. "I pray the entire family has a joyful Thanksgiving."

Smith is overwhelmed with all the response and concern people have shown.

"It makes me think that we live in a good country and this is part of it," he said.

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