SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Viral videos often make people laugh and sometime even dance. However, two San Antonio women are hoping their internet video will change lives by shedding light on homelessness.
Some people may try and steer clear of the homeless, but San Antonio college students Lani Vu and Leighanne Perez do just the opposite. The pair recently uploaded a video to YouTube that shows them approaching homeless people downtown and offering them clothes, food and water.
“Some said, 'God bless you.' Some just had that appreciation look in their eyes -- they didn’t have to say (anything) to me. I understood that non-verbal cue,” Vu said.
Their idea came from a similar video made by two men in New York. That video went viral; Vu and Perez were inspired and wanted to spread a similar message here in San Antonio.
“I’ve seen one from the Philippines; there’s one from Canada. There’s one recently -- in response to the San Antonio one -- someone made one for Philadelphia. I got a message saying, 'In response to your video, I made one for them,'” Vu explained. “It felt great. It meant my message got out, and it felt good.”
The two women said that the homeless didn’t know how to respond to their generosity, at first, but eventually they turned receptive to the gesture.
“I just handed it (clothes) to them and came forward with it, so they could understand the message ... Once they saw that, they realized you mean no harm,” Vu said.
The women helped about a dozen homeless people while recording their video. The two created a second video -- for Houston -- over the Labor Day weekend.
Vu and Perez collect clothes, food and water on their own. They hope their project encourages others to help the 3,000 to 4,000 homeless people staying in San Antonio.