Connecticut woman buys NYC homeless man plane ticket to mom’s funeral

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CROMWELL -- A woman from Cromwell went the extra mile to help out a New York City homeless man who she saw on FOX 61.

Mary, who doesn’t want to give her last name, was watching Good Day Connecticut when she saw a story about how excited a homeless man in Grand Central Terminal was when NYPD Officer Frank Rendina gave him a special pair of socks for diabetics.

“It was so heartwarming, that I wanted to help him,” said Mary.

Now, she has formed a special bond with Ronnie Brown, the 70-year-old man featured in the video.

Mary says it was the look on Ronnie’s face when given the socks that made her pick up the phone and take action.

“It looked like he wanted to be helped,” said Mary.

She reached out to our sister station in New York, PIX 11 News, in hopes of getting in touch with Ronnie. The NYPD was eventually able to track down Ronnie and let him know someone wanted to help him. His reaction was recorded and sent to Mary.

In the video he said, “Hello Miss Mary. I'm glad that you are trying to help me and make me feel so proud. I think you're a very, very nice lady and I wish you all the best and God bless.”

Ronnie has been homeless for about a year, and used to be a golf caddy.

When Mary learned that Ronnie's mother had passed away, she bought him a plane ticket to North Carolina so he could attend the service and spend the holidays with family.

Men’s Warehouse even heard the story and pitched in so he'd have something to wear to the funeral.

“It's an emotional time of year. I lost my husband and I think it was the right thing to do. The personal reward you get in return is so much more than money can ever buy. I want to get him off the streets. I want him to have a better life,” said Mary.

Here's a video from the NYPD, who spoke to Officer Frank Rendina:

The act of kindness was initially shared by a passerby who saw the interaction: