If you live in a city, a homeless person has probably asked you for money at least once in your life. If you live in a large, popular city, this might happen more often than you’d want—or that you can actually afford. Some people are discouraged to give away change to beggars in fear that they will use it for beer, cigarettes, or drugs. But 99-year-old Bulgarian beggar Dobri Dobrev is here to restore our faith in charity: Discover the story behind the most selfless beggar and what he does with the money he collects.
Also known as grandpa Dobri, this 99-year-old beggar lost his hearing during World War II and is now living in the streets of Bailovo, Bulgaria. You will see him wearing homemade clothes and leather shoes; that’s basically all he owns.
THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE
For the past few years, Dobri has been spending his days commuting from Bailovo to the city of Sofia. That’s where he begs for money to passersby, bringing home a good amount of money he spends on charity—yes, you read correctly.
BEGGARS CAN BE CHOOSERS
Dobri manages to live off his own war pension (around 100 USD per month), so the money he collects isn’t exactly for him. He chooses to donate that money to orphanages that need it the most.
MONEY CAN BUY HAPPINESS
Surprisingly, Dobri doesn’t keep a cent of the money he collects by begging everyday. This selfless, good deed of his brings happiness to hundreds of orphans in need—and to himself, that’s for sure.
THE REPUTATION OF A SAINT
Many people know and praise Dobri, who is also known as “The Saint of Baylovo”, his hometown in Bulgaria. If you’re visiting, pay attention because you might run into one of the murals that celebrate this man and his generosity.
CALL ME GRANDPA
Dyado Dobri is another nickname he goes by, which means “Grandpa Dobri”. Those little orphan kids he helps out might not have parents, but they sure are lucky for having this grandpa sent from heaven to protect them.
DOBRI’S BEST-KEPT SECRET
Like any real generous man, Dobri doesn’t go around telling the world about his good deeds. He performs every action quietly because he knows bragging is “a devil’s deed,” as he puts it when asked.
IN THE NAME OF GOD
The sisters of a monastery in Bulgaria found out they had no money to pay for the electricity bill, but their lives turned around when Dobri offered money to help pay for it. He has also helped restore many temples because he’s grateful for all that God has given him—this is his way of giving back, it seems.
You’d think Dobri could use all this money he collects to turn his life around. But besides helping out helpless children, monasteries, and temples, he still has love to spread to more places. He has also donated money to people living in shelters, with poor living conditions.
A ROLE MODEL
Grandpa Dobri proves that every good deed does make a difference in the world. Any good action you take can have a positive impact on someone’s life: hopefully more people will follow his steps to make this a better world.