MacDuff also helped Bannister to get a haircut, phone and access to provincial financial support.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 3, 2023. It has since been updated.
Kindness undoubtedly can be a powerful force in changing lives. It is certainly the case for Brian Bannister, a homeless man from Newcastle, Ontario, who was offered a job on Danielle MacDuff’s farm when we did not expect such things to happen. MacDuff noticed Bannister sitting on the street corner, reading a book and collecting change. She decided to strike up a conversation with him and was so moved by his story that she invited him to work on her farm the very next day. “It just came from the heart with her and I got to thank her every day,” Bannister said.
For a while, Bannister had been living in a shed. Besides that, he faced tremendous challenges in life. Moreover, he had overcome addiction, survived abuse and lost two wives, one in a crash and the other to cancer. After facing numerous bad things in life, he had given up hope. But MacDuff’s offer changed his life and worked like a miracle in his favor.
Every day, MacDuff, Bannister and the other staff members clean stalls of haul hay and care for 200 animals, including goats, cows, horses and dogs. They work morning and afternoon shifts and then take a rest in the middle of the day. MacDuff also drives Bannister back and forth to town. MacDuff has gone above and beyond just offering him work. She got him his first haircut in two years, a phone and access to some provincial financial support. Not only that but also she involved the community in helping raise money for him to have food, clothes and a hotel room to sleep in. They are now even eyeing a permanent space for him to live nearby.
At the time of publication, the GoFundMe campaign organized for Bannister by MacDuff had amassed nearly $5,000 in donations. Bannister is moved and overwhelmed by the kindness of the people involved in his life. “I can’t believe anyone would care for me this much,” he said. Not only has MacDuff provided Bannister with a job, but she has also given him a much-needed friend. They both enjoy the camaraderie of their new friendship. “He has no idea what this has done for me,” MacDuff said.
The story of MacDuff and Bannister is a great example of how kindness can help people in need. Also, how someone's life can be changed when the community comes together to make a real difference and set a great example for others to follow. Similarly, MacDuff has made a huge impact on Bannister’s life, which is a testament to the power of kindness and community service.