Arizona drivers were left speechless as a street panhandler approached their cars to give away cash rather than beg for it.
That was the sort of reaction Tim Owens, 36, of Phoenix was hoping for when he put on ragged clothes and cashed out his final paycheck to hand out to unsuspecting people.
"A homeless guy giving away money,” Owens joked in an interview with InsideEdition.com.
He explained he had just quit his job in media three years ago. Upon leaving, he held his final paycheck in his hand, thinking about what his next steps would be.
"I was sitting there in my car, and I started freaking out," he said. "It all kind of sunk in. It’s like when you leave a job and you’re like, 'Oh, crap.'"
As he sat in his air conditioned car, contemplating his future, he saw a homeless person walk by in the scorching Arizona heat. Realizing how lucky he was at that moment, Owens decided to come up with a plan to give away his entire paycheck.
On a whim, he decided to put on old clothes and act as a panhandler at a traffic light and approach different cars. But instead of asking for money, Owens would instead hand drivers $50.
To get attention, he held up a sign that read: "It's better to give than receive."
"I would try to find people who had their windows down, who couldn’t say no to me," he joked. "I’d walk up to anyone who would listen."
One driver he approached even refused the money after Owens offered it.
"He said, 'You know what, I’m good. Give it to that guy in that car,'" Owens said. "He got the entire concept of it right there."
A different man Owens approached responded that he had no money to give since he had just paid all his bills. When Owens instead reached out to give him money, he was thankful.
"You don’t know what people need," Owens said. "He’s in a work truck so he’s got a job, but he needed it."
After standing outside for nearly four hours, Owens gave away thousands of dollars.
Owens eventually turned his footage from that afternoon into a short film, Being Human, which he released earlier this week, all in an effort to motivate people to do something kind for others.