Man rips up homeless veteran’s sign, leaves him with a surprise

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LAS VEGAS, N.V. (PIX11) — A man who mocked and ripped up a homeless veteran’s sign on a Las Vegas street corner ended up leaving him with a nice surprise.

Rob Anderson, who works as a magician, heard homeless veteran Alan McCracken lived on the streets and just wanted to make people smile even if he did not receive any money.

Anderson wanted to see for himself if McCracken was just as nice as people described, so he paid him a visit. Upon seeing the homeless veteran, Anderson took his sign, which partially said “Anything helps.”

Testing McCracken’s patience, the magician repeats the phrase “anything helps,” as he draws dollar signs onto the piece of paper and proceeds to rip it.

McCracken appears unfazed by Anderson’s antics. At one point he even asks if he can keep the marker Anderson used to make a new sign.

Eventually McCracken asks if Anderson is a street magician. Upon asking the question, Anderson “magically” puts the sign back together, opens it and unleashes cash.

Since posting a video of the good deed to Yotube Oct. 1, Anderson set up a GoFundMe for the displaced veteran. The fundraiser surpassed its goal of $15,000, thanks to the help of 643 donators.

McCracken was also given temporary housing with the help of Veterans Affairs in Las Vegas. He currently shares a room with three other veterans and is provided with meals and basic living necessities, Anderson reported on the fundraising page.


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  • Mike D

    So sad that men and women who have stepped up and served in this country’s armed forces, are living on the streets. We do not deserve to call ourselves the greatest country on Earth with that on our shoulders. I felt so bad when he asked to keep the marker. I am glad Veteran’s affairs is helping him to get on his feet and also thankful for the people who donated to the fundraiser.

    • Dana

      And this is not a new and recent thing either. We’ve had homeless veterans all along. I remember Rush Limbaugh pooh-poohing the notion back in the early 90s, so this was an issue then too.

    • Boris Veljanov

      Caleb . if you, thought Barry `s rep0rt is unbelievable, on saturday I got a top of the range Buick when I got my check for $5397 this last 5 weeks and-in excess of, $10k last month . This is actually the nicest-work I’ve ever had . I began this 4 months ago and almost straight away started bringin in at least $84, per-hour . View website

  • Fiona

    Please help another one of our veterans!…..James Burtnett is a displaced veteran that recently completed treatment for liver cancer. In order to prevent the cancer from returning, he must receive a liver transplant; unfortunately, one of the requirements of being on the transplant list is having permanent housing and a healthy living environment.

  • Ping Hsu

    What really touched me was when he picked up the magic marker, even though for all he knew, Rob could have been messing up the sign and ruining his only way to survive

    • Jim

      Ping: That’s what struck me too – that he picked up the cap for the magic marker, then asked if he could have it to make a new sign. A decent man who has fallen on hard times, either by bad luck or bad choices. Doesn’t matter. As a vet myself, my heart goes out to him, and Rob Anderson is to be commended.

  • rob johnson

    Sweet, if not a bit self-congratulatory to Rob, and a bit demeaning to the veteran, who is left to get down on his knees to pick up the money after the hot-shot walks off in all his amateur glory. Anybody?

    • Doreen O`Shea

      At least the man knew it was his money now. Plus the “stunt” has raised awareness, and now he has a home with other vets. You can mock , but that just makes you a person who says if it is not everything, lets do nothing. Good luck with that,


    What did this super generous magician give him? 10$? All the visible dollars where you could actually make out the dollar amount on the bill were 1$’s Another shameless plug for a prick.


      I do agree with you. Homeless only gets a few dollars while this “generous” magician received over $15000 in donations. Why doesn’t him donates that money to the Veterans Affairs Housing department so they can keep helping others? This Gofundme is nothing but another way to make people lazy. Want to pursue a career as a magician? Get off your butt, get a job, and save your own money so then and only then you can travel and do these stunts to actually help people.

  • Rick

    Wow all those one’s were probably just enough for a six pack… Most homeless are homeless because of addiction or other causes of their own fault. Some are just professional panhandlers that are not homeless at all especially in a tourist spot like Vegas. It’s unfortunate for the one’s who are really in need, but you do more harm than good giving cash to panhandlers. Help them find the department of labor instead. Donate to well known charities and shelters.

  • Ash Anderson

    Those spewing vitriol toward Anderson and trying to draw attention to the fact that the bills were all ones:

    Did you watch the video to the end where there is a link to the GoFundMe page? Did you read the words that you had to scroll by in order to get down here to the comments section and type your asinine drivel? Because you would see that over $15,000 has been raised and the RIGHT kind of attention is being drawn to assisting other homeless charities.

  • Gagi

    First, who are you that you feel you have a right to test someone’s character? Why do you feel it’s your right to go around doing that? Sure, you gave him some money and set up a fund, but the way you went about it was really douchey. Leaving a hero that we haven’t taken care of crawling around on the ground picking up bills is wrong. Why did you walk away? Couldn’t you be bothered to bend down to help him gather those bills? You did a good thing in a very bad way. I hope other bullies with bad intentions don’t try the same thing. Shame on you. This could have been a beautiful thing.

  • Rob

    And by you watching this youtube video “Rob” just made all of that money back, Which probably wasnt his to begin with… Basically meaning he lost nothing but time to make this advertisement for himself. Well played Mr. Magician… You have tricked us all :D

  • Tacara Mi

    Yes, for those being “haters,” do you help any homeless veterans? Do you help anyone at all? Or do you spend all your time being negative online? McCraken had some idea of who he might be because he asked if he was a magician. Did you watch the video? Anderson did pick up most of the money. Did MCCraken even want help picking it up? He’s a man, not a child. We don’t know what happened between them after the cameras were turned off.

  • Jon

    Wow , that was beautiful . To know that there are people in the world that would do that . That is what life is all about !
    I was blown away ! Awesome ! God love ya both !

  • John

    Yes, they risk their lives to serve our country, and our wonderful US government pays them back by abandoning them, while leaving them to their own devices. Many heroic men and women are now coming home sick and disabled from chemical injury(ies) and then are told that they have psychiatric illnesses. You’d be psychotic too upon realizing you were used and then tossed out like a piece of trash. Shame on this country for ignoring and abandoning those who come home broken and sick.

  • Donna

    Something nice happened and STILL some people feel the need to gripe, criticize and tell us all what’s wrong or how it should be. How about you folks go and DO something nice instead?

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