WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn — While people ran for cover and stayed indoors during last Thursday’s torrential downpour, one man decided to help commuters travel through a Brooklyn subway station.
During the heavy rain, streets were flooded and water trickled down into several subway stations including the Bedford Avenue station in Williamsburg. As commuters walked down the stairwell heading into the station, they were met with a large puddle that could not be passed through without stepping on it.
Zahir McDonald was seen on video helping people jump through the puddle using a piece of wood — all while he stood in the water.
Jen Winston, the woman who recorded the video, called the McDonald’s actions “heartwarming and selfless” and that “it very much deserves to be shared.”
Since then, Winston’s video has been liked more than 65,000 times on Instagram.
After finding his name via social media, Winston set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for him.
“This fundraiser is to thank Zahir for his kindness and sunshine on a rainy day. I’ve set the goal at $5000, which means that if 10% of the people who liked this video give $1, we will meet our goal,” she wrote.
McDonald told Gothamist he currently homeless and stays at a shelter, but has been at the Bedford station every day since 2015.
McDonald recalled how much it rained that day and saw water filling the station up from the steps.
“When I looked at that, I thought there’s no way I can sit here and [ask for] money, and even if I tried it would be selfish of me. People here help me every day—the least I can do is to try to help.”