Man teaches kids to give, inspiring millions

Tampa, Florida -- A Tampa man's acts of kindness have turned him into a YouTube sensation, but that was never his goal; he only wanted to get his children to get off on the right foot.

"This idea started, because I wanted my children to see what it was like to give something to someone who doesn't have anything," said Marco Escobar, who also goes by Omar.

He knew that homeless shelters are always asking for donations of socks and shoes.

"I had this idea, maybe God told it to me somehow, to give homeless people in Tampa new shoes and sandals."

He had his friend record his efforts while he walked around downtown with his eldest son.

"We just started handing them out and the response was incredible," described Escobar. "One man didn't have a shirt on while he was sleeping on the ground, so I just gave him my shirt."

By Monday, more than 3.5 million people watched the video on Escobar's YouTube channel called OmargoshTV. He included a donation page so that he could continue to purchase more shoes for the homeless.

"I am blown away by all the support from everyone worldwide," said Escobar. "I was happy when it was at 10,000 views and then another network picked it up and then the Huffington Post shared it and then 400,000 Facebook users shared it and even Hulk Hogan shared it! I couldn't believe it. People have written emails to me from all over the world telling me how I have inspired them to give."

He said it was just a step in the right direction for his kids, and now it's becoming a step in the right direction for millions more.

"I just wanted my kids to see that what they ask for sometimes is not necessary and their time would be better spent helping others in need. Sometimes all they want is a video game, you know?"

"Giving to others has taught me not to be greedy and selfish," said Escobar's youngest daughter, Melia.

"These are our blessing bags," said his 10-year-old son Maximo. "We put cleaning stuff in them, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, a razor so they can shave their beard and deodorant so their pits don't smell... and a Bible, so they have good company and do not get lonely."

Escobar admires his son's sense of understanding and generosity. He also hopes his son never has to walk a mile in any of their shoes but in case he ever does, at least he will have new, comfortable kicks to wear.

"We will never stop giving, but I cannot do it alone. It takes the entire community," said Escobar. "We are so grateful that Kmart stepped up and discounted all the shoes for us. They gave us six carts filled with shoes that were in total probably worth $2,000 and we only paid $450. It's been quite humbling."

Escobar has his YouTube page and Facebook page below if you want to watch his story and donate to his cause:


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