Elderly homeless man donates $250 to charity

Ed Denst, 77, gave $250 to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Council in Los Angeles. CBS Los Angeles

LOS FELIZ, LOS ANGELESA homeless man saved up the money he'd gathered from strangers to help others in need.

CBS Los Angeles reports Ed Denst, 77, gave $250 - all in $1 bills - to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Council in Los Angeles.

KCAL9's Rachel Kim asked Denst, "You could buy meals, you could buy yourself clothes, you could do a lot with that money. Why give it away?"

"Well, because I thought about giving back. (It) makes me feel very good," he said.

Denst, an ex-Marine, said he became homeless after his wife died 23 years ago. He admitted he sold his house and spent all his money.

The Catholic charity's Los Angeles board president Claire Padama, said the money Denst had donated would be used to help people who need rental or utility assistance.

"I was shocked. I think that's more meaningful than those people who have a lot," she said.

Padama has known Denst for almost two decades. She makes sure he receives his daily meal at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church.

"We started hot lunches 19 years ago. That's how I met Ed," she said.

Denst said he'll continue to give, not just take. He doesn't consider himself a religious man, but he's learning the Lord's prayer.

"Give us this day our daily bread...that is very meaningful to me. I think that is how I have every day," he said.

"What I'm learning is that people are charitable and that should make me thankful."

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