PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia man who has dedicated his life to helping the less fortunate in his community is now seeing global success with his mission.
Brian Jenkins is the executive director of Chosen 300, a ministry that feeds the homeless. Looking around the room at one of his meals, he can't help but think of his own life and the people who helped him.
"I was the youngest of 25 foster children, and I think through someone sharing and depositing into my life really impacted me into paying it forward," said Jenkins.
His first chance to pay it forward came in the 90s when he was leaving a play.
"There was a homeless man standing outside of that play. He had a half-torn blanket that wrapped around him that exposed his meatless ribs," he said.
Jenkins gave him his last 40 cents.
"I said, 'I wish I could do more for you.' And his reply was, 'But you considered me.'"
That interaction stuck with him, so he found that man again and fed him. Before long, he was serving 100 homeless people a month. Now, through his ministry, he serves 150,000 people a year at three locations in greater Philadelphia and 25 countries around the world, including Guyana, where Jenkins was last week.
"When we think about all the things that Christ has done for us, we reciprocate his love by extending kindness and love to others," he said
The services go beyond free meals too.
Chosen 300 also offers job training, health services, and haircuts -- whatever is needed to help people become self-sufficient. Jenkins says these services are needed now more than ever.
"Now the problem is the cost of living is so high that people can't afford to put gas in their cars. They can't afford to pay their electric bills," he said.
It's tiring work, but it is work Jenkins is committed to ever since he saw nearly 30 years ago the difference a few cents and a sandwich could make.
"There's a scripture in Hebrews 13 that says, 'be careful how you treat strangers because you may be entertaining an angel unaware,' and that was my angel that night that really pushed me to do this work," he said.