LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A friendship bloomed on the sidewalk outside Fringe Clothing in downtown Little Rock.
“I met Lessie about eight months ago as he’d sit on the bench across the street from Fringe, the business that I own,” Owner Kendall Sandifer said.
Sandifer started taking Lessie to lunch at Stickyz right across the street.
He offered to detail her car, hoping to earn some extra cash.
“He started detailing for the girls that work for me. One of the girls that works for me, her mom actually went and bought him a vacuum cleaner. Like, a little portable vacuum cleaner for his little business, and we made him business cards to hand out to people to promote his business,” Sandifer said.
However, his new business came to halt when River Market stores shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.
When the public libraries closed, he was also unsure about how he’d file to get a stimulus check.
“I said, ‘Go get all these things, come back to me tomorrow, and we will figure it out,” Sandifer said.
A few days later, Lessie received his check and returned to the store for their usual lunch trip across the street.
“When I got to the store, he was waiting on me at 10:30 in the morning, ready to buy my lunch. He was so excited. And I was like, 'It’s not open yet! We got to wait for lunch. We got to wait until 11.' So, he sat outside their store and waited until 11 and walked with me over to Stickyz and he got my lunch,” Sandifer said.
Their story has since been shared hundreds of times on Facebook.
“Somebody commented on the Facebook and said, ‘It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice and it didn’t cost her anything to do this.’ And it did not cost me anything, not one dollar to help him get his stimulus check. So, sometimes it’s not handing out money, it’s just taking the time to help somebody and simply be there for them when they need it,” Sandifer said.
Using GoFundMe, the Fringe has raised over $1,300 dollars to help Lessie buy cleaning supplies for his business, clothes, food, or whatever he might need.