Jimmy Mains had an extra ticket to a Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game and no one to go with. Then he made an unlikely friend.
Outside of PPG Paints Arena last Friday, a homeless man named Rob asked him for some money.
“I told him I didn’t have any, but if he wanted, he could go to the game with me and get out of the cold for a bit,” Mains wrote in a Facebook post showing a picture of him and Rob sitting in the stands.
That’s just what the pair did.
Mains said Rob couldn’t stop smiling, sang during the National Anthem, cheered the whole game and enjoyed some chicken tenders during an intermission.
“At the end of the game, he told me that I made his life,” Mains wrote. “He asked me how he could repay me, and I told him just to pay it forward.”
Mains told NHL.com that Rob told him he was close to a new job and was looking for help with expenses, and the pair traded contact information.
“My parents always taught me to treat everyone how you wanted to be treated,” said Mains, a newly minted police officer in Rankin, Pa. and former volunteer firefighter. “And if you have the opportunity to help someone, you do it. Just because someone is out on the street, doesn’t make you any better than them.”