A little magic just turned a homeless Army veteran’s life around.
Alan McKracken was living on the streets of Las Vegas when he caught the attention of magician Rob Anderson, who decided to make the homeless veteran the star of his latest viral video.
In the video, Anderson approaches McKracken, who smiles despite standing on a street corner, holding a sign that reads, “Homeless. Trying to get by. Anything helps. God bless.”
“Anything helps?” Anderson asks as he takes McKracken’s sign out of his hands and begins to write on it. When the cap of the pen falls onto the sidewalk, McKracken bends down to retrieve it as Anderson defaces the sign with dollar signs and begins to tear it up.
All the while, McKracken remains gracious and calm, reflecting the reputation he’s built on the streets as someone who just wants to make people smile, even if they don’t give him any money. At one point, he even asks gently whether he can keep Anderson’s magic marker to make another sign.
Finally, McKracken asks, “Are you one of those street ‘musicians’? You’re going to turn that into a wad of money?”
“Really? Seriously?” Anderson answers as he magically unfurls the sign, intact, as dollar bills fall to the sidewalk.
The video, posted Oct. 1, has attracted more than 3 million views and inspired Anderson to launch a fundraising campaign to get McKracken off the streets. To date, the campaign has raised more than $28,000.
Based on the fundraiser’s written description, Anderson plans to make the cash donations a surprise. Meanwhile, McKracken has found shelter in a group home for veterans through the VA, Anderson wrote.
“When I spoke with him, he had his usual positive attitude about his situation, and is optimistic about his search for a job now that he has temporary housing provided for him,” the magician wrote.
“If there's anyone who would be deserving of assistance to get back on their feet, it is Alan McCracken.”