LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Consider the guardrail that sits on the I-70 off ramp near Denver West Colorado Mills Parkway the chair at Darin Barton’s office. Barton has panhandled at that spot for years.
“A lot of the people are not very nice,” Barton said.
Despite that, Barton carries a sign that says, “Have a blessed day.”
“There’s a saying that’s been around for a lot of years. It says, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ I don’t. I sit out there everyday, and I don’t judge nobody. I just try to make their day a little bit better,” Barton said.
“I can’t believe you’re still out here after what happened yesterday,” Brody Halladay said to Barton Friday as he handed him cash.
When tragedy struck his corner, the man who was asking for help did the helping himself.
“Would I go run and grab people out of a car or wouldn’t I? And the reality is, you don’t know until you’re in that situation,” Halladay said.
On Friday, FOX31 anchor Aristea Brady showed Barton hundreds of emails FOX31 received from viewers who just wanted to help Barton in some way.
One read, “I don’t have much money myself but I can send a care package, and a little bit of cash.”
Another read, “I exit off I-70 and Denver West everyday… He always has this beautiful smile and soulful, bright, blue eyes.”
“Don’t judge people based on how they might look or whether or not they have a home or whatever, because that person that you looked down on might just save your life,” Halladay said.
“Pull over and talk to me… or any homeless person. Take them out to lunch or something, just find out their story. Might learn something that you never knew before,” Barton said.
A couple of people have written into the FOX31 Problem Solvers to tell us Barton helped after their accident at the same highway stretch in past years. While we are still confirming these accounts, Barton tells us he’s helped a “handful of times” and “did what anyone would do.”
How to help Darin Barton
An Amazon.com Wish List with various gift cards has been established for Barton. Purchasing an item will send it to FOX31*, where we’ll make sure it gets to him.
* Please choose FOX31 Problem Solvers as your shipping address at checkout.