BLOOMFIELD — When a homeless man Ken Mazano met in front of a 7/11 wouldn't take a sandwich, Mazano found something else he could offer — a haircut.

Manzano, who according to his Facebook page is a student at NJIT, posted about the encounter on the Citizens of Bloomfield Facebook page. He said he offered the man, identified only as Alex, something to eat.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/bloomfieldnj/permalink/1239949002778333/

According to Manzano, the man said he was not hungry — and was pretty surprised by the follow-up offer.

"He didn't even know what to say 'cause he thought I was joking, but luckily I had my equipment on me," he said in the post.

Manzano said the men started talking as he performed the haircut. He learned Alex used to work in information technology, "but after some things went wrong ended up on the streets."

"The smallest of gestures could mean a lot to somebody. That's why I encourage people to give back to those who weren't granted the same opportunities as us," he wrote.

Manzano described Alex as "a great guy," and wished him "safe travels."

More than 100 people shared their praise for the random act of kindness — and hundreds more signaled their affection through Facebook's "gesture" system.

"What a blessing you are," Sharon Decker wrote. "What a great gesture. I pray more people like yourself come and help others in this big crazy world. Sometime it only takes two mins to do something nice like say. 'Hello, have a good day.' Maybe buy a coffee for someone. A smile, hold a door open. Cook a meal for someone in need. It take(s) only a moment to brighten a bad day."

"This really touched my heart. Paying it forward really goes a long way," Melanie Lee Kitchel wrote. "We never know where someone has been, where someone is, or where somewhere is going to be in this life what brought them to that place and why. Haven't we all had our ups and downs? Haven't we all needed help at some point in our lives or even just needed someone to ask us how we are doing? It doesn't take much time at all to smile to stranger then be annoyed at their presence. Let's all try to be a little more kind.

"I love this and your inspiration. Especially in a time when our world seems more lonely then ever."

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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