City throws out homeless man's Christmas tree, community does something amazing

City Throws Away Homeless Man's Christmas Tree
City Throws Away Homeless Man's Christmas Tree

When the Grinch -- i.e. city officials -- tried to steal one homeless man's Christmas, his community simply wouldn't have it.

The good people of Louisiana rallied so many donations for Philly that he has begun giving away some of the gifts to others in need.

SEE ALSO: Little boy had the most beautiful Christmas wish for Santa Claus

Philly, who lives in a tent under an expressway in New Orleans, was absolutely heartbroken when his Christmas tree was taken away last week after the city said it was a code violation.

He claims the city's garbage truck crew tried to sneak the tree away from him, since they left everything else behind. "They pinpointed just the tree," he said in an interview, shaking his head sadly.

But when people heard the story of poor Philly and his trashed tree, something amazing happened. The community rallied behind Philly, and started dropping off Christmas trees and decorations in such abundance that he had started donating them to a nearby women's shelter.​

%shareLinks-quote="You don't have to have thousands and millions to help somebody. You can have a penny in your pocket, not even a penny, and reach out to somebody." type="quote" author="Philly" authordesc="Good Samaratan" isquoteoftheday="false"% When asked by a reporter what Christmas meant to him, Philly responded with two simple words: "Helping others."

And while Philly said he was thrilled to be able to pay the community's generosity forward, he also noted that the way the community's attitude as a whole seemed to change surrounding the events was a small miracle in and of itself.

"I don't know how it happened. I haven't seen it happening a lot. All of a sudden people are hugging," Philly said. "That's my reward."

Christmas magic, hard at work.

Check out the story of a real life Santa, who paid off a mother's layaway purchases:

Real Life Santa Pays Off a Mom's Layaway Purchase
Real Life Santa Pays Off a Mom's Layaway Purchase

More Christmas cheer:
99-year-old uses birthday shopping spree to buy gifts for kids in need
Baby born with partial skull meets Santa for the first time
Navy dad surprises kids just in time for Christmas