‘I See You and I Love You’

The Crawford family poses with the RV they were able to purchase with money Guy Douglas raised with a GoFundMe campaign that went viral.

After an early morning drive up and down Pacific Coast Highway in his new van, Guy Douglas pulled over at Sunset Boulevard to take in one last breath of fresh ocean air before driving back into the city. 

Douglas had always dreamed of having a beach van to enjoy the coastline drives, and today the dream had become a reality.

As he stood against his van watching the waves, Douglas sparked a conversation with a man named Joshua Crawford, who had been living in his car with his wife and four children. 

“The family goes to sleep outside every night,” Douglas said. “Joshua goes to the Malibu Community Labor Exchange every day from seven in the morning to one in the afternoon waiting for work. If that doesn’t work out, then he’ll go to the beach and read from the Bible to his family.

“As he’s telling me this story, his wife walks up with a diaper in her hand for him to throw away.”

Douglas was shocked as Crawford asked him to wait just one minute as he threw out the trash with a smile.

He reached for his wallet and grabbed its entire contents — less than $100 — to which Crawford refused.  

“‘I see you, I know that you’re my brother and I love you,’ Crawford said. ‘The gesture is enough.’” Douglas shared about how Crawford responded.

The two men parted ways, each going back and sitting in their cars. 

Douglas sat there baffled.

He watched the family of five from a distance in their car, wrote on a piece of paper, “I see you and I love you” and folded the money in between. Douglas swiftly approached the vehicle and left the note under the windshield before anyone could object. 

As Douglas drove away, he watched Crawford and his kids jump out of their car and wave from his rearview mirror.

From there, this story took flight on social media.

“Facebook was really where it started and where it really launched,” Douglas said.

Still buzzing from the earlier experience, Douglas explained the story on a Facebook post and was flooded by friends asking how to help, when to help and where to help. A friend also suggested creating an online campaign that could reach all over the world, where anyone could donate to raise money for the family.

“It’s a second chance,” Douglas said. “It’s really a second chance for him.” 

Later that night, Douglas drove around to find the family and tell them the good news.

“There’s a whole bunch of people that want to help you,” Douglas said.

Joshua and his wife broke down in tears.

Hours before, Crawford and his wife told Douglas the family had been in the car listening to their evening radio sermon — and that night’s was titled “Help is on the Way.”

Within 24 hours, Douglas’ GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $4,000. To date, roughly 280 donors have given $11,180 to the Crawford family, with more than 1,700 social media shares … and growing.

“I met up with Joshua last week and he got a Winnebago,” Douglas said. “It’s not in the best shape … He’s showing me the vehicle and I’m telling him ‘now you have to put this somewhere.  You can’t stay on PCH. Now you’re gonna stand out like a sore thumb.’ He told me he’s going to this RV park.” 

Douglas performs sound meditation healing concerts to promote inner calm, much of which could have helped spawn the other helpers in this big circle.

“I had people that donated $1,000, and I don’t even know who they are,” Douglas said.

He knew of friends in Florida that were so inspired by the online project that they went into their garage, grabbed sleeping bags, pillows and a tent and found a local place where they knew a homeless man and gave him all of their stuff. 

“The whole point is that the community came together,” Douglas said. “I told Joshua this — the money is great, but what’s really beautiful is that spirit, God — whatever — decided to use this as a vehicle for all people to see that we can come together and help people. People, helping people.”