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Homeless man reunited with long-lost daughter

NEED TO KNOW
  • The Las Vegas community has helped a homeless man reunite with his daughter on the Internet
  • Now, a caring Vegas woman is donating a plane ticket
Homeless man reunited with long-lost daughter

There are so many happy layers to this story, it's like a delicious mile-high cake of good deeds and awesomeness. Let's dig in.

Recently, a Las Vegas couple helped a local homeless man find his daughter online. Jimmy Francis hadn't seen his daughter in 24 years, but by chance, Jim and Maria Snyder managed to locate her on Facebook. Natalie Francis, Jimmy's daughter, said their message was a welcome shock.

"I was overwhelmed," she told HLN affiliate KTNV. "It was unbelievable. I was on the Internet the day before looking for him and to get that message was just really amazing."

The Snyders even set up a Skype session so Jimmy could talk to Natalie face-to-virtual face. The moment was a tearjerker and brought Jimmy's story national attention.

Now, the Vegas community that was so captivated by Jimmy's reunion with his daughter is reaching out to him. Tonya Hallet, a KTNV viewer, even offered to donate a plane ticket so Natalie and Jimmy could meet in person. Hallet says their story hit close to her heart, because her father is also homeless.

Hallet said it was difficult "growing up and knowing that my father was homeless and that not having that relationship with him and always wondering where, why and how I could possibly meet him." Recently, a friend provided her with a picture of her dad -- proof, however intangible, that he is safe and alive.

"A mutual friend found him for us and sent me a picture saying he is alive and well. And I'm sure Natalie felt the same way. When she saw her father's face. He's alive and well."

Hallet can't meet her father because of his mental illness, but when she heard about Jimmy and Natalie, buying a plane ticket wasn't just an act of kindness, it was an act of healing.

There are others in the community who are pitching in, too. Viewers have offered rides, rent money, dental insurance, and even food and medical care for a few puppies Jimmy has rescued. KTNV will be there when Jimmy and Natalie finally meet again.

Visit KTNV to see Jimmy and Natalie's first conversation, and hear more about Tonya Hallet's wonderful gesture of support.

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