Would you beg for somebody else?
It’s a tough question to answer, but not for one Bulgarian man named Dobri Dimitrov Dobrev, who is more known as Grandpa Dobri or Elder Dobri.
He is already 99 years old and he has been begging for almost 14 years. He walks several kilometers every day to sit or stand in front of the Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, to beg for money which he donates to charities, orphanages, churches, and monasteries.
Grandpa Dobri does not call what he does as begging, though, and prefers to call what people give to him as “handouts.”
He has been asking for “handouts” since 2000 after donating all his belongings to the church.
Grandpa Dobri was born on July 20, 1914 in the village of Baylovo. His father died in World War I, so he was raised by his mother. His sense of hearing got damaged due to some bombings in Sofia during Second World War after a shell fell near him.
He now lives very modestly in a small extension of the church of “St. Cyril and Methodius” in his native village of Baylovo and does not live on the money he gets.
Rather, this old man was once into agriculture, and around year 2000 he decided to live a life for charity.
It was only recently discovered that he has donated all the money he has collected, over 40,000 euros, towards the restoration of decaying Bulgarian monasteries and churches and the utility bills of orphanages.
He was the biggest financial contributor of the “Alexander Nevski” cathedral.
He truly gave every penny he got and was living entirely off his monthly state pension of 80 euros and through the kindness of others who sometimes give him food.
He has separated himself from materialistic aspects of life through the years and became focused just on the spiritual and on helping others. He kisses the hands of those who give, believing in the kindness of people.
His chosen direction in life and the example he gives through his asceticism led many people to call him “The saint of Baylovo.”
He is turning 100 soon and day by day he continues with his cause.
By the way, Dobri means “good” in Bulgarian.
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