Earlier this month, Ryan Andresen, a California teen, was denied his Eagle Scout badge because of his sexuality.

When Dr. Andy Zerbinopoulos, a dentist in Jacksonville, Fla., heard about the gay teen's plight, he decided to give his own hard-earned Eagle Scout award to Andresen.

"When I was awarded this medal in 1996, it really meant a lot to me, it was a true sense of achievement," Zerbinopoulos told First Coast News.

“If I can make him feel like he has some support out there, it’s worth it to me to send him a piece of metal,” he told the New York Daily News.

Andresen had completed all the tasks necessary to achieve his Eagle Scout award. But when he told his Scoutmaster that he was gay, he was denied the final award. The Boy Scouts of America have a long-standing policy of not allowing openly gay people into the organization.

“It was by far the biggest goal of my life,” Andresen told Yahoo News. “It’s totally devastating.”

Zerbinopoulos isn't the only one to show support for Andresen. Since the story broke last week, hundreds of Eagle Scouts have returned their medals to the Boy Scouts organization. A childhood friend of Andresen's, Matthew Kimball, has started a Facebook page where Boy Scouts can continue to show their support for the teen.

"I'm not ashamed of who I am, he shouldn't be ashamed of who he is," Zerbinopoulos told First Coast News. "And even though it isn't the same as receiving the award that he earned, I want him to know that there are people out there who support him."

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  • Driver's Helping Hand

    A Russian dashboard camera recently caught a heartwarming act of kindness that took place on a bustling street. An old woman was in the midst of crossing a road with obvious difficulty when an SUV stopped mid-intersection. The driver exited the vehicle and grabbed the woman's bag, offering her an arm to help her get across safely.

  • Fallen Soldier's Tribute

    To honor the memory of a soldier who was killed in action, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/23/facebook-user-sends-beer-on-behalf-of-fallen-navy-seal_n_1375924.html" target="_hplink">Jeff Beurline corded off a special spot</a> at his local bar in Connecticut for Lt. Michael P. Murphy. Beurline bought Murphy -- or "Murph," as he was known by friends -- a Guinness and propped a reserved sign on the beer alongside an American flag. The bartender not only agreed to pour random strangers a Guinness throughout the day, but also offered to pay the costs. Read Beurline's account of the act of kindness in his <a href="https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=151522458303677&id=182249954768" target="_hplink">post on Seal of Honor's Facebook page</a>. (Image via Facebook, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1732927463" target="_hplink">Jeff Beurline</a>).

  • Officer's Final Act

    A McDonald's surveillance camera caught a San Diego police officer's small -- but powerful -- act of kindness on tape. What makes the moment special is not the act itself, but that it happened mere minutes before the officer, <a href="http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Officer-Henwoods-Final-Act-of-Kindness-127886453.html" target="_hplink">Jeremy Henwood, was gunned down</a> in his patrol car.

  • Texas A&M Students' Silent Vigil

    To protect the family of Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale from anti-gay protesters on the day of his funeral, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/texas-am-students_n_1653002.html" target="_hplink">Texas A&M students and alumni donned maroon</a> and formed a human wall. Westboro Baptist Church members, who often stage demonstrations military funerals, were planning to stage a protest outside Tisdale's funeral, but never showed up. Fortunately, an estimated 650 people in maroon were there to make sure the family could mourn in peace. (Image via Facebook, Leslie Mott)

  • Sara Tucholsky's Unusual Home Run

    Sara Tucholsky, a softball player for Western Oregon University, scored a three-run homerun for the first time in her college career in a game against Central Washington University. But while touching first base, she injured her knee. The rules stated that none of her teammates could assist her. So instead, two players from the opposing team -- Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace -- carried Tucholsky to each base. All three players received a standing ovation.

  • Disabled Fan's Helping Hand

    Wheelchair-bound Patrick Connelly began to cry when he couldn't see over the standing fans at a Blake Shelton concert. His mother, Cheryl Connelly, and her daughter, tried to pick Patrick up so he could see, but were unable to hold his weight for long in the sweltering heat. It wasn't until <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/strangers-help-disabled-f_n_1677391.html" target="_hplink">two strangers hoisted Patrick up</a> and held him aloft for a half-hour that Patrick was able to finally enjoy the concert.

  • A Young Fan's Act Of Generosity

    It was the fourth inning of the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game. A player tossed a ball into the stands and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfF1m3-Dl_Q" target="_hplink">12-year-old Ian McMillan</a> ended up catching it while a younger baseball fan cried on the sidelines. Seeing the young boy's reaction, Ian handed over his prize, later explaining "it was the right thing to do."

  • Track Star's Team Effort

    After winning the state title for the 1600 meter race, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/meghan-vogel-ohio-track-star-carries-runner-video_n_1570857.html" target="_hplink">Ohio track star Meghan Vogel</a> intentionally finished in last place in the 3200 meter race by carrying an injured competitor over the finish line.

  • French Fry Brother's Kind Offering

    While in China, Jason Loose, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/american-french-fry-brother-jason-loose_n_1559531.html" target="_hplink">who is now known as "French Fry Brother,"</a> sat down to chat with a homeless woman and offered her some of his fries. Loose's random act of kindness, caught on camera by a passerby, made waves among Chinese microblogging sites for his altruism. (Image via Matt Cao/Sina Weibo)

  • Waitress' Big Tip

    Aaron Collins' family fulfilled his final wish by giving a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/aaron-collins-family-leaves-500-tip-pizza-last-wish_n_1668533.html" target="_hplink">$500 tip to an unsuspecting waitress</a> at Puccini's Smiling Teeth in Lexington, Ky. "Are you serious?" the waitress asked after being handed the hefty cash tip. Yes, the Collins family is serious and plans to continue handing out $500 tips in Aaron's memory.

  • A Knight's Reliance On Kindness Of Strangers

    Vincent Gabriel Kirouac is making his way across Canada with his horse Coeur de Lion in a crusade to promote manners and chivalry. While the 22-year-old has saved up for the journey over the past two years, he told <em>CBC</em> that <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/offbeat/story/2012/07/12/sk-quebec-knight-kirouac-saskatchewan-120712.html" target="_hplink">he has never spent a night outdoors</a>. In fact, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/14/vincent-gabriel-kirouac-chivalry-canada-knight_n_1672126.html" target="_hplink">Kirouac relies on kind strangers</a> to provide free room and board each night.

  • Terminally Ill Man's Letters Of Support

    Sean O'Connor <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/rjkoy/hey_reddit_my_47_year_old_uncle_scott_widak_has/" target="_hplink">posted a call-out on Reddit</a> on behalf of his uncle Scott Widak, who was terminally ill and had Down syndrome. "He is currently bedridden and living out his last days at home with my 85 year old grandmother. One of his favorite things to do is open mail...anyone feel like sending him a letter or card?" O'Connor wrote in a post. Within days, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/scott-widak-reddit_n_1514338.html" target="_hplink">Reddit users sent hundreds of letters and gifts</a> to the bedridden 47-year-old. O'Connor <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/w8hes/dear_reddit_my_uncle_scott_who_had_down_syndrome/" target="_hplink">returned to Reddit in July</a> following his uncle's death to thank users for reaching out.

  • Neighbor's Lemonade Fundraiser

    When 8-year-old <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/johnny-karlinchak-neighbor-lemonade-stand_n_1687656.html" target="_hplink">Johnny Karlinchak saw his neighbor's house crushed</a> by a 60-foot-oak, he ran to his piggy bank and emptied its contents into his neighbor's hands. Unfortunately, the $1.25 would not cover Elissa Myers' $500 deductible so Johnny took to what he knew best -- selling lemonade -- to cover the deficit. (Image via Getty)

  • Homeless Man's Free Lunch

    Cyclist <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/05/19/caring-cyclist-homeless-youtube_n_1529649.html" target="_hplink">Lewis Dediara captured his random act of kindness on tape</a> during one of his bike rides through London. Dediara, who wears a head-mounted camera, offered to buy a homeless man whatever he wanted to eat from a nearby convenience store after he found him sifting through a trash can.

  • Tennessee Man's Generous Gift

    Customers at a particular Tennessee gas station got quite a surprise when they learned that their gas was already paid for by a generous stranger. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/23/tennessee-man-buys-gas-fo_n_402179.html" target="_hplink">Don Reed decided to fill up 80 strangers' cars</a> with money out of his own pocket and send them on their way. His generosity was all part of a plan to spread holiday cheer in December.

  • Woman's Runaway Vehicle

    Sacrificing the safety of her own vehicle, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/lezlie-bicknell-woman-saves-kids-runaway-car_n_1664973.html" target="_hplink">Lezlie Bicknell acted on instinct</a> and rushed to the rescue of two children left unattended in a van that was slowly rolling out of a New Mexico parking lot toward a busy intersection.

  • Businesses' Auto Overhaul

    Local businesses in Aurora, Colo., banded together to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/21/aurora-businesses-fix-stolen-jeep_n_974141.html" target="_hplink">restore a woman's Jeep that had been stolen and destroyed</a> following news reports of the unfortunate theft. After two weeks of nonstop work, Jovan Williams' Jeep was returned to her in 'better-than-new' condition.

  • 5-Year-Old Girl's Well Wishes

    Following a post on Reddit by her dad, Kyle, 5-year-old Alexis Blackburn received a flurry of cards and well wishes from caring strangers. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/alexis-blackburn-reddit_n_1680641.html" target="_hplink">overflow of support for Alexis</a> inspired someone to create a Reddit thread seeking other sick children in need of encouragement. (<a href="http://imgur.com/niLv8" target="_hplink">Image via Imgur</a>)

  • Blind Dog's Rescue

    Fiona, a poodle mix, was sick, blind and infested with fleas when she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/blind-dog-fiona-in-trash-rescue_n_1379889.html" target="_hplink">rescued from a trash heap</a> by Eldad Hagar and his wife Audrey. After a nationwide fundraising effort that raised $4,000 for an eye surgery, Fiona is now able to see in one eye. She was adopted by a caring family and is reportedly "doing amazing." <em><strong>CORRECTION:</strong> This slide has been updated to show the correct spelling of Eldad's last name.</em>

  • Bassett Hounds' 1,000-Mile Journey

    After receiving a phone call from a Georgia animal shelter, Brenda Travis and her husband Tom Shield were overjoyed to learn that their basset hounds, who had been missing for five years, had been found. However, the couple, who had relocated to Kansas, did not have the means to pick up the dogs, so they <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/stolen-dogs_n_1678733.html" target="_hplink">turned to volunteers on Facebook</a> who offered to bring the dogs nearly 1,000 miles from the Georgia animal shelter to the couple's home in Kansas.