12/06/2012 07:01 pm ET Updated Dec 07, 2012

Curtis Butler, III, Formerly Homeless Veteran, Pays Power Bills For 20 Strangers

Military veteran Curtis Butler, III is no longer homeless, but he isn’t wealthy. Still, he’s so grateful for having turned his life around that the do-gooder paid some pricey bills for 20 needy customers on Monday.

"Just being thankful for what I have," Curtis told 11 Alive. "I'm not rich but when you can put a smile on someone's face, that's a major blessing."

Butler served in the military from 1989 to 1991 and again from 2002 to 2007, according to his website. When he returned from his final deployment, Butler was diagnosed with PTSD, but because of issues with his benefits, he ended up living in his car in El Paso, Texas for a while, ABC News reports. Butler lost contact with his children and overdosed on pills and alcohol twice.

But once Butler got his benefits in order, he soon got back on his feet. He returned to school and wrote "PTSD My Story Please Listen!" to raise awareness about the condition and his struggle, according to his website. He now also has an apartment in Henry County, Ga., and is getting ready to get married, 11 Alive reports.

So when the hopeful veteran came across a couple who couldn’t afford their $230 utility bill at Georgia Power on Monday, he was inspired to help and paid the bill for them, according to ABC News. He then bumped into another woman whose power had been shut off. He gave her money for her bill and some extra cash to buy gifts for her kids.

"I have been there and done it, been close to eating out of trash cans….I was the one on the street with my hand out asking for some change," Butler told ABC News. "God put me in that predicament, so that one day I could help others."

Altogether, Butler handed out more than $2,000 for 20 customers.

"It was an angel sent from heaven,” Quiana Cherry, one of the lucky customers, told 11 Alive, “like I hit the lottery.”



Holiday Acts of Kindness