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Miracle Messages reunites Vt. homeless man with son - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Miracle Messages reunites Vt. homeless man with son

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It was a day nearly 20 years in the making.  A Vermont man gets a makeover and some international attention for something many take for granted. 

Perry Thornley spent Friday getting a makeover with a camera crew in tow. 

"I can't even think straight, I can't believe it," said Perry. 

The 51-year-old homeless Vermont man got a haircut and new clothes.

"It is the lord doing all of this, I have no control over it," said Perry.

With the hope of seeing his son Joseph for the first time in about 20 years. 

"I just want him to know that there isn't one day in all of these years that I did not think of him," said Perry.

A mix of life's ups and downs tore the two apart now the organization Miracle Messages is hoping to bring them back together. The group uses the power of video and social media to help homeless individuals reunite with their loved ones. 

"I'm seeing miracle messages, what people are doing with miracle messages as, it's really about giving them that opportunity so, in the same way you would send a postcard in yesteryear or maybe some people still do here's your chance to record a short video to a long lost loved one," said Kevin F. Adler, Miracle Messages.

It's an effort that's gaining attention from around the world with a production crew from Germany following along this week. For Perry and his 23-year-old son it's a process that started in October and then it happened. Joseph made the trip from Maine for a quiet reunion above Burlington's New Moon coffee shop with his dad who's been living on the streets all over the country, but in Burlington for many years.

"I, just like had to do a double-take," said Joseph.

"It was smooth, it was a nice meeting and I am proud of him for making the trip down here to see me," said Perry.

The team capturing the family moment says it serves as a reminder that even if your loved ones are near there are simple things you can do to help your neighbors. 

"I think it is really important even when you pass by a homeless person and they say something to you, you can always turn around and say 'Hi' and recognize them as people. Even just a 'Hi or a hot coffee can help just to put a smile maybe on their face," said Martina Beils Galileo. 

Smiles indeed for this father and son who are looking forward to their chance to start over. 

"The communication, the connection, just having someone to talk to when nobody else seems to be able to listen," said Joespeh.

"It's great, it's great, now got to get to know each other," said Perry. 

In the city where folks of all kinds came together to make this moment happen. 

"We don't really care about the publicity, but I want Burlington to be known as a nice place," said Perry.

Miracle Messages is looking to reunite 100 homeless people from around the country with their loved ones this year, with Perry and Joseph the group is now up to 10.

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