A WOMAN from Sweden who invited a street beggar from the Capital into her home for Christmas has spoken of the “crazy” reaction sparked by her kind-hearted gesture.
Annis Lindkvist hit the headlines all over the world after the Evening News told how she welcomed Edinburgh man Jimmy Fraser into her home in Sågmyra for the festive season.
The 37-year-old was visiting the Capital in September with her younger sister Emma when they chanced across Jimmy as he was begging on George Street.
The sisters got on so well with Jimmy that after staying in touch by text Annis decided to buy him a new passport and plane tickets so he could spend Christmas with their family.
But nothing could have prepared Annis for what happened next, with the mum-of-three saying she was “shocked” by just how far news of her kind actions had spread.
She told the News: “It got really crazy for a while. People from all over the world texted me here – some sweet, some weird. But it has calmed down now, thank goodness.
“I didn’t expect that at all, I was shocked by it all.
“Most people just wanted to say that it was a really good thing I did, that they were inspired to do more themselves. Some cried because they thought it was such a beautiful story.
“The response came from all over the world really, from all over England, several places in the United States, India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Portugal, Damaskus, Italy and so on – it was crazy!”
Annis said she hoped the unexpected turn of events would galvanise others into action to do their bit to help others, adding: “We all need to be inspired and do more.”
And Annis – who has already invited Jimmy back for Easter – is likely to be inspiring people across the globe after publications as far away as New Zealand picked up on her good deed.
Jimmy, originally from Lanark, arrived in the Capital 13 years ago after a family breakdown in London left him without a home and struggling to make ends meet.
His trip to Sweden saw him taken to an ice hockey match and Christmas markets, with Jimmy also getting the chance to meet many of Annis and her husband Daniel’s relatives.
Speaking to the News after his return, Jimmy, 54, explained the visit had been a “dream come true” experience, adding he was still in shock at the kindness Annis and her family had shown.
He said: “Show me someone else who would do that, because I haven’t met anybody.
“She’s so kind, so considerate and I don’t know why she’s done it – I still don’t know, I really don’t, but she’s done it and it happened.
“It was a dream come true, it really was. I wasn’t expecting it.
“It was just unexpected and I’m just really glad that I was there. It was an eye opener and a good experience.
“I really had a fun time and I just can’t wait to go back at Easter.”