Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 03 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Martin
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Homeless Piano Man Reconnects with Son after Story Goes Viral

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 07/15/15

Donald Gould's biggest hope was that his son would reach out to him

You may have seen the story about Florida homeless man whose musical talents have gained him fame and a new lease on life. It’s a story of hope, human dignity, and second chances.

Donald Gould was spotted playing the piano outside a Sarasota restaurant by a two young people and one of their moms, who were amazed by his talent and wanted to help him. They made a video, set up a Donald Gould Facebook page, and launched a GoFundMe campaign

Inside Edition eventually got wind of the story and paid for a make-over for Donald, which was documented in video and shared online

While Donald shared his gratitude for a clean shaven face and all the help and support he has received, foremost on his mind has been reconnecting with his 18 year-old son, Donny. In fact, for Donald, his biggest hope was that all the media attention would inspire his son to get in touch with him.

And it did. His biologocal son, Donny, who was adopted by a Michigan couple at the age of five, recently sat down and watched the video of Donald playing the piano on the street after his mom and dad, Terri and Darryl, received a phone call from a friend who had seen the coverage on Inside Edition.

“We watched the video and after we watched the video we called Donny into the room and sat him between us and had him watch the video for the first time.”

Terri and Darryl explained to Donny that the homeless man with the amazing piano talent was his birth father. Donny had no memories of Donald since he hadn’t seen him since he was three.

“When we saw him, the way he looked, it was just so sad that we wanted to reach out to him,” Terri said.

Donny says he loves his adopted mom and dad as much as any son could love his parents, but still wanted to reach out to his biological father. He told Inside Edition that he thought getting in touch with Donald might "help the piano man as he gets his life back on track."

Father and son recently had a video chat and now all parties hope that, in time, there can be on a face-to-face meeting. Donald plans to enter rehab. 

Zoe Romanowsky is the lifestyle editor and video content producer for Aleteia.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.