Gym Gives 12-Year-Old Refugee Boy Free Lifetime Membership After Photo of Him Gazing Through Window

A Syrian refugee boy who works as a shoe shiner in Turkey got a free lifetime membership to a gym after a photo of him gazing longingly through their window went viral, The Independent reports.

Mohammed Khaled, 12, was photographed outside of the gym watching the people inside as he stood with a footstool covered in shoe polish on his back.

The image went viral on social media in Turkey and Engin Dogan, the gym’s owner, tracked the boy down and offered him a free membership.

“A boy, looking through the gym window, wearing slippers in the middle of winter and carrying his backpack. “Our aim was to find him and offer him a lifetime membership here. And, we did it,” Dogan told the Hurriyet News. “He is one of our members now.”

Dogan posted a photo of the boy at the gym.

“He found me and helped me,“ Khaled told Anadolu News. “I had always dreamed of losing weight and now I believe I can do that by working out.”

“It affected me very much because we came from nothing and we did not have such a gym in our time,” gym co-owner Mustafa Kucukkaya told Sabah News. “The Turkish people are very sensitive about this issue, I am very touched, I think we are doing something very good.”