Etiquette Hell

The Good Things in Life => Random acts of kindness and grace => Topic started by: crazyone on February 26, 2009, 10:24:02 AM

Title: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: crazyone on February 26, 2009, 10:24:02 AM
Or even acts of kindess you have seen strangers do for each other..

Does anyone have any stories like this?

 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: NsWife on February 26, 2009, 10:31:08 AM
YES!!! Just this morning, the person ahead of me in the drive-thru at Starbuckies paid for my order.....and I only found out about it when the cashier told me my order had been taken care of and refused money!  How did that person know that I get paid once a month and, by this time in the month finances are a bit tight? :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MariaE on February 26, 2009, 11:00:02 AM
I have a bad ankle due to a staph infection when I was 12 and therefore have to wear special (and expensive!) shoes. As a poor student, I couldn't afford many shoes, so when my winter boots died, I knew I'd have to make do with sneakers and thick socks for awhile.

A couple of days later my grandmother called me. One of the couples in their biblestudy group had given grandma DKK500 (US$100) to give to me, for a pair of shoes (note: grandma did not know my boots had just died). They'd been part of the crowd who'd been praying for me while I was at the hospital with the infection, knew about the expensive shoes and had recently been feeling a burden on their hearts to help me out financially.

At the time I couldn't afford NOT to take it, and they insisted I didn't pay them back, but paid it forward, when I had the money.

I still have those boots, and I've paid it forward more than once.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: whiterose on February 26, 2009, 11:04:51 AM
I had a flat tire once. Managed to make it to a gas station. Someone there changed it for me.

One day I had food poisoning but still went to class to take a test. A fellow student walked me to the classroom and made sure I could stay up.

A friend prayed for me during a tough time and stood up for me. Someone else changed her mind about me and stood up for me even though beforehand she had followed the crowd. Various other people followed and stood up to the bullies.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: SiotehCat on February 26, 2009, 11:08:49 AM
This might not seem like a big deal, but its the one that I think of most. Years ago, when my son was about 2, maybe younger, we went out of town with his father and his fathers family. We received a call that there was a family emergency and I had to go home right away. I had received this call when I was at the store, and because I wasn't thinking straight afterwards, I opened the door too quickly and took off the top of my pinky toe. I wasn't old enough to have a drivers license, I didn't have money for two plane tickets, and I couldn't ask all of his family to come home early for me.... so we decided to take the bus. Just me and my 2 yr old and my busted up toe taking 24 hour bus ride home with a lot of luggage. We had already been on the road for about half a day when we changed buses. I had could barely hold myself up with all the stuff I was carrying and trying to protect my son from anybody that might not see him walking in front of me. This man who wasn't even close to the front of the bus came quickly and asked to carry my stuff for me. I let him and he led me and my son to two seats close to him and his son. They both had a lot of funny stories to tell me and my son and were just so ... warm. When the bus had a stop, I couldn't get down because my son was alseep and I wasn't hungry. When they came back on the bus they had bought us some snacks for whenever we got hungry. They had no idea how dark my life was at that moment, and they were still so caring.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Just Lori on February 26, 2009, 11:21:56 AM
I was trying to get home for Christmas break one year.  We managed to board the plane.  We even managed to fly over my hometown.  But my hometown was covered with fog, and the airline decided to take us back to our departure city, meaning they were not liable for overnight accommodations.

I was a poor college student with maybe $2 to my name.  There was no way I could afford the cab fare back to school, just to turn around the next morning and pay for another cab back to the airport.  I decided to sleep on the floor of the airport.  My seatmate, a businessman, tried to convince me otherwise.  But when I said it was easier for everyone if I spent the night at the airport, he took me to dinner in the airport cafeteria and gave me $20 just in case I decided I wanted to go back to campus.  I took his address and sent him back the money afterwards, with a huge thank you.  What a great man.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: rashea on February 26, 2009, 11:33:56 AM
I've told this before, but here it is again.

I was in the mall with my SO, and my wheelchair broke (came apart under me and dumped me to the floor kind of broke). Thankfully, a wonderful man and his son came over to help. When the chair proved to need some major fixing they helped me and SO get me, and the busted up chair back out to the parking lot.

Wherever he is, I wish I could pay him back.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: peach2play on February 26, 2009, 11:54:20 AM
I was feeling a pain in my leg, and I was urged by friends to go to the hospital.  I found out I had a blood clot in my leg.  I was pretty freaked out because my boss told me I couldn't work, and I didn't know when I would be better.  My friends got together and bought me an Xbox because they knew I couldn't get off the couch and was pretty much home bound.  To this day I still tear up when I think about it. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: happygrrl on February 26, 2009, 12:03:13 PM
I was in line to buy concerts tix as a special gift for my DH. When I got to the cashier, I found (to my horror) that they were only accepting cash as the CC terminal had quit working. I managed to scrap enough money from my purse, but I was short $5. The gentleman in front of me gave me the money, and insisted that I didn't need to repay it. I saw the name of a locally owned hardware store on his shirt, and b/c of that, I did give him back the fiver, and have bought mucho stuff off of him (bought a house; needed lots o' things--) :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: hope on February 26, 2009, 12:14:27 PM
Just recently I was grocery shopping and had my usual cart filled with a week's supply of everything.  I step up to the aisle and start to unload my cart.  The cashier was finishing with the lady before me and, without looking up, started to grab my order and scan it.  When she had done about 5 items she looked up and said "Is all of that your's?  Cuz you are in the 15 items or less aisle!"

I looked up at the light/where the aisle number is and it didn't indicate that.  She pointed to a hand-made sign that was at the end of the conveyer belt and that I was blocking with my stomach while I was putting things on the belt.  I apologized and offered to take my stuff elsewhere but she said she had already started.

Up walks elderly man with a hand-basket and 3 items.  I apologized and told him I didn't see the sign.  I was already in a bad mood that day and all of this didn't help.  He smiled and said "No problem.  I can wait."  I really, really needed to hear that!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on February 26, 2009, 12:19:04 PM
I was having a reeeeeealy bad few months my last year in NYC. I was sooooo broke, dealing with a horrible roomate situation, life was pretty much throwing me all kinds of curveballs, and my DH (then fiance) had already moved down here to S. FLorida so I didn't even have him with me. And, it was a bitter winter day to boot. I. was. miserable.

I went to the Duane Reade next to my office building one morning to get some things I really needed for the week. I was on a very very tight budget (read: poor) and I had just enough money in the account to pay for what I needed and still have some left to barely survive until pay day.  My debit card was rejected. I was humiliated. I apologized to the cashier started to leave when the lady behind me pulled some money out of her wallet and just gave it to me. I tried to politely refuse but she insisted. She said, "Please take it. I have been there." and gave me the money. I started crying as I thanked her and paid the cashier. As I tried to give the woman her change, she insisited I keep it. It was quite a considerable amount. I just started sobbing. She just smiled and went on her way. It was a small thing but I guess I was overwhelmed by the generousity that a total stranger had just shown me when my life seemed so bleak at that time. That one act of kindness actually helped me get through the last few months there.

I did get a chance to repay her although not literally. I ended up being able to do the same thing for someone else in a Publix when my financial situation got better here in Florida. It was my way of paying it forward.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: snowball's chance on February 26, 2009, 12:19:34 PM
I was working at the Mall of America in 2001.  If anyone remembers the Anthony Zappa case, I came to work on the bus one morning and came to find out that he was rumored to be hiding in the Mall & security wouldn't let anyone inside.  I was supposed to open the store I worked in by myself, I had no cell phone.  Another mall employee let me use her cell to call my manager at home & our corporate office in another state and let them know what was going on.  

Meanwhile we had no idea when/if the mall would open that day, and as I was taking the bus, I had to wait about half an hour for another bus, so I wasn't stranded, but inconvenienced.  The nice woman who had let me use her phone & her husband gave me a ride home even though it was out of their way, and I had never met them.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: veryfluffy on February 26, 2009, 12:29:50 PM
Many years ago when I was a grad student, a friend and I decided to go Inter-railing around Europe for a month during summer break (Inter-rail is a student rail ticket that lets you take almost any train anywhere in Europe). Well, we arrived in Paris the night before Bastille Day, at around 10 pm, and found that the connecting train to the south (which we had planned to sleep on) wasn't running. So we were in a strange city with nowhere to sleep. It was a warm night, so we decided we could just crash out in the park until morning. As we got to the Park (after a much longer trek, carrying backpacks, than it had looked on the map!), a French couple was walking by, and they saw we looked a bit lost and tired. We explained our plan about kipping in the park, and started chatting. After a bit, they offered to let us come back to their flat nearby, and we were welcome to sleep on their floor! In the morning, they gave us breakfast.

A month later, on the train back to England, there was a German girl sitting opposite me. She was going to the town I lived in, and planning to get to the youth hostel there. Trouble was, the train was going to get in late, and she wasn't sure what time they closed for the night. So I invited her to come and sleep on the sofa in my flat. In the morning I bought her breakfast.

Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: ScottandCaitlin777 on February 26, 2009, 12:36:41 PM
When I was living in the dorm my first year of college, I did not have a license yet, but I had a bike.  Generally I would get one or two bags of groceries and hang them on my handles and walk on the way back to the dorm (the store was quite a few blocks away).  One day I needed a bit more than I could manage and was trying to figure how to make it all work when it started to rain.  I didn't have a raincoat or umbrella.  Then an older woman and man who I had seen in the store saw me and offered to take me, my grocieries, and my bike back to the dorm in their big van (not a creepy one--big windows and space for my bike).  It was so nice, and I really appreciated it at the time.

In hindsight, I would never get into some stranger's van again, but I'm glad it worked out at the time.  I totally forgot about it until I read this thread.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: NsWife on February 26, 2009, 12:41:07 PM
Snowballs post made me think of.....9/11 - I was in my car in DC, very near the Whitehouse.   We had been stopped there by the military and Secret Service for so long that folks were getting out of their cars to talk, sharing info heard on news radio etc.  I was struggling to call family in MA to let them know I was OK and would call when I got home.  But, I couldn't get a signal for the life of me.  A lovely lady in the car next to mine walked over, handed me her phone and said, "I've got a signal, use this."  When I said no, it was a long distance call to my Dad, she said, "Who cares?  Please just use it." I have never forgotten her kindness.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: PeasNCues on February 26, 2009, 12:44:28 PM
There was a woman in college named Linda. Ms. Linda (as everyone called her) swiped your ID badges for you to go into cafeteria to get food. She was (and is) a joyful and loving woman. I was in a really bad place in life. I worked midnight - 8 three days a week and went to school from 1000-1700. I was exhausted and sick all the time. Then, at the beginning of the semester, I had a series of financial snafus and my hours at work were cut back.

I had a decision to make. I could either buy the books I needed for the next few weeks in college, or I could buy food. I was on a limited meal plan, so only 1 meal a day could be in the cafeteria. That day I went into the cafeteria to her desk, my backpack full of overpriced books, seriously lacking on sleep to the point of exhaustion and my bank account empty and Ms. Linda said, "What's the matter, darling, you look pale."

With 10 or so people behind me in line I started bawling my eyes out. I was so embarassed! At that point I was so exhausted I couldn't even stop myself. But Ms Linda got someone else on the desk, sat me down and asked me what happened. When I told her, she was sympathetic, said everything would be ok, etc and I went in to eat. When I went to thank her - she had a bag full of food for me. She gave me food every day until I said I would be ok. Every day she gave me sympathy. Every day she was a kind ear.

And I wasn't the only person whose life she touched. If you were sick, she'd drive you to the doctor herself if she had to. She'd bring food to your dorm if you were too sick to move. She knew everyone and, seemingly, anything. So, if she couldn't do something for you, she'd find someone who could. In that cafeteria, everyone was united because we were all Ms. Linda's "kids." You could sit with anyone, talk to anyone because of the atmosphere of acceptance and kindess which she fostered right at the front desk.

One year her husband got very sick. He was in the hospital, and then he died. Everyone was asking about her - "where's ms. linda? how is she? what can we do to help?" She had touched everyone's lives so much that now everyone wanted to be there for her in her time of need. She got offered rides to wherever she needed to go. She recieved at least 10 "Someone at MYCOLLEGE loves you" teddy bears. Her husband recieved teddy bears while he was in the hospital from people he didn't even know - but everyone loved Ms. Linda so much that he, by proxy, was loved as well. He asked to be buried with them and he was. She was inundated with flowers. Students went to her husbands funeral to support her and hug her - to give her sympathy and a kind ear.

I think it really showed her that she was loved. When she came back, she simply could not communicate how important it was to her that students did that - that we cared. But she started it :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Ferrets on February 26, 2009, 01:03:09 PM
Though I have some absolutely wonderful friends who are happy to regularly transport me to and from battle re-enactment events (I always offer petrol money, but they always refuse, so I've started thanking them with bottles of good beer ;D), there are always a few events a year that they don't attend and I do. In those cases, I just get there under my own steam via public transport...and then, once there, almost invariably encounter someone else in the group that I don't know but who, when learning that I hacked it over to this Godforsaken patch of countryside by a combination of bus, train and and shank's pony, lugging tent, kit and a musket, have of their own volition given me lifts home to my front door (and also refused any petrol money). :)

Interestingly, all of those last have used the exact same phrase when I've offered money and profuse thanks - "No worries, just pay it forward to someone else when you get a car!" In fifteen years of re-enactment, and a lot of those events reached under my own steam, it has been literally only once that I have returned home via public transport instead of in a nice comfy car. (I'm beginning to think I should just give up buying return tickets, and take beer to 'pay' for lifts instead. ;) )

PeasNCues...I actually cried reading your story. That was just...well, amazing.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: KitFox on February 26, 2009, 02:08:42 PM
This reminds me of the most amazing thing anyone ever did for me. I was 19, coming home from college for a visit, and my clunker of a ten-year-old van broke down in the middle of nowhere. I had been trained not to panic in those situations...but I was close. I didn't know where I was, really, and I didn't know how far it was going to be until I could find a phone. (This was back in the old days before everyone and their dog had a cell.) I figured it was time to stop crying and start walking, and hadn't made it more than ten yards from my van when a car, a Lexus with a leather interior, pulled up next to me.
Two very sweet gentlemen let me borrow their cellphone to call my parents, and AAA, and this was in a roaming area, so I can't even imagine how expensive those ten minutes were. Then they say with me until the tow truck came, and tried to give me money to get a hotel room. It turns out I was about five miles from the nearest exit, so I was a good long way from help if they hadn't shown up. I tried to give them the little cash I had to pay for the phone call, and they laughed at me. They said they weren't hurting and I needed to hang onto my cash.
Thinking back on it, I should have been terrified. I was a teenage girl alone with two grown men in the middle of nowhere? That could've been bad. But they were so kind to me, and treated me like a lady instead of a goth-punk college kid with too many piercings, peacock hair, and combat boots.
I got to do a little pay-it-forward a few years later, when on the same trip I saw a woman broken down on the side of the road. I helped her with her car, let her use my cell phone (which was purchased that weekend of the disastrous trip home) and told her the story of the angels in the Lexus when she tried to pay me for my trouble.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Team HoundMom on February 26, 2009, 02:22:35 PM
My friend and I parked in downtown Toronto late one night and after we locked the car doors she said, "Juicy, where are my car keys?"  Then, as the interior light slowly faded, we saw them dangling in the ignition. A man and his friend came along, saw our situation, called CAA (using his account), then pressed $40 into my friend's hand.  She thanked him profusely and he just shrugged and said, "Meh. As a father. I only hope that someone would do the same thing for my daughter."
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: SiotehCat on February 26, 2009, 02:28:10 PM
Oh, I got another one! My sister and I were in the waiting room of a doctors office waiting for my dad to be finished with his check up. We see an old man get out of the doctors office and start for his car... and he is obviously in a lot of pain as he walks. The waiting room is facing the parking lot and has been windows so we can see. We see him start getting a spare tire out of the back of his van. It was even painful to watch. He looked very old and very frail. The conversation between me and my sister went like this
Sis: He can't do that alone, what do we do?
Sio: We need to help him.
Sis: Do you know how to change a tire?
Sio: Nope

With that, we got up and went outside to change his tire. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing, but luckily we didn't have to do it for long. A very strong looking man saw two damsels in distress and ran over to help. He realized quickly that it wasn't our van, but he still changed the tire.

So Mr. Strong Man ended up doing all the work, but I helped get him there. Well, me and my low cut shirt. It was still a nice gesture!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Hijinks on February 26, 2009, 02:29:16 PM
When my office keys fell out of my work bag in the skywalk, someone turned them in to building management.  They could have waited until after hours and then gone around testing doors in the bulding, then stolen all of our stuff, but they didn't.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: twilight on February 26, 2009, 03:17:09 PM
When I was younger there were tough times at home...my mom was sick and in and out of the hospitol, on occasion for months at a time, and my dad took full advantage of her absence by being a big bully and very abusive both physcially and verbally.  I also was given full charge of my much younger siblings and all of the housework and cooking.  I was so sad, lonely, and desperately wanted to be mothered.

My parents never came with me to church and I was always sent by my myself.  One day at church I was sitting next to a red haired woman.  I don't even remember her name and I don't think she even knew who I was except that I was part of the congregation.  For some reason to me she just glowed like an angel.  I don't know what gave me the courage as I was horribly shy but I asked her if I could sit on her lap.  She let me sit on her lap and hugged me through the whole service and she even gave me a dollar to put in the collection plate.  I remember she was really soft and smelled like flowers.  Just sitting like that on her lap made me so happy that I cried silently throughout the whole service.  At the end she gave me a kiss on my forehead.

It was such a small act of kindness but it meant so much to me... 
 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Daffydilly on February 26, 2009, 03:22:18 PM
There was the day my dad's semi truck went off the road and over an enbankment. It was a cold December day and I had just come home from school. My mother was gone trying to get everything arranged so we could go to the hospital for my dad.
Now, earlier in the day, my teacher had told me at school that someone was taking a turkey to my house for my family. It was a private school and I was one of the not well to do students, and they were sweet to help us out from time to time. So I watched out the window, and an older woman walked up with a bag. She put it on the door, waved to me and walked away.
I went out and dragged the turkey inside. The bag tore open and I found a little gift wrapped box with my name on it. I was curious, so I ripped it open and found two fifty dollar bills inside. I'd never had that much money before! But made the best decision I could. So I tore my name off the top half of the card and tucked the money back in the box. And I buried the wrapping paper deep in the trash can.
My mum cam home in tears. There was nothing left in the bank account for gas to get to the hospital.
So I showed her the turkey and present. She nodded that it was nice and got on the phone to call family for help. So I opened the box and handed her the money.
We went out to see my dad and were just able to afford the drive, a cheap room nearby and breakfast at McDonalds the next morning. But the best part was taking my dad home the next day. He had stitches and bruises, but he was okay. And my parents never found out my little secret!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on February 26, 2009, 03:25:40 PM
When I was younger there were tough times at home...my mom was sick and in and out of the hospitol, on occasion for months at a time, and my dad took full advantage of her absence by being a big bully and very abusive both physcially and verbally.  I also was given full charge of my much younger siblings and all of the housework and cooking.  I was so sad, lonely, and desperately wanted to be mothered.

My parents never came with me to church and I was always sent by my myself.  One day at church I was sitting next to a red haired woman.  I don't even remember her name and I don't think she even knew who I was except that I was part of the congregation.  For some reason to me she just glowed like an angel.  I don't know what gave me the courage as I was horribly shy but I asked her if I could sit on her lap.  She let me sit on her lap and hugged me through the whole service and she even gave me a dollar to put in the collection plate.  I remember she was really soft and smelled like flowers.  Just sitting like that on her lap made me so happy that I cried silently throughout the whole service.  At the end she gave me a kiss on my forehead.

It was such a small act of kindness but it meant so much to me... 
 

That was beautiful.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Megan on February 26, 2009, 03:28:06 PM
I think I've posted this one somewhere on here before.

I had been living in this city about 2 months, and was really having trouble making friends.  Basically I hardly ever saw anyone but DH, my sister lives here too but she has a really full social life, and at the time just really didn't have any time for me.  I had finally gotten to know one of the girls in one of my classes a bit, and we had made plans to meet up for lunch and to go over an assignment.  

I was so excited to finally be doing something semi-social, and to be making a friend.  However, she didn't show up (it turned out later to be a mix-up on the dates, she had written down the next day).  So I was sitting all alone in the student union building, surrounded by groups of people who all seemed to be there with friends.  I tried calling my sister, but she had a class to go to.  A couple of random girls overheard me tell her I was stood up, and must have noticed that I started crying when I got off the phone.

The girls came over to me and insisted that I go for lunch with them, and when we got to the counter they insisted on paying for my meal.  We had a great lunch, and even though we had nothing really in common, they gave me lots of suggestions of fun cheap things to do in this city.  I've never seen them since, but I'm still extremely grateful for their kindness that day.

And the girl who stood me up insisted on buying me lunch the next day to make up for it, and we're now good friends.  So it's a double happy ending.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Alicia0405 on February 26, 2009, 04:36:45 PM
I was at a job interview and the parking lot for the business was full, so I had to park in a garage across the street.  The interview took much longer than I expected, and when I got back to my car, I realized that I had seriously underestimated the cost of parking and also saw that the garage didnt take credit cards.  I knew there was a bank in the attached building so I went into the bank to get an advance on my credit card to cover the parking, but they couldnt do an advance like that. 

A gentlemen in the line next to me heard my story and saw how upset I was.  He told me how he was starting a business and gave me $10 of the dollars he was depositing into his bank account. 

I asked him to give me his name and address and I would send him the money, he said that he had been helped by strangers when he needed it and he was just happy to be able to help me.  He hoped it would bring his new business luck, and just to pay it forward when I had a chance.

Now I pay it forward every chance and get and I always think of him when I do.  He will probably never know how much that little bit of money meant to me, but I really hope his business is a roaring success.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Sharnita on February 26, 2009, 04:40:10 PM
Just a couple of weeks ago I got in an accident on I-75.  I was all the way over on the left in ice and slush but 3 different cars stopped to make sure I was OK.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on February 26, 2009, 05:29:09 PM
Several years ago, I was waiting at the bus stop to take the bus to work. A very nice gentleman asked if I worked at Wal-Mart, and if I wanted a ride. Totally out of character for me, I took the ride. (I trust my intuition, and would not have gotten in the car if he gave me the heebie-jeebies.) He said he and his wife shop there all the time, and saw me standing there, and since he was going that way, he offered the ride.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kherbert05 on February 26, 2009, 05:51:06 PM
Not me but the 5th grade teachers at my school. The Mother of one of our students was seriously hurt in a car accident right before the holidays. The English language 5th grade teachers (they are departmentalized) called the family and arranged a time to come over. They showed up with everything you need for Christmas meal - and gifts for all the children and money for gas and parking at the hospital. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: stargazer on February 26, 2009, 06:10:53 PM
Not me, but a guy I know on another board (for IBS, this is important to the story).  We'll call him Mark.

Mark was driving down a snowy highway when he realized that the last food he had eaten was not sitting well with him at all.  He started to panic knowing he didn't have much time.  In doing so, he sped up considerably.  He is almost ready to pull off on an exit when, to his horror, he sees the lights flashing behind him.   The officer comes up to him and he blurts out his situation.  He said you can give me a ticket or whatever, but I NEED to make it to that gas station restroom!    He could tell the officer did not believe him at all, but allowed him to go and followed him, saying he would give him the ticket when he was done.   

Mark dashed into the restroom in the nick of time, and was probably in there a good fifteen minutes.  He was mortified beyond belief that this cop was hearing everything as it was impossible to miss.  He finally came out, and didn't see the cop anywhere around.   The reason became clear when he got back to his car, which was covered in snow.  On one of the windows, the cop had traced out the words "I believe you."
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: StaciNadia on February 26, 2009, 10:15:32 PM
When I lived with my mother and grandmother, I worked in a nearby mall.  I had to walk about 10-15 minutes to the bus stop, and then rode the bus for a bit to the mall.  Well, that day, I made the walk and was standing at the bus stop, and the bus just zoomed by the stop, not even noticing me.  Well, I was freaking out, because the next bus would get me to my job late.  I went to the gas station across the street and called my mom, even though I knew she couldn't help, because she was at her own job, and my grandmother didn't drive at all.

Well, when I hung up the phone and went off to mope by myself, an older gentleman asked what was wrong, and I said that the bus didn't stop for me and I'd be late to my job at the mall.  The gentleman said that he and his wife would take me as soon as she got out of the station.  I thanked them so much.  They chatted with me during the ride, and when we arrived, they refused the money I tried to pay them with.  I arrived in time for my shift.

Maybe I was crazy to get in a strange car, and I wouldn't do it again, but they were so nice and helpful.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Alida on February 26, 2009, 10:33:02 PM
Big blizzard.  Daughter was just a baby.  The ex was on the road, and DD and I ended up being snowed in at my parents' house.  With no milk.  Mom and I trudged two miles through the snow to the only store that was still open (and they stayed open 10 extra minutes for us and a few others!) and headed back to the house.  Only medical and emergency personnel were allowed on the road and someone on his way home from the hospital stopped and gave us a ride home. A small thing, maybe, in the grand scheme of things, but for two exhausted, freezing cold women, it was the best thing EVER.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: DottyG on February 26, 2009, 10:54:32 PM
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)

Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: squeakers on February 26, 2009, 11:05:08 PM
It was winter and I was at the convenience  station.  When I pulled out I saw that the mini-van in front of me was stalled.  I waited a few minutes and then got out of my van.  2 little old ladies were stuck and couldn't get their mini-van started.  I used my behemoth to push them to the side of the road, gave them a ride home and carried their groceries inside.

Summer time.  I had all my kids in the van when it died.  No clicky sound when I tried to turn it over so I deduced it was the alternator. Just as we had locked up the van and were preparing to walk home a car stopped and the guy got out.  He poked around under the hood and said he thought the battery was dead.  He tried to jump me but the van didn't start.  So he gave us a ride home.  It was the alternator  ;)

Winter again.  We came upon a car stranded by the side of the road.  It was on a hill going up and around a bend so a bad spot to be.  Hubby talked to the lady driver and then we pushed her to the gas station (half a block a way) with my van.  She had someone coming to pick her up so we went on our merry way.

Hopefully the next time I am in stranded... something nice will happen again.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: HonorH on February 27, 2009, 03:54:08 AM
Oh, there have been so many, but let's just go with my first few days in Small-Town Japan.  I'd ridden trains for five hours from Tokyo to Small Town (we'll call it Komura), and by the time I finally got there, I was tired and feeling rather isolated.  I had instructions to go to a particular hotel, where I had a room reserved by my company.  Unfortunately, being new in town, I had no idea where it was, even with a map.  I wandered around a bit and finally just bit the bullet and asked a woman at a nearby fish market where the hotel was.  She spoke about as much English as I speak Japanese, but she got what I was asking after.  Rather than pointing me the way, she quickly finished loading up her delivery truck, invited me to take the passenger seat and drove me to the hotel.  Domo arigato!

After I'd gotten settled in the hotel room (total fleabag hotel, by the way; the company had no clue of just how bad it was, as I later learned), I started feeling really lonely and homesick.  I called the head of my local branch just to check in and say I was in Komura and everything had gone smoothly.  He seemed to sense how I was feeling, and shortly after I hung up, he called again to say the other ALT in town wanted to know if it was all right to visit me--in other words, he called her to let her know I was there.  I gladly accepted the offer, and she turned up bearing Calpis (a very odd Japanese soft drink that's a bit like chalky-tasting Sprite and has yogurt in it) for us both to sample.  Later, she told me she was worried her visit had been an imposition.  I assured her it was the opposite, and I was so glad of her company that evening.  She and I have since become good friends.

Next day, we were both very busy as our company-hired helper took us around to our schools and boards of education and also started the process of getting me settled in.  By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted, still badly jet-lagged, and homesick.  I must've looked pretty bad, because when the helper and I stopped in at the real estate office to get my apartment keys, instead of offering us tea (absolutely de rigeur in Japan), the agent plopped a vitamin drink in front of me, bless him.  That didn't stop me from bursting into tears on the way to my apartment when I found out I wouldn't have a phone or Internet access there, and I really wanted to communicate with my family.  My helper, lovely woman that she is, called my company, and next thing I know, they're telling me I can wait another couple of days to get into my apartment, because they're putting me up in a much nicer hotel for the weekend.  I tried saying it wasn't necessary, but my boss told me he understood completely how I was feeling, and they wanted me to get some rest and relax before plowing into my job come Monday.  He told me to go to the hotel, contact my family, get some sleep and get my feet under me.  All on the company's dime.  Oh, and they shelled out for me to have breakfast at the hotel each morning, too.

Is it any wonder I love my job?

I'm loving these stories.  Keep 'em coming!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Ferrets on February 27, 2009, 04:11:40 AM
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)

I took the mention of "paying it forward" to refer to the posters' writing from the perspective of being a recipient of the "paid forward" act of kindness (i.e. the helpful stranger is "paying forward" for kindness done to them in the past).
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Lauren on February 27, 2009, 04:42:17 AM
Quote
When I was younger there were tough times at home...my mom was sick and in and out of the hospitol, on occasion for months at a time, and my dad took full advantage of her absence by being a big bully and very abusive both physcially and verbally.  I also was given full charge of my much younger siblings and all of the housework and cooking.  I was so sad, lonely, and desperately wanted to be mothered.

My parents never came with me to church and I was always sent by my myself.  One day at church I was sitting next to a red haired woman.  I don't even remember her name and I don't think she even knew who I was except that I was part of the congregation.  For some reason to me she just glowed like an angel.  I don't know what gave me the courage as I was horribly shy but I asked her if I could sit on her lap.  She let me sit on her lap and hugged me through the whole service and she even gave me a dollar to put in the collection plate.  I remember she was really soft and smelled like flowers.  Just sitting like that on her lap made me so happy that I cried silently throughout the whole service.  At the end she gave me a kiss on my forehead.

It was such a small act of kindness but it meant so much to me... 
\

I've never been reduced to a sobbing mess in front of my screen, but that story has done it. What a wonderful person to recognise what you needed.


Mine happened a couple of months ago, I'm really struggling financially. Due to my regional manager forgetting to sign off our weekend work I got underpaid by $400. It was the week before I was due to be paid again, I had no petrol, no money and my credit cards were maxed out. I thankfully had enough food, but had no idea how i was going to drive at all that week. A customer gave me a $50 tip that day and it saved me. I'm not at a point where I can afford to pay it forward, but I will when I can.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Dazi on February 27, 2009, 05:52:31 AM
When I was 16 I got stuck in Atlanta's airport for 12hrs or so on my way home from visiting my father.  Almost all flights were grounded due to the horrible weather...some people had been waiting days to get out.  A very nice older gentleman gave up his seat so I could get home...

I was out at a restaurant near my work and paid for a woman's lunch.  She didn't remember who I was but she lived next door to me when I was a child (she was suffering from mild dementia then and that was like 15 years ago).  She made the best cookies   :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 27, 2009, 01:56:36 PM
I'm sitting here in my cube hoping no one comes around the corner because of the tears rolling down my face - especially Linda and the lady with the lap in church.

My Dad has always been helpful when people need something.  It's coming back on him (and my brother and I indirectly) ten-fold.  He has fantastic neighbours who are always checking on him (he's in his 70's, living alone in a big house in a rural area).  They were subtle about it at first, but now they are open about it because Dad figured out what was going on.

When the power goes out, one of them pops over to see if he needs help getting the generator going.  When they hear the chainsaw in the bush, one or more of them goes over to help.  When sugarbush is up and running, they help collect the sap and help boil it down in the sugarshack until the point it is brought into the house for finishing off.

They invite him for supper, just because.  Just this past weekend, they invited him over for a bonfire.  They invite him over for New Year's Eve.  We always spend Christmas together as a family but usually do our own thing for New Year's so Dad will often be alone.

I live 1.5 hours away and my brother lives 2.5 hours away from my Dad so this family has been a blessing.  It is a relief to know that they are there.  I do call Dad several times a week and visit fairly regularly but it isn't the same as being there all the time.  And when I call and repeatedly get a busy signal because Dad left a phone off the hook, I can call the neighbours and ask them to run over when they get a chance and tell Dad to hang up the dang phone!   :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: DottyG on February 27, 2009, 02:19:57 PM
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)

I took the mention of "paying it forward" to refer to the posters' writing from the perspective of being a recipient of the "paid forward" act of kindness (i.e. the helpful stranger is "paying forward" for kindness done to them in the past).

It could very well be.  But, how cool would it be if the poster would then pay their kindness forward as well?  After all, that's the true concept of "pay it forward"!

Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: ET is the best alien. on February 27, 2009, 02:30:40 PM
When I was 16 I got stuck in Atlanta's airport for 12hrs or so on my way home from visiting my father.  Almost all flights were grounded due to the horrible weather...some people had been waiting days to get out.  A very nice older gentleman gave up his seat so I could get home...

I was out at a restaurant near my work and paid for a woman's lunch.  She didn't remember who I was but she lived next door to me when I was a child (she was suffering from mild dementia then and that was like 15 years ago).  She made the best cookies   :)
Be funny if that was Warbaby, dosen't he live in the Atlanta area or is it just Ballentara?
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Sirius on February 27, 2009, 03:09:37 PM
Just a few days ago, a friend of ours who is in a very bad way financially brought us some soup and fruit.  Mr. Sirius and I both have the flu, and we really appreciated the soup.  I thanked her profusely for it, and we will give her Mason jar back to her because she uses them for food storage and her situation is such that she couldn't afford to replace even one. 

Does anyone have any ideas what we could do for her?  I was thinking of getting a gift card to a local grocery store and mailing it to her anonymously.  There's one just a short distance from where she lives where she could use such a card for food or gas for her car, whatever she needed most.  I know that she wouldn't want to take it if I tried to hand it to her.  Or does anyone have a better idea?
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Megan on February 27, 2009, 03:12:34 PM
Just a few days ago, a friend of ours who is in a very bad way financially brought us some soup and fruit.  Mr. Sirius and I both have the flu, and we really appreciated the soup.  I thanked her profusely for it, and we will give her Mason jar back to her because she uses them for food storage and her situation is such that she couldn't afford to replace even one. 

Does anyone have any ideas what we could do for her?  I was thinking of getting a gift card to a local grocery store and mailing it to her anonymously.  There's one just a short distance from where she lives where she could use such a card for food or gas for her car, whatever she needed most.  I know that she wouldn't want to take it if I tried to hand it to her.  Or does anyone have a better idea?

Could you fill the mason jar with something?  you could even put the gift card in there with some cookies, so she wouldn't notice it right away to refuse to take it.  I don't know if this is just my family, but my grandma (and mom) always taught that you never return a container empty if you can help it.  In later years when she wasn't well Grandma used to buy candy to put in containers when she couldn't send home baked goods.  She said she just didn't feel right sending back containers empty.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: angilamae on February 27, 2009, 05:50:29 PM
Mine was so simple and just happened recently:

Valentines day night i came home and was chatting on the phone.  On the ground was a little envelope.  It was a little valentine (the kind kids get, it had a ram on it).  Just said to 214 (my apt) from us so very impersonal but I liked it anyways.  i was feeling bad for not having a valentine and the closest i got was a text message from the ex.  This made me feel warm and fuzzy.  It's still up on the fridge.  The ram is cute
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: HonorH on February 27, 2009, 06:09:49 PM
I remembered a time when I got to be the kindly stranger.  I was on my lunch break and had gone to the local supermarket/deli to grab something to take back with me.  As I was leaving the store, a woman carrying two big bags of groceries came up to me and asked me if I could possibly take her home, because after buying groceries, she didn't have taxi fare.  I got a good feeling about her--I felt she was being truthful with me, and that she'd picked me out to ask because she thought I'd help her.  Can't really explain it.  She didn't live far away, and it barely took five minutes to get there.  Would've been quite the walk with two heavy bags, though.  She thanked me profusely, and I went back to work feeling warm and fuzzy about the whole thing.

Linda, I think you found yourself an angel that day.  The best angels, after all, are people who let God love others through them.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Sirius on February 27, 2009, 09:09:59 PM
Just a few days ago, a friend of ours who is in a very bad way financially brought us some soup and fruit.  Mr. Sirius and I both have the flu, and we really appreciated the soup.  I thanked her profusely for it, and we will give her Mason jar back to her because she uses them for food storage and her situation is such that she couldn't afford to replace even one. 

Does anyone have any ideas what we could do for her?  I was thinking of getting a gift card to a local grocery store and mailing it to her anonymously.  There's one just a short distance from where she lives where she could use such a card for food or gas for her car, whatever she needed most.  I know that she wouldn't want to take it if I tried to hand it to her.  Or does anyone have a better idea?

Could you fill the mason jar with something?  you could even put the gift card in there with some cookies, so she wouldn't notice it right away to refuse to take it.  I don't know if this is just my family, but my grandma (and mom) always taught that you never return a container empty if you can help it.  In later years when she wasn't well Grandma used to buy candy to put in containers when she couldn't send home baked goods.  She said she just didn't feel right sending back containers empty.

You know, that's a thought.  She eats a lot of rice, and I have a bag of rice I could give her that way.  I gave her two containers of oatmeal a few months ago when I was making cookies and there was a special and I ended up with way more than we'd ever eat.  Since she's the type of person who would give someone else her shirt if they needed it we want to do something for her, especially since we know that she's really hurting for money right now.  The problem is, we're still sick and I don't know when I'll get to the store.  But I also know her situation isn't going to go away any time soon, so even if I don't get to the store until later in the week she'll still be able to use a gift card.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Ferrets on February 27, 2009, 09:15:04 PM
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)

I took the mention of "paying it forward" to refer to the posters' writing from the perspective of being a recipient of the "paid forward" act of kindness (i.e. the helpful stranger is "paying forward" for kindness done to them in the past).

It could very well be.  But, how cool would it be if the poster would then pay their kindness forward as well?  After all, that's the true concept of "pay it forward"!

Oh, I'm not denying that. I think we're all ready to pay it forward, but the opportunity to do so may not have yet arisen for many of us. I just didn't feel people were necessarily "missing the point" in their posts.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Daffydilly on February 27, 2009, 09:45:10 PM
Paying it forward... the acts of kindness done by strangers. I'm delighted to share in this thread my experience with other people. Perhaps I'll share the right story about paying it forward myself, but maybe we're paying it forward here. Because we're sharing that experience with other people and maybe inspire someone else to act from what we have had happen in our lives.
Just my little thought on the topic.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: AbbyW on February 28, 2009, 05:39:56 AM
My father has a giant heart.  We knew if someone was standing by the road with a broken down car, Dad will always stop.  Sometimes, it was just to give the car a jump.  Other times, he would bring back gas.  Or he would give them rides to their next location.  That's just my dad.

One night, my sisters and I were on the highway when our car broke down.  A very nice man stopped on the highway and said he couldn't let us girls walk on the side of the road (pre-cell phone).  So he gave us a ride to the nearest gas station.  We agreed it was years of Dad's generosity being paid back.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: HonorH on February 28, 2009, 06:44:29 AM
Another one, this time done for my sisters: back in, oh, 1990, Mt. Redoubt in Alaska blew its top just in time for the holidays.  My sisters, who were coming home from college for Christmas, got stuck in the Seattle airport.  Sis2 remembered that a girl in her choir lived in Seattle, and so they tried calling her.  Upon hearing about their predicament, this girl's dad immediately drove to the airport, picked up my sisters, and took them home.  They slept there, and in the morning, the dad took them back to the airport, where they got on a standby list and waited.  My dad wired them some money so they'd be able to get food at the airport.  Come evening, no flight had been available, so they called their friend, whose dad again came and picked them up at the airport and took them home.  They did this for three days, and not once did the friend's family act like my sisters were an imposition so close to Christmas.  Finally, my sisters caught a flight home.  After that, my mom got a huge gift box full of Alaskan seafood products (and those things are expensive, yo) and had it sent to the friend's family.  They said to that, "Drop in again anytime!"
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: RebeccainGA on March 13, 2009, 01:22:09 PM
My dad has always been the 'help someone when you can' type - having been a mechanic for years, he was endlessly fixing other peoples' cars and changing flat tires. He always told people just to pay it forward when they could. About fifteen years ago, he hurt his back, and now has a multi-level spinal fusion - no more changing flats and such for him.

The year after his surgery, I was on my way to work after a nail appointment with a friend from work. We had the same boss, who had a big crush on my friend. She was one tardy away from being fired - nothing my supervisor could do, since we were in a call center and time was tracked to the second. We were a few blocks from work, in a busy industrial part of town, and I got a flat tire just as the road narrowed from three lanes to two. I was at the end of that lane that was ending, being passed by cars going 50 miles an hour or more, as well as large trucks full of crushed rock and gasoline tankers. She called our supervisor, and he came out and picked HER up - and left me to my own devices, as I wasn't due at work for another half hour.

I couldn't call my dad, and was nervous about getting out there and changing the tire, which was on the driver's side and would have left me exposed to the traffic. As I am standing next to the car on the should, contemplating what to do, an old beat-up pickup truck, with fishing poles in the back, stops in the road behind my car. An older gentleman, and his six or seven year old grandson, get out, and with his help we get my tire changed safely. The spare, though, was also flat! He offered to follow me to the nearest gas station, about a half mile up the road, and filled the tire for me. I offered him money for his trouble, or at least to pay for the air machine, but he refused, and after a quick thank you for them both they got back in their truck and went off, I hope to catch some giant fish. They were my angels!

I've changed flat tires for several friends since then, and had to change my own once or twice. Never have forgot that sweet man and his grandson, though. Dad said it was his karma coming back around to him - he couldn't have done the job himself, but someone else showed up to do it for him. :-)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: momof2weenies on March 13, 2009, 02:19:13 PM
One summer morning, not too long after moving to the middle of nowhere to live with my then-DF (now DH), I was driving to work on one of the few days we didn't carpool.  All by myself at 6am, I turned a newly-graveled corner a bit too quickly in my pickup, slid, overcorrected & ended up in a ditch.  The truck was stuck, but I was only 2 miles from home.  As I started to grab a spare pair of shoes (because my high heels would NOT make it those 2 miles), a neighbor I'd never met turned the corner in his truck.  He stopped, told me that he wasn't able to pull my truck out (they were both 2WD), but he could give me a ride.  Since then-DF was already at work, I asked him to drive me an extra 1/4 mile down the road to DF's parents house, where now-MIL got their big truck & helped me pull mine out.

Just this winter, I got to pay it forward - we got a very thin sheet of ice all over everything (turned my hour-long commute into 3).  While trying two different routes to safely get my car to the state highway, I was able to pick up two different neighbors (one on each route!) whose vehicles had gotten stuck.  It made me feel warm and fuzzy - even when I had to leave my car at home & drive the Beast 4WD truck to work!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Team HoundMom on March 13, 2009, 02:56:25 PM
October 2003, Cleveland OH: My favourite band reunited and went on tour.  All their shows sold out within seconds but I got a ticket for their show in Cleveland.  I insisted on going by myself (from Toronto, ON) because it was my lifelong dream to see this band and didn't want anybody tagging along on my dream.  ;)

I went to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and met a security guard there. When I told him my story (by myself, from Canada, making my lifelong dream come true) he gave me his phone number and told me to call him in the morning. When I called him the next day (after an AWESOME concert - I ended up in the third row!!) he met me for breakfast.  He bought me breakfast, gave me a little souvenir candle from the Rock Hall gift shop, took me to the big tourist-y mall and then to the Hard Rock Cafe and bought me lunch (along with my first Hurricane glass), drove me to the bus terminal and saw me safely onto the bus home.

That's only one story about nice things that happened to me on that trip.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: momto3daughters on March 14, 2009, 05:22:51 AM
Mine will be 2 years from the 13 the of June. My BIL had just passed away from cancer on the 12th. I was being the strongng one for my husband and my inlaws and my own kids who just had their first experience with death and were not  handling it well. I was asked by my husband to please go to wally world and pick up a specific flowering plant and a tree that he wanted to create a mini memorial garden at his parents house (with their okay) as there would be no burial. I get into the middle of the garden section and can't for the life of me remember the stupid name of the tree they wanted. I stood there crying just so upset that I couldnt rememmber the one thing my husband said I could do for him and his family, I called them in tears and my dad (okay hubby's dad) said and Ill never forget "Honey dont cry about it its just a tree" and then told me he loved me and just drive home safe (their home as we moved in with them for about 3 weeks to help out per their and hubby's request) and I drove home twice a day 1 hr each way to take care of my pets). Well once I had the name of the tree I went back to looking and couldnt find the type of tree I was bawling again, a nice employee came over asked if I was okay and I broke down told her no, my bil had just died my husband and his family were devestated my daughters were hurt beyond belife and I was there to buy a tree and they didnt have it and I still had to go and pick out clothes for the viewing. Well she helped me get the flowering plant loaded into a cart told me she'd keep it in garden cash register adn come back when I was done and she'd help me load it in my van. By the time I had gotten back she had spent time calling around to nurseries and gardening stores int eh area and located me one of these trees and they had it sitting at the store on a cart waiting for me to pick up.

Ive also had a really rough patch financially for a while, on June 12th of this year I will graduate from college and I wanted to find this little cockatiel pin (type of bird) to wear on my robe, on internet site that I belong to when mentioning it gave me some ebay links I thanked them and told the person i'd have to check ebay in a few months when I had some cash. Well two weeks later I was sent an email that they wanted to send me a card to my addy and could they have my address) I gave it to them and low and behold is my silver cockatiel pin that I will wear in honor of my bil on my graduation day (college) and in honor of their kindness.

I pay it forward by passing on my kids clothes to children who need them, just this year I passedon 4 winter coats to kids without, my mom (my mother) made hats for al the preschoolers in my student teaching class since most didnt have them. Ive handed money to strangers who has had trouble in the gas station or grocery line.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: katered on March 14, 2009, 10:54:08 AM
I was nineteen years old when I and my roommate drove from Memphis to Birmingham, Alabama to rescue another friend who was in a bad relationship.  My Subaru Justy needed new brakes in the worst way, and we barely had any money between the three of us.  It was around ten o'clock at night when we had to stop on the way back to Memphis to let our friend's puppy out to do her business.  We were at a chicken place somewhere in Alabama.  There we were, the three of us, in combat boots and leather, piercings and strange hair, counting our change for a biscuit for the pup, when the manager came around the counter to speak with us.  He wanted to know why we looked so forlorn, and what had happened to our friend (bruises around her eyes and mouth, obviously having been crying, etc.).  We told him everything, including the fact that my car's front calipers were scoring the rotors every time I braked.  He came out to the car and met the pup, too.

Well, that manager - a complete stranger, no less - gave us all the chicken and biscuits he had on hand, at no charge, and directed us to a place where a friend could fix my brakes - for nothing.  It was like a miracle, and I think it was my very first experience with a stranger's generosity and kindness.  The manager allowed as to how he hoped someone would do the same for HIS daughter, if ever she needed it.

Now, I've posted before about my own random acts of kindness, and I truly believe my desire to help others was spawned by a fast-food restaurant manager's interest and care on that hot, desperate night somewhere in Alabama.  I'm still payin' it forward, Mr. Gold!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 15, 2009, 05:25:49 PM
I've got a 'Pay it Forward' story about myself...

I was flying from Toronto to California to go on a ski weekend to Mammoth with some friends.  Long story short:  we deplaned back into the boarding lounge in Toronto at about the original time we were to have landed in LA.

Most of us couldn't get flights until two days later.  That was too late for me to meet my friends so I just got my money back.  As we were standing around in the baggage area waiting for our luggage, I went to the manager there and had him announce that I was heading back to Barrie if anyone wanted/needed a ride.  Turns out there was an independent film festival in Barrie that weekend and a small time producer was heading home to LA after his film aired.  Rather than stay in Toronto with the delay, he rode back to Barrie with me that night and stayed for another night of film festival.  And I had company for a 2:00 am run up the 400 in pouring rain.

Edited for spelling.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Cutenoob on March 15, 2009, 07:29:23 PM
I did something good about a week ago.

I was driving to go pick up a friend and tootle around town for awhile - he gets lonely and needs someone to talk to.  On the on-ramp to the freeway, there was a car with a hood up and 3 little old ladies standing outside, waving their hands. I pulled over to the side, put my blinkers on and approached them.  They had a flat.

So, Lady1 was getting the jack going (for elderly people, they were pretty energetic!) and they already had the spare donut tire out.  Once the car was up a bit, I tried getting the nuts loosened so we could get the tire off, but dang they were tight. I used my foot for torque to get one nut off, but it wasn't going to be easy for me.  So I went to the on-ramp and started waving around, pointing at trucks with people I thought might be strong enough.  One pulled over for helping us.

So we got the nuts off, but the jack fell over and the car went back down....grr.  I got my car jack out of my trunk, we used 2 jacks to put the car up, put a rock behind a wheel and started over again. Lady1 was back at the jack, furiously working on it! Lady2 wanted to put the flat in the trunk, but she was rolling it down on the side where cars were at.  I picked it up and put it away for her.

Finally, the spare was done, and ready to go. Mr. Van-help guy left, we all told him thank you very much!! 

The ladies wanted to drive off with the spare tire. I told them (their language was not English) they needed to go to a tire shop HERE. They said, "We drive to Btown!" (30 miles away on I-5). I said, "No, very bad! You get it fixed here! I will take you."  So, I called my buddy and told him I was running late, helping some people out.  I then drove slowly to the closest tire shop (Les Schwab, they take good care of people) and the ladies followed me there. Told the tire guy what had happened, and he inspected the tire- it was busted. Sidewall was torn. 

The ladies kept asking me if I had change for a hundred dollar bill, how could they pay me back? I just said, help someone else who needs it.

I left with a big smile, knowing I helped someone who needed it.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: RooRoo on March 22, 2009, 12:38:16 AM
I was a city kid born and bred. My only experience with "flyover country" was - yup - looking down on it from an airplane.

I drove from Portland, OR to NE Colorado to go to school, in 1979. I had two trunks, two cat-carriers, and my large dog with me in my '63 VW Beetle. It was winter. It began to snow heavily, so we stopped in Rawlins, Wyoming for the night.

We set off again the next morning. The weather had cleared, but the freeway had about 5 inches of packed snow on it. I tootled along at about 20 mph, until I came up behind a semi doing about 5. I started to slow down, but began to fishtail. When it became obvious that my choices were to rear-end the truck, crash into the berm on the right, or roll over when I slid off the road to the left, I let go of the steering wheel, and ran off the road down into the median.

I pushed open the car door - the snow was about a foot and a half deep - and looked back towards Rawlins, wondering how long it would take me to walk there and get help.

A pickup going east pulled to a stop. A pickup going west pulled up and stopped. Out of each truck clambered a tall man in cowboy boots, Levis, and a ten-gallon hat. Without saying much, they get me back into my car and pushed me back onto the highway.

That's only the first of many good deeds done for me in flyover country, like the Highway Patrol officer that changed a tire for me, and the 3 strangers that helped push our car out of the mud, messily, in the rain, when DH and I was driving back east to my mother's funeral. (I hit standing water on the freeway and spun out off the road down an embankment.)

I love flyover country. I live in it now, and I married me a Montana man. We try to live up to that neighborly tradition, though it mostly consists of telling people their cows are out!

Oh... once I noticed several bicyclists standing around someone on the ground, on the frontage road, and I pulled off at the next exit to see if they needed help. Turned out that some <expletive deleted> had driven into his bike and sped off. He wasn't badly hurt and they wouldn't let me call an ambulance, but he accepted a ride to the urgent care clinic.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: SweetTinkerbelle on March 22, 2009, 10:11:42 AM
Three years ago, I was skiing and someone ran into me from behind.  The other person got up and skied off without saying anything, but I could tell I wouldn't be able to because of a shooting pain behind my knee.  DH was too far away to do anything other than start walking back up to me, but he was probably about a hundred yards downhill from me and it was going to be awhile.  I started to cry because I couldn't even get up, and a very nice couple stopped and asked if I was okay.  I said I couldn't get up, and the guy said, I'll get help, and the lady said, I'll stay with you until the ski patrol comes.

The ski patrol did come and dragged me off the mountain on one of those stretchers attached to a snow mobile (which is not as fun as it looks or sounds).  After a trip to the ER, it turned out I had a partially torn ligament, so no more skiing for me that year.

Now, I'm skiing again, and when I see someone that has fallen, I ALWAYS stop, and try to collect anything they may have lost on the way, poles, skis, whatever.

The last time DH and I went skiing this year, I saw a father and a son on the bunny slope, and it was pretty obvious that neither knew what they were doing.  The father dropped his pole, and when tried to pick it up, his son started going down the hill and fell into the snow at the edge of the hill.  The father panicked, and trying to turn towards his son, started going down the hill and couldn't stop.  I went over, picked the kid up, and held his hand until we got to the bottom, where the father thanked me profusely (and hopefully went to sign up for some lessons!).
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Daffydilly on March 22, 2009, 10:41:23 AM
The guys at my shop have been great about supporting little fundraisers of mine. One of them fell and fractured an ankle several weeks ago. Well, it hasn't healed properly and he had surgery to put in screws for it. I don't have a car and he lives over in Cambridge. But I got to tag team with a friend from work the day of the surgery. I made several easy to heat up meals, took them to work and handed them over to my friend who was finishing his shift.
He promptly drove out to Cambridge and dropped them off for our poor patient. (Surgery was in the morning and they sent him home that afternoon). I heard that the surgery went well and he loved the food!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Alida on April 06, 2009, 11:12:51 PM
I thought about this thread when this happened, but then forgot about it :)

I had the day off of work, so I took advantage of that to run errands, including going to the bank to set up a new account.  The bank was understaffed, only one person to set up accounts, talk to people, etc.  When I got there, she was with someone, so I sat to wait.  A little while after I arrived, a man came in and asked to talk to someone. He was told she was with someone and had a customer waiting, and would be with him as soon as she could be.  I heard him say something about having to get back to work fast, was anyone else there?  He was told no, he'd have to wait.  And he did, with good grace, no grumbling or arguing, though it sounded from the few things I'd heard that his day had not been a stellar one.

When it was my turn, I told the woman to take the gentleman. He was surprised, but very happy, and asked if I was sure.  I told him I had the day off and was in no rush to get anywhere :).  And it didn't even take long for him to take care of what he'd gone there for.  As he was leaving, he waited for me to pass by so he could thank me again for letting him go ahead of me.  I told him something along the lines of hoping his day got better and he said it already had.

You know, I just about floated the rest of the day, it made me feel good to be able to do something for someone else, even it if was just a small thing.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: momto3daughters on April 07, 2009, 07:51:02 AM
You know along with this really makes me smile, I am a girl scout leader to 30 girls. Just this weekend at an event one of them came rusing up to me adn had to tell me she did her Girl Scout Good Deed of the day. An elderly lady in a motorized scooter asked her if she'd mind handing her something off a shelf. Noticing she was having a hard time my girl scout asked her mom if they could ask if the lady needed more help. They ended up going around the entire grocery section helping the woman getting things she needed.

My girl scout was so proud of her self and So was I.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Elfqueen13 on April 07, 2009, 12:41:42 PM
About 10 years ago I was driving a borrowed car which stopped on the side of the road for no apparant reason.  The owners were out of town, which is how I came to be using it in the first place.  I didn't have a cell phone at the time and I had a teenaged friend with me.  The 2 of us started walking.  A car pulled over and a lady got out and offered us a ride.  She took us amost 20 miles to my house where we called the car owners and my now-ex was able to arrange a tow truck for the car to their mechanic.  As I got out of the lady's car she asked me to help another woman someday.

A couple of years later I was driving up the same stretch of road and saw a car pull over to the shoulder, clearly not functioning.  I pulled over and let her use my cell phone.  I remembered the first woman's words and passed them on to the woman I'd just helped. 

A few weeks ago I left for work, as usual, went to my local Starbucks then got on the highway towards the tunnel.  A car fire had the tunnel completely shut off and 90 minutes later I got off the highway right back into my own neighborhood.  Now, I don't live in a stellar part of town so when I saw the gentleman in the car behind me had out-of-state plates and was looking at a set of MapQuest directions with kind of a panicked look on his face I pulled over.  When he stopped his car, I went back to see if he needed directions.  I ended up using the GPS in my phone to figure out how to get him where he needed to be.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 07, 2009, 12:50:47 PM
Many years ago, my Mom, Dad and I were driving when the right front tire blew.  A gentleman going the opposite direction saw us pulled over, trying to change the tire.  He wheeled around and came in behind us, pulled a full sized jack out of his truck and helped my Dad change the tire.  He refused all offers of payment, loaded his jack back up and took off.  We stopped at the next town to buy new tires since they were all the same age and we had a ways to go, yet.

I was able to pay it forward many years later.  I was in stop and go traffic on a major highway.  When I got to the front of the line, it was a family with two small children in the car and two flat tires on the driver's side.  I hollered out that I would call a tow truck for them but the Mom was frantic.  Turns out, they were Orthodox Jews (I think) and only had a couple of hours before they couldn't use their car from sundown to sundown the next day.  They were only about 30 minutes from their destination so they wanted to call a relative to come get them.  I let her use my car phone, she offered to pay me for the call (this was early 90's - it cost me about $5) but I said that it was fine, they had enough issues today.

Had I been able to, I might have loaded Mom and kids in my vehicle and given them a ride but I had a truck and not enough seats for them all.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Corbin on April 07, 2009, 01:43:23 PM
When I was a kid, my mother moved herself and all three of us kids a long way from family so that she could go back to college and get her teaching degree. So, we were in the middle of the move, and she had been driving for about 10 hours, when we pulled into a hotel for the night. When she got up to the desk to get us a room, her wallet was missing. Just gone. We found out later that she had set it on top of the car when she had gassed up about three hours prior, and driven off.

Anyway, she asked the clerk if she could just sit in the front area while she figured out what to do. I am sure this was not at all a restful time for her; we were bugging her "mom, what are we going to do now?" And she was trying not to cry. Suddenly the manager came up and informed us that the man behind her in line had paid for our room! He refused to stick around to be thanked. The next morning when we checked out, there was a gas card waiting for us. We had enough gas money to get us to our new house, where mom started sorting out all the "I lost my wallet" hassles.


Another one: It was just a couple days after 9-11, and I had drill. I was in uniform, fueling up my car at 4 am at this little truck stop. I went in, ordered breakfast, and went to pay for my gas and food. The lady at the till told me "Nope, no charge." I argued, telling her we had rules about this and I couldnt accept favors, but she insisted that it had already been paid and if I paid again the numbers on the register would be off. On the way out, a woman about my mothers age, dressed like a bussiness woman came up to me and said that seeing me made her feel safe again. All I could think was "lady, I am a 22 year old newly wed who just found out I am pregnant, the whole world is crazy, I am exhausted, stressed, and fighting some serious morning sickness, and I make you feel safe?!"
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Silversurfer on April 10, 2009, 01:26:38 AM
I was sitting outside a shopping center waiting for DF to pick me up.
We are not rich, but were both working at the time.
The outside of the shops was a bit dodgy with trollys everywhere, and a guy asked me if i could spare $2.
I looked in my wallet, and only had a $20 note and some smaller coins.
He looked a bit worse for wear, so i gave him the $20 note.

He was so amazed, he asked me if i was sure about five times, and i told him i was, and that he could get himself some dinner.
He was so thankful.

I think i learnt this from my dad - he would always hand out money to anyone who really needed it.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: rhirhi on April 10, 2009, 04:01:59 PM
DH and I (DBF at the time) were walking back to my car from the gas station with the fuel can and someone stopped (we were on the interstate) and drove us to the car.

Later that evening, after I had filled the car and the spare can, I was able to help a guy in a minivan with his kids. If we hadn't run out of gas on the interstate, I wouldn't have thought to fill the can when we stopped for fuel.

An Ex-BF's Mom's (Mrs.B) coworker passed away (she had kinda mentored him, and was the one to find him- in the bathroom at work) and his family didn't know what to do with his car- they didn't want to bring it back up north, but didn't want to scrap it (worked great- it's the car in the first story). I was looking for work (just gotten fired) but had no ride, so Mrs.B told them about me, and they said that if I pay for the car to get out of Impound, I could have it, F&C. Mr.B paid for it to get out of Impound, and wouldn't let me pay him back. I got some side jobs and 2F/T jobs because of that car before I had to scrap it. But if they hadn't helped me, I would've been in a bad spot.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MariaE on April 10, 2009, 04:30:08 PM
These stories are great! However, I think some are missing the point. If you were given something or treated kindly, how was it then paid forward? :)

I took the mention of "paying it forward" to refer to the posters' writing from the perspective of being a recipient of the "paid forward" act of kindness (i.e. the helpful stranger is "paying forward" for kindness done to them in the past).

It could very well be.  But, how cool would it be if the poster would then pay their kindness forward as well?  After all, that's the true concept of "pay it forward"!
Dotty, I did pay it forward, several years later when I had the means to do so. I just thought that making a post specifically about that was a bit much like tooting my own horn, so I left it out on purpose.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: M-theory on April 11, 2009, 11:00:23 PM
Another one: It was just a couple days after 9-11, and I had drill. I was in uniform, fueling up my car at 4 am at this little truck stop. I went in, ordered breakfast, and went to pay for my gas and food. The lady at the till told me "Nope, no charge." I argued, telling her we had rules about this and I couldnt accept favors, but she insisted that it had already been paid and if I paid again the numbers on the register would be off. On the way out, a woman about my mothers age, dressed like a bussiness woman came up to me and said that seeing me made her feel safe again. All I could think was "lady, I am a 22 year old newly wed who just found out I am pregnant, the whole world is crazy, I am exhausted, stressed, and fighting some serious morning sickness, and I make you feel safe?!"

This made me tear up.

And yes, you make us feel safe.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Lysitheia on May 05, 2009, 03:33:40 AM
I ruptured a spinal disc last year. BF and I had been dating a month or so at this point. He not only moved me into his dorm room ( with permission), he took total care of me for almost two weeks. His day looked something like this:

-Wake up at nine, get me up and walk me to the ladies. Get me my pain meds, put me back in bed and go to class.

-Come back at eleven, bring me snack, get me meds, take me to the ladies room. Help me shower, washing my hair for me and holding me up the whole time. Back in bed and to class for twelve thirty.

- Come back at two, get my meds. Back in bed while he went and studied.

- Get me dressed and comb my hair. More pain meds, then dinner.

-Load me in the car so I could have some fresh air.

-Go to library to study for finals.

-Bed by one, then up at five to give me meds and get me to the ladies.

Repeat fourteen times. During finals.

The pain pills took my pain from a ten to a seven, at best, so imagine doing this for someone so racked with pain they pretty much lay in bed screaming if they aren't unconcious or hallucinating. On top of all that, I was torn up about my mom and the meds disinhibited me, so I spent a lot of time crying for no reason.

Yeah, he's awesome.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: PeasNCues on May 05, 2009, 06:15:27 AM
I think I paid it forward at puppy training class!

We were introduced to the Halti by our vet to use on Bourbon. He was a love bug, but thought that part of walking was helping you forward (i.e. pulling). Things were much easier once we got it and he seemed annoyed by it, but tolerant as he didn't have to wear it that often. We now have a halti that we use on Scotch (although still a baby, he's going to be a big dog so we're acclimating him to it early).

At puppy training class we are assigned an aisle in which to train our dog. This little old woman comes around the corner with her dog - this was like a lab on crack. It was easily the height of a great dane with the muscular build of a lab and he was pulling like a freight train. I have literally never seen a lab this big. The little old woman was leaning back with her heels dug in, but was still being pulled forward. I noticed that she was using a collar and leash - which basically does nothing.

So as the huge dog came up to sniff Scotch (who rolled over on his back right away with an o goodness you're bigger than me look on his face), I asked her if she had ever tried a halti. She said that they look "mean" so I explained to her how it was the same concept as with a horse - you control the head, you control the animal. All a halti does is when a dog tries to pull, it turns their head back towards you to break their focus on what they are pulling towards and to keep them beside you. Since she seemed hesitant still, i told her jokingly that Guinness (as she told me was his name) was easily the size of a horse and could hurt her pulling so hard (I can imagine how much agony her hands and arms must have been in from holding on to that leash for dear life).

As my sister and I were leaving (with Scotch now firmly knowing Stay), we passed her in the check out line - she was buying a halti. She stopped and she thanked me. She said she really had not known what to do with Guinness and had stopped taking him out because she couldn't walk him. Evidently last year he had pulled her down some stairs and she broke her ribs.

So, hopefully it works out for her! I think she and Guinness both will be much happier using it. And maybe she will pass on some useful advice!

Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: M-theory on May 05, 2009, 10:29:49 AM
I ruptured a spinal disc last year. BF and I had been d@ting a month or so at this point. He not only moved me into his dorm room ( with permission), he took total care of me for almost two weeks. His day looked something like this:

-Wake up at nine, get me up and walk me to the ladies. Get me my pain meds, put me back in bed and go to class.

-Come back at eleven, bring me snack, get me meds, take me to the ladies room. Help me shower, washing my hair for me and holding me up the whole time. Back in bed and to class for twelve thirty.

- Come back at two, get my meds. Back in bed while he went and studied.

- Get me dressed and comb my hair. More pain meds, then dinner.

-Load me in the car so I could have some fresh air.

-Go to library to study for finals.

-Bed by one, then up at five to give me meds and get me to the ladies.

Repeat fourteen times. During finals.

The pain pills took my pain from a ten to a seven, at best, so imagine doing this for someone so racked with pain they pretty much lay in bed screaming if they aren't unconcious or hallucinating. On top of all that, I was torn up about my mom and the meds disinhibited me, so I spent a lot of time crying for no reason.

Yeah, he's awesome.

Ladies, we've found a keeper!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Daffydilly on May 05, 2009, 05:59:09 PM
Some friends and I were going to the movies to see Wolverine! And to make sure we got seats, I ordered them online in the morning. That afternoon, we show up at the theater minus one body. No responses to calls or knocks on his door. And I was left holding one extra ticket. So we hung around the lobby while I scouted out the people going up to buy tickets.
And a single guy finally came in and got into line. I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he'd like one for free. I couldn't use it and hated to see it go to waste. He smiled and took it! I hope that it made his day!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: abfabmom on May 13, 2009, 04:42:45 PM
I'd like to share the act of kindness that was offered to my sister.

This would be about 15 or 20 years ago by now.  She had been living with a man (whom she later married then divorced) who was an airline pilot.  With no notice, he was transferred from the SF Bay Area to Phoenix, and had to start working from the new hub right away.  This left her to do the move by herself.  She boxed up everything they owned, packed up the back of her pick-up truck and his compact car, then hitched the car to the back of the pick up, and headed to Arizona.  After driving for 11 hours, she unloaded, slept for two hours, then got back on the road for another 11 hour drive back to Cali.  The last load was another truck full of boxes, plus the horse trailer, which had her horse on one side, and the BF's motorcycle in the other.  She headed out for the 11 hour drive AGAIN, having only a few hours of uncomfortable sleep in the old apartment (with no bed or even a couch). 

Unfortunately, her poor old pick up had seen better days, and it gave out on her in Los Angeles.  In the middle of the night.  Being as she had a live animal with her (not to mention her BF's 'precious' motorcycle), she couldn't really just hike up the freeway, and leave it behind.  So, she propped up the hood of the truck, and waited for a Highway Patrolman.  And waited.  And waited.  After a couple of hours, the sun started to come up, and she was trying to figure out how to find some repairs.

It's at this point that a man stops on the highway and offers his help.  Unfortunately, his offer was not genuine, and my sister ended up running (literally) around the truck/trailer combo trying to get away from him.   >:D   Luckily, she was pretty fit, and managed to get into the cab of the truck and get the door closed before he caught up. 

More time has gone by, and she's beginning to be convinced that she'll be raped and murdered on a Los Angeles highway, with no one even noticing.  So, she decides that she'll bridle the horse, and ride her to a gas station (bareback, of course because the saddle went in the first load).  As she's coming off the closest exit, an angel came over the overpass!  A wonderful old cowboy stopped to find out why "a little filly" like her would be riding a horse on the street.  After hearing the story, he got his horse trailer and loaded the horse in.  He brought my sister and the horse to his home.  She was able to home, and we called my Aunt & Uncle, who really lived only about 20 minutes away from where she'd been stuck.  Aunt & Uncle got the truck repaired, and made her stay and sleep until the next morning.  That wonderful cowboy boarded and fed her horse overnight so that she wouldn't have to worry.

Thank God for cowboys!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MissRose on May 16, 2009, 03:48:42 PM
I've done alot for others over the years but I got to say my best male friend has done so much for me whenever I been over visiting (his way of paying it forward for me helping him and others)....

*First time we went out clubbing, and we had problems getting transport back to the hotel after closing time, and we had to walk several miles to my hotel (and i was wearing 3 inch spiked heels).  He made me give him my shoes once in the hotel lift then massaged my feet that were killing me big time.

*I didn't realize on the next visit to him that my tennis shoes needed replacement before my trip and the back of one came apart, and scraped my heel bad and gave me blisters after a day or so.  He made sure I had stuff for the blisters and scrape from the chemist plus some his mum gave me some feet soak, then took me to get a new pair of trainers cost around $70 US or 35 pounds UK.

*Last year, I got this nasty cold thing, and he sorted me out on some over the counter meds from the chemist that made me feel so much better.  Since I do have feet issues and get sore & blistered feet easily, he made sure I had plasters and stuff for my feet too.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on May 16, 2009, 04:02:29 PM
When I first started taking the bus home from university (in 1988) I was rather clueless and bought the wrong ticket. (Back them you bought tickets for different amounts and 'clicked' off your ride as you got on.) Anyway, the first day on the way home a ticket inspector got on and saw I had the wrong ticket. He was debating with himself about what to do (I think procedure was to fine the person a certain amount) but I must have looked so innocent that he said, "Well, do you have money to pay for the ride?" I think I had two ten cent coins in my space case (pencil case). (I did not take money with me on the bus as I was afraid I would get robbed. I only took pens, paper and my university ID usually.) I fished out the coins and looked at him all panicked.

As he was telling me that he now had no choice but to fine me, the woman sitting in front of me said, "How much is it?" He said, "R1.70" (or whatever it was). She took out R1.70 and gave it to him. He was happy with this and left. I asked her to give me her phone number so I could get the money back to her, but she refused. I was extremely grateful and thankful.

Later it dawned on me that I could just have offered to click my ticket again - two clicks would have covered the cost of the journey. But as I said, I was young and clueless and not used to riding the bus. (I came to love going by bus later, had the timetable memorised and knew which tickets were for which areas. But not back then!)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Outdoor Girl on May 17, 2009, 11:30:39 AM
I was coming back home with a friend with the canoe on the roof of the van on Thursday.  It was extremely windy so even though I'd tied the canoe down securely enough to rock the van when I pulled on it, the canoe still shifted.

We stopped at a rest stop to tie it down even more securely.  We had lots of rope and I knew what and how to tie it on but a gentleman coming back to his vehicle beside us asked if we needed any help and offered us some more rope.

I thanked him, let him know we had lots of rope and carried on.  He double checked that we were sure and off he went.

So he didn't actually follow through on the 'act' part but it was nice to know that someone would offer.  And I definitely would have taken him up on the rope offer if we had needed it.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: rhirhi on May 17, 2009, 12:00:03 PM
DH and I are in a rough spot right now. His job just cut his hours from 60/wk to 40/wk ($600/month less). We've been paying off debt like you would not believe! But, we have NO savings. We were to only have 2 debts come November, and the cut hours were out of no where- no other employee's hours have been cut, there were no disciplinary measures done before the cut in hours, DH is the 2nd highest paid technician and #1 in skill (the highest paid has been there more years, that's it) and new employees have been hired.

This week, they messed up his paycheck (the last one from the old hours, and something that, if DH handled the money like they think he does, he would not have noticed, so I'm thinking sabotage) and shorted us about $250. We had $30.65 in cash for milk for our son, formula for our daughter and diapers for both. (They are fixing the $$$, it's just the time it takes to send the remainder to us)

I was at WallyWorld, and the total for everything was $30.67- two cents off what I needed (and no, my WW won't help you with a penny or two) The guy behind be gave me the two cents to get the stuff for my kids. It's not very big, but after the week we've had- those two cents were just the best thing that happened to me. I don't think the guy really knows how much it meant, because w/o breaking down in the line, there wasn't too big a way to tell him; but I did thank him more than someone normally would over two pennies.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: M-theory on May 28, 2009, 02:12:41 AM
I'd like to share the act of kindness that was offered to my sister.

This would be about 15 or 20 years ago by now.  She had been living with a man (whom she later married then divorced) who was an airline pilot.  With no notice, he was transferred from the SF Bay Area to Phoenix, and had to start working from the new hub right away.  This left her to do the move by herself.  She boxed up everything they owned, packed up the back of her pick-up truck and his compact car, then hitched the car to the back of the pick up, and headed to Arizona.  After driving for 11 hours, she unloaded, slept for two hours, then got back on the road for another 11 hour drive back to Cali.  The last load was another truck full of boxes, plus the horse trailer, which had her horse on one side, and the BF's motorcycle in the other.  She headed out for the 11 hour drive AGAIN, having only a few hours of uncomfortable sleep in the old apartment (with no bed or even a couch). 

Unfortunately, her poor old pick up had seen better days, and it gave out on her in Los Angeles.  In the middle of the night.  Being as she had a live animal with her (not to mention her BF's 'precious' motorcycle), she couldn't really just hike up the freeway, and leave it behind.  So, she propped up the hood of the truck, and waited for a Highway Patrolman.  And waited.  And waited.  After a couple of hours, the sun started to come up, and she was trying to figure out how to find some repairs.

It's at this point that a man stops on the highway and offers his help.  Unfortunately, his offer was not genuine, and my sister ended up running (literally) around the truck/trailer combo trying to get away from him.   >:D   Luckily, she was pretty fit, and managed to get into the cab of the truck and get the door closed before he caught up. 

More time has gone by, and she's beginning to be convinced that she'll be raped and murdered on a Los Angeles highway, with no one even noticing.  So, she decides that she'll bridle the horse, and ride her to a gas station (bareback, of course because the saddle went in the first load).  As she's coming off the closest exit, an angel came over the overpass!  A wonderful old cowboy stopped to find out why "a little filly" like her would be riding a horse on the street.  After hearing the story, he got his horse trailer and loaded the horse in.  He brought my sister and the horse to his home.  She was able to home, and we called my Aunt & Uncle, who really lived only about 20 minutes away from where she'd been stuck.  Aunt & Uncle got the truck repaired, and made her stay and sleep until the next morning.  That wonderful cowboy boarded and fed her horse overnight so that she wouldn't have to worry.

Thank God for cowboys!

Wow. Just wow. Someone should make a TV movie out of that story!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Moss on June 14, 2009, 05:40:15 AM
I've had various forms of kindness extended to me in my short lifetime and not all of them I can remember off the top of my head. But there are some that stick out in memory. In particular, when I was six and just learning to count properly, me and my little brother wanted to buy a couple of little trinket type gifts for my hard-working, highly stressed single mother with the pocket money we'd been saving. I miscounted the cost and the lady behind me paid the difference. That lady's kindness remains with me almost twenty years on.

Another example was when my notoriously disorganised father caused us to be extremely late for a flight (when I was five) - our first and only holiday as a whole family. According to all the  regulations, the plane should have left long ago but the staff held on for us anyway. When we finally got there, all the passengers were extremely irate (according to my mother) but the staff were very understanding. I paid back this act of kindness a couple of years ago when I convinced my reluctant DF to hop off a plane that had too much fuel on it (and was thus too weighed down). I looked around at the many young families and other people on that plane and figured that it would be better for us to get off. I spent eight miserable hours in that airport waiting for another flight, but I don't regret it. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: abfabmom on June 17, 2009, 04:40:40 PM
I'd like to share the act of kindness that was offered to my sister.

This would be about 15 or 20 years ago by now.  She had been living with a man (whom she later married then divorced) who was an airline pilot.  With no notice, he was transferred from the SF Bay Area to Phoenix, and had to start working from the new hub right away.  This left her to do the move by herself.  She boxed up everything they owned, packed up the back of her pick-up truck and his compact car, then hitched the car to the back of the pick up, and headed to Arizona.  After driving for 11 hours, she unloaded, slept for two hours, then got back on the road for another 11 hour drive back to Cali.  The last load was another truck full of boxes, plus the horse trailer, which had her horse on one side, and the BF's motorcycle in the other.  She headed out for the 11 hour drive AGAIN, having only a few hours of uncomfortable sleep in the old apartment (with no bed or even a couch). 

Unfortunately, her poor old pick up had seen better days, and it gave out on her in Los Angeles.  In the middle of the night.  Being as she had a live animal with her (not to mention her BF's 'precious' motorcycle), she couldn't really just hike up the freeway, and leave it behind.  So, she propped up the hood of the truck, and waited for a Highway Patrolman.  And waited.  And waited.  After a couple of hours, the sun started to come up, and she was trying to figure out how to find some repairs.

It's at this point that a man stops on the highway and offers his help.  Unfortunately, his offer was not genuine, and my sister ended up running (literally) around the truck/trailer combo trying to get away from him.   >:D   Luckily, she was pretty fit, and managed to get into the cab of the truck and get the door closed before he caught up. 

More time has gone by, and she's beginning to be convinced that she'll be raped and murdered on a Los Angeles highway, with no one even noticing.  So, she decides that she'll bridle the horse, and ride her to a gas station (bareback, of course because the saddle went in the first load).  As she's coming off the closest exit, an angel came over the overpass!  A wonderful old cowboy stopped to find out why "a little filly" like her would be riding a horse on the street.  After hearing the story, he got his horse trailer and loaded the horse in.  He brought my sister and the horse to his home.  She was able to home, and we called my Aunt & Uncle, who really lived only about 20 minutes away from where she'd been stuck.  Aunt & Uncle got the truck repaired, and made her stay and sleep until the next morning.  That wonderful cowboy boarded and fed her horse overnight so that she wouldn't have to worry.

Thank God for cowboys!

Wow. Just wow. Someone should make a TV movie out of that story!

Yeah, and then her BF had the nerve to yell at her that it was her fault.  Red flag number seven-hundred sixty-two!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Kiara on June 19, 2009, 10:04:17 PM
Have one from yesterday. 

Stopped into Panera to get a bagel and coffee on my way to work.  It's POURING rain.  On the way back out, my hands are full with my umbrella, the bag with the bagel, my coffee, and I'm trying to find my keys to unlock my door in my purse.  I'd resigned myself to getting wet, or the coffee cup getting wet, or something, when....Enter Good Samaritan parked next to me.

He rolls down his window and asks if I need some help.  I asked if he could hold my coffee while I opened my car, and he said sure, that I looked like I was going to need some help, so he waited to pull away.  I got the door open and thanked him, and he said we all need to stick together.

Really made my morning.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Samantha on June 23, 2009, 10:34:05 AM
Just yesterday, I had a random act done for me.

I was driving home from the store, and on one of the local county roads (one that sees a good amount of traffic, for being a two lane road). The county police had a vehicle pulled over on my side of the road, and the officer had his car still mostly on the road, so he was blocking the way. There was a string of over 10 cars coming the opposite direction, spaced JUST right, that I couldn't pass the officer.

One of the vehicles saw the situation, stopped far enough back that I (and the line of cars that had formed behind me) could get through, and waved at us so that we would know they were allowing us to pass. Since it was gorgeous outside, we all had our windows down, so I called a THANK YOU!!! to them as I drove by, as well as waving.

It really brought a smile to my face, knowing that someone took a few moments out of their day to help not just one complete stranger, but several of them, to get to their destinations.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: cheyne on June 26, 2009, 06:09:41 PM
B/G:  I haven't owned a cell phone for over a year...

OK, mine happened today.  I was in Champaign Ill. on business.  We let out at 11:00 am so we could begin the drive home.  I am from Western Minnesota (it's about 700 miles from Champaign). 

125 miles North of Champaign, my engine quits while I'm on I-39 on the bridge over the Illinois river!  I was able to slap it into Neutral and coast the vehicle off the bridge and on the side of the road.

I waited 45 minutes on the roadside with flashers going and hood up ( I even had a white flag on the antenna).  No State patrol, county mounty or sherriff went by going either way.  This area is where 2 interstates meet, and not a cop in sight!

A small pick-up pulls up.  The truck isn't new, it's dirty, and there is a motorcycle club bumpersticker on the back window.  Large guy with full beard gets out, looks at me and says "Ma'am, are you alright?"  He lent me his cell, and drove me 2 miles to the local Casey's to wait for the tow truck. 

C.J. if you're out there, thank you again!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kitty-cat on June 27, 2009, 07:38:57 AM
My story isn't really big, but it did happen every year for about 4 years. 

When my brother and I were in elementery school, when the Texas State Fair was happening, well we, uh "got sick" one day.  (and half the school before the fair was out "got sick" too so the admin didn't mind too much.)  Well, every year as we were going into the fair, one group of random people would stop my mom and tell her "Ma'am, we seem to have too many tickets, would you and your kids like them?"  My mom gladly accepted them (the last year we went it was like 8 tickets to ride the big ferris wheel) and thanked the people, had my brother and I thank the people and we went on our way.

We would have fun and spend most of the day there-but mom always made sure to hold onto a few extra tickets.  As we were leaving and the people comming for the nighttime fair were arriving she would go up to someone and ask if they wanted extra tickets.  And they would take them, thank mom, then be on their way.

It was always diffrent people who stopped us when we were entering the fair, and always random people we stopped on our way out, but we did the passing of the tickets for all 4 years.  And if I was to go to the fair this year- I would do the same as I was leaving.  :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: geordicat on June 27, 2009, 11:11:04 AM
One I remember.... I had gone to the grocery store for regular food shopping.  I was suffering from a *bad* migraine and cramps, not to mention I hadn't slept for a few days.  My then-bf was starting fights with my son so he could whine to me about how eeeevil my son was and how I should put him away in military school.  Work was intensely busy.  It was just not a good day.  I was tired and cranky.  I got all my stuff I needed, and was standing in line.  I know I looked like death on toast.

A very sharply-dressed older lady got in line behind me with a small basket of things and a bouquet of yellow roses.  I offered to let her go in front of me.  She accepted, after the "no, it's ok"  "No, really, I have a lot more and have to write a check" thing.  She went, paid and left.  I got rung up and paid, and as I walked out of the store that lady was waiting for me.  She handed me a single yellow rose and said "I just wanted to say thank you again" and left. 

That single flower meant so much to me at that moment.  Just than simple gesture of kindness was what I needed right then.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MegSong22 on July 08, 2009, 07:44:21 AM
So, this one happened to me Yesterday. A coworker and I were going out to the movies with some of her friends and I mentioned in passing that the next two days I would be riding the bus into work-normally mom drives me. (College student living at home no license yet) She has already promised me a ride home today but says that if I can be ready at 730, she can pick me up on her way to work.  Which makes life much easier as due to the bus routes, it's about two hours for ten miles, which switching lines and all. If You're on this site, THANK YOU AGAIN!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Wulfie on July 08, 2009, 09:37:39 AM
I got to the doctor's office yesterday to discover that my debit card was not in my wallet. I had taken it out to get lunch yesterday and realized I must have left it on my desk.

I got into work today. Nope, didn't leave it on my desk! DARN! So I called the bank.  They said that someone had discovered it on the ground yesterday and called them to cancel it. (Thank you if you are reading this!)

I was a bit frustrated at myself for losing it because my bank doesn't have any tellers except for at the main branch which is really hard for me to get to. I asked if there was some way to expedite getting my new card here as I have no cash on me and no way to get any until the card arrives.  The phone banking person told me to just go into the service center a block from where I sit right now and she will have them create a temp card for me!  She is my new hero!!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Namárië on July 08, 2009, 12:05:59 PM
Wow, these stories really warm my heart! I'm glad this thread was resurrected.

My pay it forward story is short: one awful day when I was dumped by my best friend and bawling my eyes out in the ladies' room, a stranger offered me a hug. That hug meant so much to me, as I felt so alone and friendless. I always offer a hug to girls crying now. I've been told that I give wonderful hugs.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: LizC on July 09, 2009, 01:07:57 AM
Mine isn't so much a pay it forward, as a "from the other side" story.

Years ago, we lived in a very small town in the mountains. A family we knew was having a very, very rough winter, and we knew Christmas was going to be pretty bleak for them. DH decided that he wanted to play Christmas Angel... we budgeted $150, gathered up two weeks of groceries, a turkey, and small presents for each of the four family members. The hardest part was getting it all to the front door without their dogs barking! (DH spent a week ahead of time dropping by at random moments and giving them jerky, so they figured he was a buddy).

Christmas morning, I had the little boy of the family in Sunday School, and we were talking about the gifts of the season. He was so excited to share about their Christmas morning, and the things that impressed him most were the supplies to make cookies, and that their Christmas Angel *must* have been sent by God, because only God would know that his Mom liked mint tea best, and there was a whole box of mint tea, and a new teacup.

Fast-forward almost a decade. We were living in a new state, and DH had been out of work for seven months. He was taking any small odd job he could for a bit of money, but even that was petering out. We were coming out of the grocery store with about $30 worth of stuff, which had to last about a week, and a small car pulled up in front of the door.

A smiling family of four inside rolled down the window and passed out a little white envelope. "Merry Christmas to your family, and God bless you!"

We were delighted to be given a card by strangers-- "Merry Christmas to you! God bless you, too!"

We talked about how good it felt to have a heartfelt, cheery wish given to us, all the way home.

When we unpacked the grocery bag, we sat down to read the card. Inside were tucked two $100 bills, with a small note about hoping it would be a blessing.

Well, yes. Yes, it was a blessing.

So we got to spend that Christmas knowing two things: how good and humbling it felt to be someone's Christmas Angel, and how good and humbling it felt to be the recipient of a Christmas Angel.

We've since had the chance to "deliver Christmas" again, and it's a tradition we really, really enjoy.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Alida on July 09, 2009, 09:29:33 PM
Liz, that made me cry.  That was beautiful!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: lecach on July 14, 2009, 06:13:08 PM
That made me cry too. I've always wanted to do that.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Elle on July 14, 2009, 06:48:01 PM
I've been paying forward for the guy who called 911 after my pickup rolled and he stuck with me til they arrived for quite a while now. (If he hadn't stopped it could have taken *hours* to find me)

Fittingly most of my opportunities have been automotive ;)

Picked up a grandma, kid and poodle after their car broke down. Let them use my cell phone and drove them to a air conditioned restaraunt where they could wait

Bought a tank of gas for a woman in near-hysterics who needed to get home to another town and had just lost her wallet

Picked up a dog on the side of the road and brought it home

Stopped at several stopped cars to see if the occupants needed help.

I bought a tuna sandwich, bag of chips, lunchable, and a balloon for the guy with his kid at the shopping plaza who asked for grocery money. Gave them $20 in one dollar bills to so they could catch the bus home. Sure it might have been a scam, but the kid's eyes lit up so much at that spiderman balloon.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Daffydilly on July 14, 2009, 06:54:17 PM
Decided make my Christmas project a donation to Operation Smile for a kid with cleft palate. Someone once left me a hundred dollars as a Christmas angel and it helped my family out in a big emergency. My dad was in the hospital several hours away and my mum didn't have a dollar left for the gas to get us there.
So I funded several dinners at work and made just enough for the cost of one operation. We got it sent out by Christmas and the little boy had his surgery. When I received the pictures months later, I cried. He was the best Christmas gift ever.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: rhirhi on July 14, 2009, 07:52:32 PM
I had an angel help me and my kids this past Friday. I was at one Wally World in town, had a basket of groceries and realized I didn't have my wallet (luckily BEFORE I checked out). Left the cart with CS and ran out to the car.

Started scrambling, looking for my wallet when a woman comes up and asks if she can help. I tell her about the situation, but leave out that I left my cart inside and that it was full. She asked if I was getting diapers, and I confided in her that really, I had just come for bananas for JR, as they are his favorite right now. She slipped me some cash and I was just speechless. I was so grateful, as I had also gone in for diapers, but didn't want to say. She had handed me a $20 (I didn't check until she walked off, as I was grateful for anything). It was plenty to get Jr's diapers (he's allergic to Parent's Choice, so it actually does matter for him) and bananas.

She was gone by the time I looked up and locked my car.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Samantha on July 15, 2009, 04:58:41 PM
A student at the university where I work just came in and handed me a $5 gift card to Starbucks. I'd helped her a few times with getting information she needed to return to college. I know she isn't really a stranger, but it still brought me to near tears, as I've had a really crummy day. I told her it wasn't necessary, as I was doing my job, but she told me that I'm always so nice and cheerful when she comes in, that she wanted to do something for me.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Ralkana on July 19, 2009, 05:22:06 AM
Mine is two acts in one. I was on my way to work, driving along on a going-flat tire, and I didn't realize it (it wasn't driving any differently yet), and a lady in a minivan pulled beside me. She honked, and once she had my attention, she told me through a series of gestures that it was going flat, which I really appreciated because it kept me from doing more damage to the tire. She hovered by me until I pulled all the way to the right side before she took off again. That was act one.

While I was biting back curses and clearing out my trunk to get access to my spare before I called AAA, I saw this sedan go by in the slow lane, pull over waaaay ahead of me and then steadily reverse towards me. The driver got out of his car and asked me if I needed help changing my tire. I said that I'd be calling AAA, and he said that it was really no problem, he didn't mind changing it for me.

So he did, as I thanked him profusely the entire time, and all he said was, "I'd hope that if it were my wife, someone would do it for her."

And then stored the flat and the tools in my trunk, gave me a smile, got in his car, and took off. I wasn't even late for work.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: juliasqueezer on July 22, 2009, 05:25:31 PM
Yesterday, I stopped at a market (the name rhymes with Crater Doe's) and picked up a basket full of snack foods. As I was checking out, the nice young guy ringing me up was chatting away, telling me how much he loved one of the chocolate candies I was buying. I told him I was putting together a basket of treats for my dad, who fell and broke his hip a month ago. Dad's going through physical therapy and it's rough, slow going, but we're hoping he'll be able to come home soon.

We discussed what miracle workers the physical therapists were, and how he'd recovered so well after being badly injured in a car accident a year or so ago.

As soon as I'd paid, he said "wait a second", ran to the side of the store and came back with a big bunch of flowers for my dad "to cheer him up".
I was stunned, but managed to say thanks, thank you, this is so nice, thanks again, burbling like an idiot all the way to my car.

Dad loved the flowers.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Namárië on July 22, 2009, 09:07:11 PM
And once again, proof that reaffirms my assertion that they are the best store in the world. ;D
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: AmyJD81 on August 03, 2009, 02:16:22 PM
OK this is my first post but I love this thread and would love to get it resurrected. Please accept my apologies if I do something wrong but I have two random acts of kindness I would like to share. Both occured when I worked as a cashier years ago. It was almost a good ten years ago but I still remember them, they meant so much to me.

The first was something that co workers did for me. I had lost my mother the year I started working there (I was 17) and I happened to mention to one of my supervisors that I wouldn't be getting a stocking that year because my mother wasn't around. Well I came in one day and they asked me to come into the office. I had gotten in trouble the day before so of course I was wondering what I did this time. They had all chipped in and had gotten me a stocking! I did start crying and it still warms to this day that they would do something like that. I honestly wasn't trying to do a pity party when I mentioned my mom. It was just sweet remembrances.

Another incident that happened was a couple from out of town had come into the store looking for various items. They were the sweetest couple and I tried to help them with what I could. Well they ended up leaving the man's wallet behind on accident. I had no way to contact them so I had my head cashier put it in the safe. The next day the woman came in and picked up the wallet. Nothing was really said, I was just glad they figured where it was at. Well about an hour or so later the gentlemen came in and gave me 20 dollars. I didn't want to take it but he insisted and told me that anywhere else they would have lost everything in the wallet. I didn't even look in the wallet (it was rather thick) other then to check out the ID. They were so nice to me it didn't even occur to me to take anything. He was just so appreciative that they got everything back. I was making min wage so every dime helped.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Team HoundMom on August 03, 2009, 05:07:17 PM
The retail stories reminded me of when I worked at a coffee shop while I was going back to school (as an adult) for my Grade 12 before I went to college. We had regular customers, like all coffee shops do, and we would chat and they'd ask me how school was going and everything. When I finished my Grade 12 I wrote little thank-you cards to all those customers, thanking them for their support and encouragement and telling them that I'd been accepted into college.

One gentleman was a big, gruff senior man who used to be a cop. A couple of days later the former cop came into my store, congratulated me and held out his hand as if for a handshake.  When I shook his hand he pressed a $10 bill into mine and told me to "go buy something nice." (I bought a necklace with it.) He's the same gentleman that gave me an Easter Lily one Easter and a box of chocolate-covered cherries for Christmas. 

In that time period I also worked at a "smoke shop" - we sold cigars, cigarettes, pop, chips, etc. owned by the same people.  I was over in that store and I was so proud of myself because that day I got 100% on a math test.  I was showing total strangers :P and this one guy said, "Wow. That's really good. Let me buy you a coffee for that." and he left and came back with a coffee for me.  I was like, Going back to school really DOES pay off!   8)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kkl123 on August 03, 2009, 06:47:51 PM
My mom was in the ICU at the local hospital, and I was with her virtually 24/7 because that was the only way she felt safe, and the hospital was fine with that -- never failed to send an extra meal tray for me, etc.   One night was particularly bad, and I'd ducked out for a bit to try to clear my head, but I was just plain exhausted, and it was 5 am.  I was sitting on a bench in the hall when someone in a coat went by, then circled around and came back.  Took one look at me and asked when I'd last ate, then started herding me towards the cafeteria, which wasn't open yet.  She was the morning cook, and had a glass of orange juice in front of me before she took her coat off, then made me french toast, scrambled eggs and yoghurt and fruit-- all an hour before she was supposed to have started work.

And it was just what I needed.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Kaora on August 25, 2009, 03:38:07 PM
Mine are minor, but I'm still thankful for.

One time my group of friends were going out to get pizza, and after we ordered (Little Caesar's, they usually have a few premade pizzas which you can just pick up and go) we realized we left half the money back at friend's house.  Someone behind us overheard us talking about how to pay, and gave us the rest.  He insisted we keep the change.

Another time, we had an elderly man come up to us in a restaurant and offer me or BF a shake.  Turns out he had a 2-for-1 coupon, he wanted a shake for himself, but his sweet wife didn't want one, so they went over to us.  BF took it, we thanked him profusely.  ;D
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Angenieta on September 01, 2009, 07:06:29 AM
The other day I was on my commuter train, Florence to Siena, when a German girl behind me started talking to 4 ladies, Canadian as it turned out, across the isle.
She told she was going to do a 2 week master course cello at the Chigiana academy in Siena. And then, that she was robbed of her purse that morning the station of Rome.
In her purse were her documents, as much as 600 Euro (all the money she at on her) and her cell phone. Her parents were traveling so couldn’t be reached anyway, but she wasn’t able to call her sisters either because their numbers were on the stolen cell phone.
She hoped to be able to access the room she had rented, that they didn’t want money right away, and that they’d give her something to eat. The academy had promised they would help, but wouldn’t be open until the next day.
At this, the 4 women opened their wallets. Each took out 20-50 euro. And they gave it to the girl ‘So you don’t have to worry about sleeping and eating tonight’.
The girl wanted to know where they would be staying in Siena, so she could pay them back, or at least play the cello for them to thank them.
Then the ladies told her they would be staying in Siena for the next 2 hours only, before returning to Florence again (I hate these ‘see Europe in a week’ trips…)
So they had known from the start they wouldn’t get that money back.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: who_said_what_now on September 16, 2009, 12:44:12 PM
This happened to me today.

My driver's license is going to expire shortly.  I, DS(3) and DD(1) arrived at the Registry of Motor Vehicles 40 minutes after it opened.  There were already 32 people ahead of me so I was in for a bit of a wait.  As I was struggling with both kids (both wanted out of the stroller), a woman walked up and switched numbers with me, saying that she had to wait for someone else anyway.  Instead of waiting for 35 or more minutes, I waited for fewer than 10 minutes.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: juliasqueezer on October 07, 2009, 08:43:48 AM
Yesterday, I stopped at a market (the name rhymes with Crater Doe's) and picked up a basket full of snack foods. As I was checking out, the nice young guy ringing me up was chatting away, telling me how much he loved one of the chocolate candies I was buying. I told him I was putting together a basket of treats for my dad, who fell and broke his hip a month ago. Dad's going through physical therapy and it's rough, slow going, but we're hoping he'll be able to come home soon.

We discussed what miracle workers the physical therapists were, and how he'd recovered so well after being badly injured in a car accident a year or so ago.

As soon as I'd paid, he said "wait a second", ran to the side of the store and came back with a big bunch of flowers for my dad "to cheer him up".
I was stunned, but managed to say thanks, thank you, this is so nice, thanks again, burbling like an idiot all the way to my car.

Dad loved the flowers.

I wouldn't normally quote myself, but I wanted to give an update. Dad passed away a week after I posted this. In spite of the progress he was making with physical therapy, he contracted pneumonia and just wasn't strong enough to fight it. Those beautiful flowers were still sitting on his nightstand when we said goodbye, a lovely reminder of how generous people can be.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: geordicat on October 07, 2009, 04:15:37 PM
Yesterday, I stopped at a market (the name rhymes with Crater Doe's) and picked up a basket full of snack foods. As I was checking out, the nice young guy ringing me up was chatting away, telling me how much he loved one of the chocolate candies I was buying. I told him I was putting together a basket of treats for my dad, who fell and broke his hip a month ago. Dad's going through physical therapy and it's rough, slow going, but we're hoping he'll be able to come home soon.

We discussed what miracle workers the physical therapists were, and how he'd recovered so well after being badly injured in a car accident a year or so ago.

As soon as I'd paid, he said "wait a second", ran to the side of the store and came back with a big bunch of flowers for my dad "to cheer him up".
I was stunned, but managed to say thanks, thank you, this is so nice, thanks again, burbling like an idiot all the way to my car.

Dad loved the flowers.

I wouldn't normally quote myself, but I wanted to give an update. Dad passed away a week after I posted this. In spite of the progress he was making with physical therapy, he contracted pneumonia and just wasn't strong enough to fight it. Those beautiful flowers were still sitting on his nightstand when we said goodbye, a lovely reminder of how generous people can be.

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Daffydilly on October 07, 2009, 05:11:10 PM
I waited in line today behind a dad and his cheerfully cute kids. They made me smile and we ended up chatting during the time it took for the line to winnow down. Then they asked me go ahead of them since I wouldn't take as long with my order. They really made my day just when I was starting to see the worst in people and forgot that everyone has a bad day once in a while. The special ingredient in life is adding a full smile and being willing to talk to someone, even if you never see them again, it may just make your day!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: mmmchocolate on October 08, 2009, 10:50:28 PM
Hundreds of years ago when I was a nursing student, before the age of cell phones and instant technology, 4 of my fellow students and I were driving home from a clinical on back country roads in Georgia at midnight.  I hit a pot hole and blew a tire-of course the spare was flat.

So here we were in our stupid little white uniforms with the blue stripe bibs trying to decide who got to hitch hike when a beat up old pick up pulled alongside.  Two scruffy, disreputable looking guys with old army fatigues got out and asked if we needed help.  We explained the situation-they said they knew someone with a tire that might fit and 2 of my friends went with them in the truck to a pay phone to call our families.  Soon, here they all came back again with a tire that would work-they put it on for us and we were on our way.

The next day, my dad and I went to the bar where my friends had used the pay phone, found the guys and gave them a case of beer.

Did they look like preppies?  No.  Did my friends take a chance by riding with them?  Sure.  But sometimes you get a vibe from people.  These were just a couple of honorable veterans back in the day when vets did not get the accolades they deserved and are getting now.

I have never forgotten them, either.

Also, juliasqueezer, I am so very sorry for you loss.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: juliasqueezer on October 09, 2009, 10:30:30 AM
Thanks, geordicat and mmmchocolate  :-*

Having gone through the hospital to rehab to funeral experience with Dad, I was continually reminded of people's genuine kindness and generosity. The nurses and aides who cared for him were just wonderful, and people who paid their respects after his death overwhelmed us at times.

I'm working at staying conscious of the importance of paying it forward.   
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: PitBullMom on November 07, 2009, 11:05:14 PM
The other day I was in the drive thru for lunch.  When I pulled up to pay, the cashier told me that the car in front of me had paid my order.  :)  She said that the woman who paid had told her that someone else had paid for her order the last time she was in the drive thru, so she was paying it forward.  I was so thrilled!  It had been a pretty bad couple of days with DH being deployed and work not going so well, etc.  It really made my day.  I was sure to wave to her while in line and I yelled, "Thank you!" out my window.  She smiled, waved, and said, "You're welcome."

The next time I'm in the drive thru, I'm going to pay for the next person's meal.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: simplysouthern on November 18, 2009, 07:46:06 AM
DF and I were in the grocery store on valentines day, a few days away from payday trying to figure out what we could afford. An older gentleman in an army uniform walked up to us and handed DF a 20 and told him to take me out to dinner, he'd been there.

It was incredibly kind.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: the Wyffe on December 03, 2009, 09:03:14 AM
I was having a very, very, very difficult time.  I was walking home through central London and my husband rang with another piece of bad news that was too much - I got into a doorway, rang my mum and burst into tears.

While I was sobbing away, a lady walked past, took out a clean tissue, and then gave it to me with a quick pat on the shoulder and a very kind smile, before walking away.

It was over in five seconds but I still think of her.  We were in a really grotty part of Soho (the red light district) as well so it was even more unexpected - just very fleeting, sensitive and very kind-hearted.

Edited: I'm normally very stiff-upper lip English so the fleeting contact was culturally perfect.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Musicwoman on December 05, 2009, 10:19:08 PM
I was about 2 years pregnant with my son (he was born 3 weeks early and still weighed 9lb 3oz) I went to a performance of Handel's Messiah.  At interval I (of course) needed the Ladies.  There was a line which seemed to contain half the population of China.  As one, the line looked at my elepahintine belly...and waved me to the front.  My thanks were greeted with murmers of ''I remember what it's like to be that pregnant...you need that stall more than I do!"

At a later date I was waiting in line in the bank, sans kids.  Again, huge line-the wait time was about half an hour.  I was third in line when in walked a heavily pregnant woman, trailing a grizzling toddler.  She looked aghast at the line, then sighed and took her place at the very end.  I insisted she change places with me and when she thanked me, I replied ''I remember what it's like to be that pregnant...you need that place more than I do!"
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: RooRoo on December 06, 2009, 01:33:05 PM
I'm sick and it's snowing and I have to miss my niece's birthday party and I feel like crud and and...

And reading this thread was just what I needed. Now I feel able to be nice again. Thanks, all!

Way back there I told two tales of kindness in Flyover Country. I have another. This was the day after we slid off the road, in the rain, into a deep, muddy gully, in the middle of Kansas, on our way to my mother's funeral, and those three nice guys pushed us back on, getting filthy in the process.

Once we were back on the road, it was obvious that there was something deeply wrong with the front end. We rocked and rolled and vibrated our way to the nearest motel. In the morning, we asked where the nearest mechanic was, and were directed to the Ford dealership.

We all know how money-grubbing dealerships are, right? And how mechanics next to the Interstates rip people off? We were pretty worried. We were already running on credit cards. So we were happy happy happy when they charged us a whole $20 for hosing the sticks, stones, mud, and grass out of our wheel wells, and running an alignment test. Diety bless them for helping and caring and honesty!

A bus story: In my city days, I rode the same route at the same time every day, and got to be friends with the drivers. The bus stop, a busy one, was three houses down from mine.

One morning, I ran just a few minutes late. I scrambled, but knew I was in trouble because I heard the bus stopping. I flew out the door, hoping there would be enough passengers so I could still make it. Lo and behold, there it was, right at my door!  The door was open, and the driver had a big grin on his face.

It doesn't take a lot to make someone's day. Just a few words at the right time. I've gotten them and I've given them. Just having someone notice that you're a fellow human being... Not to mention that doing small kindnesses really helps my depression.

I had a good pay-forward a few months ago. BG: I don't use exact change. Instead, I throw all my change into a little change purse, and when it's full I empty it into a big jar at home. It amounts to a surprising amount of money.

At the grocery store one night, DH and I were accosted by a ratty-looking Mexican guy, asking for spare change. Usually, I don't give, because most of the time the beggars (not all Mexican, of course) are just looking for money for booze, plus the store is in an area with a heavy Mexican gang problem, making me wary. But on taking a second look, I saw a couple of things. There was dirt ingrained into his hands, but not his face, he didn't look like a drunk, and there was a tidy woman with a clean and well-wrapped infant in her arms watching him from the sidewalk.

So I said, sure! and reached for my little purse, which was bulging. He held out a hand, and I said, no, and gestured for him to make a bowl with his hands. The look on his face as I dumped out all that money (about half quarters), and when he showed it to his wife, just made me feel like an angel or something.

Thanks again for the badly-needed lift, you guys.

Ruthie
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Hanna on December 12, 2009, 12:32:47 AM
My Mom was recently on a short vacation with a friend.  One of their stops was to see the childhood home of a popular musician, in an area that was and remains impoverished.

They stopped in the little store down the road and while they were there a little girl about 9 came in and very quietly said to the clerk "Momma wanted to know if we charge something until Friday."  The clerk said "Sure, sure." I burst into tears as mom described how the little girl stood deciding between a can a beans or spaghetti.  It was only Sunday.  I kept thinking I just wouldn't know the right way to help someone in that situation.

Mom stepped over and put a $20 into the girl's hands and said, "This is for you."  She eyed the money but said "Oh, I can't take that."  To which Mom replied "Yes, you can because I've been in your shoes. People helped me more than once along the way. And when you are my age you can pass it on."  The little girl thought for a minute and then grinned and said "How old are you?"  Mom said "I'm 70." and the child grew wide-eyed and said "I can wait THAT long?"  

Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Daffydilly on December 12, 2009, 09:43:18 AM
I finally got to visit my best friend for the first time in years. But there wasn't much to do that day because it was raining outside. So we wandered around the mall talking and then went to build a bear. And we got a really cute polar bear with an Air Force Blues uniform. It was too cute. But my rule of thumb is, if I go to build a bear... I can't keep it. I always try to find someone to give it to. And hopefully make their day a little bit better.
And we went to the local hospital and visited a gentleman who hasn't had many visitors. He had the biggest smile when we gave him the bear. And I'm praying that he really was able to go home for the holidays. He was such a sweetheart to visit with.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Alida on December 12, 2009, 05:52:08 PM
Today, DD, Midalah and I hit the mall.  I went to get DD something from her grandparents, as well as look for ideas when I go shopping with Midalah's BF tomorrow (he's clueless, it's cute).  DD went with Midalah to go shopping for friends and for me.

The Marines were there, doing the Toys for Tots drive.  So we headed to a store and bought 2 gifts to bring over.  As we were checking out, just after I was given my total, I noted to DD how nice it was we could just walk them across the food court to where they were.

The woman behind the register asked me about them being there and said a former co-worker was over there. Then, out of the blue, she asked me if I had their special friends and family discount.  I told her I didn't, getting my money out.  She pulled one out, scanned it for a discount and told me to keep it for any other shopping.

I thought that was so sweet of her!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: snowdragon on May 22, 2012, 12:22:01 AM
reviving this because it seems to be something we need to be reminded of time after time.

  I have two stories:

 A few years ago I was on my way to a concert traveling from Buffalo, NY to Ottawa, ON, driving alone for the first time. I had an old car with old tires but I never expected a blow out on the Q.E.W. Now in certain sections there are access roads that run parallel to it, separated by a chain link fence. I am not capable of getting the lug nuts off my car as I found out that day.
 I was struggling with the nuts, jumping on the crowbar I was using to get them off when I heard a voice. If you'll step aside, miss..." I looked up expecting an O.P.P office or perhaps an RCMP officer, but the person who stood before me was a young high school aged boy who had been riding his bike and saw me. He hopped the fence, leaving his bike along the fence. He changed the tire, put the spare on and put everything back in the trunk. He would not hear of me giving him money, saying he hoped if his mom or sister needed help that someone would do the same for them. Then he turned and left going back to his ride. I made the concert - made it home and got new tires the next day.

2nd one came about 6 months ago:

  I am unemployed and  having a hard time of it. I have enough for basic foods but little in the way of luxuries.  It was just before my birthday and I was feeling really low when I came home from school and found that someone in Pittsburgh, PA had sent me a $50 gift certificate for Tops supermarket. Did I mention I am in Buffalo, NY? The note the sent indicated that they paid for these by collecting bottles as a family and had gotten  my name from someone who knew me. It was unexpected and made my 50th birthday so much better.  I can't pay them back or even pass on gift certificates but I try to pay it forward by helping folks whenever I can.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Nikko-chan on May 22, 2012, 03:59:05 AM
I was a ninth grader, in the highschool for the first time (ours went 9-12) and it was the first day of school. I was still nervous as all get out, hadn't really memorized my schedule yet, and then to top it all off I was a ninth grader, bottom of the ladder. Yeesh. Oh, and did I mention that derned locker would not open... no matter how I turned the dials. I, being the nervous person that I am, panicked. I knew I would be late for class, though really those first weeks teachers don't mind with the ninth graders. They know how hard it is. So I'm kneeling there, my knees hurting, struggling to open this locker, and one of the seniors comes by, and asks me if I need help. I move aside, and after I tell him my combination, suddenly my locker opens as if by magic. Now it might not be all that impressive, considering the older students do tend to help the ninth graders, but man was I ever grateful.

I have a second story that happened about two days after this one. So I am in the school and suddenly the power goes out. Now we weren't too alarmed, figuring, okay it'll come back on in a bit. Yeah... right. If I remember correctly this happened before class started so we were in the lobby and halls (that is where we usually went before the day started), so the principal yelled over the din that we were to go to the gymnasium. We go in, and sit there, and while it's not pitch black it's not exactly lit either. It is soon announced that they can't fix it, so we can't have classes that day. Okay. This is a student's dream. But the buses couldn't take us home, because they were now working rounds to pick up the younger students.

"But", the principal says," if you can call someone to take you home, or drive yourself (juniors and seniors) you are free to go." Otherwise you are stranded. Cue people pulling out cell phones and making calls to parents.Guess who didn't have a cell phone? I saw one of my teachers and I went to her, freaking out because I had no way home. Or rather no way to contact anyone. She calms me down, says come on to my class room, you can use my phone. I used the phone in the classroom (it only knocked out the power not the phone lines i guess) and I called my mom, who called my aunt, who came and picked me up.

That same teacher who I barely knew turned out to be one of my favorite teachers I took 4 or 5 classes with her.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: peach2play on May 23, 2012, 10:51:52 PM
Does anyone else find it interesting and a bit sad that there are over 1000 pages of Special Snowflake stories and only 9 of acts of kindness?

1) I had just moved home from Chicago and was really missing my friend base there, had moved back into the house I own where my mother lives, and into a much more stressful job.  I knew that I had to do something or I was going to go crazy so I decided to get a sportbike.  I was talking my lead at work about it, saying how excited I was and how I thought I had found a bike, but it was on Craigslist and I had to go find a mechanic to look it over for me.  His office mate, who I didn't know very well, turned around and told me he'd been a bike mechanic for 15 years and would be happy to come look at the bike for me.  He lived about an hour from where the bike was.  Not only did he come check out the bike for me, he spent the entire summer showing me how to ride, and rode with me every day after work and on the weekends.  He was just coming back from Iraq and was having problems with PTSD and integrating back into his family.  When the summer was over, he was good to go back to his family and I met the members of my sportbike club.  The rest, as they say, is history.  With out him, I wouldn't be where I am today and I spend every day trying to pay back a small fraction of what he did for me by paying it forward.

2)  The day Cole died, there were a lot of strangers at the accident scene, but there was this one lady who was on the scene almost immediately.  I remember her putting her arm around me and just standing there with me until the guy in my previous story showed up with his truck to take me home.  I never found out her name but with out her I probably would have done some not e-hell approved things to the lady who hit Cole.  I am very glad for her presence as I would have regretted those actions for the rest of my life and the lady most certainly would not have deserved them.  There was also a very nice fireman who looked at me and said, "You don't have to be brave for us, it's ok to cry.", as he and 5 others lifted my bike into my friend's truck.  I was trying to not make too big of a fuss and really didn't know what to do. 

3)  Just recently, OMW to work, I had left my tank bag unzipped and when I took off from a stop light, my wallet flew out somewhere on the side of the road.  A bicyclist picked it up and when I circled around and lifted my helmet shield, he looked at me and said, "Christi Little!"  He was riding into work and was going to call me when he got there.  Nothing was missing and he refused the money I tried to give him.

4)  At Dules International Airport on Monday, there were a few of us trying to figure out how to get to the right gate as the train didn't go the way we expected and we were all really confused as well as tired as it was 4AM.  A very nice lady, who is one of hte attendants who pushes the wheel chairs, got on the train and not only helped us find the right path, but escorted us to the gate and made sure we were all comfortable before she moved on.  We were all kind of scared and exhausted and she took time to make sure we got where we needed to be.

5) Not strangers, but my best friend spent Wed - Sunday helping me fix my motorcycle and then came back on Monday with another friend of mine to redo something he thought wasn't quite right to make sure I was safe. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Nikko-chan on May 24, 2012, 02:41:37 AM
The vets office gave me my mika's pawprint pressed into clay for a keepsake to remember her by.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: bluhairfreak on May 24, 2012, 04:38:27 AM
One time I had an abscessed tooth and felt horrible and kept throwing up.  I had managed to visit my dentist who started the root canal and then sent me off with a prescription for pain meds and antibiotics.  I went to a local target located inside a mall, but as I was walking to the store, I felt the urge to throw up.  Fortunately I was prepared with plastic bags, so I threw myself into a corner, pulled out at bag and was sick into it.  A woman rushing up to me, make sure I was ok, and she then went and got me some water and wet papers towels while my stomach settled.  That woman's kindness went a long way to helping me feel better.

And from this very board.  Back in 2008 I was having pretty bad Christmas.  One of my cats was dying from a tumor, so I was staying home rather than visiting family for Christmas.  We had a thread of "things you really want for christmas but are afraid to ask for"  I posted I wanted a present to open Christmas morning(knew my parents would just bring any gifts for me down with them when they came home)  Tabris contacted me and offered to send me a little something.  She sent me a wonderful package of treats and books and a little something for the kitties http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=48858.msg1146343#msg1146343
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: RebeccainGA on May 24, 2012, 11:21:32 AM
Two quick ones:

When my partner was in the hospital over the summer, my little girl dog, Sassparilla, was diagnosed with hemolytic anemia. This eventually was fatal, and I had to go, alone, to have her put to sleep. The vet, who had been rooting for us as we went (he'd been following DP's progress, along with the dog's) was so emotional, he couldn't do the procedure - he came out of the back, hugged me, and passed the sad job off to another vet (and I saw tears in the man's eyes - he really is an amazing vet). He also waived the cost of the euthanasia - said he couldn't see charging me for that after all we'd been through. They sent a lovely card with the cremains, too.

Second, much happier one - we're moving in July to a new place, in Georgia (leaving Arkansas!). We found a place, and will just barely be able to swing two mortgages for a couple of months while we transition (our daughter is taking over the mortgage here in Arkansas, as she's in school here). DP is still pretty disabled - has to use a walker, can't lift anything heavy, etc. The real estate lady not only let us in to the house a couple of hours early (we were driving in the night before, and were exhausted) but helped me unload our extremely full van (we were planning on staying a day or two to get things prepped for the move). She even helped me unload the 80 pound mattress we bought (a foam thing that was rolled up small enough to fit inside the van) and helped us get everything situated. I don't know that I'd have gotten it done without her - and she came over, on her own time, and wouldn't accept a dime!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kherbert05 on May 24, 2012, 10:29:45 PM
1) BIL was the 2nd in line at a red light. The light turns green, car in front goes through BIL follows. A woman runs her red and T-bones BIL. She yelled and screamed that BIL had run the red light and she had a green. Multiple people gave BIL their contact information so they could testify that she ran the red. Several other people took care of the woman's terrified daughter  - that the woman had left in the car to scream at BIL.


2. The people that rescued a friend of mine's stepdaughter. The girl's "mother" was drunk, so the 16 yo was driving. Well "mom" decided she wanted to drive. So she literally kicked the girl out of the driver's seat and left her sitting on a 2 lane black top in the middle of nowhere Texas. Thank God the girl had her phone in her pocket.  A friend's mom picked her up, helped her contact the police (her younger 1/2 siblings were in the car). The younger sibling's Dad picked them up from the police after MOm was arrested. The friend's Mom drove  the girl to the airport, where her Dad and Stepmom had a ticket home waiting for her.


3. Help wasn't needed but was nice. I had left the overhead light on in my car. When Brett and I came out of the movie, the car next to us noticed and said they would wait to make sure my car started. It started fine.


4. Air Canada stewardess found Dad's wallet on the plane after we got off. She literally chased us through the airport to return it.


5. My Cousin C and I had taken my Sister and her friends to a Teen club. (Why I got dragged into this I don't know). Driving home a lane ended suddenly (sign had been knocked down so no warning. Cousin C hit the median - which was banged up and ripped up her tire.


This was way before Cell phones and the area was not well traveled. So I start to change the tire. I got the jack in the right position, remembered to that you loosen the nuts before you jack up the car. But I could not loosen the nuts. We are getting ready to hike to a more well traveled place and find a pay phone, when this truck pulls up and two big guys get out and offer to help us. The really nice part was they confirmed I did everything right, but that getting lug nuts off that have been put on by a machine is nearly impossible. They got the spare on and, then they offered to follow us to the next well traveled road in case there was a problem with the spare. They also made cousin promise to get a real tire on ASAP because spares are for emergencies.



Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Kaypeep on May 25, 2012, 07:27:59 AM
When I was in college and working two jobs, I was totally stressed out when my car needed repairs and I didn't have enough cash to pay the bill.  I was going to charge it or ask my mom for a loan, but when the mechanic called and I asked him the total he said it was "taken care of" and to just come get the car.  My boss had paid the bill and would not accept a nickel from me in repayment.

Flash forward 20 years later.  One of my staff who started working for me as a HS student and is now in college is working 2 jobs, taking care of her grandma and trying to pay her tuition for Spring semester.  Her 2nd job (not the one working for me) is stressful and demoralizing.  She wants to quit but needs the money for tuition.  I called her into my office and gave her a check for the tuition and told her to quit the 2nd job if she wanted, and find another if she needed, but to get out of that toxic work environment because she was already running herself ragged and her grandma was not doing very well and needed her more.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Giraffe, Esq on May 29, 2012, 05:05:01 PM
This was a while ago, and taught me the importance of always having cash on me, just in case.   :P

I was in the airport, on my way home from Christmas at my parents, waiting for my luggage to come on the luggage carousel.  This kid (I say kid like I'm so old -- he was probably college age, I was not yet 30) is on the phone and he sounds on the verge of tears.
 
Apparently his carry-on bag got opened in the waiting area somewhere and something (ticket? Money? Wallet?) got taken and he's saying stuff like, "I don't know what I'm going to do, I don't have any money, I can't get to {somewhere}, I could go back and stay with so-and-so for four days, but I have no way to get there."
 
And then he says, "Mom, stop crying."  Even as he's clearly on the verge of tears.
 
So I pulled out most of the cash I had on me ($60-70 or so) and gave it to him.
 
He was so surprised and asked three times if I wanted him to take my name so he could send it back to me.
 
I said no.
 
And so he thanked me profusely.

And man, I felt like crying, too!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kkl123 on May 29, 2012, 08:23:07 PM
Two stories:
Someone spotted an elderly lady walking down the road on a Sunday afternoon, carrying a framed photo.  It seemed odd, so she stopped and talked to her, and concluded she was pretty confused.  Got the confused lady to walk with her over to the local police department (all of five officers!), and no one there knew her, but they put out a report on her.  The Good Sam insisted on staying with the lady until her family was located (they were out quartering the town looking for her); she was indeed diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but had never wandered before.

Different small town, parking lot of grocery store known for excellent customer service, very cold day:
I'd run in to pick up some groceries, leaving my elderly mom in the car -- she hadn't wanted to go in.  When I got back, mom pointed out an older gentleman trying car keys in all the black 4 door cars.  I tried to talk to him, and he kept saying "I don't know you", so I went inside to talk to the manager.  Manager came out in his store uniform of bow tie and green butcher apron, got him to agree to come inside and give his opinion of a new fruit display, framing it as a favor, while a clerk called the local EMTs, who arrived promptly, assessed him and discovered he was having a small stroke and took him to the local ER.  Next time I was in the store, the manager recognized me and updated me on what had transpired, and was able to tell me he was home again, and doing well.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: whatsanenigma on May 29, 2012, 09:14:32 PM
Okay, this one was kind of my fault for staying out too late and not watching the weather, but still.

I have never been able to learn to drive, but usually I get around on buses pretty well.  One particular time, I had taken the bus out to a little strip mall and I had been browsing in the shops, and I ate some dinner in a little restaurant, blah blah blah. 

While I was eating, a huge storm blew up and the sky turned black.  By the time I got finished eating and could leave, it was raining so hard that even had it been light out, you couldn't have seen your hand in front of your face, and also there was thunder and lightening.

I, of course, did not have an umbrella or anything, and by this time, most of the stores had closed, besides the restaurant and a Jo Ann Fabrics.  I went into the Jo Ann Fabrics and looked around, basically to get any possible idea to cover my head, because the actual place the bus would stop was a few blocks away (an easy walk in decent weather-almost impossible in the weather of that moment).

This was the end of September, so I was lucky enough to be able to find, for a dollar...a plastic witch costume hat.  So, I bought it, and though I felt foolish, I put it on and held on to it tightly, then headed out across the parking lot to the main road, and then...

I proceeded to fall in a puddle.  It was so dark, I had no idea it was even there.  But this was a really serious, crater-like puddle that would have been at least ankle-deep had I just stepped into it.

And then the good part happened! A car pulled up and they rolled down the window and asked if I needed a ride somewhere! They were all total strangers in the car, and maybe I shouldn't have gone with them, but they looked like students from the local university.  Total strangers offered me a ride, not only a total stranger to them, but a soaking wet total stranger.  A soaking wet total stranger wearing a witch hat, in September.

I thanked them very profusely after we got back to my place, and they just said, "No problem, glad to do it!".  I seriously don't know what I would have done had they not offered me a ride.  What with the hidden puddles and the darkness and the lightening, I could have been really badly hurt by the time that was all over.

I try to "pay it forward", for that and all the other times people have driven me places or back from places, by doing little things like when I am walking and I see a nail or a glass bottle in a parking lot, for example, I pick it up and throw it away so it can't get anybody's tire.  Once, after a big windstorm, a giant branch had fallen right into the lane of traffic and people were stopping and driving around it, and I thought that was probably an accident waiting to happen, so I dragged it up onto the curb.  Whenever I see things in the bike path, I pick them up so bicycles don't hit them and get hurt and cause bigger accidents by falling into the main road.  Once, I even called the police non-emergency number because of a pile of random huge branches in the bike lane that spilled out into the road itself so they could get rid of the traffic hazard.  (Too many and too big of branches, I couldn't do it myself.)  So, that might not be very much, but it is a little bit, and maybe one day I'll be able to do something that's actually big.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kitkatswing on June 01, 2012, 12:25:03 AM
Im currently involved in a "paying it forwad".. I frequent a dog forum, one of its members has fallen into a little financial trouble, so a call has gone out.  We are all sending her food. Ive ordered a few things online and having them delivered tomorow...

Small things to help ease someones mind and keep doggies bellies full.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kkl123 on June 03, 2012, 04:47:33 AM

Small things to help ease someones mind and keep doggies bellies full.

This reminds me of the Pongo Fund in Portland: http://www.thepongofund.org/the-pet-food-bank/
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Girlie on June 04, 2012, 03:37:18 PM
The time that stands out most to me is thus:

One early Sunday morning, my then-boyfriend met me just as I was getting off the night shift at the grocery store I used to work at. It had started to snow (a rare thing for where I live!), and we decided to go eat breakfast so that we could enjoy the beauty of it.
We settled on the local IHOP, ordered and ate our breakfasts, and about the time we would have recieved our check, the waitress came over and told us that someone had just walked into the restaurant, handed the manager $100, and told him to cover as many meals as possible, because he was very blessed, and wanted to share that with others.
Money was particularly tight at that time, and eating out was a real treat for us, so to have a perfect stranger show such kindness to people he didn't even know (and to trust that the manager would do as requested and not just pocket the cash!) gave me a little bit more faith in humanity.

Thank you, kind stranger, wherever you might be! :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Giraffe, Esq on June 05, 2012, 10:14:08 AM

{snip} the waitress came over and told us that someone had just walked into the restaurant, handed the manager $100, and told him to cover as many meals as possible, because he was very blessed, and wanted to share that with others.

That totally reminded me of a story.  When I was in high school, we would go out to Denny's in large groups.  Like, 10-15 high schoolers.  I'm sure the staff cringed on our entrance -- usually that many high schoolers together has major potential to get...messy.

I know we've had many threads here about dining in groups and getting stiffed because people forget to add in tip, or tax, or beverage, or are just plain sneaky.  We had the opposite problem one night at Denny's.  Everybody rounded up so much, we ended up with way more money than we needed.  Someone in our group suggested we just leave it all -- she's working at Denny's, a low-priced restaurant, let's make her day.

So we left it.  It was something like a 60% tip.  I think.  We all went out in the parking lot (and the only cars there were ours as we were some of the last to leave) and then huddled around, trying to see in the window to see her reaction when she found it. 

She came out the door (and caught us, oops  :P) and asked if we meant to leave all of it, we said yes, and she started crying -- it was her birthday and she was having such a bad day and we had just made it so much better.  It was kind of humbling to see how much we could impact someone's life with something that seemed so relatively small.

Oh, and then we sang her happy birthday from the parking lot.   >:D
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: CakeBeret on June 05, 2012, 11:25:33 AM
Last summer, I was riding my motorcycle when it broke down. Thankfully I was only several blocks from home, so I could push it. The unfortunate part was that it was about 80 degrees and I was wearing heavy jeans, a black armored jacket, and my helmet. I had no way to stow my gear, so I had to wear it while I pushed. And my neighborhood is very hilly. :P

I got about halfway home when a car pulled over and asked what was wrong. I was getting a little upset by that point but I just said the bike broke down and I was trying to push it home. The man in the passenger seat got out and helped me push it the rest of the way home. He chatted with me and was a very soothing sort of person, really helped me calm down. We got it to the bottom of my driveway (a pretty steep incline) and I said I'd get it the rest of the way later. I thanked him profusely (he told me "that's what us bikers do for each other" :)) and offered him a drink, though he declined.

I was going to leave the bike out until later (I was way too beat to get it up the driveway by that point) when a guy from across the street came over and asked if I needed help. Ours is not a friendly neighborhood, everyone keeps to themselves and I don't know a single neighbor's name. I said no thanks, it was okay, I'd get it inside later. He said he didn't mind, picked it up by the handlebars, and half-carried/half-dragged the bike into my garage. I thanked him, we introduced ourselves, and I learned that he wasn't even my neighbor, he was just related to my neighbor. I still see him occasionally and smile and wave, though our houses are too far apart to say hi without shouting.

A month or so ago, I was leaving my house when I saw a guy pushing his bike. I pulled over and asked what was wrong, and he said it was broken down and he was pushing it home. I had my 2yo with me in the car, and thus could not help him push it home. I felt terrible--it was the perfect opportunity to pay it forward--but I really had no way to help with my 2yo there. I did make sure he was okay and offer him the use of my cell phone, but I wish I could have done more. :'(
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Jones on June 15, 2012, 06:35:36 PM
Today I was running work errands. I stopped at the bank and saw an elderly gentleman with an oxygen tank getting out of his car, which was parked in the handicapped spot. Even walking slowly he got to the door before me. He saw me coming and waited; I figured he needed a hand opening the door. I hurried up and he opened it...stood to one side and gestured to me to go first.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: peach2play on June 20, 2012, 09:28:09 AM
I have recently been sent to Delaware for my job and I was given less than a week to pack and get to Delaware.

I really really really wanted to bring my motorcycle with me out here as it is my sanity.  I had planned on renting a UHaul trailer and towing it behind the rental car my company was renting for me.  The bad news was I could not pick up the rental car until late Saturday and I had to leave Sunday morning so I figured I would use my truck to get the trailer and then switch it to the rental car after I picked it up.  I got to the UHaul place and they took a look at my truck which had a hitch, but did not have a hook up for lights.  I had been meaning to get the adapter, but just hadn't yet.  They did not have an adapter that would work and I had to get lights or they wouldn't let me rent the trailer.  They sent me to another UHaul place down the road that had all the towing supplies.  The man at the 2nd UHaul place told me that he would have to run a full lights package which would be over $200.  I knew this wasn't true as I already had wiring at the rear of my truck and just needed the adapter to hook into the adapter.  He insisted the first UHaul place, my mechanic, and my good friend who is also a mechanic, were wrong in their assessment of what I needed.  I walked out with out purchasing anything and went to NAPA where they promptly and happily sold me the part.  I get back to UHaul and hand over the part and my car and sign the paperwork for my trailer.  Something told me to call the rental car company and I found out that they do not allow any towing of any kind behind their vehicles.  At this point I started to cry.  I was really counting on taking the trailer so I could bring things from home with me so the transition wouldn't be so hard.  The lady at the UHaul place saw how upset I was, refunded my money for the trailer and refused payment for putting the towing adapter on my car because, "You have enough to deal with."  I wrote them a really good review on Google and Yelp.  She didn't have to help me, but she made a really hard day seem a little better.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Jones on July 11, 2012, 03:03:42 PM
This may sound silly, but I was walking home from the library with the kids. DD was riding her little bike, I was pushing DS in a stroller. We came around a corner to find a man washing his car next to the sidewalk. When we drew close he shut off the water, we greeted each other and he turned the water back on after we had gone by.

In my locale, pedestrians are lucky if the car washer moves to a different side of the auto to cut down on backspray. This guy struck me as a total gentleman.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: JonGirl on July 12, 2012, 05:32:11 AM



Thanks to the lady who lives near me who took me the rest of the way to the supermarket in the rain even if it was only a 30 second ride.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Girlie on July 14, 2012, 09:26:38 AM
When I was still a grocery store cashier, a customer happened to walk up on the tail end of a conversation about how all of our hours had been cut lately and how they wouldn't promote me to full time even though I'd worked for it and earned it because they didn't have "the hours available." A bunch of corporate nonsense, but it really made lean times more lean, you know?

Anyway, he must have heard more of the conversation than I realized, because after he left the store, he went to the ATM, and brought back an envelope and handed it to me and told me that it was a tip for a job well done, and that he hoped everything looked up for me. It was $100, and it honestly made me cry tears of happiness and relief.  :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Cutenoob on July 14, 2012, 05:29:18 PM
Bazzillons of years ago, I was a kid, and I loved to ride my bike. After school, I'd hop on the bike and go all over the place, in my residential area or even down a big street to another business.
One ride, I felt one of my seizures coming on. I felt it start up, and told it to go away, shut up. Next thing I know, I'm laying on my side in the left/right turn lane of the big street.
A guy is trying to talk to me, say hey, you doing ok, what's your name, those things. I couldn't speak, my speech is really affected after one.
Luckily, in that lane, I was RIGHT ACROSS from my hairdresser's salon! I had to mime phone go there call phone scissors haircut phone so he could kind of understand what I wanted. The idea was to get me to the hair place, they knew me by name, and could call my mom from the store.

He helped me across the street to the hair place, and once I got in, he left. No name, no nothing; I didn't get to say thanks to him.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: KenveeB on July 15, 2012, 10:59:47 AM
This may sound silly, but I was walking home from the library with the kids. DD was riding her little bike, I was pushing DS in a stroller. We came around a corner to find a man washing his car next to the sidewalk. When we drew close he shut off the water, we greeted each other and he turned the water back on after we had gone by.

In my locale, pedestrians are lucky if the car washer moves to a different side of the auto to cut down on backspray. This guy struck me as a total gentleman.

People do that sometimes when I'm walking my dogs, and it's always much appreciated!

When I was in high school, I was heading back home after a kind of class trip to watch a play downtown. (I lived in London at the time.) I was the only one taking the particular train in my direction, so the others had already gotten on their train and I was heading to mine. The doors closed just as I walked onto the platform, and it was half an hour (late at night) until the next train. So I ran forward to see if I was still in time to press the button and open the door real quick. Of course, I slipped and fell, so I watched the train go and then stood up. And nearly fell again. I had turned my ankle under me, and it was starting to really hurt. I managed to hobble off to the side and propped my foot in front of me, watching it swell to about three times its normal size, as I waited for the next train. A woman walked up to me and asked if I was all right. I said i was fine and just needed to wait for the next train. She left, then came back a minute later with a drink and snack purchased from one of the train shops. It really lifted my spirits in the middle of a very frustrating and painful night!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MommyPenguin on July 31, 2012, 10:46:32 PM
Just today, I took my daughters to Chick-Fil-A after a playgroup at the park.  I had planned to just go through the drive-thru, but they noticed that it had a play area and asked if we could eat there instead so they could play.  I agreed.  Just as we were finishing our meal, an older man, who had been sitting at the next table, came over.  He asked if he could buy us all ice cream!  Apparently the girls reminded him a bit of his grandchildren, whom he doesn't see often because they live in Africa, and he likes to treat kids that he sees out and about on occasion since he can't treat his grandchildren.  Wasn't that sweet?  The girls loved their special treat (even though sitting next to a 1-year-old eating an ice cream cone is a rather stressful experience, let me tell you!).
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Jaelle on August 02, 2012, 07:44:31 PM
I may have shared this one before. I think it bears repeating. :)

I used to work in a big chain bookstore. (Loved the job.) I was at the front counter one day when we were running our annual "donate books for local underpriveleged school" drive. Customers were asked if they wish to purchase a book to donate, and we tended to keep a stack of our favorites right next to our registers. (I know some people hate this, but honest, it wasn't a high-pressure pitch at all ... at least, not from me.)

One morning, a fellow in a suit came to the register buying a few books and a local paper. (If I remember correctly.) His order came to less than $50. He asked if he could use a $100 bill. I had plenty in the register at this point, so I said yes.

Then I asked if he wanted to buy a book for the drive.

He looked at the books. He looked at me. He looked back at the books.

Then he asked, "How much would this buy?"

It took me a minute to realize that he meant to send all his change on books. My jaw dropped a little. I stammered something like, "Quite a lot, actually."

We stood there and added books onto his total until it hit $100. He paid, smiled at me and left.

Ive never forgotten it. He restored a little of my faith in humanity that day. Someday, I hope to be in a position where I can do the exact same thing.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: snowdragon on August 04, 2012, 05:56:30 AM
I may have shared this one before. I think it bears repeating. :)

I used to work in a big chain bookstore. (Loved the job.) I was at the front counter one day when we were running our annual "donate books for local underpriveleged school" drive. Customers were asked if they wish to purchase a book to donate, and we tended to keep a stack of our favorites right next to our registers. (I know some people hate this, but honest, it wasn't a high-pressure pitch at all ... at least, not from me.)

One morning, a fellow in a suit came to the register buying a few books and a local paper. (If I remember correctly.) His order came to less than $50. He asked if he could use a $100 bill. I had plenty in the register at this point, so I said yes.

Then I asked if he wanted to buy a book for the drive.

He looked at the books. He looked at me. He looked back at the books.

Then he asked, "How much would this buy?"

It took me a minute to realize that he meant to send all his change on books. My jaw dropped a little. I stammered something like, "Quite a lot, actually."

We stood there and added books onto his total until it hit $100. He paid, smiled at me and left.

Ive never forgotten it. He restored a little of my faith in humanity that day. Someday, I hope to be in a position where I can do the exact same thing.

  This made me cry.  Thanks so much for giving me back some faith that there are good people out there.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Elisabunny on August 20, 2012, 04:12:05 PM
DH (high school teacher) had his first pre-schoolyear workday today.  He got called into the principal's office, where he was told that "an older gentleman" had given us a very large donation for our kids' medical bills.  So many people, a lot of them anonymous, have been so very, very kind to us.  It's overwhelming.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: dawbs on August 20, 2012, 05:35:26 PM
I can only think of one I've been on the 'giving' end of recently...
collecting pop bottles for the deposit is a common thing in my area.  Last week, I was pumping gas and a gentleman was rummaging through all of the trash cans, picking out cans.  I remembered I hadn't taken back my 10 or so cans, so a "sir, if you're collecting today, you can have these" got me the nicest thank-you I've had in a while.

On the flip side of it, yesterday, I went to the 'new' church I've attended a few times w/ my almost-2-year old.  Said church doesn't have a nursery and my kid in a VERY chatty phase--I've been assured they don't mind but, we're failing at 'inside voices' and 'shhhhh' right now--I'm trying but, uh, I'm failing.   Being told "it's so lovely, that she's so musical and likes singing' (said church doesn't have music, BTW) just sets my mind at ease.  Thank you :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: KenveeB on August 20, 2012, 05:52:27 PM
My very first day on a new job, my car battery died. I got in the car at the end of the day and nothing. Not only that, it was a rental car and I didn't have my jumper cables in it! So I had to wander the parking lot trying to find someone who hadn't already left and had cables. I was very grateful to the person who helped out!

Last weekend, I was at a pet fair for my dog rescue when someone mentioned a lady needing a jump in the parking lot. I immediately got someone to hold my dog and went out to grab my cables. She was very grateful and kept saying she wished she could give me something. I smiled and said, "We've all been there. Just pay it forward."
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: auntmeegs on September 04, 2012, 01:01:14 PM
This is a small one, but I wanted to mention it because this thread inspired me to do it.  There was a young girl, maybe 12 or so, outside of the Quickcheck (a convenience store for those that are not familiar) with a can to raise money for her cheerleading squad.  I know a lot of people can’t stand that kind of thing but I really don’t mind it and its pretty common around here.  Anyway, she was adorable – she had her uniform on and her hair all done and gave a very enthusiastic, polite greeting.  I dropped a dollar bill in her can and she thanked me.  I was a cheerleader too and I remember one day when my friend and I were standing outside a 7-11 store with our cans.  It was a really hot day and we couldn’t wait to be done with our “shift” so we could go to the beach.  At one point a lady, who had already given us some change on her way in, came out of the store with two Slurpies (sort of like a slushie), handed one to each of us, told us she had been a cheerleader too and wished us good luck.  We were so psyched and the Slurpies had totally made our day.  So while I was in the store, I bought the girl a slushie, gave it to her on the way out and said the same thing that that woman had said to my friend and I.  The girl gave me a huge smile and thank you and I went on my way feeling really happy. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: AmysAuntie on September 08, 2012, 11:30:43 PM
This thread reminded me of an incident that happened many many moons ago in Macys, Monterey, CA.  I had gone there to get some special holiday freezer containers so I could whip up several batches of hot buttered rum mixer as gifts.  It was fairly close to Christmas, so the lines were pretty heavy.  While we were waiting, the young man in front of me struck up a conversation about our respective purchases and he asked what I was going to do with all those containers.  I told him what I planned to make and he asked for the recipe.  Fortunately, it's a short, simple one, so as he held my items, I jotted down the recipe for him.  When I finished, he handed me our collective items and said he had forgotten one gift and asked me to hold his place online.  He was back in a flash with an women's toiletry item.  Eventually we finally got up to the register and when he was finished checking out, he handed me the small bag with the toiletry, thanked me for the recipe, and vanished into the holiday crowd.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: NyaChan on September 09, 2012, 12:37:26 AM
Could you post your recipe here too pleeeease? :D
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: faithlessone on September 09, 2012, 05:37:48 AM
This may not sound like much, compared to some of these, but it really made my day.

It was back towards the beginning of my first year of uni - I was in the depths of studying for my Christmas exams, plus writing a 3000 word essay that I was hating with a passion. After about four hours of straight studying, I needed a break. I wandered down to the library to get out a few more books, and stopped off at the uni shop on the way back. I picked up some milk, and, while putting the change into my purse, dropped the books. I almost burst into tears (it was that sort of day).

The man behind the counter came out, and helped me pick them up.

"You look like you need something happy today," he said, smiling. Then he reached over to the display on the counter, picked a strawberry lollipop and handed it to me. "Go on, I'll take care of it."

Again it may not seem like much, but it made me very happy. ;D
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: AuntieA on September 21, 2012, 01:34:29 AM
I've had some rough times in my life, and I have been helped out when I needed it most by the most unlikely angels. I believe in paying it forward and try to do so at every opportunity.

Last week I had an appointment with a specialist downtown. Parking in downtown Edmonton is very expensive, and the open-air lots are all owned by the same company who exploit their monopoly to keep their prices high. I had a 3 p.m. appointment, and had been warned that I might have to wait for the doctor, so I charged 3 hours ($19.00CAD) on my credit card. It turned out that I spent less than 15 minutes at the doctor's. I was on the phone in the parking lot when I saw a young lady over at the pay&park machine. I went over to her and offered her my ticket, which still had >2.5 hours of parking time on it. She took it gratefully and offered to pay me for it, but I told her that it was already paid for once, and that was enough.

I'm glad I was able to pass that ticket on to someone.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Wulfie on September 21, 2012, 10:09:08 AM
I just read this in the news and thought of this thread.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Town-of-Van-Zandt-learns-meaning-of-Love-thy-neighbor-170565856.html (http://www.king5.com/news/local/Town-of-Van-Zandt-learns-meaning-of-Love-thy-neighbor-170565856.html)

Basicly, A really great guy on Social Security who helps out his neighbors all the time nearly cut his arm off in a chainsaw accident. While he was in the hospital, it was discovered that his home was badly damaged in a past fire but he was too proud to as for help. The community banded together and are building him a new house.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Julia Mercer on October 28, 2012, 06:53:35 PM
DH and I were out for coffee one evening, and when I went to pay for our order, I found out that my debit card was declined, and he had no money on him either, so I asked the cashier to cancel the order, the guy before me asked her how much it was, and when I went outside to tell DH that it was canceled, the stranger came outside to tell us that we forgot our order.......he had paid for it :D He left his stuff sitting on the counter to tell us. That really made our evening, so just the other evening, we paid it forward and helped someone out that was short of change. Felt good let me tell ya!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: takeheart on October 30, 2012, 10:36:05 AM
I love Starbucks, but the cost can add up, so I try to limit myself to 2-3 drinks a week (and I usually get just a grande iced coffee though). Last Monday I was on my way to my sister's house because I had taken a day off work to drive with her 3 hours away for her doctor's appointment. I stopped by Starbucks to get my usual, and I ordered a cake pop for my niece too. When I pulled up to pay, the barista informed me that the car in front of me had paid for me. I was pleasantly surprised. She informed that she works the window maybe two or three times a week and that happens at least twice a day. That made my day!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Marisol on October 30, 2012, 02:58:00 PM
Some of these stories are bringing tears to my eyes.

As for my story.  I was once given free lunch at a café where I was trying to find something, anything, that was less than what I had on me (a couple of dollars).  It was such a kind thing for her to do that I have never forgotten it. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 03, 2012, 01:51:04 PM
not my story, but a friend's nephew.  as many of you know, getting gas in NJ and NY after hurricane sandy can be a challenge.  Long lines, few stations open, etc.  he was waiting in line to get gas, then found out it was cash only.  so he runs across the street to a convenience store to use the ATM which isn't working.  Comes back, and a guy behind him in line offered him $$ for gas.  he said he felt bad so didn't take the full amount, but was thrilled there are still good people out there.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: snowdragon on November 04, 2012, 01:46:09 PM
I am a grad student. I have a class where I have to do a collection - could be anything, but since I come from a military family I wanted to do something to honour the soldiers, so I am collecting soldiers stories about their time in the service and making a slide show to go with it. My best friend mentioned it to her pastor, who talked to several of the older vets in the church. They have been kind enough to share with me their lives and stories. Some are so touching and heart felt that it's hard not to cry, other are humorous, others are matter of fact.
  I can not tell you how honoured I feel that they are willing to this for me.  I have two more weeks to do this "Officially" but I am going to record each offered so that they are preserved.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Elisabunny on November 04, 2012, 04:33:02 PM
I am a grad student. I have a class where I have to do a collection - could be anything, but since I come from a military family I wanted to do something to honour the soldiers, so I am collecting soldiers stories about their time in the service and making a slide show to go with it. My best friend mentioned it to her pastor, who talked to several of the older vets in the church. They have been kind enough to share with me their lives and stories. Some are so touching and heart felt that it's hard not to cry, other are humorous, others are matter of fact.
  I can not tell you how honoured I feel that they are willing to this for me.  I have two more weeks to do this "Officially" but I am going to record each offered so that they are preserved.

You might consider offering a copy to the county historical society.  They would probably be thrilled.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: snowdragon on November 05, 2012, 12:12:21 AM
I am a grad student. I have a class where I have to do a collection - could be anything, but since I come from a military family I wanted to do something to honour the soldiers, so I am collecting soldiers stories about their time in the service and making a slide show to go with it. My best friend mentioned it to her pastor, who talked to several of the older vets in the church. They have been kind enough to share with me their lives and stories. Some are so touching and heart felt that it's hard not to cry, other are humorous, others are matter of fact.
  I can not tell you how honoured I feel that they are willing to this for me.  I have two more weeks to do this "Officially" but I am going to record each offered so that they are preserved.

You might consider offering a copy to the county historical society.  They would probably be thrilled.

It will be offered to the museum where I am taking the course, first. :D
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: gmatoy on December 31, 2012, 12:45:19 AM
I am a grad student. I have a class where I have to do a collection - could be anything, but since I come from a military family I wanted to do something to honour the soldiers, so I am collecting soldiers stories about their time in the service and making a slide show to go with it. My best friend mentioned it to her pastor, who talked to several of the older vets in the church. They have been kind enough to share with me their lives and stories. Some are so touching and heart felt that it's hard not to cry, other are humorous, others are matter of fact.
  I can not tell you how honoured I feel that they are willing to this for me.  I have two more weeks to do this "Officially" but I am going to record each offered so that they are preserved.

As a veteran, married to combat veteran, I thank you for this important contribution to both the veterans and the community.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: snowdragon on December 31, 2012, 01:32:45 AM
I am a grad student. I have a class where I have to do a collection - could be anything, but since I come from a military family I wanted to do something to honour the soldiers, so I am collecting soldiers stories about their time in the service and making a slide show to go with it. My best friend mentioned it to her pastor, who talked to several of the older vets in the church. They have been kind enough to share with me their lives and stories. Some are so touching and heart felt that it's hard not to cry, other are humorous, others are matter of fact.
  I can not tell you how honoured I feel that they are willing to this for me.  I have two more weeks to do this "Officially" but I am going to record each offered so that they are preserved.

As a veteran, married to combat veteran, I thank you for this important contribution to both the veterans and the community.

If you - or anyone you know wants to contribute, just PM me and I can tell you how. :) 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on March 23, 2013, 09:37:26 PM
We just had a massive winter storm here on Thursday...roads were a mess, traffic was terrible, there were a lot of accidents and all the shops around us...EXCEPT us...were allowed to go home early before the roads got any worse.

By the time I FINALLY got home, I knew I was going to have to shovel.  Coupled with a back injury from last week (caused by slipping on the ice while carrying a 30lb bag of dog food) I was not looking forward to the job.

When I got home, I went inside to change my clothes and sit for a minute before gearing back up to go outside and shovel.  I was just about to start piling on the layers when I looked out the window and saw one of the gentlemen who lives on my street, pushing his heavy-duty snowblower along the sidewalk in front of my house.  He came all the way up to my front porch, clearing everything.  I tried to get his attention to ask if he wanted a coffee or a hot chocolate or a snack, but he just waved back at me and continued on.  I wish I knew where he lived so I could thank him properly!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: CakeEater on March 31, 2013, 05:34:05 AM
This is only a little one - DS has just turned 2 and is going through a serious 'terrible twos' phase. He was screaming at the shops the other day, and I had just got him out of the trolley and sat down with him, and was getting out his favourite toy, when a lady stopped and sat down with me and dug a toy car out of her handbag and asked if that might help.

By that time, DS was already quiet, so I declined, but thanked her very much. What a nice lady!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Bijou on April 04, 2013, 03:18:14 PM
Yesterday we were grocery shopping.  We were at checkout and there was a blonde woman in front of us.  Other than that, I didn't pay special attention, nor did I know her.
When we were up for check out the clerk rang us up for $43 dollars in groceries, and told us the woman in front of us paid $20 on our bill. so we owed only $23. I was so surprised. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Ehelldame on June 07, 2013, 01:52:17 AM
EHell had it own pay it forward moment about a decade ago.  One afternoon I smelled something odd in the utility room of our 130-year-old house.   We couldn't place what it was and even thought it might have been a freon leak from the freezer.  I called 911 and within minutes our house was filled with 15-20 volunteer firefighters.   They quickly ascertained that a circuit breaker was scorching and about to catch fire.   Had we been away from the house that afternoon, it would have burned the building to the ground.   One of the firefighter's father was a retired electrician and he was called.  He came over and replaced the faulty circuit breaker while holding the rapt attention of all these firefighters.    He refused any payment for the new breaker or his time.

So, I organized a fundraiser on EHell to benefit our tiny, all volunteer, woefully underfunded fire station telling Ehellions that we were saved from fiery destruction.  Ehellions donated over $500.00  which I gave to the fire chief from the members of the Ehell forum. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on June 07, 2013, 11:46:00 PM
Thank you to the nice lady who saw me miserably walking to the bus in the rain and offered me not only a ride to the bus, but let me stay in her car out of the weather til it came.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MamaMootz on November 13, 2013, 07:01:13 PM
While we were visiting Hersheypark this summer, we were on a tight budget. My daughter was playing in the arcade, getting ready to cash in her tickets, when a pair of grandparents came up to us and gave her over 500 tickets. They had won over 1,000 tickets on a game of some sort, and their grandson didn't want to spend all of them so they gave the tickets away to my daughter.
She used it with hers to get a phone case, and then still had about 250 left over, which we passed along to a little boy who had only a few tickets.

Things like this restore my faith in humanity, just a little.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: tinkytinky on November 14, 2013, 09:32:54 AM
We have had so many moments where we have been blessed with people's kindness, like several years in a row that Christmas was going to be a little on the skimpy side (DH and I both come from large families and we also have 5 children) we received cash in the mail from Santa Claus.( the card was signed Santa Claus and there was no return address) it was always enough that we were able to give our children nice gifts, have a great meal, and enough left over to give a good amount of food to the local Christmas food drive.

To pay it forward, there was a woman that was neighbors with DH while he was growing up, whose children are in school with my children, their house burnt to the ground. Just that week we found ourselves with extra money that was not earmarked for anything in particular (that did NOT happen very often). We decided to put it on a refillable visa card so they could use it for what they needed, clothes, food, fuel, whatever. I don't think they ever realized who gave it to them.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MissRose on December 04, 2013, 02:45:25 PM
My father used to shovel and snow blow the neighbors driveway as both of them had health problems but died a few years ago.  When they were alive, they would make sure my dad had a snack and a hot cup of coffee. 

The lady next door to my parents is close in age to my parents and lives alone plus works a lot in retail.  My dad will make sure her driveway is cleared in the same way he did for the other neighbors, and she tries to compensate him but my dad does not always take what she offers - but she always gives my parents Xmas presents for helping her. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MissRose on January 27, 2014, 01:56:05 PM
My light on my car came on for low tire pressure thanks to the cold weather.  I pulled into a local firestone and asked for help with getting air in the tires.  The guy said please pull up to last bay, someone will help you for no cost.  After the young man was finished adding the air, I thanked him and gave a few dollars which he appreciated.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: jilly on February 01, 2014, 03:03:07 PM
This happened years ago when I was still living with my parents and hadn't been driving (mums car) long.
Driving home from work one dark cold wet evening I'd just left the street lit when a lorry coming the opposite direction flicked up a stone and my previously un-chipped windscreen shattered. it stayed together but all the edges of glass basically made the entire screen white. I stopped swore a bit before realising there was a tyres/brakes/exhaust (no servicing) garage only 1/4 mile back. so I walked back asked to use the phone (pre mobiles) to call my parents, only they were out for the evening and my sister being on 15 couldn't help.
When they heard the problem the guys at the garage went out and brought the car back, offered to keep it locked up over night so my parents could arrange repair the next day and got me a lift to the bus station so I could get home without getting any wetter than I already was.
They were so surprised the next week when I took them a big tin of chocolates to say thank you and I still go there for tyres/brakes.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Team HoundMom on February 04, 2014, 10:45:25 AM
I came home at lunch one day to find our driveway had been snowblowed.  (I drive a Jeep, I just launch over the plow-bank but was dreading backing in later.) Found out it was the neighbours across the street who we don't even know.  I left a thank-you note on their door with some treats for their dog and my phone number in case they'd like to get our dogs together for a playdate (I have a fast Coon Hound, they have a fast Border Collie.)  The husband texted later thanking us for the treats and said they'd love to get the dogs together when the weather gets nicer.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on May 04, 2014, 02:56:58 PM
This week I’m paying it forward.

Three years ago, my parents’ home was destroyed in the Joplin MO tornado that devastated a third of the city.  In the wake of the disaster, the goodness of people shone like a million suns.  Desperately needed items arrived by the truckload.  Volunteers roamed the streets offering help. Some high school kids from a nearby city found my brother’s dogs (alive) in the rubble.

This past week a tornado struck a city in my state.  Some residents of my city are filling two semi trailers with donated items that will be driven to the site.  I’ve gone through my house, boxing up things that I know will be of use.  I’ve also purchased quantities of items I know will be needed.

I’ve made three trips to the donation site, and each time there was a continual stream of cars arriving with donations. 

We get so jaded by unending bad news and stories of bad people, but in the worst of times, it’s obvious that the world is full of wonderful people.  Being reminded of that is a gift in itself. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: alkira6 on May 04, 2014, 05:49:46 PM
I can't remember if I've posted this before...

At the beginning of last school year I was buying supplies at walmart.  I had reached my limit (payday was waaaay away) and had to put a couple of cases of spiral notebooks and some pencils back.  The man behind me asked how many kids I had in school and when I told him none, I was buying supplies for kids who didn't have any, he bought the rest and then added to what I already had.  He was totally gracious and just told me to have a good year and that teachers are underappreciated.

When I told someone about this a couple of weeks ago they went and told their church and the church had donated a few boxes of supplies and a case of backpacks.  I have a head start on next year!  She also told me that I was the only one in a long time to write a thank you note.  :o  I am being split between my current school and another school next year and both really need help.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Margo on June 27, 2014, 07:39:22 AM
A nice little one yesterday evening - I popped into Lidls to buy 4 or 5 items on my way home after work. There was only one checkout open, and when I got there, the guy in front of me looked at my basket with 5 things in, and then at his trolley which was 2/3 full, and told me to go ahead of him.

Very nice of him :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: purplerainbow on July 05, 2014, 12:48:34 PM
Earlier this week I was having trouble charging my laptop. (I'd been having trouble for a while, it just got really bad by Monday.) I had to fiddle around for ages to find a position in which to physically hold the charger at an angle in the charger port, in order for the laptop to charge.

So I took my laptop into work for one of our IT guys to look at. I was right, it was the port that was the problem. Turns out the soldering my dad did for me last year when I had a similar problem, wasn't as good as he thought, so the IT guy at work re-did it for me.
When I got my laptop home, it wouldn't connect to the internet, so I took it into work again. The same guy sorted the wi fi out for me (the switch had broken).

I thanked him so many times, because I am SO grateful for his help. He's a lovely guy who does favours like this for pretty much everyone who asks; I made sure to ask politely and thank him, because I appreciate he did me a huge favour. A repair place would have charged me a fair amount of money for the labour, whereas my colleague did it for me for free. This isn't in his job description, by the way - this was my own personal laptop from home, wholly unconnected with work, which he didn't have to take a look at. I'll make sure I buy him a drink or two at the staff summer drinks do.  :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Bottlecaps on September 12, 2014, 05:44:44 PM
It seems so small, but to a kid, it can mean the world.

About twenty years ago (I was around four at the time), my mom and I were at a certain big box store. She was using the payphone, and I asked if I could play with one of the arcade machines. She shushed me, saying she didn't have the change for me to play. A couple of seconds after she said that, a couple that had just walked through the door handed me a couple of quarters and the lady said, with a smile, "Here you go sweetie!" I thanked them and went to put them in the machine. I can't even remember what kind of machine it was - I think it was a claw machine but I could be mistaken. Either way, it made me so happy and I had almost forgotten about it until yesterday when I thought of it. It wasn't a big thing, but it made me so happy for a few minutes. I wonder if they remember doing it for me. :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Pie Fight on September 13, 2014, 06:43:04 PM
Last weekend I was at Baskin Robbins, and I couldn't make up my mind which flavor of ice cream I wanted. When it was my turn to order, I told the lady behind me (and her two teenagers) to go ahead, because I still couldn't decide. They bought their treats and left the store, and when I did order my ice cream, I found out that they had paid for mine! I definitely was not expecting that.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: JoW on October 07, 2014, 10:38:35 PM
Someone took a 1/2 gallon bottle of milk out of the cooler in my car.  And yes, that was an act of kindness.

It happened 30 years ago, on a hot, humid summer afternoon.  I was in a car accident.  I left by ambulance, my car was towed to the nearest junk yard.  The next day DH drove to the junk yard to retrieve the stuff in my car.  That stuff included a small cooler with that milk in it.  After 24 hours in the sun in that climate DH expected the milk to be spoiled and the cooler ruined.  Instead the milk was missing and the cooler was fine.  Someone save the cooler by removing the milk. 

After that wreck I spent 3 months on crutches.  I that time I never had to open a door for myself in public.  Every time I approached a door someone would hold it open for me.   
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: kareng57 on October 07, 2014, 10:40:54 PM
Someone took a 1/2 gallon bottle of milk out of the cooler in my car.  And yes, that was an act of kindness.

It happened 30 years ago, on a hot, humid summer afternoon.  I was in a car accident.  I left by ambulance, my car was towed to the nearest junk yard.  The next day DH drove to the junk yard to retrieve the stuff in my car.  That stuff included a small cooler with that milk in it.  After 24 hours in the sun in that climate DH expected the milk to be spoiled and the cooler ruined.  Instead the milk was missing and the cooler was fine.  Someone save the cooler by removing the milk. 

After that wreck I spent 3 months on crutches.  I that time I never had to open a door for myself in public.  Every time I approached a door someone would hold it open for me.


Re the crutches - as nice as it was, I wouldn't call it an "act of kindness".  I would call it basic courtesy, in that anyone who wasn't doing it would be rude.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MaryR on May 14, 2015, 08:54:56 PM
I was reminded about this thread today. Back when I was young and poor, strangers would help me out. I always remembered their kindness and even 50 years ago, "pay it forward" was a common expression. I always tried to do that when I was able. Several years ago, when gas was so expensive, I was at the local Mom and Pop place getting milk. The young lady in front of me paid for $5 of gas with change. I looked out the window and saw that she had an old beat up car with a child seat in the backseat. I figured that she wasn't going to get very far on that gas (we are out in the sticks), so I gave the clerk (who knew me by name) and told him to fill up her tank with it and to not tell her who did it, but to just pay it forward.

I had to wait for her to fill her tank so Les could run my card, so I went over to the area that people used to fill out the lotto cards and pretended to be picking my numbers. She came in just crying and asked who had been her angel, then choked out thanks and ran out.

Today, I was in the same store (again, out in the sticks, not a lot of options if you just need 1 or 2 things) and Les gave me a card. From what he told me, the young lady came in last week and asked if he remembered her angel and he said that he did, so she gave him a card and asked him to give it to me the next time I came in.

It was a thank you card. In it she had written that due to my kindness, she was able to get to her job interview and back home. She said that she had gotten the job and due to the gas I bought, she was able to show up at work on time everyday and was now a manager. She said that her life was much improved, so much so that now she was able to pay it forward and she thought about me every time she was able to do it.

I'm still crying, and I know I shouldn't have bumped this old thread, but I just wanted to let you all know that you can change someone's life for the better by doing something simple and random.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Bethalize on May 15, 2015, 01:56:48 AM
That was worth a thread bump. What a nice story.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Mustard on May 15, 2015, 03:10:42 AM
Wow, MaryR.... What a wonderful story.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Outdoor Girl on May 15, 2015, 01:48:33 PM
Absolutely worthy of a thread bump!!!

And now I have something in my eye...
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MaryR on May 15, 2015, 05:16:32 PM
Thanks all. I don't want to edit that post this late, but what she actually said was that due to the gas I bought her, she was able to get to work on time until she got her first paycheck. Its hard to type when I can't see.

I'm not the hero in this story. I could afford to help someone who looked like she was in need. The young lady is the hero. She was trying to improve her life and the life of her child. She worked hard and did it. Being a manager of a fast food place isn't the most prestigious job in the world, but its demanding work and shows that she just needed a helping hand at the right moment.

She was also very gracious and kind enough to figure out a way to thank the stranger who helped. When I get upset at what I see on the news, I'm going to reread her card and start crying again.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Mustard on May 16, 2015, 04:27:17 AM
Maybe not 'the' hero of the story, but certainly 'a' hero. The young lady couldn't have done what she has done without your act of kindness and generosity.  Don't write yourself out of this heart-warming story!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: TootsNYC on May 16, 2015, 02:38:39 PM
Thanks all. I don't want to edit that post this late, but what she actually said was that due to the gas I bought her, she was able to get to work on time until she got her first paycheck.

This points out how very hard it can be to get out of poverty. You have to have enough gas money to -get- to work!

How great that your help was able to pay dividends. And yes, you're right--your kindness was the start, but the true hero of the story is the woman who took that help and made it work for her in a permanent way.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MariaE on May 16, 2015, 04:11:43 PM
Awesome story! Yay!
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: gmatoy on May 24, 2015, 10:33:17 PM
So worth a bump! Thank you.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: cicero on May 26, 2015, 03:47:21 AM
Maybe not 'the' hero of the story, but certainly 'a' hero. The young lady couldn't have done what she has done without your act of kindness and generosity.  Don't write yourself out of this heart-warming story!
exactly. not every person pays attention to people around them, looks out for others, thinks about what they can do to help, and does it in a gracious and tactful manner.

What a beatiful story.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on May 27, 2015, 06:56:00 PM
I hope this doesn't come off as a brag, but I saw someone in a tough spot today and I wanted to help so I did.

There was a young guy in front of me at the grocery today, he was buying just a few basics...eggs, milk, bread, a couple cans of soup, a package of chicken and a package of ground beef.  When the cashier told him his total, he started worriedly counting out change and asking the cashier to remove this item or that one.  I could see the stress and embarrassment in his face.  I've been that person; my heart went out to him.  I waved my hand to get the cashier's attention and said, "Put it back on the bill.  All of it.  I'll get it."

The young guy looked shocked and grateful and tried to offer to pay me what he could while I picked up the tab for the rest, but I wouldn't have it.  It wasn't that much and while I'm not always able to afford to help out, today I could.  So I did. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MinAvi on May 27, 2015, 07:16:47 PM
I hope this doesn't come off as a brag, but I saw someone in a tough spot today and I wanted to help so I did.

There was a young guy in front of me at the grocery today, he was buying just a few basics...eggs, milk, bread, a couple cans of soup, a package of chicken and a package of ground beef.  When the cashier told him his total, he started worriedly counting out change and asking the cashier to remove this item or that one.  I could see the stress and embarrassment in his face.  I've been that person; my heart went out to him.  I waved my hand to get the cashier's attention and said, "Put it back on the bill.  All of it.  I'll get it."

The young guy looked shocked and grateful and tried to offer to pay me what he could while I picked up the tab for the rest, but I wouldn't have it.  It wasn't that much and while I'm not always able to afford to help out, today I could.  So I did.

And that is good Karma coming your way right there! What a wonderful thing to do.

Someone did that for me once. I had less than $5 until payday and that person buying my milk and eggs is what saved me. I have done it for 4 or 5 people since, and I will continue to pay it forward and hope that they will pay it forward.

You made the world a better place today :)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: MaryR on May 27, 2015, 11:21:43 PM
I hope this doesn't come off as a brag, but I saw someone in a tough spot today and I wanted to help so I did.

There was a young guy in front of me at the grocery today, he was buying just a few basics...eggs, milk, bread, a couple cans of soup, a package of chicken and a package of ground beef.  When the cashier told him his total, he started worriedly counting out change and asking the cashier to remove this item or that one.  I could see the stress and embarrassment in his face.  I've been that person; my heart went out to him.  I waved my hand to get the cashier's attention and said, "Put it back on the bill.  All of it.  I'll get it."

The young guy looked shocked and grateful and tried to offer to pay me what he could while I picked up the tab for the rest, but I wouldn't have it.  It wasn't that much and while I'm not always able to afford to help out, today I could.  So I did.

And that is good Karma coming your way right there! What a wonderful thing to do.

Someone did that for me once. I had less than $5 until payday and that person buying my milk and eggs is what saved me. I have done it for 4 or 5 people since, and I will continue to pay it forward and hope that they will pay it forward.

You made the world a better place today :)

Yes, the world is a better place due to both of you, thank you so much for doing it. And thank you for sharing it, little or big acts of kindness really do make the world better.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Gladly on August 19, 2015, 09:02:20 AM
I hadn't seen this wonderful thread before, but I'd like to add the story of a lovely lorry driver, and confess my shame at my initial thoughts about him.

Many years ago when I was in my early 20s, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I had my first car.  Like many cars of that ilk, it more or less held together with a bit of tlc, and usually got me where I needed to go.  The story happens on a wet, cold February night in Scotland.  It was about 10pm and I was driving home after visiting a friend.  The car decided it didn't like cold, wet February nights and decided to go on strike.  I managed to coast into a lay-by that actually had a phone box in it.  (This was before mobile phones - remember the dinosaurs?)  I phoned my poor, long-suffering Dad and got back into the car to wait for him. I knew it would be about an hour before he could get there.  After about 20 minutes a lorry pulled in behind me. The driver got out and came and tapped on my window.  I opened it a crack and he asked if I needed any help.  I said I was fine and my Dad would be here in a minute or two, and closed the window.  He tapped on it again and asked if I was cold. He had some hot soup in his cab.  Yes, I was freezing, but there was no way I was getting out of the car or even opening the window any more than that tiny crack.  I was beginning to freak by then, but tried to stay calm.  I told him that I was perfectly OK and repeated that my Dad was on his way and would be there in a couple of minutes.  The driver walked back to his cab and I watched him get in, then climb down again, bend down behind my car, get back into the cab and drive off.  Once he was out of sight I got out to see what on earth he had done.  On the kerb, behind my car was his thermos flask of soup and a packet of biscuits.

Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: RevMaxx on December 06, 2015, 02:36:19 PM
BG: I'm in my 50's, walk oddly/hunched from asthenia and park in handicapped spots on my 'bad' days (with placard, of course). end BG

I pull into a local large strip mall, into one of two HC spots as another driver pulls into 2nd HC spot.
Other HC driver and I slowly walk into same store.  At the only checkout line with eight customers,
pleasant chat exchanged all around about the weather.
I have four heavy bags, so with literally steps to my truck I say, "I'll come back in a sec for the other two."
Other HC driver hops out of line, "I got that for ya."  She grabbed the other two and we put them in my truck. "Thank you!"  "Have great holidays!" and she was back in the store. And she was a little person. Carrying my heavies. While the able-bodied gents just stared.

~~Reason #759 for my faith in humanity.

 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Peppergirl on December 08, 2015, 01:41:33 PM
This is a small one, but I recently had my coffee paid for by the person in front of me at the Starbucks drive thru. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to pass it to the next person because I was intending to pay with a free coupon on my app (I had no cash or cards on me), but I fully intend to do the same for someone else the next time I get coffee or carry out. 

Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: JoW on December 26, 2015, 03:50:06 PM
Background:
I moved to this house on Dec. 18.  I brought the large snow blower that was critically important at my previous home. 
I twisted my knee in October which made my limp much more visible. 

Omaha got a surprise snow storm, 8", on Dec 24.  Late that day while I was putting on my boots to move snow I looked out the window and saw one of my neighbors clearing my driveway and sidewalk.  I went out and thanked him.  There's more snow in the forecast for Sunday and Monday.  I'll clear his when I clear mine. 
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: gepetto on January 02, 2016, 08:02:17 PM
A few years ago I lost my husband.

I've lost track of all the people who have helped clear the driveway of snow -some neighbors, some strangers.  I managed to get away for my first vacation in years, and while I was gone, it snowed again.  Not too much, but some.  I picked up my car at the airport, drove home, and the driveway was clear.  I went out the next morning for a better look, and something didn't look right.  I called the handyman, who does have a key to my house (and thus the snow blower).  He had come over to clear the driveway, but someone had already plowed it.  He raked the roof, instead.

I never found out who the plow driver was that week.  There are, literally, four or five usual suspects.

I have a new consort, but he has some mobility problems. The neighbors still keep an eye out for signs that we're struggling.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Roe on May 05, 2016, 12:10:07 PM
How did I miss this thread?

We were traveling out of town when our car stalled. Luckily, we had stopped for coffee so we were at a fast food location.  A nice gentelman gave our SUV a "jump".  Turns out our car needed something else and he knew just the thing.  Thing was, neither of us had the part.  So what did this man do? He went to the automotive store, bought the part and brought it back to us and fixed what needed fixing. And he refused to accept payment for the part or for the labor. He said that others had helped him in similar situations and he was just paying it forward. DH and I were astounded and humbled by his actions. 

I pray he has been blessed, wherever he is.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: gmatoy on June 30, 2016, 02:38:44 PM
Ever have the feeling that someone or something has set it up for you to be the "good" guy?

I was at a sale, at a second hand shop, several years ago and everyone was digging through the piles of children's clothing and calling out what they were looking for, in case someone else had it in front of them. One mom was looking for bibs for her disabled child. I came across some and handed them over, so she could buy them. Finished shopping and went a 1/2 block down the street and in that second hand shop, there was a bag of bibs at a ridiculously low price. I just looked up and said, "Thank you." Bought them and ran back to the other shop and gave them to her. She was so thankful and wanted to pay for them, but I told her it was a gift, because I believe in "bread on the water." (A thought that what you put out comes back to you.)
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: JoW on July 01, 2016, 07:28:34 PM
I bought a house in December.  The sod shrunk over the winter.  There are a few small spots, none larger than a shoebox, that could use a patch.  And there is a 6" deep erosion gully along the back property line.

2 more houses have been built this spring.  The sod was placed at those houses today.  I went over and talked the buy supervising the work.  I explained the situation to him and asked if I could have any scraps or trimmings left over at the end of the day.  I was hoping for, at most, 3 square feet of sod.

An hour later I looked out my window and the crew was laying a strip of sod 18" wide and 60 feet long on top of the erosion gully.  The boss said he had that much left over and didn't want to lay it anywhere else.  I thanked him and started watering in the new sod.  Tomorrow I'll take a few trimmings from that sod and put them in the spots that need to be patched.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 11, 2017, 06:14:06 PM
We were out shopping today, with a lot of stops and a lot of running around.  Dad was getting a bit tired so we left him in the car while DF and I ran in to the coffee shop to use the washroom and grab a bite to eat.  Come out to start the car again and *click*.  It wouldn't start.  We were about to call the auto club to come give us a boost when the gentleman parked beside us came out to his car.  We asked him if he would give us a boost and he agreed - I had the cables.

So DF got the cables hooked up and had to adjust them once to get it to work but away my car went.  Turns out, it was a turn of good fortune for our saviour, too.  The positive terminal on his battery was really corroded and it could have been him needing a boost in the relatively near future.  DF showed it to him and suggested he get it changed out the next time he took his car in for an oil change.
Title: Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
Post by: DaDancingPsych on March 21, 2017, 02:19:49 PM
Speaking of car issues...

I was pretty sure that the smoke was not a good sign. I also had a pretty good idea that it had something to do with the previous day's oil change. However, it was the kind gentleman who saw my smoke and bent over to confirm that I was indeed leaking oil that helped me know how to begin to fix the problem. Thanks Stranger!