Good Samaritan note goes viral on Reddit


Return To Article
  • PrincessButtercup Bend, OR
    Sept. 4, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    Several years ago, we faced the financial aftermath of six months of unemployment. We moved to a new state for a job and left our home, which couldn't be sold in the tanking housing market. We were upside down and feeling desperate. I found myself at a car repair shop, facing a $288 bill, with two cranky kids. I was talking to my husband on the phone in the waiting area about how we could continue paying the mortgages on the old house plus the rent on our new house -- and I was a bit teary-eyed. A man sitting in the waiting area must have overheard my conversation with my husband, although I had tried to speak quietly. His car repair was soon finished and he left the shop. After he drove away, the shop receptionist called me over to tell me the man had paid my entire bill. Nearly $300 for a stranger. His act of kindness touched my life and despite all of my efforts to "pay it forward" over the years, I will always feel indebted to him for his labor of love. I hope I can bless someone else's life in the same way.

  • ParanoidLately Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 6:03 p.m.

    One Christmas Eve years ago my husband and I were out searching for an open restaurant. We do not celebrate the holiday, so we were feeling pretty frustrated that nothing was open. We ended up pulling up behind a car stalled at a light and stopped to help. The young woman and her 3 year old son were trying to get to the treatment center her brother was detained in. She was pretty young and obviously had no resources to lean on, but was panicked that she wouldn't get to visit her only family. We ended up towing her car to her house, then driving her the treatment facility and back home that night. Then going to a gas station for stale hot dogs and soda for dinner. It was a great evening! Since then I have been in the position of need and been humbled by the generosity shown to me as well.

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    Aug. 15, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    Once I saw some large high school boys at Burger King using a water cup, but getting soda. They were not in dire straits but sniggering about how they were pulling one over on the manager. I walked to the counter, purchased 3 soda cups and said load enough for half the restaurant to hear, "I know how humiliating it is to be short on money. I feel awful for you. Here's some soda cups so you don't have to steal." They went from cocky to embarrassed idiots mumbling their thanks in 2 seconds flat. Everyone in the restaurant who had been uncomfortable with their brazen, rowdy behavior (including the store manager) gave me a facial expression equivalent of a high five. Maybe not a "pay-it-forward" moment for the kids, but definitely for the manager. He had to either confront these guys or keep on allowing them to steal from him. After they slunk out, he thanked me.

  • Philippine Bonita Sammamish, WA
    Aug. 15, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    I once paid a woman's $60 grocery bill at 11pm on a Saturday night when she realized she did not have her wallet on her. It was fun. I also love seeing a young couple in a restaurant who have the appearance of struggling financially, but needing a nice night out together. I wait until we are almost ready to leave, point them out to our waiter, pay their bill plus 20% tip and ask that they not tell them their bill is paid until we leave. Then my kids and I will try to watch from our car. It's the best fun $50 can buy.

  • Mountain Fox Davis, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:52 p.m.

    @ TimBehrend, thank you for your comments. I will agree with most of what you said, but sadly here in America the last 5 years, this is indeed worthy news! I think if you said that these acts of kindness by people are not uncommon you would be more correct, but news worthy they are indeed to recognize and up lift in order to counterbalance all the hate. God bless.

  • Mountain Fox Davis, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:32 p.m.

    Inspiring and up lifting, many miracles occur if we will just look for them. I have been blessed by many in times of my needs and have been able to help others at times also. The worst thing is to not notice until the opportunity has passed. A few days ago my grandson and I were in a dollar store in Ogden and the young handicapped man in front of us did not have enough to pay for his purchase, he was in a hurry because he wanted to catch the handicapped bus waiting in the parking lot. I almost missed the chance because I was talking to my grandson, but it finally clicked and I was able to take care of his bill. This small amount proved a wealth of experience for my grandson who could not stop talking about the wonderful experience he and I had. Like some of the comments above, the blessings far out way the cost. It is easy for me to be irritated by someone on the hwy., but I have come to realize that they must have a need to be noticed by someone who will pray for them. God Bless.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    Exept for one the comments have been good. We do need more of this news. For those who have never tried helping someone out or paying it forward,try it it is great..

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 13, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    @Paul Wally
    Paul, I REALLY appreciated your message as well...

  • CiderMan OGDEN, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    A month ago I was trying to replace a tire at a local Discount Tire. After looking at my tires the service person showed me that the other tire was worse, I had enough money to buy the pair. A little while later the service person came back and told me the back tires were not safe and I should replace them to. Circumstances are such that I didn't have the money to purchase the other tires. Both the sales and service persons tried to persuade me that leaving the old tires on was not safe, but, when you don't have the money safety takes a back seat. They both left exasperated. A minute later the sales person came back and told me he had bought the tires and they were being put on the car explaining that my safety was more important than making money. I am grateful, blessed and humbled at the young man's generosity.

    Sooner or later all of us will be at an intersection with another will we give generously or receive graciously or walk away selfishly indifferent or indignant?

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 13, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    Once, during my senior year of high school at Viewmont High School, 2 of my peers (I can't honestly call them 'friends') cornered me in a class right before lunch and while we were supposed to be busy in a grop project, and in a very sarcastic and cutting way, ripped into me for probably 30 minutes. I was devestated. I went to lunch in a daze and after lunch ended up back near the classroom it had occured in.

    A teacher saw I was emotionally wiped out and unhappy and pulled me into a room to talk. We did for the rest of the lunch period. When he could tell that I still needed more love and attention at the end of the lunch period, he excused himself for a moment so he could cancel his next class and come back and let me talk with him. He didn't ask for permission to cancel his class and leave students unsupervised in his classroom, he just did it.

    The needs of the one outweighed the needs of the many, this time.

    I've always loved Mr. Fred Davies from that day on, 30 years ago.

    God bless you, Fred!

  • windsor City, Ut
    Aug. 13, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    This story and the great comments made me think of the "26 Acts of kindness to honor the Connecticut shooting victims" and the kindnesses following the Boston bombing, and the stories in the DesNews about the Carson Cheney Matchbox cars, etc etc.

    All these things are so uplifting to people, and prompt so much goodwill to fellow humans the doers of these good deeds don't know they are causing.

    Just renews your faith in humanity every time.

    Thanks for the story.

  • fourfunsons Calgary, 00
    Aug. 13, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    I live in a small town, recently ravaged by flood waters. Everyone in our town will have at least one good story that could be shared, and people want to talk and share, believe me. I am going to write to our local paper to ask if a section about such stories/experiences could be started, and kept going as a regular part of the paper. There are many downtrodden souls in our community, due to the results of the flooding, and uplifting stories are like light to the soul. Thanks to all who shared their stories of kindnesses -- they were so-o uplifting and made me feel happy inside.

  • Itsjstmeagain Merritt Island, Fl
    Aug. 13, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    This man is a Saint, a practical Saint.

    I would ask everyone reading this story to do something now, not wait for a situation. Then do something when a situation presents itself.

    As soon as I clear my eyes, my wife and I are on our way to make a contribution to the homeless and hungry. Please find your cause and make something of today.

  • Mr. Moots Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    I have been the recipient of help from others as well. I built a Million dollar home before the market crashed in '08. Life changed for most of us no matter what size of a home you lived in. I know it is easy to judge people in big houses and think "our" financial world is perfect or at least better than yours, but the reality is the same everywhere.

    When there is no money coming in and the bills are high it is a hard position to be in. I will forever be grateful for friends who didn't judge me for extravagance, but helped me buy food and milk to feed my family.

    It took a while to work through the crisis, it wasn't easy. People everywhere need each other to make it through those hard times. We can all be the answer to each others prayers as we become more aware of others in need.

    Thanks for sharing all the stories. I have loved reading them.

  • Paul Wally Richmond, TX
    Aug. 13, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Thank you for your kind message as well as those who have left their comments for all to read here. We all need all the love we can receive by sharing. For me it is the fuel that keeps me going each day. With all the hate being posted on the media I know I need to reminded that there are wonderful caring people out there that would help if they only knew. I cannot even began to tell about the blessings I have received over the years. I know that I will never be able to pay back all those blessings but it will always be food for my soul when I do get to enjoy each blessing by helping others. Each time it brings us closer to our fellowman as well as to God. I ma not much but each time it helps me become a better and nicer person. Love is a life time of learning and sharing and we will never in this life time get to the place that we do not need to learn more. For this I am very grateful for I will always be able to enjoy one more blessing from God.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 13, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    I wish we had a lot more of this.... and a lot less of the other....

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Thank you to all who have read and posted. this will indeed help my day.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 13, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    P.S.Thank you all!so very, very much for your beautifully shared stories. My day for one, will be much happier and brighter as I have been so gratefully reminded of the beauty in this world we all have access to...

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 13, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    @ TimBehrend
    My heart has been GREATLY "swollen within my bosom" this day!! These types of situations are WONDERFUL to read and enjoy as they tend to point us all,as children of God,to realize once again that everyone in the world was given a great gift of the "light of Christ" at birth. It reminds each of us that if we only act upon that,and even greater light if we are so blessed,that others around us will be reminded that that is why we are all here upon this earth. TO LEARN TO SERVE AND GIVE AS THE SAVIOR DID AND FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY!

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    Aug. 13, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    Hope that good deed spreads like a virus. God Bless all who give random acts of kindness to strangers who cannot return the favor, because those who give for everyone to see, have already received their reward.

  • tinahons Trenton, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    This has happened to us while living in Smithfield also. We had moved there and it was our first experience with a very old home, the pipes froze underneath the house, and we were struggling. A dear friend came over with a heater, got the pipes thawed and told us how to fix the problem. That Christmas, we were at such a low point making two mortgage payments and trying to find a way to make Christmas for our kids, the doorbell rang, and I saw a van move away. On the porch were boxes and boxes of things for our kids and family. To include food, gift cards, etc. There are still good people in this world and to this day about 15 years later, we still try to pay it forward. My hubby says that his luck here on Earth has not been so good so that he hopes anything he does will be counted in the next life...

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    Aug. 13, 2013 5:32 a.m.

    This isn't news. Deeds like this are common. They happen every day in every country of the world. Why make them seem rare and unusual? I suspect that many, many readers have done the same when able. They aren't saints (of the general sort), they are normal, kind, thoughtful people who see an opportunity to help. That is the way most humans in all societies behave. The myth is that they don't.

  • celestia BRIGHAM CITY, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 4:50 a.m.

    ... continued from previous ... make tiny payments to them for their professional services. These people have been neighbors, a therapist, a dentist, church charities, food banks, a teacher, strangers, and three shelters for battered women and children. Along with food stamps, free lunch programs, medicaid for my children, and work programs via DWS, these good people are the reasons why my children got any physically existing presents at holidays. These people helped me find homes and my first job after being a displaced homemaker. These people helped get us to appointments, get us back from appointments, and were there to not turn a deaf ear. Our dentist repeatedly rescues me from my infected teeth (I had no dental insurance for cavity care), even though he knows it will take me a year to pay him all the way back. I am slowly approaching the day when I won't need medicaid, food stamps or help from my parents. Soon I will pay all my debts and be there for when my parents age and need me. I will thank all these people by paying it forward and by raising my children to be generous and compassionate adults. Deo Gracias!

  • celestia BRIGHAM CITY, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 4:15 a.m.

    This story and the comments are very inspiring to me. They also support the personal experience I have had with receiving help from many generous people. I will probably never be able to return the favors to them, but I still pray for whatever they may need and I intend to pay it forward when I am able. Here is a summary of my experience. When I was being abused by my then-husband of 9 years, only one person offered to help me out of a situation which seemed impossible. She helped my family to know how to help me escape with my children away from him. After my children and I got away, my parents gave up most of their retirement, their quiet home, and all of their future plans to spend over $50,000 for the next 9 years in successful efforts to protect my 5 children. They continue to do all they can to help us fight the never-ending legal battles that my former husband starts. In addition to my parents, there have been many people who have given my children Christmas presents, food, holiday gifts, and who have let my make ... continued next...

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    This article was outstanding. The comments that followed were the type of comments I wish were posted more by this paper. They show the goodness in people. In today's world we sometimes forget that there really are good people out there. This inspired me to want to be more like this in my life. I think we get too self absorbed and self centered. Thank you so much for a great story, and thanks to all of you who commented with rich experiences as well. Let's Pay it Forward!

  • LPontius Lehi, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:30 p.m.

    Loved the article but ESPECIALLY the comments as they tugged at my heart rather than leaving a knot in my stomach!

  • BellaFarfalla Chubbuck, ID
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:13 p.m.

    We found out my husband was being separated from the Navy just after Thanksgiving 2011. We had been struggling to pay down our debt and now he was losing his job and we didn't know what we would be doing. We received two anonymous gifts, one in the mail and one on our doorstep. Included in them were Christmas gifts for our children and "A little something for mom and dad, too." We still don't know who sent them but I have the cards pinned to my bulletin board to remind me of their kindness and generosity. I am grateful for the anonymous gifts and have tried to pay it forward to others when I can.

  • joseywales Park City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    A few years ago when the economy tanked out, we, like so many others, were having a very hard time just to make ends meet. Anyway, we had a very large power bill and I came home to see the pink notice on the door that meant shut off. It was humiliating, especially since I knew the kids had seen it when getting home from school. I went into the power office the next day to discuss what could be done and was told by the receptionist that I didn't have a balance! I knew she was wrong, so I looked at the screen and sure enough, zero balance. It was a very large bill (too embarrassed to admit how much) but I begged them to tell me who paid it. They said there was a note that said, "Mr.____ was always nice to me when others weren't. Tell him thank you" I couldn't believe it. I honestly don't even know who it was. That brought me out of the dark times we were going through and renewed my hope in people. Thank you! I hope you know who you are.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    I have several handicapped children. I make a good living but with as many kids as we have (many adopted) we are frugal none the less. When ever we get to SLC I have to go get a Big H and a rootbeer at Hires on 7th E and 4th S. My wife was not with us and I only had 7 of the kids, 1 in a wheel chair and 4 others with some handicaps. Again not severe compared to some but many from Asia so obvious not biological. We ordered our Big H, Fries and rootbeers and I am sure it was a $50 Bill. When I went to pay the manager stated it was taken care of. I asked who and all he said was a man saw my family and wanted to pay my bill. I was so touched. He just paid it left and did not want to be recognized. This happened to us at Leatherby’s once too. There are good people out there. If we all did things like this person at the airport our world would be a better place. Thanks for the nice story.

  • Xbalanque DC, VA
    Aug. 12, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    This is the best kind of news.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    Oddly, one of my fondest childhood memories was when our rundown old jalopy of a car was unable to make it up Logan canyon for our long hoped-for trip to Bear Lake. So, bitterly disappointed, we turned around for home. We'd gone about 20 miles when the engine completely stopped. We were accustomed to breakdowns but this time it was obvious that the problem was more serious than simple overheating.

    I'll never forget the worry we felt when after several hours our normally resourceful father was at a loss to fix the problem. Finally, late on that dark, moonless night, a rancher, returning home to one of the distant specks of light, stopped on that very lonely road and asked if he could help. Long before cell phones, we were greatly relieved that someone had even stopped. Fortunately, he was able to both diagnose the problem of a cracked distributor cap and provide a replacement by cannibalizing an old junker he had on his ranch. Finally, he refused the payment (though meager, it was all we had) my Dad offered.

    Ever since, I've tried to be helpful to others, partly in memory of that experience.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    (continued from previous post)

    With tears welling up in his eyes, the salesman thanked the the manager and went and sat down. I turned to the manager and asked if I could pay for the man's meal. He said, "No, this ones on me." I commended him for his kindness and said I would come back as often as I could.

    15 years have passed since that day, but whenever I'm in Salt Lake I make it a point to stop in at the Wendy's and buy a hamburger, fries and a Coke. The manager is long gone, but I have never forgotten the generosity he showed that day.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    In Salt Lake a few years ago, I was standing in line at Wendy's when a man in a suit walked in and asked to speak to the manager.

    A few minutes later, the manager was standing at the counter and I overheard the man explaining to him that the company he had worked for had gone out-of-business while he was still out on the road making sales calls. He went on to explain that while he did have some money, he needed all the funds he had left in order to pay for gas and make it back home to Nebraska. He said that he was very hungry, but simply couldn't afford to buy a meal and asked if the manager would consider giving him a small burger and some fries.

    Eying the man closely, the manager came to the same conclusion I had that the man was telling the truth. The manager turn to the cashier and told her to give the man anything he wanted off the menu (for free) and then turned back to the man and handed him a twenty dollar bill. (continued on next post)

  • MeganMary Murray, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    I just love stories like this.