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.
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.
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.
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.
@ 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.
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.
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
@Paul WallyPaul, I REALLY appreciated your message as well...
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wish we had a lot more of this.... and a lot less of the other....
Thank you to all who have read and posted. this will indeed help my day.
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...
@ TimBehrendMy 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!
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.
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...
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
... 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!
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...
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!
Loved the article but ESPECIALLY the comments as they tugged at my heart rather
than leaving a knot in my stomach!
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.
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.
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.
This is the best kind of news.
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.
(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.
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)
I just love stories like this.