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The Kindest People: Be Excellent to Each Other (Volume 7)

The Kindest People:

Be Excellent to Each Other (Volume

By David Bruce

*****

Copyright 2015 by Bruce D. Bruce

Shakespir EDITION

Cover Photo

Cute young woman

ID 13895303 © Lana Langlois | Dreamstime.com

*****

Chapter 1: Stories 1-50

Ma, It was Really Neat. But It was Kind of Gross”

In February 1995, John Firneno, at the time a 20-year-old Army private, first class, from Centerville, Utah, was stationed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While patrolling the streets, he saw a Haitian woman in labor. He and his companions jumped out of the Humvee and helped her deliver a healthy baby boy. The mother told Private Firneno that she would name the boy after him. In a speech to U.S. troops stationed in Haiti, then-President Bill Clinton said, “I met Pfc. John Firneno, a [combat] medic from the 32 ACR. He was on patrol about midnight last month when he came upon a young Haitian woman about to give birth. Now, that requires courage. As his comrades clustered around him with flashlights, he helped to deliver an eight-pound baby boy. Well, he didn’t get a medical degree, but the boy now bears his name. Thank you, Private Firneno.” Linda Firneno, Private Firneno’s mother, who had been an Air Force nurse, said about him, “He said, ‘Ma, it was really neat. But it was kind of gross.’” Private Firneno’s friend Helen Langan said, “In the letter he sent me [relating the incident] he signed his name, then under it he put ‘Doc’ in parentheses.”

Jimmy Durante: Owner of a Kind Heart

Jimmy Durante was a kind-hearted comedian who was greatly loved. Here is one reason why. During World War II, Ed Sullivan once received a telephone call from Father Delaney, who was the chaplain at Staten Island’s Halloran General Hospital. He had heard that Mr. Durante was in the area and wanted him to entertain some recently returned American soldiers who had been prisoners of war. Mr. Durante had a bad cold and he had a radio broadcast to do, but he agreed, and they set up the performance so that he could leave at a certain time and catch a boat so he could do his radio performance. But Mr. Durante did his act and then stayed late, singing comic song after comic song to the audience’s great pleasure. Finally, he got off stage. Backstage, Mr. Sullivan said to him, “Are you out of your mind? You’ll never make your broadcast!” Mr. Durante told him to look at the front row. Mr. Sullivan did, and Mr. Durante said, “Ed, now you can see why I stayed. When I saw that, I realized that my broadcast wasn’t so important.” Mr. Sullivan remembered, “Sitting in the front row were two young lieutenants who had each lost an arm and were applauding by clapping their two remaining hands together.”

We are Happy to have the Opportunity to Shed Some Positive Light on Such a Sensitive Subject”

After a photograph of some members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority taking selfies at an Arizona Diamondbacks professional baseball game went viral, some people mocked them. The Diamondbacks and Fox Sports offered them free tickets to another game, but the sorority members turned them down and instead asked that the sports organization donate the tickets to a non-profit organization that helps victims of domestic violence. On Facebook, the sorority posted this message:

“Alpha Chi Omega at Arizona State University would like to thank the Arizona Diamondbacks and Fox Sports for reaching out to the chapter after last night’s game and subsequent media frenzy. We appreciate their generous offer of tickets to tonight’s game. However, instead of chapter members attending the game, we have asked the Diamondbacks and Fox Sports to provide tickets to a future game for families at A New Leaf, a local non-profit that helps support victims of domestic violence.

“Today, October 1 [2015], marks the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If everyone who viewed this statement took the time to make a donation in recognition of domestic violence awareness, which is Alpha Chi Omega’s national philanthropy, we would be so grateful! We are happy to have the opportunity to shed some positive light on such a sensitive subject. All proceeds will go directly to A New Leaf to help struggling Arizona families get back on their feet by providing housing, food, childcare and more. You can donate using the link below [http://tinyurl.com/pkpw7az]. We appreciate your support!”

For information about A New Leaf, use this link: [http://tinyurl.com/nvnse5d].

It has to be the Most Reassuring Thing in the World to Have Mike Tyson Telling People Not to Touch Me”

In September 2014, Ryan Chesley was knocked off his motorcycle when a taxi cut him off in Las Vegas, Nevada. He suffered a broken ankle and torn ligaments and muscles; he needed surgery. Fortunately, Mike Tyson and three of Iron Mike’s friends assisted him until professional help arrived; they also blocked traffic to keep him safe. Mr. Chesley’s lawyer, Stephen Stubbs, said, “He looked up and saw Mike Tyson. [Mr. Tyson] was saying, ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry,’ people are coming.’” Mr. Stubbs added that Mr. Chesley “didn’t know what was happening. [Mr. Tyson] just stood by him and talked to him. When he was done with the good deed, he just took off.” Mr. Chesley later sent a fruit basket and a thank-you letter to Mr. Tyson. Mr. Stubbs said that Mr. Chesley “wanted to say thank you. We asked if we could send chocolates, but his rep said, ‘No, he’s a health nut.’ We sent him a fruit basket because he is into antioxidants.” This is the text of the thank-you letter:

“Dear Iron Mike,

“Thank you so much for looking over me after my accident. It has to be the most reassuring thing in the world to have Mike Tyson telling people not to touch me.

“I can never thank you enough.

“Ryan Chesley”

A Firm Stand Against Bullying

On 6 October 2014, following allegations of harassment and bullying and intimidation by Sayreville War Memorial football players in the Parlin section of Sayreville, New Jersey, school officials announced that the rest of the football season had been cancelled. Superintendent Richard Labbe said, “There was enough evidence that there were incidents of harassment, of intimidation and bullying that took place on a pervasive level, on a wide-scale level and at a level at which the players knew, tolerated and generally accepted. Based upon what has been substantiated to have occurred, we have canceled the remainder of the football season. We can set the standard right now for all kids for all school districts in Middlesex County, in the state and in the nation that we are not going to stand around and allow kids to do this to one another. We are going to start holding our students responsible for doing the right thing and reporting these kinds of behaviors. I believe with every fiber of my body that the only way we are going to stop bullying is if we get the kids to go to an adult or to the authorities.” An unidentified local official told ABC News, “They [Freshmen] would live in fear of seniors and juniors. They would race to the locker room to get changed and get out before the older kids got there.” A parent of a younger player did the right thing and called the police. The unidentified local official said, “It was a parent of a younger kid being taunted, threatened, bullied.”

I Wanted to Help. Anybody Would Do the Same Thing”

After the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship Game on 18 January 2015, Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork helped a woman who was trapped in an overturned Jeep Wrangler. Mary Ellen Brooks, the driver of the Jeep, was unable to get out of the vehicle. Mr. Wilfork said, “I wanted to help. Anybody would do the same thing. I saw the lady in there. I asked her was she okay, can she move, can she grab my hand. … I actually opened up the door and pulled her out. It wasn’t a big deal. It was just seeing somebody that needed help and helping them.” He added, “I’m pretty sure she was kind of scared. So the last thing I want to do was have her panic. And that’s the first thing I told her. I said, ‘Don’t panic. I’ll get you out of here.’ My job right then and there was to help the person in the car.” Mr. Wilfork also said, “I don’t want anything from it. If I saw that a million times, I’d do it a million times, no matter what the situation might be. Luckily my wife and I were able to actually help and be there when it happened and get her to safety.”

Breaking News! Hannah Delmonte Gets a Date to the Prom!

In February 2015, Hannah Delmonte needed a date to the prom, so she asked a guy to let her take him to prom: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho. She contacted him through Instagram and tried to get him to agree to go to prom with her if she got 2,000 retweets of her conversation with him. Mr. Acho is not that easy of a date to get; he held out for 10,000 retweets. Actually, she got that number easily. Mr. Acho said, “All it took was for me to go to dinner, get up from dinner, 3 hours go by and she’s at 9,983. At that point in time, I knew I would be going to prom.” Mr. Acho even surprised her with a visit to her school, Woodgrove High School in Purceville, Virginia, to tell her in person that they would be going to the prom together. He gave her an Eagles jersey adorned with the number 15 (his number is 51) and the word “PROM” written across the back in place of a name. When she saw him, she cried. Later, on Twitter, she wrote, “I used to laugh at people who would cry when they met famous people … and then today happened.” Mr. Acho said, “It was awesome because you get to see raw emotion. It’s hard in life because we’re always trying to cover up our raw emotions, but for three seconds you saw her raw emotion. When I saw that, it really touched my heart.” He added, “It means so much just to see the support [of fans]. When I saw her cry, that’s when it really hit me to how big a deal this all was because I just consider myself a regular guy. When you see the effect you have on fans, it’s such a powerful feeling.” Ms. Delmonte’s father researched Mr. Acho before the Delmontes met him; he learned about Mr. Acho’s charity work in Africa. Mr. Acho said, “We shook hands and he instantly handed me a check.” The charity work is a family project. He said, “Every offseason, my brother [Samuel Onyedikachi Acho, linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League], my parents and my family, we go to Nigeria with about 40 doctors and nurses and we just do free medical care in a rural village in Africa where my parents were born.” In 2014, they saw an estimated 2,500 patients and performed an estimated $1.28 million in medical care — free of charge. On Twitter, Hannah Delmonte wrote, “I am so honored to be taking such a tremendous person to prom. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done.”

A Prom Date for Skyler Gisondo

Skyler Gisondo, age 18, co-starred with Ben Stiller and Robin Williams in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb — he played Mr. Stiller’s character’s son. He needed a prom date, and so he asked his co-stars for help in making a video asking Hilari Levine to be his date. Skyler said, “All morning, Robin was pitching more ideas. He was saying, ‘Can I say this? Would it be appropriate to say this?’ You’re Robin Williams. You can say whatever you want!” In the video, Robin says, “Yo, yo, yo… Yo, Hilari, will you go to the prom with my man here, my man Skyler?” Skyler added, “Robin was this bottomless reservoir of kindness and hilarity. It was just so special to work so closely with this guy whose movies I’ve grown up with and watch his preparedness and his kindness.” Hilari tweeted, “AH! going to prom with the best guy out there! @SkylerGisondo knows how to put a smile on my face thank you @robinwilliams & @RedHourBen!” And Skyler tweeted, “Just found out Ben Stiller is going to hook @hillarilevine and I up with a limo for prom night. #Casual @RedHourBen is the ultimate homie.”

Will You Go to the Prom with Sarah?”

Sarah Kardonsky of Levittown, New York, decided to ask Michael Pagano, who has autism, to the prom, but she wanted to do it in a special way. Knowing that Michael was a big fan of the New York Jets, she got of nine Jets players to ask on video, “Will you go to the prom with Sarah?” The Jets players helping Sarah get a prom date were T.J. Barnes, Antonio Cromartie, Leger Douzable, Shaquelle Evans, Saalim Hakim, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Dexter McDougle, Chris Owusu, and Bilal Powell. Michael was shocked by the video, but he said, “Yes.” Sarah said about Michael, “He’s so special. He is the sweetest guy I ever met. Michael called the prom proposal, “Pretty special. I would never think someone would do this for me.” Sarah said, “Everything was so Mike could have a good prom. I get to look pretty. He gets to have fun.” She added, “Everybody that gets to know Mike is absolutely head over heels in love with him. The people who don’t really know Mike are very unlucky for not knowing him.” By the way, they were elected Prom King and Queen.

Marshawn Lynch and Ricardo Lockette: Good Samaritans

In November 2014, NFL Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch found a lost wallet at a Shell gas station in Marysville, Washington. The wallet belonged to local Seahawks fan Jason Lynch, who saw Marshawn Lynch and teammate Ricardo Lockette at the gas station: “I see a giant Mercedes van pull up playing super loud music. Marshawn Lynch jumps out and walks into the store. I thought about asking for a picture … but decided not to bother him. What I didn’t know was that I dropped my wallet.” Ten minutes later, still not realizing that his wallet was missing, he went home to a surprise. His neighbor had his wallet and a story to tell. She said to him, “You’ll never guess who brought this over!” Jason later wrote, “When she said ‘Marshawn Lynch,’ I was shocked!” He said, “I can’t thank them guys enough for bringing it back … and for making my neighbor a very happy lady for getting a chance to meet them.” Jason also tweeted, “@MoneyLynch thank you so much for going outta your way to return my wallet! A lynch taking care of a lynch — #Good Karma.”

I Couldn’t Go to Sleep Knowing that a Whole Family Wouldn’t be Able to Eat that Night and I’m Over Here Buying Things for My TV”

In August 2014, Stetson University Hatters defensive end Trezdun Jackson did a good deed at a Walmart in DeLand, Florida. A woman with five children tried to pay for her purchases, but her payment was declined. She began to cry, and Mr. Jackson gave the cashier $100 of his own money and then left. The woman found out his name later and sent an email to the Stetson University Athletic Department, in which she wrote, in part, “I was blessed with the most generous act of kindness my soul has ever witnessed. Please relay this message to the young man and let him know that his help will never be forgotten and we are more than extremely grateful for the money he gave us. Thank God for people like him.” Mr. Jackson said, “It’s just the right thing to do. I couldn’t go to sleep knowing that a whole family wouldn’t be able to eat that night and I’m over here buying things for my TV. It’s just not right.” Stetson University Head Football Coach Roger Hughes said that Mr. Jackson’s actions are “a great example of how men should treat women and how we all should treat each other.”

“[*Thank You. I Appreciate Your Integrity. Now Go, Big Red!” *]

On 17 October 2014, Erin Rankin lost her wallet at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. She has a North Carolina driver’s license, but she, her Husker-fan boyfriend, and his family were in Illinois to watch the Northwestern Wildcats-Nebraska Cornhuskers football game. After returning to Navy Pier and looking for but not finding her wallet, she thought that her wallet, which contained $60, credit cards, and her driver’s license, was lost forever: “I knew there was slim to no chance I’d get it back.” She needed ID to get on the plane back home. Fortunately, a Navy Pier employee advised her to go to a lost-and-found office in the shopping center at the end of the pier. Ms. Rankin said, “It wasn’t easy to find. It was out of the way and I figured nobody else would have gone to the effort to go there just to turn in a wallet.” However, someone had turned in the wallet and all its contents, along with a Nebraska football schedule with the words “Returned by Husker fans,” written on it in black pen. She said, “If there’s anything I could say to that person, it’d be, ‘Thank you. I appreciate your integrity. Now Go, Big Red!’” On 18 October 2014 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois, Nebraska defeated Northwestern, 38-17.

Toronto Maple Leafs Fans Finish Singing US Anthem After Technical Difficulties

On 19 November 2014, the Toronto Maple Leafs (Canada) played the Nashville Predators (Tennessee, United States) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During the United States national anthem, the sound system had technical difficulties, so the audience, most of whom were Canadians, sang the rest of the United States national anthem.

Shavarsh Karapetyan: Finswimmer and Hero

In October 2014, Chris Fox and P. Chung published online in Cracked an article titled “5 Lives Saved by the Exact Right Person Randomly Showing Up” — actually, many more than five lives were saved. The #1 story was given this heading: “A Bus-Load of People Crashes Into a Lake in Front of a Champion Swimmer” and its featured hero was Shavarsh Karapetyan, a professional world record-holding finswimmer for the USSR. (Armenia was a part of the USSR at the time.) On 16 September 1976, a driver lost control of a trolleybus, which went into the Yerevan Lake in Armenia and sank more than 30 feet. Trapped inside were 92 passengers who could not break the windows or open the doors. Fortunately, Mr. Karapetyan, who had just finished his daily 12-mile run, heard the sound of the crash and swam 80 feet to the bus in freezing water. Visibility was near-zero because the crash had kicked up silt from the bottom of the lake. He dove 30-some feet down to the bus, broke the back window with his feet, and started rescuing people. Every time he got a person to safety, he went back to rescue another person. His brother, Kamo Karapetyan, took care of the people whom he brought to the surface. In all, 20 people survived the crash (he got more people out of the bus but not everyone survived) because of Mr. Karapetyan, who stopped rescuing people only because of exhaustion, wounds made by broken glass, and hypothermia. He developed double pneumonia and, because of polluted water, blood poisoning, and he fell into a coma that lasted for 45 days. All these injuries so damaged his body that they ruined his professional swimming career. Mr. Karapetyan regretted not being able to save more people, saying, “I knew that I could only save so many lives, I was afraid to make a mistake. It was so dark down there that I could barely see anything. One of my dives, I accidentally grabbed a seat instead of a passenger … I could have saved a life instead. That seat still haunts me in my nightmares.” Cracked, of course, cites its sources but also engages in humor, especially in its photo captions. Underneath a photo of Mr. Karapetyan holding several sports medals appeared this Cracked-written, fictitious-but-appropriate quotation: “Screw steel; my balls are solid gold.” One more thing: On 19 February 1985, Mr. Karapetyan rushed into a burning building and started pulling people out. He suffered severe burns and again spent much time in a hospital.

J.K. Rowling: Good Girl Taxpayer

In 2012, Harry Potter author appeared on Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central TV show The Daily Show and talked about her past. She said, “I couldn’t have written this book if I hadn’t had a few years where I had been, really, as poor as it is possible to go in the U.K. without being homeless. I mean, I had friends who helped me, but I had no friends or family who were in position to give me a house, so we were on welfare — what you would call welfare I would call benefits.” Mr. Stewart asked, “Aren’t you a perfect example of a good investment from the government? Has the government ever gotten more back from an investment than you?” Ms. Rowling replied, “Absolutely. For which I was grateful and still am. I received a subsistence from the government for a relatively short period of my life.” She added, “I pay a lot of tax. One of the reasons I stay and pay [tax in the U.K.], why I’m not based in Monaco, is I feel I owe them, I truly do.” She concluded, “My country helped me and there are places in the world where I would have starved.”

Imgurians tended to agree with Ms. Rowling:

1) astralmullet commented, “My country has paid medical expenses for my depression, my mother’s breast cancer, my nieces who were born prematurely and also funded my studies (almost) in full. When I graduate and get employed I’ll have no problem with paying taxes, I’ll be happy to do it, actually.”

2) fantfam6 commented, “My SOB (now) ex-husband decided ‘I don’t want to be married anymore’ in 2008, I was left with 3 kids (1 only 4 months old) and had not worked in 3 years. I was also alone, in North Dakota with all 3 children. Moved back to TX, close to family. Enrolled in Community College. Finished a 2 yr associates, and a bachelor’s degree in 4 years. Remarried and satisfied with life, kids settled and growing. Welfare/food stamps saved us, as well as loans for school. I don’t mind paying taxes at all. I am happy to pay, the system helped me and my kids. I am happy to not be on assistance anymore, but understand that it can work for what it is meant to be. A safety net for at risk persons….”

Jim Bachor: Chicago Mosaic Pothole Art

In 2014, mosaic maker Jim Bachor used his art talent to beautiful Chicago, Illinois, by filling in several street potholes and decorating each one with a mosaic of a flower. This draws attention to the problem of potholes in the city, and it also creates works of art. This artist statement appears on his website (<http://bachor.com>):

“Trying to leave your mark in this world fascinates me. Ancient history fascinates me.

“Volunteering to work on an archaeological dig in Pompeii helped merge these two interests in to my art. In the ancient world, mosaics were used to capture images of everyday life. These colorful pieces of stone or glass set in mortar were the photographs of empires long past. Marble and glass do not fade. Mortar is mortar. An ancient mosaic looks exactly as intended by the artist who produced it over two millennia ago. What else can claim that kind of staying power? I find this idea simply amazing.

“Using the same materials, tools and methods of the archaic craftsmen, I create mosaics that speak of modern things in an ancient voice. My work locks into mortar unexpected concepts drawn from the present. By harnessing and exploiting the limitations of this indestructible technique, my work surprises the viewer while challenging long-held notions of what a mosaic should be. Like low-tech pixels, hundreds if not thousands of tiny, hand-cut pieces of Italian glass and marble comprise my work.

“This work is my mark.”

Guy Pays a Band Back for CDs He Illegally Sold on eBay 15 Years Ago”

During August 2015, Redditor HollysaurusRex26 put on Imgur a post titled “Guy pays a band back for CDs he illegally sold on eBay 15 years ago.” The text from the band Jawbreaker stated, “I got a letter today. No return address on the envelope. I open it up and a couple of postal money orders fall out. I figure it’s someone having trouble with the jawbreakerband website ordering a shirt or record. I read the note: “Dear Adam, you’ve probably forgotten/written this off by now, but about 15 years ago I sold about 40 unauthorized Jawbreaker b-sides CDs on eBay and then you contacted me with a cease and desist notice which I complied with. I made approximately $600 from those eBay sales. I was an aimless, desperate, naïve, dumb kid and I didn’t realize [at the time] how much of an impact your music would eventually have on my life. I believe in karma and helping out those who’ve made an impact on my life. So please accept this check for $1800 as my most sincere apology. I feel I owe you more than this because I don’t think I’d be alive today if it weren’t for the music you guys created. I love you guys.”

On Reddit, treycook commented, “There are a lot of social workers in my life. Many of them have expressed that when people do bad things like this, it is generally an act of desperation and self-preservation, rather than an act of malice. You’ve gotta keep in mind that people are generally good, make mistakes, and don’t enjoy doing harm to others. When you are in a very unfavorable situation, you will manipulate things to your benefit in one way or another — that’s just how humans operate. Presumably this fellow was coping with the anguish of his actions for many years. I hope he is feeling better and will work to grant himself forgiveness now.”

Taylor Swift: “I’m Sending the Biggest Hugs to You and Your Family”

In August 2015, Naomi Oakes, who is 11 years old, had intended to see Taylor Swift in concert in Phoenix, Arizona, but she was diagnosed with leukemia and so could not go. Ms. Swift found out about this, and she donated $50,000 to a GoFundMe account for Naomi’s cancer treatment, although the family had set a $30,000 goal. Along with the donation, Ms. Swift wrote on the webpage, “To the beautiful and brave Naomi, I’m sorry you have to miss it, but there will always be more concerts. Let’s focus on getting you feeling better. I’m sending the biggest hugs to you and your family.”

Taylor Swift Supports Good Grammar, But Not Senseless Negativity

In May 2015, Taylor Swift fan goodgirlwhoshopeful received an anonymous message on Tumblr from a troll who criticized her fan feelings about Taylor Swift:

“Why do you seem to think Taylor Swift loves you? She doesn’t love you. You don’t know her. Would you stop posting like she knows you or is actually reading it already, because she’s not. It’s probably not even her using her tumblr. So, please stop. Also, everyone seems to think you’re pretty, don’t they? well, I think you think you are with all your selfies. Your [sic] not.”

Goodgirlwhoshopeful replied, “why do people do this? :( Yes, she does [write posts on Tumblr]. I have no proof, I know that, but I have to believe she does. She’s been such an important part of my life for 9 years… 

“I mean, I know I’m just silly little me, but… she has to. 

“ P.S. You mean *you’re”

Yes, Taylor Swift really does write posts on Tumblr. For example, she wrote this reply to the post about the anonymous troll: “Trying to figure out if I’m more offended by the senseless negativity or the fact that he/she/it used the wrong form of ‘you’re.’ I doubt we will get apologies for either crime. We must now forget about this and keep grooving/using correct grammar.”

That final sentence is good advice.

Goodgirlwhoshopeful replied, “This made everything in the world right again. Thank you, Taylor.

“And yes, shameless misuse of your. Be ashamed, Anon.”

Memories About Richard Syracuse

On 21 November 2014, retired Ohio University music professor Richard Syracuse was hit and killed by a car as he was checking his mail after performing at Cutler’s (OU’s fine dining restaurant) in Athens, Ohio. He was much beloved, as the comments that poured onto The Athens News’ comments page and its Facebook page show. Terry Smith, editor of The Athens News, collected some of those comments and published them in an article:

• “He always had a smile for me. He was a great piano player. He gave to so many people. He was the greatest musician Athens has ever known. I will really miss him.”

• “I remember sitting outside the open window to his studio in the old music building on the main green at OU in 1968. I had studied piano seven years from my 7th to 14th year and was studying art at the university. Richard was preparing the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 and playing the Allegro portion repeatedly to perfection. I could not get enough of his practice of that piece. Must have sat there on the grass for the better part of an hour!… He was [an] instrumental inspiration to my own return to the piano in the mature part of my life. Miss you, Richard. You are playing with the angels now.”

• “Perhaps the finest performer to ever grace the Music School at OU. In addition to his immeasurable talent, he was a terrific human being who inspired many. A huge loss. He will be missed.”

• “Amazing man and musician. An Athens legacy. He will be missed. RIP, Mr. Syracuse.”

• Truly a terrible loss for the Athens community. I was so proud to be Richard’s colleague, and to have had the privilege of collaborating with him. He exemplified pure commitment to his art, and was, of course, the consummate gentleman. Be at peace, dear man.”

• “He was the first musician we heard the first time we came to Athens in the Spring of 1985. Such a master. I saw him at Kroger just the other day. What a loss for our community.”

• “He was my piano professor my senior year, and he was the kindest, sweetest, most talented, and empathetic soul I could have asked for in such a strange time in my life! Play on, Prof. Syracuse!”

• “What a loss, not only for the music, but one of the most pleasant teachers who ever walked. He played piano as effortlessly as others use their voices to talk. He also took interest in anyone he met. Prayers for his family.”

• “We have been so saddened to hear of his death. Mr. Syracuse was such a gentleman, always ready to play any song I could come up with. A few times when we were at the OU Inn, he came and visited with us, asking how we had been since we saw him last. He will be missed. We send our condolences to his family.”

• “If you knew him, you probably never knew a more passionate or kind man. Even if you didn’t know him, you saw him around town staying classy in his daily suit. He was crazy accomplished and was a staple in Athens and at OU for decades. OU and Athens will never be the same. Such a sad tragedy.”

idobutidont, “My Favorite Celebrity Nice Guy Story”

Dave Grohl, Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, went to a Towers Record store and bought some music. The manager rang up his order and began to give him a discount, but Mr. Grohl noticed and asked, “Whoa, dude, do you know who I am?” Of course, the manager did, and Mr. Grohl said, “Then you know I don’t need a discount. Give it to those guys.” The guys in line in back of him got the discount.

Yesterday I Met My Hero Dave Grohl and Took a Selfie with the Foo Fighters”

On 11 December 2014, Redditor tmklsh of Cape Town, South Africa, posted on Imgur a photograph with this heading: “So yesterday I met my hero Dave Grohl and took a selfie with the Foo Fighters. The tour manager nearly killed me.” She included this additional information on Imgur: “Taken before their show in Cape Town while I was shooting photos for the meet & greets. When I asked if they could play ‘Stranger Things have Happened,’ Dave’s reply was: ‘F[]k, dude, how do you even know that song? Don’t think I remember how to play it!’ He apologised and said he will try! Even though they didn’t play it, he did mention it in the show. I smiled. Before they started, their big bodyguard came up to me while I was waiting in the hall and gave me a pit pass to take photos while they played … a gift from the band ….” Over on Reddit, Stammy4LA commented, “Cool pic. Why would the manager want to kill you? Looks to me like the band is happy to pose for you.” tmklsh responded, “He was just quite strict and I guess only has the band’s best interests at heart. But when he saw that they were happy he actually took my big camera and took a photo of me taking the selfie. It was quite sweet.” She also wrote, “I was asked by the organisers of the concert to shoot photographs for the meet & greet they do with fans before the show. I was left in the room with them alone every time they brought in a new fan. It was amazing! I also have a Foo Fighters tattoo which Taylor saw when I was taking a photo. Him and Dave came up to me, Dave grabbed my arm and went ‘awwww’. Best guy in the world.” MericaMan4Life commented, “D[*]mnit, every single new thing that involves Dave Grohl I see makes me love him even more.”

Hey, Reddit, What Random Stranger Would You Like to Thank from Your Life?”

Here are some replies:

1) Jakoberry wrote, “At the Pearl Jam concert at the Roskilde festival in 2000. Intense crowd. Up front. Fell on my knees and couldn’t get up again. A guy behind me grabbed me by the collar and pulled me up. Nine people died at that concert. Thanks, dude. I owe you.”

2) darkscottishlock commented, “That reminds of the guy who helped me get my short, fat [*]ss over the barricade at a Pearl Jam concert in 1995. I had a great view of Eddie Vedder, but then I realized I couldn’t breathe, and I was terrified because I knew I couldn’t get over that thing by myself. The guy next to me said, ‘You need to get out of here.’ I said something to the effect of, ‘I know but I’m too fat to get over the barricade.’ He turned me to face him and said, ‘Sweetheart, you’re not too fat. I’ll help you.’ And he did. When I got out I turned around to thank him but he was back watching the concert. Another guy next to him was pointing at me and laughing and turned to him to say something, but he ignored him. Random guy at Pearl Jam/Ramones September 1995 at Southpark Meadows, thank you. I very likely would have been hurt if you hadn’t helped me, and your kindness has stayed with me ever since.”

3) quiet156 commented, “Not nearly the same thing, as I was in no real danger, but at The Strokes concert in Hawaii maybe fifteen years ago, I had my (very) long hair down and was in the front near the stage. It was my first concert in the pit, so I didn’t know any better. When the crowd started moving, my hair got caught between people, and my head was pulled back far, so far I was bent over backwards. This girl saw the trouble I was in, and once I was able to straighten up for a moment she gave me a ponytail holder. I was able to put my hair up, and had no problems with it after that.

“I didn’t get a chance to thank her, though. I wish I could have. It was a scary, painful experience, and her gift allowed me to actually enjoy the concert. I am very grateful for that, especially since my various health problems have pretty much guaranteed that was my only experience in the pit ever, and I’m glad I got to do it once.”

What’s Your Favorite Wolverine Pose?

In August 2015, Domenic, age nine, who has cystic fibrosis, guested on Australia’s Kyle & Jackie O Show with KIIS FM hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O’Henderson, where he was asked if he wanted to talk on the telephone with Hugh Jackman, who plays the comic book character Wolverine in the movies. Domenic replied, “That would be awesome!” Jackie said on the telephone, “Hey, Hugh, we’ve got Domenic here, who is one of your biggest fans. He’s a young boy who thinks Wolverine is just awesome and that you’re great.” Domenic said, “Hi, Hugh Jackman.” Hugh replied, “You can call me Hugh. You don’t have to call me by my full name.” Domenic asked Hugh what was his favorite Wolverine pose from the movies. Hugh replied, “Hang on one sec, I’m going to find a really cool way to show you.’ He was actually just outside the studio, and he came inside and showed Domenic the pose: teeth bared and fists clenched. Hugh hugged Domenic and said, “You are awesome. It’s so great to meet you. I’ve met a lot of fans over the years — you’re one of my favorites.” The Make-a-Wish Foundation made their meeting possible.

Redditors Who have Met Famous People, Who was Nice?”

Here are some lightly edited answers:

1) Krebsy92 wrote, “Ryan Gosling is the best guy in the world.

“I used to work at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) every year as a PA. I’ve met tons of celebrities, but this story is amazing. My job was to sit in the rooms while the celebrities were being interviewed and make sure that reporters don’t go over time.

“So, Ryan Gosling was in promoting the film The Ides of March. For the first 30 minutes it was just me, him, and his publicist in the room, so we were all just talking and getting to know each other.

“Soon after, the interviews started. There are 2 main things that happened during the interviews.

“1) Reporters kept asking stupid questions like: ‘Would you vote for George Clooney as your next president?’ Everytime that was said he always looked to me and said, ‘Can’t vote [in the United States], I’m Canadian, right, Krebsy92? We are Canadian, can’t vote [there].’ This happened many times.

“2) I started coughing really loudly during one of the interviews. I couldn’t stop it. Ryan notices, stops the interview, and then gets me a bottle of water and asks if I’m doing okay.

“Finally, the day is done and Ryan Gosling asks if I have eaten anything. I hadn’t so me and him split a plate of chips and guacamole.

“Super nice guy, 10/10 would recommend being bros with Ryan Gosling.”

2) InDefenseOfTheGenre wrote, “Me and a friend met Paul Rudd in a small dive bar in NYC about 5 years back.

“We walked into the bar because the sign outside mentioned cheap beers. Only a few people were in there, and it was a small place… After going to the back to use the washroom, I noticed that Paul was sitting with a few friends in a back corner table, playing poker and having some beers.

“Instead of approaching him, we told the bartender to put their next round on our tab. About 15 minutes later, Paul walks up and puts his arm around me and my friend, thanking us for the gesture. He then proceeded to invite me and my buddy to hang out with him and his SNL [Saturday Night Live] writer friends for a couple drinks. He was so genuine and they were so kind to us… Asked all about our lives and had genuine interest in engaging in conversation. No egos, just a bunch of random people shooting the sh[*]t at a bar over some beers. We ended up hanging out for a couple more hours, listening to their industry stories and being fascinated with the whole [experience].

“Such a cool experience… Paul Rudd is the man.”

3) lady_of_machinery wrote, “Tom Cruise — I know. I hear it all the time when I mention this. I’ll repeat what I said before. The guy remembers everyone’s name, shakes people’s hands, makes sure everyone is okay. Incredibly dedicated to his craft and respectful towards others. Edit: Also thanks everyone a billion times. — [I worked with him on] Mission Impossible 4 & 5.”

Wyliecody commented, “My cousin has worked at Disney World several different times. The first time she ran into Tom Cruise, she didn’t realize it was him until he and his daughter were already walking off. His daughter asked my cousin if she knew Mickey Mouse as she was walking in the employee tunnel to go home. The second time was also in the employee tunnel; she said they were walking into the park and he was wearing a hat and normal clothes, no disguise or anything, he smiled at her as she passed them, then later when she was at her restaurant he came in to eat, he saw her and smiled and said hello again and her name. She said she was just shocked that he recognized her, she also said he was very polite. I still don’t believe he walked around Disney World without a disguise.”

lady_of_machinery commented on the comment, “He’s very open that way. I won’t address his religion […] but I cannot say a bad word about him as a person. He’s not fake nice either. He seriously cares so much about everything. His work, his crew, the extras, random people, and fans. I remember when I was hired on MI4, I just had the sh[*]ttiest opinion of him. And at that point, I had seen maybe only 3 movies of his and didn’t really care. Not gonna lie, it took me a couple of weeks to see this as genuine, but I absolutely did by the end of it and it ended up being some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a set. He also loves to treat the crew out for drinks at bars if we wrapped early. I don’t know… a lot of things shocked me when I met him. I think the most shocking bit for me was truly learning how much the media twists things around. […] I have a lot of respect for him as a person and would gladly work with him again.

“These days he’s so much more reserved in interviews, too, so people comment on how ‘cold’ he is as if they’re meaning to say, ‘Where’s the couch?’ … he’s f[]ked if he does it, f[]ked if he doesn’t.”

4) mwm5062 wrote, “Jason Mewes at Comic Con. f[]king awesome dude. At a booth doing a signing, he signed my item, took a pic with me and as I was leaving asked my name and shook my hand saying it was nice to meet me. He even managed to turn my awkward ‘holy sh[*]t I’m meeting Jason Mewes’ comment into a joke. His reply: ‘That’s nice to hear, usually people say “I f[]king hate you, Jay. Where’s Silent Bob?”’

Death_proofer commented, “Mewes seems like a champ. I’m glad you didn’t meet him while he was on the drugs because even he says he was a total prick. Ever since he got out of rehab, he shows nothing but respect for people.”

Awesomely Awesome Awesomeness at the Magic Kingdom

On 11 November 2014, hashtagSOCKS answered questions in “Confessions of a (former) Disney cast member — revealed!” on Imgur. @purplecow asked, “What moment made you the happiest to be a cast member? Were there any moments that were extremely awkward or sad?”

This is hashtagSOCKS’ answer:

“Settle in, kids, this might be a longer one (or you know … skip to the bottom).

“The happiest moment I ever had is easy. I was chillin’ with the Goofmeister doing a dinner service at Chef Mickeys. Often there are younger kids who get scared of the characters and might cry or other things and we come across them quite often. We are taught to interact with them at their pace. Some kids are great with giant mice, others will scream bloody murder if you get within 3 feet of them.

“I was going through my set and came across one table that had a mom, dad, two other adults and two kids. A girl about 12 years old and a boy who was about 10. I had been told backstage by my attendant that the little boy had some form of autism, I can’t remember exactly which.

“His family had a table in the corner and he was seated with his back to a window so he could see the entire restaurant but was ‘protected’ behind the table. So we needed to just stop by the table, give a little wave, and move on. I went out for my first set and gave a little wave [and] he looked at me and kind of smiled a bit but didn’t move.

“I went back out for my second set and the family was still there. I went by to wave again and all of a sudden the little boy comes from behind the table and runs up with a huge smile and gives me a hug around my waist. And his eyes were so bright and his smile [so] huge it warmed my heart so much. His family was able to get a bunch of pictures with me. I think Minnie came through for a minute and got a picture with him as well.

“But what touched me even more than the little boy’s smile was his mom. When he came up to hug me, she smiled and her eyes were full of tears. She was so happy to see her little boy having a good time and that she was able to capture the moment with him and Goofy. After the boy had sat down, she came up to me and gave me the biggest, tightest hug. And I don’t know what it was, but you could just feel her happiness. I can honestly say (as strange as it might sound) it was probably the warmest hug I’ve ever had in my life. I still remember exactly how it felt. She was crying fairly heavily while she hugged me and she whispered in my ear that her son was autistic and he had not let a single character near him the whole trip. They were leaving the next day and she was so happy that she finally got to have pictures of her son with a character. She let me go and then just told me that they had been through so much with him and had been saving for this trip for a long time and were finally able to make it to Disney. She was just so happy … I still feel so good about that night. It was just … awesome.

“I wouldn’t say I had too many awkward moments, but [I] had a couple sad ones. I didn’t get as much info about this particular boy, but it was still a neat moment to share with him and his family.

“I was working in Epcot with my main mog [half man, half dog], Herr Goof. And it was the last set of the day, all of the other characters (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald) and I had [gone] backstage to get changed. We were then told by our manager that we needed to get back in costume to meet one more family.

“This doesn’t happen too often. The manager came back and told us that the little boy was part of the Make a Wish Foundation. Disney works very closely with Make a Wish and special exceptions are often made for them.

“For those of you who don’t know Make a Wish works with terminally ill kids to help fulfill their last wishes. Many kids wish for Disney-related trips to meet the characters they have grown up with.

“Anyway, we went out and spent 20 minutes with this wonderful family. The boy was probably 8-9 years old and had a younger brother who was about 5. He was so happy to be in Disney and was so full of hope. It is truly amazing to see how strong children can be [when] faced with such insurmountable obstacles. I didn’t get to interact with him as much as I would have liked since all of the other characters were there.

“We actually heard back that the little boy passed away about 2 weeks later. We see quite a few Make a Wish kids, and rarely hear about what happens to them. While in one way it was actually nice to be updated, in another I wish I hadn’t been.

“That being said, I find comfort in knowing that that boy got to have his wish, and I got to be a part of it.

“tl;dr: Making kids smile.”

Here is a Disney anecdote that has appeared on various pages on the Web:

Today Yesterday, there was a kid near Adventureland who was about 4 years old or so. He was a wearing a princess crown, had a princess wand, the autograph book was princesses, etc. and there was a grown man teasing him about ‘being gay’. A grown man.

“Peter Pan likes to hang around the Adventureland bridge and he happened upon that scene. Not liking what he saw, especially from a grown up, he spoke up:

“‘Excuse me, sir, but I’m about to give you some advice I never tell anyone: grow up.’”

Customer Service is for Real at Disney

On 23 March 2015, Reddit boojie_ asked, “ Those who have worked at Disney World, what behind-the-scene stories do you have that the public doesn’t see?” Here are some replies:

1) Shaysdays wrote, “I was in Disney World with my son and he had one of the lanyards with pins. He really, really wanted a Pete pin for some reason. ([Pete is the] bad guy in Goofy stuff.) They didn’t make Pete pins anymore, though. So he asked a staff member who was letting people on rides, and they said they would check around. When we got off the ride, another employee came over to us and said we could find someone trading rare pins at a nearby location — that guy had a Pete pin and traded it for another pin plus my son’s best Pete imitation. Because they were both fans.

“In the grand scheme of things, this was honestly stupid to do a park-wide search for, but damned if they didn’t do it.

I was impressed as hell. This wasn’t a kid with any real problem or dealing with hardship, it was just a regular kid who wanted a pin of someone no one thinks of as a hero or even a major villain.

“Thanks, Pete guy and accomplices. It wouldn’t have been the same if you hadn’t asked for the impression. That pin is now sitting on my son’s trophy shelf next to his karate awards, the perfect conch shell he found, perfect attendance certificate, a rock that looks like a manatee, and an award he got for a choral group he was in.”

2) Firestorm1820 wrote, “Not an employee, but I have an interesting story about Disney. When I was seven, I went to Disney World. The third night we were there, I rolled out of my bed and cut my forehead on the nightstand. My mom came over to comfort me, not knowing I was bleeding quite profusely. She turned the light on when I wouldn’t stop crying; she said it ‘looked like a murder had taken place.’ Paramedics were called and the room was swarming with what I can only assume were Disney employees. After I was evaluated and patched up, I was taken to the gift shop around 2 AM with my mom and an employee. I got to choose three toys at no cost to my family. It was pretty incredible to be in the completely abandoned gift shop and being told I could have anything. When we returned back to the room 25 minutes later, all the blood was cleaned up, guardrails were put on my bed, and a large basket of candy and other sweets were left on a table. Disney doesn’t play around with customer service.”

3) Dolly_Black_Lamb wrote, “My customer service story isn’t as gruesome, but last time I went to Disney I was around seven years old and brought my favorite stuffed animal, a lamb named Lamby. We went out to the pool and when we got back, housekeeping had perched Lamby on the edge of the bed, made more lambs out of towels, and turned on the television to some older Disney cartoon featuring sheep. It was the most unexpected and magical thing, and I didn’t even have to break my head open. Customer service is for real at Disney.”

It Would have Been so Easy for Whoever Did This in Returns to Just Slip It in Their Pocket and Nobody Would’ve Known”

Debra Mitchell, a nurse in St. Joseph, Missouri, bought some items from the nonprofit GreaterGood. Two sweaters did not fit, so she boxed them up and sent them back. Unfortunately, she accidentally dropped $20 in the box; she had intended to use the $20 to pay postage. Fortunately, GreaterGood is an honest organization with honest employees. In November 2014, mail arrived for her. Inside the envelope were a $20 bill and a handwritten message for her to “have a wonderful [holiday] season.” Mrs. Mitchell, who had assumed that she had lost the $20 somewhere, said, “They went through all this problem to do that. I wish I knew who did it. I’d give it back to them.” She called the organization, which is based in Minnesota, to express her appreciation for the good deed. She said, “I’m just in awe of what happened. It restores my faith in humanity a little bit. It would have been so easy for whoever did this in returns to just slip it in their pocket and nobody would’ve known.” She added, “I just thank God there’s honest people. The person that found this could have said, ‘Oh, there’s my Thanksgiving turkey or there’s a present for one of my kids or my grandkids.’”

I Bought Plan B in a Crowded Store, [Walgreens] Cashier Woman was Really Nice to Me”

On 21 January 2015, Imgurian MaybeIllkeepthisusernamemaybeiwont published a post with this heading: “To the lady this morning at Walgreens, thank you.” She added some text to explain why she was thanking the lady: “I had to buy Plan B this morning for the first time in my life. I was terrified, and I felt like I had something to be ashamed of. Luckily in my state, it is available in the aisle, so I didn’t have to ask the pharmacist out loud. As I got to the register my worst fear was realized when a long line formed behind me. The cashier, a lovely woman in her 40s, managed to see what was under my arm, and quickly grabbed two bags. She double bagged it and set it on the counter with a pat, and took my cash without a word. When she handed me my change, she whispered extremely quietly, ‘It’s going to be ok, sweetie’. I was so scared by the experience and so grateful for her non-judgemental outlook I walked out crying. She will probably never see this, but in case she does, thank you. Thank you so much. TL;DR [Too Long; Didn’t Read] I bought Plan B in a crowded store, cashier woman was really nice to me.”

Mrj90 asked, “Is Plan B the American version of the morning after pill?” Mapuchll commented, “America is a weird country, having to be ashamed for making a responsible choice.” BrotherNatureOrAndy commented, “I’ve met some absurdly nice people who work at Walgreens. What’s their secret …?”

Don’t You Know God Loves Everyone, Even Boys Who Like Boys!”

At a technology store in Denver, Colorado, two gay men who were holding hands and occasionally engaging in a little kissing asked if the store did wedding registry. The store did not, but the manager, a lesbian, began to explain a work-around solution. An impatient customer, a woman, complained, “Come on, none of us have time to be dealing with your little gay pride bulls***! None of you should be getting married anyway. It’s a sin!” This upset a little girl who was there with her mother. The little girl stomped her foot and said to the complaining woman, “That’s not nice! You say you’re sorry, right now!” The complaining woman replied, “I will not apologize to sinners! What they are doing is wrong! God hates people like—” The little girl interrupted and said, “No! Girls can like girls and boys can like boys. If God wanted boys and girls only to like each other, then he would have made them only like each other! And don’t you know God loves everyone, even boys who like boys!” The complaining woman left the store, and the little girl put an expensive robotic toy on the counter and said, “I want this, please.” One of the gay men said, “My soon-to-be husband and I would like to pay for that,” and the manager said, “And wouldn’t you know it, we give 50% discounts to amazing little girls here!”

Mike Medina: “It’s Sometimes Good to Write a Letter, It’s Sometimes Good to Turn a Page. Exercise Your Eyes, Your Brain”

For a week in early September 2015, barber Mike Medina offered haircuts at 50 percent off to children who read out loud during the haircut at Fulton County Barbershop on Main Street in Gloversville, New York. On 1 September 2015, Trey Loucks, age eight, read out loud from One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. After the haircut, Mr. Medina told Trey’s grandmother, Judy Loucks, “He’s a good reader, this one.” Ms. Loucks said about Mr. Medina’s reading promotion, “I think it’s a good idea. Kids need to be reading.” Celestine Togbe also brought in her three young children for haircuts that day. She and some of the other adults said that they make the children read before they are allowed on electronic devices such as tablets. Mr. Medina said, “It’s cool to stay with the times and have those little gadgets. I have them myself. But I always say it’s sometimes good to write a letter, it’s sometimes good to turn a page. Exercise your eyes, your brain.” He added about the children reading out loud, “A lot of them are shy about it, but I’m telling you, once you get a little conversation sparked and you show them that they really don’t have anything to be worried about or afraid about, they break right out of their shell.”

Crossing the Nullah [Ditch] Came with Risks Such as Skin Infections, Malaria, Dengue and Other Diseases. I Felt Terrible When I Saw the Children Wade Through the Disgusting Sludge”

Eshan Balbale, a 17-year-old from Mumbai, India, is a problem-solver. The problem: Children in Sathe Nagar were forced to cross a stinky ditch in order to go to school. The solution: Build a bamboo bridge over the ditch. It took him eight days to complete the four-foot-wide and 100-foot-long bridge, which he did in August 2015. Mr. Balbale said that the residents “explained that crossing the nullah [ditch] came with risks such as skin infections, malaria, dengue, and other diseases. I felt terrible when I saw the children wade through the disgusting sludge.” Some people had even drowned in the ditch after heavy showers. Building the bridge with concrete would have required getting permission from government authorities. Because that would take time, he “chose to build the bridge with bamboo, which is light yet sturdy. The children needed the bridge immediately as the water level rises during the monsoon season.” Mr. Balbale, who is a Class XII commerce student of Thane’s Bedekar College, said, “My parents are very supportive of my interest and help me by providing financial aid.” He added, “I plan to visit the site at least once a month. If the bridge is used responsibly, it should easily last for a couple of years. In the meantime, I will repair the bridge as and when the need arises.” His next project is to build toilets in the area. He said, “Ever since I was in Class VIII, I would see my parents help other people and I made it a point to donate my clothes, school bags and books to our domestic help and her children. I like to understand the problems people have and help them accordingly. It is a learning experience for me.”

Hanover County School Board in Richmond, Virginia: 1966 Attempt to Censor Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Standing up to censorship is a good deed.

In 1966, the Hanover County School Board in Richmond, Virginia, attemptted to censor Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird by removing it from school libraries after W.C. Bosher, local physician, father of a local student, and county Board of Education trustee, stated that a novel about rape was “improper for our children to read.” The Richmond News-Leader editorialized against the censorship and used its Beadle Bumble Fund to give away copies of the novel. Ms. Lee sent this letter to the Richmond News-Leader:

“Recently I have received echoes down this way of the Hanover County School Board’s activities, and what I’ve heard makes me wonder if any of its members can read.

“Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners. To hear that the novel is ‘immoral’ has made me count the years between now and 1984, for I have yet to come across a better example of doublespeak.

“I feel, however, that the problem is one of illiteracy, not Marxism. Therefore I enclose a small contribution to the Beadle Bumble Fund that I hope will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice.”

Teachers of Reddit, How Have You Secretly Rewarded […] a Student?”

Here are some replies:

1) JaneEyreForce wrote, “A local music store was going out of business where a lot of students rented band/orchestra instruments. I had a student who has a serious lifelong disability, but she still participated in many things and is an outstanding student and person in general. She went through some scary medical things, but never complains, and is so genuinely happy. Her family is blue collar/hard working, but I knew her medical expenses were a constant in her family’s life.

“The store was offering a discount, plus their normal rent-to-own discount, for students who had instruments to outright purchase them before they closed for good. I contacted them and they let me pay the remaining cost of her instrument and kept my identity a secret. […]

“My minor PSA [Public Service Announcement] is to please support and demand your local school district fund music (and art/other creative) programs properly. Due to unfunded mandates, funding disparities, and them seeing how special areas do not fit neatly into Common Core/evaluations, programs available for students are continually at risk.”

2) Bearbats wrote, “I used to always show up late for my 10th grade science class. One day, we had a little chapter review quiz at the start of class, and naturally, I am a minute or two late. So I walk over to my desk, and the teacher hands me my quiz.

“It’s all really advanced questions comprised of polysyllabic biology jargon that I’ve never seen. Question after question is material that I’m pretty confident we have never ever covered in the class. After about two minutes, I look up to see how everyone else is doing on their quiz.

“Everybody was watching me and when I looked up, they all started laughing. The teacher had printed up a single fake quiz with super-complicated biology questions just to f[]k with whatever kid ended up showing up last to the quiz

“Ms. Cohen, you were a fun teacher. Thumbs up.”

FoxxyRin commented, “Reminds me of my first math test in 7th grade, kind of. The teacher passed out a test and said to read the instructions carefully. The test was filled with like Algebra-level math, at least. This class was one level below that, called ‘Pre-Algebra.’ Well, long story short the instructions were pretty normal, but then it said something along the lines of ‘Fill out the name, class, and date. Circle random answers and write down numbers to make it look like you’re working. Around [time], get up and put it on my desk.’ Me and someone else were the only ones who followed the directions, and in the next class we got a king-sized candy bar and a ‘wrong answer pass’, which was pretty cool. (It was basically a ticket we could staple to our next test and allow three wrong answers to be counted as correct, so long as we attempted to do the work and such.)”

Kallisti50253 commented, “My mother likes telling a story about when she was in school; the instructions said to make sure you read all directions before starting and one of the last ones said to disregard all previous instructions, put your name on the test, and turn it in. She was one of the few who did what it said.”

3) MachineGunTeacher wrote, “Had a kid who was working a job late into the night in order to help his family while trying to finish his senior year in high school. His dad had been laid off and his mother was disabled, so they were barely making it. He told me that he worked late into the night and he had to miss days of school, too. He did the best he could in my class but just couldn’t pass after missing so much class. He was a senior and a good kid who needed my English class to pass. Figuring that the kid’s life was already hard enough, and that his family was struggling enough, I secretly added some points to assignments he hadn’t done so that his final grade went from a 50% to a 61% — just enough to pass and graduate. I don’t like giving away grades, and I never told him; he just thought he had passed.”

Marvin_therobot commented, “I don’t think I’m that kid, but this story sounds really familiar. My mom was (is) disabled throughout high school and my dad worked ALL the time. I worked almost every school night and had trouble staying awake in school. There were a few teachers my senior year that I will never forget. They understood what was going on at home and took it easy on me and were there to talk. If it weren’t for them, I think my life would have turned out very differently. I needed a few years after graduating to get my sh[*]t together, but I eventually did and if I do say so myself, I turned out ok in the end. So for whatever it’s worth, thanks for being awesome! I’m sure that kid remembers you.”

Rdjedd commented, “You remind me of my Calculus teacher, I’m in my senior year, I just need a pass in this course and I’m good to go for graduation. If I fail the course, I’d have to re-do it and thus re-take (not graduate) and be behind basically half a year my class. I knew the pressure of passing that class.

“Now calculus was just not my friend, I loved math when I was middle school and even beginning of high school, then this BS [HS?] Calculus class totally killed me. Now, I put in my all. I paid attention, did the homework, but for the life of me I just could not grasp it. I always stayed back in class, and asked a billion questions. When my teacher would explain it to me, it all.made.sense. But when I’m on my own, doing my homework, or tests, I just don’t get it, I wouldn’t know where to even begin.

“ I knew my teacher knew I was doing my all, and the way my grade is calculated at my school was 10% attendance/homework completion, 10% class participation, 30% mid-year tests, quizzes … etc. and 50% final exam grade. So yeah, 80% of my grade was purely based on my test grades.

“I went into my final exam, kinda knowing I needed to ace this exam to even just scrape by in my final grade. I studied and studied and studied, and come exam time, I wanted to cry. Out of 10 sections, I was confident in 3 sections, and attempted 2 sections and left half my exam blank, because I just did not know. We had 3 hours for that exam, I submitted mine after just 1 hour, feeling defeated and knowing I blew it.

“Few weeks letter, report cards came in, I’m praying and hoping but being realistic. My final calculus grade?

“51%

“(Pass is 50%, fail <49%)

“I just knew my teacher pitied me, and for that I am ever so grateful. This was more than 10 years ago now, and I still remember this teacher, now she never told me, she never had to, I knew. :)

“I know you’re not my teacher, but you’re awesome!”

I’m Not Gonna Lie; Giving Out F’s to These Students Is Immensely Satisfying”

On 2 November 2014, Redditor ThisTimeLastYear posted some memes on Imgur with this heading: “I’m not gonna lie; giving out F’s to these students is immensely satisfying.” “These students” were athletes who thought that they could get a passing grade simply because a big game was coming up. Imgurian comments were interesting:

1) DerelictJustice wrote, “I respect teachers who stick to proper and fair grading. I can’t stand these students/parents/coaches.”

2) DoctorJungyBrongen wrote, “The parents are the worst to me. So much enabling. Teach your kid that certain choices (like not caring about grades) have consequences.”

3) ThatsLadyMcNuggetToYou wrote, “AYUUUUUUUP. I’ve had two kids pulled from their teams because I told their coaches what ]ssh[les they were being in my classroom. Worth it.”

4) Owlgirl08 wrote, “As a teacher, I don’t give Fs; students earn that F. But no, I will not change your grade.”

5) pergh wrote, “He deserves that grade. He should get his sh[*]t sorted. Education is number one.”

6) thisisharderthanIthought wrote, “As a mom I was p]ssed as sh[t when my son’s teacher bumped up his grade enough so he could wrestle. Thank you for not being one of those!”

7) SweetBabyJesus wrote, “My HS [high school], the coaches benched half their starters for getting caught drinking at another school’s dance. They didn’t f[]k around.”

Google: Fully Funds All September 2014 Los Angeles Unified School District Teachers Requests on DonorsChoose.org

On 15 September 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced some very good news: Google had funded — fully — every request by a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teacher — 1,071 projects in total — that was on the education crowdfunding site DonorsChoose.org. The donation amounted to almost $1 million. The teachers will use the money to purchase such classroom supplies as paper, pencils, books, laptops, microscopes, musical instruments, bird guides, binoculars, and a bilingual classroom library. Mayor Garcetti said, “Our school teachers give their all every day to ensure that Los Angeles students reach their full potential. We’re grateful for their ongoing dedication and passion that’s inspiring the next generation of Angelenos — and I’m thrilled that the help of Google and DonorsChoose.org will help every student reach their dreams a little faster.” Thomas Williams, Head of Google’s Venice, California, office, said, “As a longtime resident of Los Angeles and parent of students in LAUSD, I’ve seen how hard our schoolteachers work, how dedicated they are and how, often, the resources they would like to have to help our children just aren’t available. As our office and company has been committed to education, especially for underserved communities, it was a perfect opportunity to fund all the DonorsChoose.org projects throughout LAUSD.” Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, said, “We are so humbled and grateful to Google for their devotion to our teachers and students. This is a great day for Los Angeles classrooms.”

Teachers of Reddit with Former Students Returning to Visit You, What’s the Most Unexpected Thing They’ve Told You?”

Here are some replies:

1) Anastik wrote, “I’ve taught in the military for many years, and I substitute teach in my time off in local schools around town. I absolutely love teaching. It’s so much fun to go into a class and not know what you’re getting into. And when you’re substitute teaching, you have to try and figure out how to connect with a random group of kids. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but more often than not I succeed. I hope to be a ‘real teacher’ when I retire in a few years from the military.

“Anyways, this story is about one of my students when I started teaching in the military. I’ll call him Cornhusker. Cornhusker was a student I had in my first year of teaching. I always remember that he had a big smile on his face and he’d do these awesome Yoda or George Bush impressions to lighten the class up. Having a person like this in your classroom is always a joy. He was a great guy, and he and I continued to talk and correspond after he graduated the class. I ended up starting a public speaking group on the base, and he was one of the members who always came out to the events and supported everything we did.

“And as I was doing all this stuff on the side, I was still teaching ten-twelve hours a day when you count lesson preparation. I was getting worn out. I gave a lot of myself to each class and this can be emotionally exhausting work. My old boss, kind of like the school principal, once told me that he was worried about my health because I put so much of myself out there, and as a teacher you rarely get that back in return from the students. I didn’t really know what he meant at the time, but as the years went on I began to understand what he meant. You empty so much of yourself in each class that it can be hard when that isn’t reciprocated or noticed by anyone. It can make you tired and jaded.

“Well, this good boss ended up leaving the school and we got a new boss in his place. She said she wasn’t going to change anything (note to self: whenever someone says they aren’t going to change something, that means they’re going to change everything). It was a nightmare working for her. She was an obsessive micromanager. She was able to get results, but only by grinding her people down to the bone. But she was able to mind control you in the same way that a psychologically abusive mother can control her children. I promise you this story is leading somewhere.

“This woman started to take it out of me and through a combination of always putting myself out there and never getting anything back in return, I started to dislike teaching. The new boss and I got into a huge fight, and I started to question my self-worth and what I was doing as a teacher in the military. But totally out of the blue and without any prompting from me, I got an email from Cornhusker that very day in the afternoon.

“He said that it was obvious that I put myself out there and tried my best to make all my students and everyone around me better people. He said that I was always building people up, but he didn’t think that people were ever thanking me for what I did. It was the most perfectly timed email and one I still treasure to this day. He then proceeds to write two pages of the nicest compliments I’d ever read. I was floored. Stunned. It was like the gods of karma told him to send me that message so it could keep me going. And it did.

“I kept teaching the way I wanted to and more and more of my old students started sending me random messages telling me how much they appreciated me as an instructor. And in the moment when I most questioned my abilities, Cornhusker managed to bring me up when I most needed it.

“I think these random acts of kindness happen far too infrequently. So I always make it a point after I’ve read a good story or article to message the author and tell them why I enjoyed it; if I listen to an unknown band and really dig their music, I’ll shoot them an email on Facebook; and it’s all because Cornhusker taught me how powerful a nice message from someone can improve your disposition and keep you going even when the times are tough.”

2) MrsB555 wrote, “I have been a substitute teacher for the same school district for the past 8 years. Four years ago, I had taken over for a 5th grade teacher with cancer, from Nov to the last day of school. The teacher ended up passing away that April … so sad.

“Well, when I went up to the middle school while these kids were in 7th grade, a student from that 5th grade class came up to me.

“Student: ‘Hey, Mrs. B! I just wanted to let you know that you letting us do free writing in the beginning of each day has really made me love creative writing. I’m going to write a book someday!’ Me: ‘Awe, I’m so glad you enjoyed that time. Make sure you dedicate your first book to me!’ (or something like that).

“As just a substitute, this was pretty amazing for me. It made me feel good that I was someone’s inspiration without actually having my own classroom.”

3) SunDevilJeeper wrote, “I was a class clown and always f[]ked off, but I listened to my teachers and treated them with respect. When they told me to settle down, I didn’t give any more problems after that. So I was cool with a lot of teachers, they went the extra mile to help me when I was struggling. They gave me a lot of encouragement which helped a lot. Fast forward a couple years after graduation, I decided to come back wearing my uniform that my teachers knew I wanted to wear so much. I stop at the doorway wearing my cammies and I watched utter chaos while my former English teacher tried to manage it. He stopped and froze when he saw me, his face lit up life a little kid. Then the whole class turns around and goes silent, pin drop silent. I felt like a bad]ss making a whole class go silent without even saying a word. I walked in and ended up shooting the sh[t with him for a few hours. I don’t think I had ever seen him smile that much before. That was one of those moments that I realized that I actually did have a lot of support behind me, and it wasn’t just people blowing hot air in my face. To this day, I still think he’s the best teacher I ever had. The jovial fat guy who had a hot temper if you p[*]ssed him off. Lay down the law when needed, but be a friend and mentor to the ones he teaches. I’ll never forget him for as long as I live. He made learning a fun thing for me, probably the best motivator I ever had.”

4) LaWeege wrote, “[…] I was the student who went back to visit my guidance counselor. Senior year, I had a complete mental breakdown. (Later found out my parents almost institutionalized me … yikes!) Went to her office one morning, because I felt like my life was falling apart.

“This June, I brought her my transcript. I’m graduating summa cum laude with a degree in cellular and molecular biology with a minor in chemistry come this December, and I applied to medical school. I had made it after all. She cried.

“I found out she’s been using me as an example for struggling seniors now. Makes me proud.”

I Want the Last Cheque I Write to Bounce”

Chuck Feeney, age 83 in 2014, used to be a billionaire; now, he is not. What happened? He gave away most of his money, leaving himself approximately £1.2 million. During his career as a businessman, he amassed £4 billion from his duty-free shops. He then set up Atlantic Philanthropies, whose goal was to give away his money to good causes. One of his last charitable contribution — made in 2014 — was pledging to give nearly £25 million to Northern Ireland to promote shared education for Protestant and Catholic children, make improvements to dementia care, and provide parenting programmes. Martin McGuinness, the Northern Ireland deputy first minister, said, “These projects will have a significant impact on the quality of people’s lives, now, and for years to come. The legacy will be a brighter future for the most vulnerable people in our community.” In 2007, Mr. Feeney said, “I had one idea that never changed in my mind — that you should use your wealth to help people.” He once spoke about an important ambition: “I want the last cheque I write to bounce.”

Father of Bride Stops Wedding to Bring Stepdad Up Front”

In 2015, at a wedding, Todd Bachman, father of the bride, did a pretty amazing good deed. Imgurian mrktngnerd posted a few photos on Imgur with this heading: “Father of bride stops wedding to bring stepdad up front.” Mrktngnerd also wrote this caption: “Grab tissues… because you will need it as you look through these pictures. Todd Bachman, father of the bride, brought his daughter to the beginning of the aisle… he stopped the procession while people were confused at his actions and he walked up to his daughter’s stepfather. Todd reached out his hand and grabbed Brittany’s stepfather and pulled him down the aisle to walk their daughter down the aisle together. NOT A DRY EYE at the ceremony.” By the way, Imgurian mikfrachi joked that there was a good reason for the good deed: “Come on, I’m not paying for this by myself.” And Imgurian WannieTheSame commented, “My dad introduces my step-dad as his ‘husband-in-law.’”

Girls of Reddit, What is the Best Life Lesson Your Dad Taught You?”

On 24 January 2015, wee_man asked on AskReddit, “Girls of Reddit, what is the best life lesson your dad taught you?” Here are some replies:

1) glitzyjan wrote, “I answered a similar question recently. I lost my dad when I was ten, but here are some distinct things I remember him teaching me (and being thankful for them):

“An appreciation for nature. My father taught me to stop and watch a sunset, to feed a stray, to smell the flowers, to grow a garden. I cannot thank him enough for showing me this.

“He taught me empathy. My dad was a very caring man, and he taught me to help people who need it however I can. No matter what he was going through with his cancer, he always went out of his way to help others even if it physically hurt him to do so.

“He taught me to cook. He would have me get him ingredients from a very young age and [have me] put them in the bowl. This helped me not only learn to cook and bake, but it also preserved his recipes and they live on with me.

“He taught me about cars. My father was a mechanic in the military. He showed me how to change the oil, change the brake pads, check my tires, replace a belt, and change a flat. These are skills that I’ve found most girls do not learn, and I’m glad I have them at my disposal.

“He taught me to mow the grass, use tools, fix something broken. All the things one would associate with boys. He showed me girls could do it, too.

“He taught me that hard work is rewarded. He repeated this often during my life, and I sometimes lack patience but it is a truth. If you work hard and take pride in it, you will be rewarded.

“And finally he taught me love. When he passed away, it was early December. He knew he’d never make it to Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the FedEx guy came. He brought me presents from my dad. He had ordered them before he died. The message he sent touched my heart forever. He said to not be sad, it was ok to be happy and that my happiness in life would be his gift that year.”

Cestcalavie commented, “This is so touching … I lost my dad when I was 16, there isn’t one single day I don’t think about him and I dream of him very often … I can imagine how much you miss yours, too … He taught me to enjoy things around us, as simple as the fresh air. He taught me the importance of exercise and staying healthy. If we went on holiday somewhere, the first thing he’d do the next morning would be to go jogging and get to know the place. He also taught me to change tires (: … And wash cars. He’d keep his cars impeccable! … He taught me about friendship. He was always kind to new people he met, and made friends with many people, he’d invite friends over to our house for a meal almost every weekend. His death was very sudden and unexpected, so no time for goodbyes, but in a letter he wrote to me for my 15th birthday he said that no matter what I chose to do in life he’ll be proud of me and that the most important thing is to be happy.”

2) t2b123 wrote, “My dad really taught me that real love is when a man cares more about you than he cares about looking manly. My dad is a tough guy, he grew up riding motorcycles, he works as a welder, grilling, really into sports and hunting. He’s a man’s man. But all [the time I was] growing up, he was the one who painted my nails, helped me sew doll clothes, put curlers in my hair. He would make up little stories about my stuffed animals and act them out with little voices. He even dressed up with me every year for Halloween. If I was Dorothy, he was the Tin Man. If I was a Princess, he was Prince Charming. And he loved it! He was never afraid of his friends seeing him painted silver with a funnel on his head, if it meant that we could skip together singing ‘follow the yellow brick road.’ Now that I’m older, he will accompany me to plays and musicals I like, and he always dresses up nicely and treats it like it’s a fancy date. He’s showed me time and time again how important I am to him. A man’s image is often very important to him, but never let your daughter believe that it’s more important than she is.”

phil8248 commented, “My daughter married a guy who is just about perfect. You couldn’t order a better husband for your child if you had a catalog. My late wife and I were sitting in the living room reading one night and I just casually mentioned again how great it was that she had this man in her life because we didn’t have to fret about her. She’s independent and successful, but even empowered women can be stuck in dead-end marriages. Hers was just spectacular in every way and I marveled at this to my wife, telling her how good it made me feel. She turned and looked at me and simply said, ‘Well, girls pick husbands based on their relationship with their Dads.’ Easily the nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten.”

3) SkylineBear wrote, “My parents divorced when I was in 5th grade and I spent every weekend at my Dad’s place 45 minutes away from that point until I graduated. I have two older siblings who were already in high school and too busy to come along, so it was just him and me all weekend (by the time I was in HS [high school] my step-dad didn’t want me around so even if I wanted to stay I had to go). We would always go shopping Friday nights for the weekend, and plan meals we could make together (let’s try to make gumbo! Or let’s have a homemade pizza night, etc.), and usually we’d rent a video, too. In the summers, we would bike to the store and back. He was never the type of person to ‘teach lessons,’ I think. But, the fact that he drove an hour and a half every single weekend to pick me up (my mom refused to drive there), and spent every weekend with me — mostly just the two of us — was seriously a lesson in just showing up. Loyalty has always been a big thing for me, and that’s loyalty. I never wanted to move in with him because I wanted to stay with my friends, even though my siblings told me I should. I honestly should have, looking back.”

ThouShaltNotFart commented, “This is the best lesson to teach a child … that they are worthy of your time.”

Gentle Guidance

Quaker (aka Friend) minister Philip Gulley has a number of anecdotes about his children: 1) Someone in the church gave Spencer a nativity set for his second Christmas. Spencer immediately began to dip a wise man in ketchup and then lick it. Philip’s wife told Spencer, “Honey, don’t dip the wise man in the ketchup.” 2) Their oldest son wanted two gifts for his third birthday: a tricycle, and the entire Walmart toy department. 3) Their oldest son once got so many toys for his birthday that, overwhelmed by the many, many options of toys to play with, he cried. 4) His two-year-old liked stars, so one Father’s Day Philip Gulley got a Bar Mitzvah card. By the way, Philip Gulley knows the Biblical passage “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” which many people think advocates spanking, but he is also aware of the Biblical passage “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,” so he thinks “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is really about gentle guidance.

What’s the Smoothest Move You’ve Ever Seen Someone Do on Their Date?”

Here are some answers:

1) dentttt wrote, “I was sitting on the subway heading into the city when two people sat down near me who were clearly on their first date (a lot of ‘so what do you do’ type questions). The guy was trying to keep things interesting, but the conversation seemed to stall pretty quickly, and she didn’t seem to be that interested in him.

“A few minutes later, a bum got on the train, sat directly across from the girl, and immediately started yelling at her. ‘Your daddy bought you everything. You’re so spoiled! You’re what’s wrong with this country!’ and as he was saying the last sentence, he lunged across the aisle at her with surprising quickness (for a bum). With no hesitation whatsoever, the guy jumped up, wrapped an arm around the bum before he reached the girl, threw him back in his seat and said very calmly but seriously ‘You don’t touch her. You don’t go near her.’ The bum didn’t say a word and got off at the next stop.

“Thinking to myself, I can’t say I wouldn’t have been immediately stunned before I could react. But this guy had no hesitation. After that, the girl looked at him like [he was] Prince Charming — touching his arm, constantly smiling, laughing at all his jokes, totally rapt by him. Smoothest move I ever saw.”

2) Durbee wrote, “I’m not sure if this counts, but the smoothest date move I’ve ever seen was executed by a third party.

“An obvious-first-date couple, who had been waiting right next to me at the bar for their table stood up as the hostess approached them.

“Hostesses typically are polite but reserved, but this GGG [Good Girl Gina] of the service industry assessed the situation and decided to break character in the space of half a second.

“She sort of rushed to them, and said, ‘Tony! I had no idea it was you waiting. Give your cousin a hug.’ Then she hugged the guy a bit eagerly and whispered something in his ear I could not hear.

“While she turned to compliment his date, he turned in the other direction (facing me) to reveal that not only was his fly open, he had gone commando. He’d basically been sitting around showing off his wedding veggies for half their date.

“The dude was nonplussed, but so obviously grateful. It really was a thing of beauty.”

3) ArthurJones wrote, “I once had a date with a girl from a different city, and since we hadn’t met face to face before, we decided to meet up at the service desk of the train-station in her city.

“So as soon as I got out of the train, there was a crying little kid standing on the platform with no parent in sight. So I walked to the little kid, asked him where his parents where, or if he was with someone else. Between all the tears and hiccups, it became clear that he lost daddy. So I walked with him all over the platform looking for his father for a few minutes, but no luck. I figured I’d drop him of at the service desk where they could make an announcement throughout the whole train-station.

“Arriving there, there were two things waiting for me: A panicked dad who had the same idea as me, and my date who I had agreed with to meet there. Witnessing the conclusion of events, she was rather pleased. It probably wasn’t the only reason she took me home with her at the end of the date, but it couldn’t have hurt either.”

Ensigniee commented, “You are a good man. That sh[*]t is TERRIFYING as a child.”

Missus_Nicola commented, “That sh[*]t is TERRIFYING as a parent.”

4) trtexroxcks wrote, “Well, I was on this date, so I guess I saw it.

“My high school boyfriend and I were at a restaurant and I got a dish that came with steamed broccoli, which I don’t care for, but as a shy 16-year-old, I still felt weird about special ordering at a restaurant.

“When my dish came, it instead had a side of carrots, which is my favorite vegetable ever. Apparently, my bf had asked the waiter to substitute it for the broccoli without me knowing.

“It was a small move but really sweet, and I was also really surprised that he’d paid enough attention to me to know what vegetables I liked and didn’t [like].”

5) tanac wrote, “Smoothest date move I ever saw:

“Out to dinner with my sweetie; we like to people-watch and noticed that the couple sitting one table over were on their first date (so very obvious). It’s going well; she’s into him and he’s just talking a mile a minute.

“Then, all of a sudden from out of nowhere there is this big-[*]ss beetle on this guy’s upper arm. The woman notices it about a minute later — her eyes got huge and she was having to make an effort to tear her eyes away from it.

“(Meanwhile, we are desperately trying not to bust out laughing in shared horror/embarrassment.)

“After a few minutes, when the thing obviously wasn’t going away on its own, the woman grabs onto something the guy says and laughs uproariously, at the same time she deftly mock-slaps him on the arm and sends the bug flying.

“Guy never noticed a thing. Slickest thing I’ve ever seen. Rest of the date seemed to go well. We do wonder if she ever told him about it.”

Here are some stories that are not really good deeds, but are interesting:

1) mag0802 wrote, “I was getting some air outside a bar when a couple walks out (looked like a first or second date — no hand holding, both dressed up for a pub) and the guy trips on a missing brick in the walkway and falls onto his hands and knees. The girl says, ‘Oh, my god,’ and helps him up and asks, ‘Are you ok?’ And the guy says after a half-beat, ‘That’s the second time I’ve fallen for something tonight.’

“That girl’s smile could have re-lit the Sun.”

2) Dimestoresaint wrote, “I’ll tell the story of how my mom and dad met. My dad was walking home in the rain and my mom pulled over and asked if he wanted a ride because she recognized him from work. He got in and noticed my mother was driving without shoes because they ached from wearing heels all day. My father says to my mother, ‘Wow, you have fat feet.’ Then my mother told him to get the f[]k out of the car and that he can walk. Somehow it worked because they got married and had me.”

Today, I Relinquished My Rights and Gave This Little One Up for Adoption”

On 20 September 2014, Imgurian Otthild posted a photograph on Imgur with this heading: “Today, I relinquished my rights and gave this little one up for adoption.” She included this note: “It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, but I know she’ll be going to an amazing family. I’ve been crying since I left the hospital.” She also explained the reason for the adoption: “I wanted her to have the best shot at life that I could give. I don’t have a good enough job or home to support her.” She also explained, “There’s a magical thing called being stupid that I used to be really good at.” The photograph was by the adoptive mother and showed Otthild, age 22, with her newborn daughter. Otthild is welcome to see her daughter after adoption. Otthild wrote about the adoptive family, “The family joked that they were adopting two people. I’m welcome anytime.” The comments from fellow Ingurians were sensitive.

Dcarpio wrote, “Your first action as a mother, was a great one. You did what you thought was best for her. To have a better life.” Forthan wrote, “I wasn’t supposed to exist. My mother was on birth control yet I exist now. I was adopted and lived a beautiful life. I bet she will, too.”

I’ll Save You!”

On 7 October 2014, Redditor vadrotan posted on Imgur a Good Guy Greg meme with this heading: “My daughter woke up crying from a nightmare last night.” The text of the meme stated, “BEFORE MY WIFE OR I COULD [GET] THERE, MY 2-YEAR-OLD SON CHARGED INTO HER ROOM / WITH A TOY LIGHTSABER, YELLING ‘I’LL SAVE YOU!’”

m4jikthise commented: “Sleep Wars. Episode IV: A NEW HOPE. Not such a long time ago, in a bedroom down the hall …. It is a period of sister unrest. Rebel dreams, striking from hidden corners of the brain, have won their first victory against the evil Nightmare Empire. During the battle, rebel thoughts managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the SLEEP STAR, an armored phobia with enough power to destroy an entire night. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister thoughts, Princess Laya dozes to dreamland aboard her sleepship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her dreams and restore peace to the galaxy ….”

MoonBanana commented, “My brother HATED me when I was born. One day he stomped into the kitchen and asked my Mom what day the garbage men came, and when she asked him why, he said he was going to put me in the garbage. He also tried pushing me down the stairs when I was in a stroller. He was horrid to me! Once I was old enough to defend myself, though, we did beat the crap out of each other. My Dad taught me how to throw a punch because [my brother] picked on me so bad, and anytime he heard my brother say ‘OW,’ my Dad would ask him, ‘Did you start it?’ and he would stick out his bottom lip and say ‘Yeah,’ and my Dad would say, ‘Then you deserved it.’”

Mother Embraces Son’s Change

This account of a good deed appeared in Ana Samways’ always entertaining and almost daily column Sideswipe in the New Zealand Herald on 4 December 2014:

“When a transgender teenager in Queensland, Australia, came out to his parents, telling them that he no longer wanted to live life as a female, his mother, Yolanda Bogert, took out an ad in the Courier-Mail, retracting the birth announcement of her daughter and amending it. ‘In 1995 we announced the arrival of our sprogget Elizabeth Anne as a daughter. Oops our bad. We would like to present our wonderful son — Kai Bogert,’ the ad read.”

I Can’t Stop Smiling!”

On 18 Nov 2014, waterdrops posted on Imgur two gifs of women smiling with this heading: “I can’t stop smiling!” This is her story:

“At my university there is this student-run walk-home service where two students will walk you from campus to your destination if you ever have to walk alone late at night. I’ve used it now and again, but I’m certainly not a regular.

“After a long night of studying on campus and an awful run in with my ex (which left me feeling pretty crappy), I didn’t exactly feel up to venturing out in the darkness alone. So I called this walk-home service.

“Two students came and walked me over to my home, while having the most lovely conversation. One of the students, an upbeat and adorable guy, was just the ray of sunshine that I needed on such a gloomy night. We chatted about a handful of things, especially about this one course that we are both in. Upon arriving to my home, the walk-home workers were about to head back and this guy said he loved chatting with me and he will formally introduce himself in class the next time (since he was at work at the time, and that’d be unprofessional). This left me giddy all weekend.

“Fast forward a few days to now. He kept to his word and introduced himself in class the next day and immediately asked for my number! We have been chatting and as of tonight, he asked me out on a date. Like a date-date! I’m so unbelievably excited, Imgur!

“TL;DR. I hit it off immediately with a guy at his work. We now are going on a date. I’m so happy!”

In the comments section, some other Imgurians pointed out something good about this story.

Ilikebreakfast commented, “The fact that he didn’t hit on you while on the job and made sure not to make you uncomfortable is a good sign of his character.”

tdvideo commented, “I like that he held off until class. That’s the way to do it.” (And TheAllHighEruIluvatar commented, “One might say he’s … classy.”)

By the way, dawner commented, “I’m a guy and this gave me girly good feels.”

Ladies, What are Some Stories About Your Dad being Awesome?”

Here are some replies:

1) abqkat wrote, “Today is my birthday and I was reflecting on it. First, he adopted me. There was no biological drive to love me, he did it by choice. He showed me that I’m worthy of love — by myself, my friends, men. Man, that guy was a bad[*]ss.

“He taught me to shoot a pistol and a basketball, tie a knot, pour a beer, had the quirkiest sense of humor, looked like Chevy Chase, had an odd fascination with Tic-Tacs and Listerine. In a family of 7 kids (all of whom he chose to love like his own), he did something special with each of us on our birthdays and, even though we were poor and kinda redneck, he made me feel like the richest person in the world by reminding me that ‘some people are so poor that ALL they have is money.’ That line really stuck with me and influenced my views on wealth, family, and richness.”

2) lollihull wrote, “No idea if this counts, but I really admire my dad for this reason:

“He was abandoned by his mother at the hospital as a baby in the 1950s and got put in a Catholic children’s home for boys ran by nuns. He suffered some pretty awful abuse at their hands, some of it is truly heartbreaking. They’d lie to him and tell him a family was coming to pick him up, get him to pack his little suitcase and dress smart to impress them, then leave him outside to ‘teach him what disappointment feels like’.

“At 18 they were kicked out of care with no support or benefits. He moved in with friends and cycled down to a local electrician’s every day and asked them for a job. Eventually they gave him a job because he was so annoying.

“He married in his mid 20s to a woman. He woke up one morning and she had disappeared. The note explained she’d ran off with his best friend, and they didn’t contact him again.

“He then met my mother who was going through cancer and an abusive relationship at the time, and he saved her and kept her safe. They went on to have me and 2 other children.

“Despite my dad never knowing what it was like to have a loving family or a parent who was there for you, he has always been the most wonderful, caring man I have ever known. He has my back no matter what the situation — money, sickness, health, etc. He had that strict Catholic upbringing and still follows the Catholic faith, but he has always respected my lifestyle and not tried to push any of it onto me. He’s a good example of a man who was treated awfully by women from the moment of his birth, but never held it against any of them.

“He’s my strength when I have none, and I can’t imagine how he possibly has any strength left to share after all that, but he’s truly remarkable to me.”

3) SwampRabbit wrote, “In 2013 my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer. The news prompted visits from all the people who call him ‘Dad’ regardless of blood relationship: My best friend from college. Our foreign exchange student from 20 years ago. My sister’s ex-boyfriend from high school. My little brother’s best friend. The neighbor kid who grew up in the housing project across the street and was informally mentored by my parents. I never realized what a collection of adopted siblings we have accumulated over the years. Anybody who needs a family just hangs around with ours until they stick and the relationship remains solid across decades. My dad is the reason why. He’s the strong, silent type who gives good advice without bullsh[*]t and would rather enjoy a quiet meal together than make small talk. I’m grateful that his illness brought all those people back to him. I’m even more grateful that he is in remission and feeling great!

“Here’s one story about a time when his awesomeness touched me:

“About 25 years ago (I was 12ish) I was seriously into competing at horse shows. My 4-H club went to a big show far from home so the whole family went as a ‘family vacation’ (apologies to my non-equestrian siblings). While we were there, we got a call from my oldest sister, who was in her twenties and living in NYC on her own. The guy she was going to marry dumped her and she needed to move out of their apartment, but she had nowhere to go. She was devastated and distraught. After letting her get it all out on the phone, Dad gave her the credit card number and told her to book a flight to the city we were in.

“She arrived very late that evening after we had all gone to bed in the tiny room at the motel near the fairgrounds. When I got up (at 4:30 AM, to go bathe and braid my horse), I found my dad sitting with my sister in the bathroom surrounded by heaps of tissues. He sat with her all night, letting her cry and figure out her game plan while the rest of us slept.”

4) thumper5 wrote, “Sooo many stories about my dad being awesome. He is seriously amazing.

“Off the top of my head, the most recent one would be when I texted my dad late at night because I’d just gotten broken up with. He texted back and forth with me for a little bit (I didn’t want to talk on the phone because I was crying), and I finally told him I was glad he talked to me about it, but I was ready to just cry myself to sleep. He told me that he understood, that sometimes crying is the only thing we can do, and when I felt better, I should come home and teach him how to make my favorite sandwich so he had an excuse to give me a hug.

“I told him I love him and I was glad he’s my daddy because he’s the best one.”

Bartolomeo Durante: A Generous Man

Comedian Jimmy Durante’s father, Bartolomeo Durante, was funny, too — but perhaps unintentionally. On his father’s birthday, Jimmy would take him to an expensive restaurant and give him expensive gifts. On one birthday, Jimmy gave him a gold watch, but a few days later he learned that his father had returned it for a refund. He said to his father, “Pop, when I gave it to you, you sounded as if you liked it.” His father replied, “Giacomo, it very nice. But I don’t want to sit in church with an umbrella.” “What’s an umbrella got to with the wristwatch?” “The church roof got holes in it.” Reading between the lines, we can guess that Jimmy’s father gave to the church the money he got from returning the watch so that the roof could be repaired. Supporting this reading between the lines is what happened to the monthly sizable checks Jimmy gave to his father — the checks were usually endorsed by the parish priest. Jimmy’s father was a barber, and after he retired he often carried his barber tools and offered haircuts to people with shaggy hair. One such person was Johnny Weissmuller, whose hair was long because he was a movie actor who played Tarzan. Mr. Weissmuller said, “Mr. [Bartolomeo] Durante was about to start snipping. I managed to stop him, but it wasn’t easy.”

Growing Up Really Poor Means Realizing in Your Twenties that Mommy was Lying When She Said She Already Ate”

On 14 January 2015, Redditor zoidberg3000 asked, “Ladies who grew up poor, have you been able to adjust? If so, how?” Many ladies, including zoidberg3000, wrote about their mothers.

1) zoidberg3000 wrote, “For instance, I grew up very poor and we had our electricity turned off often; my mum would kind of always make it a fun night with a fire in our fireplace and we pretended to camp. Those nights are some of my greatest memories.

“I also really appreciate my mum and accept her flaws and how f[]ked up she is because she prostituted herself out to support us. She sacrificed a lot to make sure we were fed and sheltered.

“I find it hard to relate to my SO [Significant Other] sometimes because he grew up in a middle-upper class family. The other day he commented on my store-brand sandwich meat which I was actually really excited to be able to afford.”

VodkaSmizmar commented, “I’m sorry to hear your mother had to do that. She’s a very brave lady and cares a lot about you and your siblings.”

2) Somanynamesleft wrote, “I didn’t know the financial struggles me and my mum had when I was growing up. I’m glad my mum never said anything like ‘We can’t afford that’ ’cause it wasn’t a burden for me to carry at 3-8 years of age.

“I tell this story often, but it’s a story I like to think back to. When I was 5-6, my mum took me to the beach one summer and the sandwiches she made us were our last food at home (which I didn’t know at the time). I’d swim like a maniac and I remember being all wet from the water and lying next to my mum on the beach and saying, ‘Isn’t life wonderful, mom?’

“When I was working in the CPS [Child Protective Services], parents would often say, ‘We don’t have any plans for summer ’cause we don’t have the money to do anything’ and I would think about the little me not having much but my mum doing everything in her power to have me enjoying my life.

“My mother taught me how to [cook] cheap, good food that would last long. I’m very frugal as an adult, which I think is something I learned from my mum.”

3) LyonessNasty wrote, “That thread [a thread on AskReddit] made me cry. Specifically the comment ‘Growing up really poor means realizing in your twenties that mommy was lying when she said she already ate.’”

What’s the Smallest Purchase That’s Given You the Most Joy?”

Lordperiwinkle wrote this in answer to the above question: “Story time. Many years ago, when I was in my twenties I was on a scenic drive in Colorado with my then BF [boyfriend] (super nice guy, lotsa fun). It was a snowy winter day, and we were on back roads in the mountains. There were a few scattered homes. At the end of one long drive, two little girls, both in thick purple coats, were standing by a card table filled with small stones, paintings, and crayon sketches by them, and a few odds and ends… all for sale, with quite reasonable prices. We stopped and those kids were so full of life, and so wonderful. I think we were probably the only people who stopped by. It was snowing pretty hard, after all. I picked out a few rocks, two seashells, a watercolor of a rainbow with clouds, and a teeny purple cloth talisman bag of purple fabric. I asked them if five dollars for each sister would be fair, and their eyes got so big and they nodded yes. I collected my loot, thanked them, and we drove on. When I looked back, I could see them hugging each other and jumping up and down in delight. I still have the bag and the shells, and the painting is on my wall. It was a moment of perfect joy in my life, and a perfect image in my mind’s eye: those girls with their red hair and purple coats against the snow and mountains.”

Jaresis commented, “This makes me happy. My 9-year-old daughter, who was diagnosed with dyslexia and anxiety related to it, set up a lemonade stand the other day. We figured it would help build her confidence and she might make a few dollars. She priced it at .25 cents a cup, but people kept giving her dollars. She ended up with around $40 and the biggest smile ever, thanks to kind people like you.”

Chapter 2: Stories 51-100

Dan Williams: Giver of Valentine’s Day Cards and Candy — to 1,076 Female Students

For Valentine’s Day of 2015, the female students at Edmond Memorial High School in Edmond, Oklahoma — all 1,076 of them — received cards and candy from one anonymous boy. Laura Pitcock said, “All the girls were surprised this morning.” Sarah Cameron said about the giver, “He wanted to stay anonymous, but I have a feeling a good deed like this is going to get out.” The identity of the secret Romeo did get out: Dan Williams, who said, “To know that someone cares about them, that’s the best feeling in the world, I think.” To raise the money for the Valentine’s Day good deed, he worked all summer. Molly Feigel said, “Even if it’s just for a day, it really means a lot.”

A Memorable Thanksgiving and a Memorable Gift

In 2014, lots of people asked Henry Rollins how he was going to celebrate Thanksgiving. According to Mr. Rollins, “My usual reply is, ‘Putting something frozen in the microwave and cursing the darkness,’ as I shake my fist.” In a column for the Los Angeles Weekly, he remembered his best Thanksgiving ever. It was 1980, and he convinced his boss at the ice cream store where he worked — this is before he became lead singer for Black Flag — to let him open the store on Thanksgiving for people who wanted vanilla ice cream for dessert. The boss tried to convince him to take the day off, but young Henry was persistent. Business was good that day, but Mr. Rollins remembers that “the best part was when the restaurant across the street brought me over a plate of food on orders from my boss. I ate it alone, standing up.” Another good year was 2014 because just before Thanksgiving his friend Linda Ramone, the widow of Johnny Ramone, gave him a gold record — after 40 years, the Ramones’ first album had finally achieved the gold-record status of 500,000 copies sold — in the United States. Mr. Rollins wrote, “I took it out of the plastic wrap and stared at the record, set in with Roberta Bayley’s excellent portrait of the band that was the album’s cover. There they were, Tommy, Johnny, Dee Dee and Joey, staring back. Complete and total originals, unable to be anything but this manifestation of perfect chemistry, this result of decades of rock and centuries of New York colliding at the right time and place.” By the way, Mr. Rollins believes in giving thanks — every day. He wrote, “For myself, I have found that the best thing is to be in a constant state of gratitude. It’s not difficult and allows me to get over most of the stones in my passway, to borrow from Robert Johnson. No matter how bad it gets, something good is also happening.”

Holiday Party Cancelled

On 10 November 2014, Barrelsandballs published on Imgur a photograph of a still from the American TV show The Office. This is the heading:

“For the last 7 years we’ve given our employees gift cards to buy their families all the fixings for a great Thanksgiving dinner. This year, we won’t be giving them anything.”

This is the text on the photograph:

“Holiday party cancelled: / see crying boss for details.”

And this is the text accompanying the photograph:

“16 months ago we hired a young man who was desperate and just looking for a chance, we’ll call him Ken. He had dropped out of high school at 15, got caught up in a ‘white supremacist movement’ and is covered in some heinous tattoos. He has condemned his past views but is still haunted by the daily reminders of his mistakes in tattoo form on his hands, torso, calves, and neck. We require that he wear gloves, turtleneck shirts, and full-length pants whenever on company property. He has never broken that rule and has been a great addition to our staff, always on time, always willing to help.

“First thing this morning, I was approached by our foreman and told that the crew wanted to talk with me. They informed me that instead of giving them gift cards for Thanksgiving, our version of the ‘Holiday Party’, they’d prefer the money be spent on starting the process of having Ken’s tattoos removed or covered. They had done the research, selected the clinic, and even scheduled the initial consultation on his behalf. When Ken showed up for his shift, I called him and the crew together and they told Ken what they had done. You could see the weight of the world lift off of him. He’s coming in late this Thursday, after his first appointment.”

By the way, Imgurian lwxLeprechaun commented, “Anyone else expected this story to end with ‘Ken robbed the company blind’?”

I’m Not Sad I’m Working Thanksgiving, I’m Sad My Donut Shop Is Closed”

On 27 November 2014, Redditor jkorpela posted on Imgur a photograph of himself wearing his police uniform while standing in front of a closed donut shop. The photograph has this heading: “I’m not sad I’m working Thanksgiving, I’m sad my donut shop is closed.” A little later, he posted another photograph of himself with some donuts. On Reddit, he commented, “Oh, my gosh! You guys are amazing. Thanks, Alex! Coffee to go w des [with a dozen? with these?] donuts.” Apparently, Alex saw the first photo on Imgur and sent over some donuts because the donut shop was closed.

Droconian commented, “GUYS, MY FAVORITE BANK IS CLOSED.”

YeahTacos commented, “My favorite Diamond exchange is closed.”

o0DrWurm0o commented, “Uh, hey reddit, the uh, Lamborghini store is closed today.”

More seriously, Mandycane18 commented, “I always worked the holidays when I was a police dispatcher. I was one of the only ones without kids, and figured it was more important for other people to get to spend time with their kids and families. Plus holiday pay, woo!

“Thanks for working on Thanksgiving so other people can have a safe holiday!”

Deliroman commented, “Always tried doing the same thing — I never really liked the holidays and I don’t have kids, so I figure I’d work and let other people who care be with their family as well.”

I Got This.” “Are You Sure? Do You See the Amount?” “Yes, You’re Good. Merry Christmas”

On New Year’s Eve 2013, with her husband unemployed, Maria Arias needed to pinch pennies. She said, “I don’t go and buy $200 or $300 worth of groceries. I make a menu and buy what I need.” She went to the Walmart on Highway 210 in Spring Lake, North Carolina, and came up short on money to pay her bill for groceries. She said, “I pulled out my debit card and I swiped it, and it declined it. So I did it as a credit, and it was declined.” Fortunately, a woman in line in back of her swiped her own card and said, “I got this.” Ms. Arias said, “I was like, ‘Are you sure? Do you see the amount?’ And she said, ‘Yes, you’re good. Merry Christmas.’ I was kind of flabbergasted and I thanked her, gave her a hug.” She added, “It’s very rare that you come across people, especially the younger generation, that is just willing to do something of that sort. It’s not like it was for $20. It was for almost $64.” She did not get the woman’s name. She said, “I would love to meet you again and get to know you better. Obviously you are someone I would want in my life because you are compassionate and a caring woman, and a lot of people need to know who you are.”

You Always Give Us Such Great Food. We Thought We’d Mix It Up a Bit”

A member of a family who runs a pizza place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, remembers answering a telephone call on Christmas Eve from a nearby regular customer whose family had been regular customers for ten years. The regular customer apologized: “Oh, sorry, I entered the wrong code on speed dial. Have a nice night.” But a few minutes, she showed up at the pizza place with a plate of cookies! The telephone call was simply to make sure that they were open. The regular customer gave the cookies to the pizza place employees and said, You always give us such great food. We thought we’d mix it up a bit.”

Christmas Time, You Know, You’re Lucky to Get a 10 Dollar Tip, Let Alone [Something Like This]. Wow, Man, I’m Touched”

On Christmas Day of 2014, lots of gifts were opened in the home of the Edwards family in Greeley, Colorado. One result of the gift-opening was lots of trash. Jason Edwards said, “It was mounding up pretty quick, and we filled up a couple trash bags for sure.” Unfortunately, one thing that got thrown away was a $50 JCPenney gift card. Brenda Edwards said, “Picking everything up, sorting through stuff, I guess I thought I had put it together with all my stuff.” Fortunately, the garbage man noticed it. Jimmy James, an employee of Bunting Disposal in Greeley, said, “I was just dumping the cart in the back of the truck and seen the card on top of the pile of trash.” The card did not look used, so he gave to the garbage truck driver to check whether it had a balance. Mr. James said, “I had to stay on the back throwing trash, and we kept working. I had him call it and check it, and he told me what was on it. There was $50, so I had him put it in my wallet for me and then when we got off work that day I went by Jason’s house.” Jason Edwards said, “It was kind of a shocker to me for sure. I called my wife and told her, ‘You’re never going to believe this guy; he just returned this card.’ It’s not a lot of money; it’s just basically a simple principle that someone would take their time out to do something like that. It’s pretty cool.” Brenda Edwards said, “There’s still some kind people out in the world. I just think that’s awesome. He could have easily stuck it in his pocket and went on his way.” Mr. James said, “The lady [his wife] could have used some new jeans, you know, that was real tempting. But my parents raised me better than that, and I would hope somebody would do the same for me.” Jason Edwards rewarded Mr. James with an envelope that contained $75 cash. On the outside of the envelope, he wrote, “To Jimmy, Thank you for your honesty.” Jason Edwards said, “Like we said, it’s not about the money, it’s just saying thanks.” Mr. James said, “Oh, man. We didn’t need nothing back. That’s awesome, man. That helps a lot. They don’t know how much that helps. I don’t even know what to say. Christmas time, you know, you’re lucky to get a 10 dollar tip, let alone [something like this]. Wow, man, I’m touched.”

Christmas Spirit Alive on Queen Street

This account of a good deed appeared in Ana Samways’ always entertaining and almost daily column Sideswipe in the New Zealand Herald on 3 December 2014:

“Donna writes: ‘To the wonderful manager at Smith & Caughey’s who saw how disappointed we were that the Enchanted Forest/Christmas display was closed while the Santa Parade was on last weekend. He took us upstairs, turned on the lights and animations and let us wander around without the crowds. My father passed away a few weeks ago and so I brought my Mum into the store to cheer her up … you have no idea how much you made our day. Thank you.”

Wife had to Return Some Clothes [for a Toddler] Today”

On 17 December 2014, Timothiasthegreat posted a Good Girl Gina meme on Imgur with this heading: “Wife had to return some clothes today.” This is the text of the meme: “Wife bought some clothes for our daughter yesterday, and found out we can’t afford them right now. She went to return them today, super bummed. She told the clerk we had to return it because we can’t afford them right now. The clerk chased my wife down moments later and said ‘These are yours. We got together and bought them back for you, Merry Christmas.’ Made the wife’s day.” Imgurian mwmurray commented, “I hope you filled out the customer satisfaction survey.” And Imgurian Erik604 commented, “WHO THE H[*]LL PUT WATER IN MY EYES?!?!?”

I Love You, Kiddo. You’re the Coolest Dude Here”

On 14 December 2014, while Justin Timberlake was performing at the Barclay’s Center in New York City, a 10-year-old male fan named Sal — who was dressed in a suit and tie — in the audience presented Mr. Timberlake with a gift: a bowtie. Mr. Timberland said, “Hey, man, greatest gift ever, because a gentleman can never have too many bow ties. I might have to wear that on Christmas Day.” He added, “I love you, kiddo. You’re the coolest dude here.”

What Happened in a Minute or Less, But Changed Your Life Forever?”

RiggRMortis wrote on Reddit, “I was in a gas station that doubles as a Greyhound Bus pick-up and drop-off point a few days before Christmas. They were busy, and the two clerks both had lines. While standing in line, I noticed the man at the counter in the other line was frustrated and struggling to count change to pay for his sandwich. The clerk told him several times that he didn’t have enough and that he needed about fifty cents more.

“The more I watched the more apparent it became that he had a mental handicap. He was shaking, and kept repeating ‘I’m going to miss the bus.’

“I was about ten customers back when I got in line, and by the time I got to the front, this guy was on the verge of a breakdown. He couldn’t even form a sentence any longer. I paid and set my change on the counter next to him and said, ‘This should cover it. Merry Christmas,’ and walked out.

“As I was getting in my car, he came rushing out, his sandwich in hand asking me to wait. He repeatedly thanked me and asked if he could give me a hug. I hesitantly obliged. It was a quick hug, and when we separated I noticed tears in his eyes as he said, ‘Thank you so much. I’m just trying to get home to surprise my momma for Christmas. She don’t have nobody left but me. No one would help me, but you did. I’ll tell her about you.’ He offered to give me half of his sandwich, which I declined. I sat there and watched him get on the bus with tears in my eyes.

“This moment changed my life because I realized that something so small can mean the world to someone when they need it. It also led me to my current career. For almost a year I’ve been a DSP (Direct Support Professional) for a local company helping people just like him live their lives. This is the only job I’ve ever had that I love. If it weren’t for that one random stranger, I never would have considered this job.”

Over $600 Lost, Found, and Returned

In December 2014, someone lost over $600 in an envelope at the Walmart in Franklin County, New Jersey. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan named Sian Jones of Aspen, Colorado, who was visiting her parents, found the money and turned it over to Patrolman Jeff Ollerenshaw of the Clinton Police Department because she thought that the Walmart was located in the town of Clinton. The Clinton Police Department turned the money over to the Franklin Police Department, which found the money’s rightful owner. Patrolman Dominick Zeveney said, “The owner attempted to send Ms. Jones a reward, but she refused and advised me that she was happy she could return the money, especially at Christmas.”

Ik Schiet beter!

One of the heroes of the Dutch resistance in World War II was Hannie Schaft (16 September 1920-17 April 1945), aka “the girl with the red hair,” who gave Jewish friends stolen ID cards that helped them avoid arrest and possible murder by the Nazis. She also helped distribute illegal resistance newsletters. On 21 March 1945, she was arrested and then interrogated for a few weeks and then sentenced to death. Two people took her to a field where she would be shot to death. The first person, a German soldier, shot and wounded her but failed to kill her, so she shouted scornfully, “Ik schiet beter!” Translation: “I shoot better!” The second person, a Dutch detective, then shot and killed her with a machine pistol. “Hannie” was her resistance name; her real name was Jannetje Johanna “Jo” Schaft.

I Can’t Believe It. God Planned It this Way”

On 26 September 2015, Chuck and Kristin Keating and the Bishop Shanahan High School Band, of which Chuck Keating is the director, were at the Philadelphia International Airport to greet Pope Francis. Pope Francis shook hands and started to leave in a car, but he saw the Keatings’ 10-year-old adopted son, Michael, who has cerebral palsy, and stopped and went over to him and kissed and blessed him. Kristin Keating said, “I feel so blessed. I couldn’t be happier.” She added, “I didn’t know what I could say for what the Pope had given us. So I just said, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you so much.’ And he reached out and grabbed my hand and gave it a little squeeze, and then immediately grabbed my husband’s hand and did the same thing — and then put his hands on Michael again.” Chuck Keating said, “When he stopped the car and got out, that was unreal.” Michael’s grandmother Johanna Keating said, “I can’t believe it. God planned it this way.” All of the Keatings’ three children are adopted, Michael; his identical twin brother, Chris; and his sister, Katie, age 13. Chuck Keating said that he and his wife have never regretted adopting Michael: “He’s brought us closer together. We understand the importance of a hug and a kiss. What Michael has given us has far outweighed the challenges.” He added about Pope Francis, “I think it’s the greatness of this man. He’s just so real. He lives his faith and it’s really catching on.”

Ingrid Mattson: “This is Why Canada is Truly an Abode of Peace”

On 24 October 2014, people in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, discovered that the Cold Lake Mosque — The MAC Islamic Centre of Cold Lake — had been vandalized. Some windows had been broken and the words “CANADA” and “Go home” had been spray painted on its exterior. Residents of Cold Lake scrubbed off the hateful graffiti and hung posters that stated, “Love your neighbour” and “You are home.” Nikki Williams, a Cold Lake resident, said, “I just came to help these guys get [the hateful graffiti] off the building and bring them supplies, a ladder, graffiti remover. The people who go to this mosque, I’ve been born and raised with since I was a little kid. This is their home. We don’t condone this at all. We’re a very tight community — the Muslims along with every other religion in this town — Cold Lake is their home.” Mayor Craig Copeland said, “Just what’s spray painted on the mosque, I mean, ‘Go home’ … The Muslim community here is at home here in Cold Lake.” He added, “All of Cold Lake is rallying around the mosque and the Muslim community. So many people from Cold Lake were coming up to them and apologizing and saying this by no means represents Cold Lake … There were actually several people in tears.” Genia Leskiw, MLA [Member of the Legislative Assembly] for Bonnyville-Cold Lake, said, “It’s undemocratic and un-Canadian. It’s unbelievable. It floors me. I’m so upset by this.” Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, said, “Earlier today vandals spray painted the Cold Lake Mosque in Cold Lake, Alberta with hate messages. This cowardly act is unacceptable and has no place in Canada.” He added, “Canada is a strong, peaceful, pluralistic nation, and Canadians will not stand for crimes of intolerance and bigotry against anyone. As Minister for Multiculturalism, I call on Canadians to firmly reject this and any other cowardly expressions of hatred against Canadians of any faith.” Cold Lake resident Matt Downy said, “These guys are peaceful, and I think it’s important for the community to show them that we know the difference between extremists and a religion.” Mahmoud El-Kadri, a director at the mosque, said, “I want to thank everybody. I am in my country, my home, but they assured for me that I am in my country, in my home.” He added, “I had calls from all over Canada, from Vancouver, from Ottawa … Toronto … Edmonton. When I came this morning and I felt the support of Cold Lake, I really forgot what happened. I forgot the windows, I forget about the writing … It made me feel like I am one of the Cold Lake people.” The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), which administers the mosque, issued a statement: “Today, we received an overwhelming and heartfelt response of support from friends across the community who assisted in a clean-up following an overnight incident at the local Mosque. We’re extremely grateful for the support. It is a reminder of the great country we live in and the values that we, as Canadians, hold dear.” Kanata’s Imam Sikander Hashmi tweeted, “Huge thanks to good people of Cold Lake, AB [Alberta] (incl. soldiers) for coming out to clean vandalism at mosque. We’re united against hate & fear.” Ingrid Mattson tweeted, “This is why Canada is truly an Abode of Peace.” The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the incident.

People Need to Know that This is Not OK”

In October 2014 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, an alleged incident occurred in which a man threatened two Muslim women — a mother and her daughter — who were wearing traditional Muslim hijabs. The man allegedly told them, “We are Westerners and you’re not meant to be here.” He then punched the side mirror of the car the two women were in. James Turvey, Patrick Burgess, Justin Lanz, Mark Wojcik, and two other men intervened to help the women. The threatening man ran away when Mr. Burgess and others intervened. Mr. Burgess said about the threatening man, “He was saying the worst things [to the women], racist profanities [then] he started swinging at each of us while we were trying to defuse situation as best we could.” He added, “People need to know that this is not OK. The way this situation has gotten is so not acceptable, and people need to start taking action and actively condemning this sort of activity.” Mr. Turvey said, “If you look at YouTube videos of verbal or physical assaults on public transport, there’s grown men … guys I’m sure on the weekend are watching footy talking about how tough they are — but when people are being abused or bullied on the streets these people are so quick to turn a blind eye.” Mr. Burgess criticized people who do nothing when members of a minority group are threatened. He said, “It’s the indifference of good people that is bringing us down.” Police made an arrest in the case.

We will Ask the Police to have [the Three Men Who Attacked People in the Mosque] Come and Visit the Mosque So that They Can See Who We Are and to Discuss Any Issues They May Have”

On 4 September 2015, three Caucasian men attacked three Muslim men at the Bait-ul-Salam Mosque in Langwarrin, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. A 61-year-old Muslim man’s nose was broken, and the other victims of the attack also sustained facial injuries. The mosque is the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Victoria. Imam Syed Wadood Janud said that people at the mosque have been the target of other attacks. He said that this has “been an ongoing issue and we have had people come in four times in the past three months.” Senior Sergeant Ron Barbury, of Carrum Downs police, said the attack was “obviously prearranged” and added, “The mosque is out of the way and does not attract attention. You would have to know it’s there to go there. It’s not like it’s on a main highway. It was certainly a targeted attack.” Iman Janud said that a man entered the mosque and began “racially abusing and using indecent language and cursing” the mosque’s members. Iman Janud added, “He was asked to leave and our members followed him out, but there they were met by two others and the trouble began.” He believes that the three men had been there before: “They are the same fellows; they are targeting us. It is sad that these few people in the community are against us. We endeavour to reach out to the community so that people know what we stand for.” The response of the mosque to the attack is impressive: If the three men are caught, the mosque won’t seek criminal charges against them. Iman Janud said, “We will ask the police to have them come and visit the mosque so that they can see who we are and to discuss any issues they may have. We want to be part of the community in Langwarrin and, hopefully, after talking with them we may change their minds.” Senior Sergeant Barbury said, “What drives people to do these kinds of acts I don’t know. Whether they like it or not, we have a lot of different religions and races in our community and we have to live harmoniously. Targeting a particular group of people [for attacks] for whatever reason is pointless and wrong.”

I Helped Jews. We’re All Brothers. It’s Not a Question of Jews, Christians or Muslims, We’re All in the Same Boat”

On 7 January 2015, Muslim extremists attacked the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly headquarters in Paris, France, and murdered 12 people, including two police officers. Other attacks followed, including one on 9 January 2015 at a kosher Jewish supermarket in Paris. The Islamist gunman killed four Jewish hostages, but shop attendant Lassana Bathily, a 24-year-old Muslim from Mali, saved the lives of fifteen people by hiding them in a cold-storage room. Mr. Bathily escaped and went to the police and gave them information. The police succeeded in killing the gunman. Mr. Bathily said afterward, “I helped Jews. We’re all brothers. It’s not a question of Jews, Christians or Muslims, we’re all in the same boat.”

Retired Soldiers on Reddit: What was Something that You Saw or Experienced that You Never Shared with Anyone?”

On 22 November 2014, kitch2495 asked, “Retired soldiers on Reddit: What was something that you saw or experienced that you never shared with anyone?” Here are some replies:

1) SavageHenry0311 wrote, “I gave a hungry kid my chow (MRE [Meal, Ready to Eat]) in Liberia — saw her looking at me with big hungry eyes, so I tossed it over the wire. She was happy as f[]k, sitting under a tree outside our perimeter shoveling that food into her face. She’d smile and wave at me, and I’d wave back. I was probably grinning like an idiot, too.

“A teenage/young dude came up and tried to snatch it from her, and she struggled with him. He shot her once in the stomach with his AK, grabbed the chow, and ran off. The whole thing took maybe 20 seconds.

“That little girl dug these furrows in the dirt with her heels while she was dying, like the motion you’d use to scoot under a car you were working on, only she didn’t move anywhere. Scoot, scoot, scoot … and she was done.

“I think about those marks her heels made in the dirt a lot.”

SavageHenry0311 added, “You know what terrifies me the most?

“I think that young guy showed me a fundamental truth about human nature. We’re all descendants of thousands of generations of humans who were smart enough, tough, enough, and ruthless enough to breed successfully. When push comes to shove, most people will do what they need to do to survive. If humans weren’t like this, tigers or some other predator would rule the earth. It’s that old saying, ‘Everybody is three missed meals away from being an animal’, except it happened right in front of me.

“That guy probably looked at it like, ‘I needed food, so I got food’. He was probably really, really hungry because the situation there was f[] king grim. I used to think he was some psychopathic outlier, but other things I saw on other deployments were worse in some ways, and reinforced the point.

“We lionize charity and self-sacrifice because it’s uncommon and counterintuitive.”

Szwejkowski commented, “What makes the human species successful is not violence and rampant selfishness. It’s adaptability and social cooperation.

“I’m serious — research it. We may be very, very prone to being absolute f[]ks — but [that] is not what made us successful as a species. Don’t buy into that stupid lie. What makes us truly strong is our ability to adapt and cooperate — it’s the hallmark of every successful species that can survive environmental change.

“The tigers are endangered, not because they are not mighty macho raaah enough, but because they cannot adapt to the changing circumstances we are forcing upon them.

“The people who become like rabid dogs when the sh[*]t hits the fan are the less adaptive people. The ones who would shoot people for short-term gain do so because they are incapable of cooperating and adapting to secure long-term gains. They’re ultimately doomed.”

ElbowStrike commented, “The fact that the story is so disturbing to so many people shows how true this response is. If we truly were naturally so callous as the boy with the AK, we wouldn’t be so shocked at his actions, nor would we want to do violence to him in retaliation for what he did.

“The fact that we are so disturbed by his anti-social act proves that we are social creatures.”

2) warisanatrocity wrote, “using a throwaway because I’ve never told anyone before and I don’t think I ever could.

“On a motorcade patrol in Afghanistan, our point vehicle struck an IED [Improvised Explosive Device], my best friend was thrown about ten yards from the wreckage, and impaled through the chest with a piece of metal. His face was blown half off. I’ll never forget it. I recognized half of his face, and the other half was charred bone. He died in my arms.

“About two years later, I finally got stateside, and went to see his family. They told me he wrote to them every day, and when the letters stopped coming, they knew he was gone.

“His five-year-old daughter asked me how her daddy died. I didn’t know what to say.”

Gaping_Maw commented, “Say he died doing something he loved surrounded by people who loved him.”

warisanatrovity replied, “This comment is making me cry so hard, and I want to say thank you. Finally talking about this is such a release for me.

“The worst part, the part I left out because it tears me up inside, is that my friend was trying to tell me something when he died. He didn’t have a tongue anymore.

“I’ll never know what his last words were, and I can’t give that to his family.”

Foodnetwerk commented, “But you were there for him in that godforsaken sh[*]thole, and he knew you and you comforted him. If you hadn’t been there, he would have died alone in the dirt. But he had you.

“Don’t be guilty because he didn’t have a tongue to speak. Your ear was there to hear, and that’s what he died knowing. His last words were thanks for you being there to tell his family that he loved them.”

3) brick2552 wrote, “The thing that will stick with me forever is this. Back in 2010 north west of Sanguin, Afghanistan, I was the Corpsman for my group of 4 Marines, we specialized in JTACs (guys who call in aircraft) and were supporting the Georgian Army in creating a new Patrol base.

“We get to the area where the base is going to be buil[t] (sand walls FTW) and camp out in our trucks until the bulldozers finish building the walls and filling up HESCO barriers. Around the second day near noon, we hear an explosion and see in the distance a large smoke cloud.

“We radio to see if there were any friendly forces near that area, but no coalition forces were near us. We then mount up to go check it out and as we near the site we see two adult figures running around a van that hit an IED. As we pull up there is a 6-passenger Afghan van that looks like it hit an IED, this van was DEMOLISHED, charred and the engine was on fire.

“As we dismount the two male adults run to us (this freaked us out cuz they might be Insurgents), but our interpreter was there and told us that they were brothers asking for help cuz one of the brothers had four daughters in the van with them when they hit the IED. We rush to the van and there is still smoke everywhere but we start pulling on the rear driver door and I can hear one of the daughters still screaming inside. As we pry the door open, we look inside and I will never forget what I saw.

“Inside was all charred, smoke was still coming out of the van and in the seats was what remained of the four daughters. 3 of the daughters were torn apart by the explosion with limbs and body parts everywhere. The fourth was still holding one of her sisters’ amputated hand while her other hand was pressed on her side. The blast had amputated her lower left leg going up to her pelvis. She was trying to scream but she was already losing too much blood making her lose consciousness.

“We pulled her out and I got to work trying to stop her from bleeding out, but I could only keep her alive for 15 more min. The father and uncle held her hand as she never woke up from losing consciousness. Me and my Marines started collecting the body parts of the other daughters so the father and brother could bury their remains. Their ages were 4, 4, 5, and 6.

“F[]k Afghanistan.”

In a comment, missile man quoted Mister Rogers,, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” — Mister Rogers

This Gives Them the Ability to Step Outside Their Front Door Without Fear of Having Their Legs Blown Off”

In September 2015, Mozambique reached an important milestone: It became free of landmines. A 15-year-long civil war ended in 1992, but an estimated 213,000 deadly landmines remained. Calvin Ruysen, southern Africa desk officer for the HALO Trust, a humanitarian landmine clearance agency, said, “What it means to the country is that it gives the country a great level of confidence, to now really move forward and flourish, and move on from the civil war and the war for independence. Mozambique can now show to the rest of the world it has achieved a huge milestone.” Other landmine removal agencies aided in making Mozambique free of landmines. According to the HALO Trust, it cleared over 171,000 landmines — this is approximately 80 percent of the total number of landmines destroyed. Cindy McCain, the chairperson of the board for the HALO Trust U.S., said, “We are glad to put ourselves out of business. The government is upbeat. The people are upbeat. They are just like us. They want a safe country for their children. This gives them the ability to step outside their front door without fear of having their legs blown off.”

Wendy Killian: “See You Soon, Sweet Girl”

In April 2013, Nicole Miller, an 8-year-old first-grader at Mansfield Christian School in Ohio, received a kidney transplant. The donor was her kindergarten teacher from the previous year, Wendy Killian. Just before they were taken into the pre-operation area, Ms. Killian told Nicole, “See you soon, sweet girl.” Brian Miller, Nicole’s father, said about her, “For her to be able to feel good and not live in a fog because her body’s not able to dispose of waste properly … seeing what she’s going to be like is the exciting part for me as a parent.” Ms. Killian’s husband, Stu, said, “I thought it was a great thing to do. God puts you in certain situations for a reason.” Nicole’s mother, Letitia, said about her, “She’s been excited about the thought of getting a new kidney.” Ms. Killian said she wanted to be a donor because a donor helped her son when he needed a blood platelet transfusion. By the way, A.C. Grimes wrote about Ms. Killian in an article titled “6 Badass Teachers Who Should Get Paid More Than Any CEO.” This is how the article began: “Under the best of circumstances, a career in education is a labor of benevolent masochism. Teachers spend forever and a summer crafting lesson plans for ungrateful students who draw nasty caricatures of them on their Trapper Keepers. But there are some educators who have gone above and beyond even that high bar, pole vaulting into nigh-sainthood.”

If We Didn’t Get a Transplant, She was Going to Die”

Chalk up another victory for modern medicine. Scientists have discovered a way to cure Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, which can be fatal. The illness occurs when the good bacteria in in our intestines die off and the bad bacteria take over. The way to cure this condition is with a fecal transplant. Yes, good, healthy poop is transplanted into the ill person’s colon so that the good bacteria can reproduce. In early 2014, three-year-old Avery Lee, a child who lives in the Atlanta area of Georgia, was diagnosed with the persistent bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and stomach cramps of C. diff. after she had taken antibiotics to combat a sinus infection. But on 3 July 2014 she received a fecal transplant at GI Care for Kids of Atlanta and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is doing well. Avery’s father, John Lee, said, “If we didn’t get a transplant, she was going to die.” Amy Lee, Avery’s mother, said, “It’s incredible how many people a fecal transplant can save, and help, and cure, and give life again. [Avery] literally got her life back.” Dr. Jeffery Lewis, Avery’s doctor, said, “What they’ve found is that if you take healthy bacteria from a healthy person, who has not been on antibiotics, and you place that into the digestive tract, the C. diff magically goes away. We’re talking about 90-95% response rates.” He added, “You’re putting a whole new rainforest in. You’re putting a whole new ecosystem of balance in. So, it’s the ultimate probiotic. The bacteria takes hold, it starts to repopulate.” Avery’s father, John Lee, said, “We went home that afternoon [after the fecal transplant] and I think she took a very, very long nap. And within a few days, normal bowel movements resumed, and it was a miracle.”

Growing Up as a Child, Disfigured by the Burns, I Was Bullied and Picked On. I’d Look at Those Pictures and Talk to Her, Even Though I Didn’t Know Who She Was”

When Amanda Scarpinati was three months old, she rolled off a couch onto a boiling-hot steam vaporizer on the floor. She was severely burned and had to endure several operations. Immediately after being burned, she was treated at the pediatric unit at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York. Photographs of her in the arms of a young nurse were published in Albany Medical Center’s 1977 annual report — no names were included. Ms. Scarpinati said, “Growing up as a child, disfigured by the burns, I was bullied and picked on. I’d look at those pictures and talk to her, even though I didn’t know who she was. I took comfort looking at this woman who seemed so sincere caring for me.” In 2015, thirty-eight years after suffering the burns, Ms. Scarpinati posted the photographs on Facebook in a successful attempt to locate the nurse. She said, “Within 12 hours, it [the Facebook post] had gone viral with 5,000 shares across the country. It was on the local TV news the next morning. I was blown away.” Angela Leary, a former nurse at Albany Medical Center, identified the nurse in the photo as Susan Berger. She wrote about Ms. Berger, “She was as sweet and caring as she looks in this picture.” Ms. Berger, who now oversees the health center at Cazenovia College in New York, and Ms. Scarpinati talked on the phone. Ms. Scarpinati said, “It was amazing. She just has such a gentle, caring voice, just like I imagined she’d have.” Ms. Berger, then a 21-year-old, just-out-of-college nurse in the pediatric recovery room at the medical center, said, “I remember her. She was very peaceful. Usually when babies come out of surgery, they’re sleeping or crying. She was just so calm and trusting. It was amazing.” She added, “I don’t know how many nurses would be lucky enough to have something like this happen, to have someone remember you all that time. I feel privileged to be the one to represent all the nurses who cared for her over the years.”

Tom Attwater Dies — After Raising £500,000 So That His Stepdaughter, Kelli, can Receive Life-Saving Cancer Treatment

On 29 September 2015, Tom Attwater died at home in Pattingham, South Staffordshire, England. For three years, he had suffered from a brain tumor, but before he died he raised £500,000 so that his stepdaughter, Kelli, could, when needed, receive life-saving cancer treatment. When she was three months old and again when she was three years old, Kelli suffered from childhood cancer neuroblastoma. A relapse is likely.

After learning that he had terminal cancer, he said, “I can’t just lie in bed feeling sorry for myself when there is so much more to be done to save Kelli. My own health is not my main concern because I have no chances left and Kelli does.”

Tom Attwater is survived by his widow, Joely; stepdaughter, Kelli; and son, Fletcher.

Joely, age 28, said, “Tom gave me the happiest moments of my life and I am in indescribable pain now he has gone. I knew one day I would lose him but did not think it would be this soon.

“This is a very tough time for Kelli. We explained that daddy’s ‘naughty lump’ in his head couldn’t be cured and that one day he would go to heaven while she was still a child. That’s why it meant so much to Tom to walk Kelli down the aisle at our wedding because he knew he wouldn’t be there when she is a bride, and Kelli knew this. She will cherish that moment forever.

“When Tom was in hospital and we found out that the time was getting close, I gently explained to Kelli that daddy would have to leave us soon. It was the most difficult moment of my life. Kelli is a daddy’s girl and she will struggle to adjust without her wonderful, loving father.

“Little Fletcher’s face always lit up and showed a real look of love when he was in Tom’s arms. We have hundreds of pictures of their time together and I am devastated that they will be all Fletcher has of the amazing man who was overjoyed to see him born.

“I will do my utmost to bring Fletcher up as a gentleman just like his dad.

“Tom has put cards, letters and presents away for every one of Kelli’s and Fletcher’s birthdays.

“Tom was my hero. His drive to help Kelli astounded all who knew him. Despite his extreme fatigue and daily seizures, he got out of bed every day to help fundraise. He wanted me to know that although he wouldn’t live to any age, Kelli would have the very best chance of life.

“Thank you to every single person who donated to Kelli’s appeal. Once the target was reached, Tom was able to relax and enjoy time with his family. We have such precious memories of him and will miss him unbearably.”

In September 2012, Tom Attwater learned that he had an astrocytoma — a cancerous mass — in his brain.

He said, “I remember asking doctors if I had days, weeks, months or years to live and feeling I was trapped in a film.

“When I gradually absorbed the news that I was 29 and facing the inevitable, I felt shock, then anger, then disappointment that I hadn’t yet given Kelli a little brother or sister.”

He said that when he learned that his wife was pregnant, “I cried and pretty much cried for the entire next day, maybe even two days.

“It’s the best news I’ve ever had. Having a child and making Kelli a big sister completes our family.”

Tom Attwater’s parents, Sue and Tony Attwater, spoke of him.

Mrs. Attwater said, “He worked hard and played hard but family always came first. He always told Kelli never to give up on anything but unfortunately this was one fight he could never win.”

His father added, “We are so proud that despite his illness he managed to raise all that money for the Kelli appeal. We will miss him so much. His personality filled the room.”

Lee Black, Age Five: “I got a Chair and had to Climb Up High to Open Three Locks to Help. I’m a Hero and I Got a New Playmobil Farm”

On 7 July 2015, Maria Black, age 46, suffered a stroke in the early hours of the morning in her home in Craigentinny, Scotland. Craigentinny is a suburb of Edinburgh. She and her son, Lee, age five, had been away from home for two weeks because of a family bereavement. Ms. Black, who was suffering from a chest infection, said, “I can’t remember much after we got home, just that we were exhausted after the journey and it was after midnight. My best friend, Jackie, had called me the day before and I told her I would be home, so she had planned to come and visit us the next day.” She added, “I took a stroke but I have no recollection of it. All I remember is waking up in hospital eight days later thinking I had been away on holiday. I collapsed on the couch. It must have happened shortly after we got home because I can’t remember anything. Apparently Lee had slept on top of me all night because he thought I was asleep, and in the morning he tried to wake me up by feeding me a Mars bar, and giving me some Lucozade. It wasn’t until Jackie came round the next day and nobody answered the door that she knew something was wrong.” Because no one answered the door, Jacqueline “Jackie” Hext, age 30, called Ms. Black’s house number. Ms. Hext said, “I didn’t have Maria’s house number in my mobile so I had to wait until I got home. Lee answered and said, ‘Mummy’s asleep. I’ve tried but she isn’t waking up.’” Ms. Hext went back to Ms. Black’s apartment, and Lee opened three locks and let her in. Ms. Hext said, “It was so scary. Maria was just lying on the couch breathing heavily and I knew something seriously wasn’t right, so I dialed 999 [Scotland’s emergency number].” Ms. Black was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where she spent eight days in intensive care before regaining consciousness. She said, “I am so proud of Lee. I wouldn’t be here today if it hadn’t been for him climbing over me to answer the phone. He had been trying to wake me up by feeding me a Mars bar; he’s so brave.” Lee said, “I got a chair and had to climb up high to open three locks to help. I’m a hero and I got a new Playmobil farm.”

Dr. Frances Kelsey: “Just Stick to Your Guns”

In Europe and Canada, the sedative thalidomide was routinely given to pregnant women, resulting in children being born with severe birth defects such as missing limbs. The United States, however, did not approve the drug and kept it off store shelves, as a result of the efforts of Canadian-born Dr. Frances Kelsey, who worked for the United States Food and Drug Administration. Her advice to people in similar situations is this: “Just stick to your guns.” She said, “I just held my ground. I wouldn’t approve it.” Over 100 children in Canada suffered severe birth defects because of thalidomide. Mercédes Benegbi, head of The Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada, said, “She was an example of rigour. It’s as if we were wimps in Canada. On the basis of the same data, we said everything was perfect, while it was unacceptable in the U.S. Someone here didn’t do their job.” After receiving her undergraduate and masters degrees in science at McGill University in Montreal, Ms. Kelsey applied for a job as a research assistant at the University of Chicago, and she received an acceptance letter that addressed her as “Mr.” She said, “To this day, I do not know if my name had been Elizabeth or Mary Jane, whether I would have gotten that first big step up.” She got a medical degree, worked for a while at the American Medical Association Journal, and took a job at the FDA in Washington D.C. In 1960, after she had been working at the FDA for only a month, she was given the task of deciding whether or not to approve thalidomide, which had been used in Europe for years and was made by U.S. drug-maker William S. Merrell Co. of Cincinnati, for use in the U.S. Dr. Kelsey said, “They figured it was so popular in Europe, so I would be a pushover.” But information about the safety of the drug was lacking. She said, “The information as presented was very sketchy.” She added, “The company wasn’t happy with me. They thought I was being pretty stubborn. They just wanted to sell their drug.” Representatives of the drug company kept trying to persuade her to approve the drug. She said, “I just didn’t like it from the start. It was just too overblown. And they didn’t have any evidence to submit. They were so sure it was good because of its popularity in England. They couldn’t understand what I was fussing about.” She did not approve the drug, and soon reports of birth defects linked to the drug began coming from Europe, and European countries began to ban the drug. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy gave her an award. She said, “It was a lovely day, and he was very handsome.” In 2010, the FDA named a prize after her. President Barack Obama also sent this message to her: “Our country relies on dedicated public servants like Dr. Kelsey to create a better, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.” Best of all, she kept many children from being born without severe birth defects.

Dr. Sara Josephine Baker: “The Way to Keep People from Dying from Disease, It Struck Me Suddenly, was to Keep Them from Falling Ill. Healthy People Didn’t Die. That Sounds like a Completely Absurd and Witless Remark, But at That Time It Really was a Startling Idea”

Sara Josephine Baker, M.D. (1873-1945), did much work in preventive medicine and the reduction of infant mortality while working for the Health Department in New York City. She was a problem-solver. For example, she wanted to give smallpox vaccinations to vagrants in New York City’s Bowery, but the transients were unwilling to go to the Health Department to give the shots. Therefore, she and other people working for her went to the Bowery flophouses at three or four in the morning and vaccinated each transient before they woke up enough to complain. Dr. Baker was involved with identifying an Irish cook named Mary Malone as Typhoid Mary, who did not suffer from typhoid but whose body harbored the disease and spread it to other people. George A Soper, a sanitary engineer in the Department of Health, had noticed that Ms. Malone had been the cook for several families who suffered an outbreak of typhoid fever. He asked Dr. Baker to get urine and stool samples from Ms. Malone so they could be tested for typhoid. Dr. Baker met with Ms. Malone twice, but she was unwilling to give the samples. At their second meeting, Ms. Malone attacked Dr. Baker with a kitchen knife. Dr. Baker called for help, and an ambulance took Ms. Malone to a hospital laboratory. Dr. Baker said, “I literally sat on her all the way. It was like being in a cage with an angry lion.” Ms. Malone was identified as the carrier and placed in quarantine. Dr. Baker’s emphasis on preventive medicine was new at the time. She said, “The way to keep people from dying from disease, it struck me suddenly, was to keep them from falling ill. Healthy people didn’t die. That sounds like a completely absurd and witless remark, but at that time it really was a startling idea.” The New York City tenements on the lower east side had a high infant mortality rate, so Dr. Baker had nurses pay visits to the immigrant mothers there and recommend these things: breast-feeding (in the days before pasteurization, milk from cows could be unsafe for babies), clothing that did not bind the baby (some babies suffocated from too many layers of binding clothing), frequent bathing, good ventilation, and a daily visit to the park. The nurses also made repeat visits to check on the health of the mothers and babies. The neighborhood suffered 1,200 fewer infant deaths than the previous summer. Some babies became blind from gonorrheal infection, something that could be prevented if immediately after birth they were given a dose of a 1% silver nitrate solution in both eyes. The dose needed to be exact, and Dr. Baker came up with a solution: two beeswax capsules that each contained the correct dosage for one eye. The capsules were packaged with a sterile needle that punctured the beeswax capsules and withdrew the solution. Within two years, blindness decreased from 300 babies per year to three per year. When Dr. Baker began working in New York City, the infant mortality rate was 111 per thousand. When she retired in 1923, the infant mortality rate was 66 per thousand.

Janis Burns: Enlightener of Politicians

It is a good deed to enlighten politicians. In July 2015, Janis Burns wrote this letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron:

“Dear Mr Cameron,

“On Wednesday morning this week I returned to work at 0800. I worked the weekend in Intensive Care as a junior doctor, for your information I was working from 2000 to 0900 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday i.e. I was part of the team that provided a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year service. My consultant started his weekend of work at 1700 on the Friday. He finished at 0800 on Monday morning. He didn’t go home until well after we had started our night shift and he was in before we went home in the morning. We also disturbed him overnight to tell him about our unstable patients. He didn’t grumble once. Our anaesthetic consultant didn’t grumble when we took a patient back to theatre for bleeding in the middle of the night, nor did he grumble when he was anaesthetising an emergency case the following night. The consultant surgeon also didn’t grumble. Your irresponsible colleague Jeremy Hunt seems hell bent on suggesting to the public that there is no 7 day a week service and that consultants do not work weekends. I have submitted a request, via the Freedom of Information Act, to the Department of Health last night to quantify how many consultants currently opt out of weekend working. I look forward to finding out.

“In the middle of the night my colleagues (doctors AND nurses AND radiographers AND healthcare assistants) and myself were assessing patients with multi-organ failure being supported with complex devices, these patients are teetering on the brink of death all the time. At the end of my 3 night stint, just when I was at my lowest ebb, a patient got really sick. You try managing that after you’ve been up all night and then tell me the NHS isn’t 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year. When you have personal experience of that, I would like you to look me, and every other doctor in the NHS, in the eye and tell us that you genuinely believe that we are being adequately paid for all the responsibility that rests on our shoulders.

“Let’s put things in to context. An assistant manager in Pret-a-Manger has a salary of £29,500 and a manager £40,800. In other roles their starting hourly rate is £7.70/hr everywhere except inside London where they pay £7.90/hr. On the current pay system a doctor has to work for a minimum of nine years after graduating from their five-year degree course before they have a basic salary higher than a manager who works in Pret. How much student debt did people working in these roles accrue?

“On Monday night I did something Jeremy Hunt has openly chastised. I worked another night shift as a locum in another hospital. Why did I do this? Because I, 34 years old, did not want to have to borrow money, yet again, from my elderly parents. It’s embarrassing but you see I studied medicine as a second degree. I am Scottish but studied in England and therefore was liable for all my tuition fees and did not receive the NHS bursary, unlike my European colleagues. Sadly, during those four years, the student loans did not even cover my rent. I accumulated £20,000 professional studies loan and £7,000 of credit card debt. Over £1,000/month of my salary is used for debt repayment and I still have 26 more months to pay before I am only left with my student loan repayment. Living in London, my rent is £926/month. How much of my salary do you think I actually get to enjoy? Do you think I will ever be able to afford to buy a one bedroom flat in London? I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to own the flat I live in, neither do you apparently but yet you seem hell bent on making it impossible for me.

“This month I have to pay £325 upfront in cash for a mandatory course as part of my training in anaesthesia. I will get that money back, eventually, but to be honest it will then be used up as I need to sit an exam, again, mandatory for my training. Those exams are tough and I may not pass it on my first attempt. Surprisingly enough, the NHS doesn’t pay for continuing professional development, I will need to study for this in my free time if I want to progress and yet you claim to want a world class service? How do you anticipate that will happen when you and your health minister have no idea what life as a doctor is like? I would relish the opportunity to have you shadow us on a night shift, but you won’t.

“Has any of the above made you think that it’s not quite such a rosy life being a junior doctor?

“Do I have to remind you that in order to get a place to study medicine I had to excel academically? I had to be better than all those other applicants who wanted to study medicine. I studied medicine at the University of Cambridge. In many other professions that would have been my ticket to earning mega bucks. As people frequently and correctly point out medicine is a vocation. I truly love my job and my career but I think you have lost sight of the bigger picture. It’s all very good claiming you want a world class health service but if you continue to act irresponsibly and vilify doctors by suggesting we don’t provide a 7-day a week service you will destroy the NHS.

“My basic salary is less than £50,000 after working for almost 4 years since graduation. I studied for 4 years on an accelerated medicine degree while a newly qualified TFL Tube driver earns £49,673. Can you put your hand on your heart and tell me you think this is fair? ‘Making work pay’ is your party’s current slogan. Can you explain to me exactly how all my hard work is being rewarded? My reward isn’t financial is it?. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys. If you want a world class health service you need to ensure that medicine remains an attractive career and a competitive degree course. The more you continue to vilify doctors and bully us financially the more unattractive you make it. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that results in a lower calibre of applicant and a lower calibre of doctor in the long run. Being blunt, to make it through medical school requires an immense capacity for knowledge, problem solving, resilience and good old fashioned intelligence with an enviable work ethic. You and your party have behaved disrespectfully towards my profession and the NHS as a whole. It disgusts me.

“Congratulations on your inflation busting pay rise by the way. I believe you think the right thing to do is accept it, despite stating that you think it was the wrong decision to award it. A classic statement from a politician, if ever I heard one.

“The sad thing Mr Cameron, when one of your friends or family members or even just someone you pass in the street becomes critically unwell in front of you, you will realise that whether it is the middle of the night or the middle of the day, a massive team will leap into action and that team consists of more than doctors, more than nurses, more than healthcare assistants, more than porters and more than the technicians in the labs running all the tests that we need to manage the patient. That patient will get everything they need. Perhaps then you might actually appreciate all the work we, as a team, do. You might then actually help us become a world class health service instead of working against us.

“You need to get real, not doctors. You can’t even pay doctors and nurses and all the allied health professionals an adequate salary for their scheduled hours and you certainly don’t pay us for all the extra hours that we do outside of what we are supposed to. You do realise that Trusts across England actively discourage us from reporting the actual hours we work because they can’t afford for us to breach the European Working Time Directive or actually pay us for the extra hours.

“In summary you need to pay doctors, nurses and all the allied health professionals an appropriate salary that reflects the important roles we actually do in providing the 7 day a week service that we currently provide. If you genuinely want to improve patient safety then you just need to provide more staff at every level, patients would be safer if you adopted mandatory minimum safe staffing levels and ensured these were enforced. I realise this simple, yet effective solution, is costly and perhaps that is the reason Jeremy Hunt has chosen to deliberately attack doctors.

“I look forward to your response,

“Janis Burns

”#‎ImInWorkJeremy”

An ER Doctor Steps Outside After Losing a 19-Year Old Patient”

On 19 March 2015, Redditor NickMoore91 posted on Imgur a photograph with this heading: “An ER [Emergency Room] doctor steps outside after losing a 19-year old patient. (Posted by a close friend and coworker on Facebook; We are both EMTs [Emergency Medical Technicians].)” Here are some comments on Reddit:

1) J-HOF wrote, “Wow, this really hits home for me. I lost my father earlier last year from an aortic dissection. He started feeling a weird pain in his chest and within an hour he was dead. He was a perfectly healthy 49-year-old man. The doctors kept reassuring us that he would be fine. When he died, the doctors who were working on him at the UCSD [University of California, San Diego] Medical Center were crushed. I could definitely see it in their eyes. They called my house multiple times throughout the year to see how my family was doing. Doctors do not get the praise they deserve.”

2) NewYorkerinGeorge commented on HOF’s post, “My wife’s dad died the same way, but faster. He was looking at turtles in an aquarium and keeled over. There just happened to be two EMT’s there who practically caught him, and a hospital with a great heart center six blocks away. He still died, and the doctors just could not believe it. They were stunned and confused and felt awful. Their emotions were a comfort to my wife and her family. It freed them from [any] expectation that they would ever understand [the death].”

3) SonofGizmoduck commented on HOF’s post, “Blood banker here. So very sorry for your loss. Aortic dissections scare the hell out of all of us. I’ve been in cases where we are handing out units of blood as fast as we can… where people will have their blood volumes replaced one, two, three times over and still we can’t keep them going. You’ll probably never see us… you may never know that we exist… but we’re pulling for you and working as hard and as fast as we can to keep you going… and wishing we could do more.”

4) Dr_The_Watson commented on SonofGizmoduck’s comment, “Resident in my ER rotation here. We had a blood bank worker run and jump over a chair with two units of O Neg last week. You guys [blood bankers] are dope.”

5) livinbandit wrote, “Hey there. My dad is an ER doctor, and has been for as long as I’ve been alive, always working nights. He doesn’t usually talk about patients, but he would talk about the gross things he’s had to deal with around the dinner table with the family.

“The times that I do remember, though, however rare they were, were the times he would come home, and cry in my mother’s arms because there was someone that he couldn’t save no matter how hard he tried… He didn’t think any of us kids were watching, but I seemed to always see. I’ve never had more respect for my dad than when I would see him cry because he felt like he could have done more… even if he couldn’t have.”

6) Facetus wrote, “Hi, I have been a silent spectator on Reddit for a while now and use you guys and girls to perk up most of my days recently. Thanks a lot for that.

“Just got back from a shift in ER, a job I have been doing for the past 11 years. The last year has been particularly tough, and as I was driving to work last night, for the first time really I was seriously considering the thought that it is time for me to get out of emergency medicine. Some days it is really hard to remember why we do this job. I know exactly how the doc in the picture feels.

“The strange thing is, despite the picture showing such a dark moment and bringing back some distressing memories, it actually makes me feel happier about my career choice. I think it is the sense of connection with the unknown doc in the pic and the comments and reaction of Reddit community that makes me feel this: What we do matters. (As Mel Herbert from EM:RAP [Emergency Medicine: Reviews and Perspectives] likes to say.)

“Thanks, Redditors, for not only perking up my day but also making me feel happy about life and career again. I needed to see this today.”

Martin Shkreli: American Hero

On 23 September 2015, Dan Diamond published “Martin Shkreli is an American hero” on Vox.com. In this article, he wrote, “Martin Shkreli is a greedy pharmaceutical executive. He’s the one who raised the price of Daraprim — a drug used by AIDS patients to fight infections — by more than 5,000 percent last month, before bowing to pressure on Tuesday [22 September 2015]. He’s also an American hero. We should be thanking him today.” So why is he a hero? He is so vile that he attracted a lot of attention to pharmaceutical companies that have been jacking up prices of life-saving generic drugs. Mr. Diamond wrote, “We don’t get health reform without a catalyzing moment like this.” He added that “America’s scrutiny of the generic drug industry is just beginning, all thanks to one foolish drug company CEO. And for that, Martin Shkreli, we salute you.” Note by David Bruce: Mr. Shkreli did say that he would give the drug free to people who could not afford it. But so what? Originally, the price was low enough that most people could afford it. Then he raised the price by more than 5,000 percent. It’s like you used to be able to have self-respect and pay your bills, but now he is saying that if you want to take the drug and live, you poor, pathetic person, you have to take my charity and make me look like a good guy. Jump through my hoop, little monkey, if you want to live.

Our Son [Who Lived Only Six Days] got into Harvard, Duke, and Penn. He has a Job. He is Relevant to the World. I Only Hope My Life can be as Relevant”

On March 23, 2010, Sarah Gray gave birth to identical twins Thomas and Callum Gray at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. Callum was healthy, but Thomas suffered from anencephaly and was missing part of his brain. Thomas survived for only six days; Mr. and Mrs. Gray donated his body so it could be used for science research. Ms. Gray said, “Instead of thinking of our son as a victim, I started thinking of him as a contributor to research, to science.” The Grays’ son’s corneas were sent to the Schepens Eye Research Institute (which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School) in Boston, and his liver and umbilical cord blood were sent to Duke University in North Carolina. In 2012, Ms. Gray took a business trip to Boston and called the eye institute to say, “I donated my son’s eyes to your lab. Can I come by for a tour?” This was a first for the receptionist, who said, “I’m not sure who to transfer you to, but don’t hang up!” Ms. Gray met James Zieske, the institute’s senior scientist. Mr. Zieske told her that “infant eyes are worth their weight in gold.” Thomas’ corneas had been used in a study — that has been cited by 13 other studies so far — that may help cure corneal blindness. Later, Mr. Zieske wrote her, “Your visit helped to remind me that all the eyes we receive are an incredibly generous gift from someone who loved and cared about the person who provided the eyes. I thank you for reminding me of this.” Also in 2012, the Grays went to the Duke Center for Human Genetics in Durham, North Carolina, where Thomas’ umbilical cord blood had been used in research that may one day help prevent anencephaly. They also visited Cytonet, a biotech company, which has used Thomas’ liver in research to determine the best temperature for freezing liver tissue. In 2014, Ms. Gray learned that Thomas’ retinas had been sent to the University of Pennsylvania, where they were used in research to find a cure for retinoblastoma, which is the most common form of eye cancer in children. Arupa Ganguly, a genetics professor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, wrote Ms. Gray, “It is almost impossible to obtain normal retina from a child. The sample from Thomas is extremely precious for us.” Ross Gray, Sarah’s husband, said, “It helped her get over the loss. It was part of the healing process, seeing that there’s still research going on five years after. His life was worthwhile. He’s brought a lot of good to the world.” Sarah Gray said, “The way I see it, our son got into Harvard, Duke, and Penn. He has a job. He is relevant to the world. I only hope my life can be as relevant.”

Great Boss

During July 2015 Redditor kt2133 posted this on the ExamplesOfGood subReddit: “This last year I was having a lot of health issues and bounced from doctor to doctor. I racked up a lot of medical bills in the process. I am a single mom and doing good for myself but was still overwhelmed by my finances and my health. After a short time I used up all my vacation and sick days, but my boss decided to continue to pay me as if I had never missed a day. And if that wasn’t awesome enough, on one particular day I drove two hours to see a neurologist, hoping they would help with more tests or have more answers, but sadly she was completely rude and not helpful at all. I returned to work the next day and under my keyboard was a sticky note from my boss that said, ‘Heard yesterday was rough, here is to help w/ medical bills’ with $200 attached. It’s been almost a year and I still think about how meaningful those acts of kindness were.”

The Man with the Golden Blood

Australian James Harrison is the man with the golden blood. Now aged 77, he started donating blood at age 18 and has made over 1,000 blood donations. At age 14, he had fallen ill and needed 13 liters of blood to survive chest surgery. Mr. Harrison’s blood is special: It has a rare antibody that can cure rhesus disease, which Solana Islam, a writer for InspireMore, defined as “a severe form of anaemia that causes either death or brain damage for newborns.” His blood has been used to help an estimated 2.4 MILLION babies — including one of his own grandchildren — survive the condition. Mr. Harrison denies that he is a hero: “The people on the front line, the police, the emergency services, they’re the heroes because they’re out there doing it. I just catch the train down to Sydney from the Central Coast as often as I can, read a good book, donate, and come back.” Mr. Harrison says that donating blood is quite simple: “An hour of your time is a lifetime for someone else.”

A Mountain of Stuffed Animals

In 2012, Redditor huskerfan4life520 posted a photograph of a bald little girl wearing a hospital mask and surrounded by a mountain of stuffed animals on Imgur. The photograph, which also showed the little girl’s brother, had this heading: “My cousin has leukemia and went out to the local arcade to get her mind off of things. A random teen won her all of these stuffed animals.” huskerfan4life520 explained that the teen “had a decent amount of tickets saved up from previous trips and he noticed my cousins’ lack of skills (seeing as they’re still fairly young) and came over and told them to pick out whatever ones they wanted from the prize stand along with several others. It was pretty awesome.” Two years later, Redditor concept9 reposted the photograph, and huskerfan4life520 updated the story because people asked about his cousin — fortunately, the update was all good news — in the comments: “Currently in remission. Things are good. Thanks for asking! Her counts are up and she’s been able to go back to school and slowly go back to be[ing] a little girl” and “Thanks for asking! She’s in remission. Missed a large chunk of school, but she’s back to being a normal kid now for the most part. Blood counts are good and things are good for now.”

The comments on the original post detailed some impressive good deeds:

1) princesstofu commented on the original post, “My brother had cancer as a child, he wanted to go to the carnival, every single carnie booth encouraged him to play free till he won the giant animals. He has a bunch. It was really sweet.”

2) justamathnerd wrote this:

“When I was in college, my girlfriend and I were struggling to find fun but cheap dates off of campus. Then one day we found out there was an arcade a couple of blocks away. Well, we ended up going, spending $10 on tokens between the two of us, and had a blast winning tickets and just letting out our inner child. It helped that both of us come from relatively frugal families, and so we never really got to experience the wonders of an arcade as kids.

“Anyways, after blowing our minds with awesomeness, we had our pockets stuffed with tickets. Looking at the prizes, there’s really nothing there for 20-somethings, and so we decided to give [our tickets] to a kid who was leaving and only had enough tickets for a candy bar. With our contribution, he earned some cheap toy or stuffed animal to bring home.

“Long story short, that turned out to be the most fun we had on a date up until that point, so we made a point to go whenever we needed a break from school and try and brighten a kid’s day. Usually we’d end the date at a Speedway getting $0.69 Slurpees [Not that it matters, but Slurpees come from 7-11, while Speedway has Speedy Freezes.] I miss those dates. We need to find a new local arcade.”

3) Highlandprincess commented, “My boyfriend and I do this sometimes. We just go out to an arcade for fun and get a bunch of tickets and all we can get is bouncy balls and harmonicas and such so instead we just spend like 10 tickets on candy and give the rest to kids. One time we saw a mother with 3 kids trying to win tickets and failing miserably and when we handed her the tickets she was in such disbelief she started to cry and then I booked it out of there because I started to cry. Little acts of kindness can go a long way.”

4) Whofan commented, “When I was dying from Hirschsprung’s disease as a little kid, the Toronto Blue Jays (early 90’s Blue Jays) visited me in the hospital and gave me a massive panda teddy bear. Still have it (22yro) beside my bed here (with clown nose/glasses on and my 2nd university graduation hat — which the doctors said I’d never even make it through high school if I lived). I also have a signed picture from their pitcher in my special box.”

By the Grace of God and Obvious Help from Someone in New Orleans”

On 17 September 2014, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) published this letter to the editor by Golden Richardson of Woodbridge, Virginia:

“On Aug. 4 [2014], our mother June Fleming arrived in New Orleans from Lawrenceville, Ga., for a senior citizen trip. She got separated from her group later that evening and suffered a massive stroke. Somehow, by the grace of God and obvious help from someone in New Orleans, whether a tourist or resident, she was led to the Tulane University Hospital Emergency Room entrance. Hospital staff discovered her outside and immediately gave treatment.

“We were notified on Aug. 5 and flew and/or drove to be with her. Upon arrival at Tulane University Hospital, we found that in the CCU [Critical Care Unit], our mother was receiving the best of care. She passed on Aug. 12. We would like to thank the staff at Tulane, the staff at the Passages Hospice where she was transferred on Aug. 11 and especially the person or people who guided her to the hospital that night. We walked the distance from her hotel to the hospital everyday and know she could not at age 82 make that trip in the medical condition she ultimately succumbed to, particularly at night.

“Whoever you are, you allowed us to have that last physical connection with her that we are forever grateful for. Once again thank you to everyone involved. We, the children of June Fleming, would really like to be able to say ‘Thank you’ personally. We look forward to visiting this great city in the future under happier circumstances.”

Jose Mujica of Uruguay: The World’s Most Humble President

Jose Mujica, often called “the world’s most humble President,” was the President of Uruguay from 1 March 2010 to 1 March 2015. After he stepped down from office, journalist Evan Bartlett wrote an article titled “8 reasons why we’ll miss Jose Mujica, Uruguay’s maverick president” for The Independent (UK). For example, President Mujica donated 90 per cent of his salary to charity. This brought his income down to that of the average income in Uruguay. President Mujica said, “I have a way of life that I don’t change just because I am a President. I earn more than I need, even if it’s not enough for others. For me, it is no sacrifice, it’s a duty.” Even as President, he lived on a farm, saying, “I’m called ‘the poorest President,’ but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more.” Even as President, he drove a 1987 blue VW Beetle. He and his wife even gave a hitchhiker, Gerhald Acosta, a ride to Mr. Acosta’s place of work. President Mujica also legalized marijuana because “150,000 people smoke [marijuana] here and I couldn’t leave them at the mercy of drugs traffickers. It’s easier to control something if it’s legal and that’s why we’ve done this.” During President Mujica’s time in office, Uruguay had a good economy with both a historically low unemployment rate and rising incomes. Supposedly, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but President Mujica said, “As soon as politicians start climbing up the ladder, they suddenly become Kings. I don’t know how it works, but what I do know is that republics came to the world to make sure that no one is more than anyone else.” Finally, he fought in the Resistance against the country’s former military dictatorship, and he was shot six times and spent 14 years in jail. He said, “I’ve no doubt that had I not lived through that I would not be who I am today. Prison, solitary confinement had a huge influence on me. I had to find an inner strength. I couldn’t even read a book for seven, eight years — imagine that!”

Linus Pauling: Winner of the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize

Linus Pauling is the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes. In 1954, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and in 1962, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. In April 1962, he participated in a peace march around the White House while carrying a placard that stated, “We Have No Right To Test” — the word “Test” referred to nuclear testing. Shortly afterward, he and many other people (including 48 other invitees who had won the Nobel Prize) went inside the White House to eat a meal with President John F. Kennedy, who said that his four-year-old daughter, Caroline, had watched the peace march and then asked, “Mummy, what has Daddy done wrong now?” In 1960, two years after giving a petition to end nuclear war to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, he was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) of the United States Senate, which wanted to know how he had gotten so many signatures on the petition. Mr. Pauling was suspected of being a Communist and SISS thought that a Communist organization might have helped him get the signatures, but in 1972 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) closed its 2,500-page file on him after discovering in years of investigation no evidence that he was a Communist. Mr. Pauling told SISS, “I think that my reputation and example may well have led these younger people to work for peace in this way. My conscience will not allow me to protect myself by sacrificing these idealistic and hopeful people, and I am not going to do it. As a matter of conscience, as a matter of principle, as a matter of morality, I have decided that I shall not conform to the request of the subcommittee.” SISS received no names from Mr. Pauling. By the way, in 1945, Mr. Pauling made the decision “to sacrifice part of my scientific career to working for the control of nuclear weapons and for the achievement of world peace. In the early 1950s, he discovered that some of his scientific work was not going to be supported by grants because of his political views. He resubmitted the grant applications, leaving off his name and instead using the names of his collaborators. The grants were approved.

Please Excuse Cody for Not Being in Class — I Needed His Advice. Joe Biden 9-17-14”

On 17 September 2014, Redditor appaddict13 posted a photograph of a note from United States Vice President Joe Biden on Imgur with this heading: “The VP excused me from missing classes today.” This is the text of the note:

“Mr. Blackman —

“Please excuse Cody for not being in class — I needed his advice.

“Joe Biden 9-17-14”

The handwriting was not all that bad, although some Imgurians and Redditors made fun of it. Imgurian bennybones commented, “The VP of what? Egypt? ’Cause them some crazy hieroglyphs right there.”

Some Redditors claimed that they thought the note had a different message.

Redditor hobnobbinbobthegob claimed to think that the note stated,

“Mr. Blauchnine_

“Please stun Cody for mad being on clam & needles, hun.

“G-dru.
Month.


“, For Soda
7-17-14”

Redditor SuckMyDax claimed to think that the note stated,

“M Blackman

“polearm always

“cody for mad

“being in clan

“and needles pie

“adios

“Monica for Soda

“9.[ ]-14”

Lost Keys

Ana Samways’ almost daily and always entertaining column Sideswipe in the New Zealand Herald often contains accounts of good deeds such as these:

1) Deb Preston writes: “On Sunday [4 January 2015] at New World Birkenhead, I saw this man digging in the drains looking for a set of keys that were not his, but those of a very distraught woman who had lost them. I went and did my shopping and when I came back he was still digging. He had fashioned a scraper tool and then someone came with a rake. Finally he found a set of keys, but alas they were not the woman’s, so he kept going. After picking through all the slush and yuck from the drain he found them. What a good guy. Oh, and if you have lost a set of Kia car keys, you should check in with Birkenhead New World — they have been rescued by this great Samaritan.”

2) “Yesterday’s [yesterday was 8 January 2015] lost car keys story reminds a reader of her mother in a similar situation. ‘My father, who does not drink, decided to down a bottle of champagne one New Year’s Eve and of course it all came back up. Unfortunately, it was into a drain in the gutter outside their hotel and his false teeth went with it. In the morning, my mother thought about the thousands it would cost to replace them and while my dad was sleeping off his hangover she went down and started trying to find them. She was dressed in a suit and when asked by strangers what she was looking for she said it was false teeth which were evidence for a murder investigation. She ended up with a group of strangers all on their hands and knees searching the gutter and the teeth were found.’”

3) This account of a good deed appeared in Ana Samways’ always entertaining and almost daily column Sideswipe in the New Zealand Herald on 17 February 2015: “‘I was swimming at Takapuna Beach on Saturday,’ writes Seti Afoa. ‘Halfway through my routine I noticed my car key was not in my wetsuit. I swam to the beach and looked, but after a while gave up. Some kind strangers gave me a lift home to get my spare key. I decided to have one last look at the beach and noticed a blue plastic bag I had seen earlier was still there. It was attached to my car key, which was pushed into the sand. Some kind person found it and tied it to a visible plastic bag so the idiot who lost it could find it three hours later.’”

4) This account of a good deed appeared in Ana Samways’ always entertaining and almost daily column Sideswipe in the New Zealand Herald on 15 April 2015: A reader writes: ‘A school holiday excursion to North Piha Beach with two 4-year-olds, an 11-year-old and a puppy was short-lived when half an hour into our frolic along the windswept beach I clutched my hand to my chest and panicked. Not a heart attack but an empty cleavage, where I’d hurriedly stuffed the car keys. Noooooo! I’m pretty sure we lost the spare and were looking at a) being stranded at Piha with three hungry kids (picnic locked in car) and b) huge expense to replace c) plus having to annoy hubby on a really busy day to bail us out. I retraced our steps and it began to rain. I asked any other beach walker to keep an eye out. I sent the squabbling kids back to the car and kept looking. Eventually I gave up and went back to the car to sulk. A kind Japanese couple gave us some drink and a tube of Pringles. Then all of a sudden a couple of tourists I’d spoken to earlier appeared jangling my keys. Oh my. Phew! Thanks so much. What are the chances, I wondered.”

Never in All My Years have I Heard of a Bag of Money Bouncing Out of the Back of an Armored Truck. That’s Something that Happens in the Spy Movies”

On 31 March 2015 while driving near Salt Lake City International Airport. Dan Kennedy was driving to work when he saw a large orange bag fall from a Brinks truck onto the road. The bag was a traffic hazard, so Mr. Kennedy stopped his car so that he could move the bag. He said, “I thought it was going to be light. I reached down to grab it, and I couldn’t move it.” The bag was filled with cash — 75 pounds of cash. Mr. Kennedy did the right thing and called the Utah Highway Patrol. Trooper Brady Zaugg, one of the three UHP troopers who responded to the call, said, “It was clear for everyone to see that it was just wads and wads of very cleanly stacked … $50s, $100s and so on. It was not a bag of nickels, that’s for sure.” The bag was about four feet tall and two feet wide. Mr. Kennedy said about the troopers, “That sack of money was sitting there, and they all just kind of just looked at it stunned for a minute. They all stepped back and watched.” Trooper Zaugg said, “Never in all my years have I heard of a bag of money bouncing out of the back of an armored truck. That’s something that happens in the spy movies.” He added about Mr. Kennedy, “Seals [of the individual bags] were still intact. He hadn’t disturbed it at all, so he obviously did the right thing for the right reason. … It’s not like he had to sit and have that moral dilemma. … He didn’t sit and dither on it. He immediately did the right thing.”

Lost, Found, and Returned: a 1879 Flowing Hair “Stella” Gold $4 Coin Valued at $60,000

On 4 March 2015 during the American Numismatic Association’s National Money Show in Portland, Oregon, Brian Hendelson of Classic Coin Comany in Bridgewater, New Jersey, lost a 1879 Flowing Hair “Stella” gold $4 coin valued at $60,000. He said, “When I returned to my table, I immediately saw the coin was not there. I was frantic and started to look through all my boxes of coins to see if it was in one of them. Several dealers also helped look for the coin in the inventory boxes, but it was gone. The show was about to close for the evening, and I reported the coin lost to the ANA security team.” Fortunately, collector Chris Nokes of Kirkland, Washington, had found the coin. He said, “I was going to the ANA show because I wanted to sell some coins from my collection to raise cash for the down payment on a house. Because I arrived earlier than planned in Portland, I walked to the convention center to get to know the route from my hotel. I saw a coin on the hallway floor as I walked away from the ANA information desk.” By the time Mr. Hendelson contacted the security desk at the convention center, his coin was already in the safe. As a reward for finding and turning in the coin, Mr. Nokes received a 1925 Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle, which has an estimated value of around $1,650.

If I was to Keep that Money, that would be Against Every Core Value that I Live by, and I Knew that was Not an Option So It Never Crossed My Mind”

In September 2015, Dennis Crouch, a garbage collector for the City of Moline in Illinois, found an envelope lying in an alley. Mr. Crouch said, “I […] realized there was a whole lot of cash inside the envelope.” The amount was $2,000, and it belonged to Doikel Gning. Mr. Crouch realized that he could not keep the money: “If I was to keep that money, that would be against every core value that I live by, and I knew that was not an option so it never crossed my mind.” Mr. Gning said that when he noticed the money was missing, “I kept looking in my car and my apartment in my house, and then I realized, ‘Wow, I looked everywhere.’” He went to the police station and discovered that the money had already been turned in. He said, “We`re living in very hard times right now, where everybody`s hurting, but we still have out there good people.”

I Really have Changed. A Few Years Ago, I Just Would’ve Cashed [the Money Order] and Wouldn’t have Thought Twice About It”

In April 2015, homeless teenager Montrez Jefferies found a $500 money order in Durham, North Carolina. He said, “Making a lot of bad decisions and getting in trouble at school and then getting involved in gangs — that’s how I ended up here.” “Here” is the Durham Rescue Mission’s Center for Hope. Mr. Jefferies said, “I really have changed. A few years ago, I just would’ve cashed [the money order] and wouldn’t have thought twice about it.” He added, “My mom always said do to others what I’d want them to do to me. I feel like if somebody found something that I had dropped and it had my name on it, I’d want them to take it back to somebody so they could give it back to me.” The staff at the Durham Rescue Mission found the owner of the money order and arranged a meeting so that Mr. Jefferies could return the money order to her. She did not want to be identified, but she gave Mr. Jefferies two gift cards and a hug, saying, “Thank you for returning it and you didn’t cash it.” Rob Tart of the Durham Rescue Mission said, “It just goes to show you there are still good people in the world.”

Lost, Found, and Returned: A Wallet with 23 $100 Bills

On 1 September 2015, Tommy O’Connor, a senior at Irvington High School in Fremont, California, found a wallet with 23 $100 bills while walking to a 7-Eleven with his brother. He said, “It was like a bunch of hundreds.” He added, “I didn’t count it when I saw it. I just thought it was probably someone’s rent or something.” He immediately gave the wallet and money to a teacher’s assistant. The money belonged to a veteran, who left Tommy a $50 reward. Sherry O’Connor, Tommy’s mother, said that Tommy wanted the money to get back to its rightful owner. She said that he told her, “Mom, if it doesn’t get back to the right person, they won’t pay their rent.” Ron O’Connor, Tommy’s father, said, “With us living month-to-month, it is a big chunk of money and I’m so proud of him that he did that.” Tommy’s mother sent him this text message: “I’m very proud of you, son. […] Wow, you’re one in a million. Love you to the moon and back.” Tommy replied, “You should be thanking yourself. You raised me.” Ron O’Connor said, “I’m just proud that he did the right thing, and hopefully all of my children would’ve done the same thing.” Tommy said, “I’m just doing something I wish everyone else would do.”

I’m an Honest Man Trying to Earn Honest Money. Even Tomorrow if I Find a Bag with Dhs5 Million, I’d Still Return It”

In December 2014, Sharjah cabbie Mubien Al Haq, who for 27 years has driven in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), found a bag containing Dhs100,000 in the back of his taxi in United Arab Emirates. He handed over the money to Sharjah Police; an Iraqi man had left the money behind. “Dh” is the abbreviation for UAE Dirham. In US dollars, Dhs100,000 is $272,245. Mr. Al Haq received a certificate of appreciation from Sharjah Police and the Consulate of Pakistan in Dubai. Mr. Al Haq said, “I’m an honest man trying to earn honest money. Even tomorrow if I find a bag with Dhs5 million, I’d still return it.” Dubai-based salesman Hassan Baig thought that Mr. Al Haq deserved more than a certificate. Mr. Baig said, “When I read about the driver, I was very touched. It shows that there are still honest and hard-working people. I wanted to give him a gift that can actually help him in some way because he only received a certificate from the authorities.” He added, “Instead of spending our money on useless partying, I thought it would be great to reward his act of kindness.” So he launched a fundraiser for Mr. Al Haq. It raised Dhs1,500, to which Mr. Baig added Dhs500 of his own money. Dhs2,000 is $545 in US dollars. What did Mr. Al Haq do with the money? He said, “I come from a small village in Peshawar [in Pakistan] and for me and my family Dhs2,000 is a lot. I sent all of it to my family and they used it to pay for their school fees. My children were very happy they could continue school without any problems getting in the way. It has happened many times that I couldn’t pay for my children on time — but not this time.”

Lost, Found, and Returned: $127,000 in Matured Bonds

In late 2014, Phil LeClerc of Weymouth, Massachusetts, found something interesting in a secretary desk that he had bought for $40 at an auction in Holbrook, Massachusetts: an envelope containing $127,000 in matured bonds. He located the original owners of the desk and returned the bonds to them. They were a family whose 94-year-old father was moving into an assisted living facility; to pay for it, the family was selling furniture. The family knew about the missing bonds; for years, family members had been looking for them. Mr. LeClerc said that he was happy to return the bonds to the original owners: “It was a great find. It was even better after hearing the story of the family.”

Lady Bunny: Like a Dog from Heaven

In June 2014 in Juneau, Alaska, a seven-month-old Maltese puppy named Lady Bunny brought to her owners, Bonnie and Brad Gruening, a lost wallet. The wallet belonged to Rudy Vonda, a sanitation worker with Pacific Waste Management. The Gruenings called Mr. Vonda, who said, “I didn’t even know my wallet was missing. I checked my back pocket to make sure. When the lady said a dog brought my wallet home, I figured it was a Labrador or German Shepherd.” When he stopped by the Gruenings’ home to collect his wallet, he saw a small white dog that he said was not much larger than his wallet: “When I pulled up to [Bonnie Gruening’s] place, she’s coming out and she’s got her little dog in her arms and my wallet.” Bonnie Gruening said, “It was really neat because we were able to get it back to the owner. Then to find out he’s our sanitation guy, which is so awesome — they work so hard and do such a good job.” Mr. Vonda said about the return of his wallet and its finder, “That was a real surprise. It was like a dog from heaven.”

$6,300 Lost, Found, and Returned

In January 2015, Jennifer Doherty of Demarest, New Jersey, lost her wallet — which contained $6,300 — after shopping at the Whole Foods Market on Grasmere Avenue in Fairfield, Connecticut. She called Whole Foods, hoping that someone had found and turned in her wallet and money. Fortunately, Ashkhen Pogosyan, the girlfriend of Bridgeport Police Officer Kevin Cronin, had done just that. She found the wallet and money in the Whole Foods parking lot and called Officer Cronin, who handed the wallet and money over to Fairfield police officers, who used ID in the wallet to find and return everything to Ms. Doherty. Officer Cronin gave all the credit to his girlfriend, Ms. Pogosyan, and added about Ms. Doherty, “I’m glad she got her money back. It’s the right thing to do. When you find something that doesn’t belong to you, you return it.”

I Think I’ve Got Your Money”

In December 2014, Paul Riekhof put an envelope containing $1,580 on the top of his car and then he drove away. The money was from the sale of a family car, and he was in a hurry to celebrate his 53rd wedding anniversary. Of course, the envelope fell off the top of the car. It hit the windshield of a car in which were Holli Williams, of Overland Park, Kansas, and her daughter. The money scattered. Mr. Riekhof filed a police report with Prairie Village, Kansas, police, and Ms. Williams also contacted the police department. Mr. Riekhof stated, “She said, ‘I think I’ve got your money.’ I said, ‘Oh, my gosh.’” He got his money back. He said, “Two things it taught me: Never put anything on the top of the car, and secondly, never doubt your wife because she’s always right.”

What a Good and Amazing Man”

On 10 January 2014, Sharon Davis, age 71, of Portland, Oregon, was in the parking lot of a Safeway store in Clackamas. Oregon, when she dropped an envelope that contained $2,000 in cash and a $38,000 cashier’s check. She was in the process of buying a home. Fortunately, an honest man named Brian DiCarlo found the envelope and the money. He said, “My first thought is that this person, whoever it is, is a wreck, and they are probably losing their mind trying to retrace their steps.” This was true: Ms. Davis was searching for the money. Mr. DiCarlo called the non-emergency Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office hotline and turned over the envelope and money. Ms. Davis also called the sheriff’s office. Mr. DiCarlo said, “As it turned out, she was putting a down payment down on a house, and this was all for that stuff. If she loses it she can’t do what she was hoping to do, and I guess I would have hoped someone would have done it for me.” Ms. Davis got her money back; she called Mr. DiCarlo and thanked him. Ms. Davis said about him, “What a good and amazing man.” Mr. DiCarlo said, “I’m just glad I was in the right place at the right time.”

Chapter 3: Stories 101-150

Heirloom Wallet Returned

In 23 October 2014, Tim Cook was released from Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Unfortunately, he lost his wallet, which his grandfather had given to him before he died. Mr. Cook reported the loss to the police and called hospital security in the hope that someone had turned it. A few days later, on October 27, he received the wallet in the mail, along with this note:

“Dear Sir,

“I’m sorry you lost your wallet. I found it in the parking lot of Sparks Hospital. I sure meant to turn it in at the desk, but I totally forgot. I’m sorry for that also. I live over two hours away, so I thought I should mail it.

“God bless you, sir.”

The note also included a P.S.: “Sorry. I took 5.90 to mail it. I didn’t have enough [money, so I] had to use some of yours.”

Buses and Lost Wallets

On 21 November 2014, Redditor getinthecage posted a story about a guy finding her lost wallet on a bus and returning it to her. Here are some other stories:

1) RANDOM-HERO wrote, “I lost my wallet on a bus while transferring, and the next bus I asked for help. He let me on and radioed the dispatcher to radio the bus I was just on.

“The driver found my wallet on the other bus and the buses ended up meeting up and I got my wallet back. It had all my money and bus tickets for the next two weeks; they were the greatest bus drivers ever.”

2) TomasTTEngin wrote, “I was once standing on the side of the road in Italy. I’d been to the beach that morning, it was about 3pm and had just checked out of the hostel I was staying at. I was about to go to the next town. I’m standing there waiting for my friend who’s on this backpacking jaunt with me.

“I’ve been there about a minute.

“A bus pulls up. I pay no attention. The driver is shouting in Italian. I look at him. He’s waving something at me. I look closer. I pat my pockets. He’s holding my wallet.

“Apparently I left it on the bus on the way to the beach that morning. He got it and had kept it with him all day, looking out for me. The moment he saw me he recognised me. All my money and cards were intact.

Grazie, il miglior autista del mondo! [Thank you, the best driver in the world!]”

3) WooVu wrote, “Reminds me, back in the day we were going to a gig. We were the last three on the bus at his last stop, had a good crack [good and fun time] on with the driver and rather than drop us off to wait for a connection the GGBD [Good Guy Bus Driver] drove us across to the far side of the city and dropped us off at the venue. Good times!”

4) beeraholikchik wrote a non-bus story: “My friend’s mom left her purse in a cart at Home Depot. She realized it when she got home and called her cell phone out of desperation. A woman finally answered and waited there until she could drive back to the store to pick it up. Everything was still there and my friend’s mom gave the woman some cash out of appreciation. The world is nice sometimes.”

Thank You, James, for Doing the Right Thing and Letting Your Integrity Shine!”

On Halloween, 31 October 2014, James Erdman, a 13-year-old boy in Wausau, Wisconsin, found a wallet that contained several credit cards and over $50 in cash. His mother, Diane London, said, “I went to pick him up from a friend’s house Friday night. They had walked around as friends on Halloween, and he jumped in the vehicle and said, ‘Mom, I found a wallet.’” They took the wallet to the Wausau Police Department, which returned the wallet and its contents to the rightful owner. James said, “I just tried to be a nice, kind citizen and do what was best for the city of Wausau.” Ms. London said, “He has [had] a huge moral compass since he was little. He has a lot of integrity.” Captain Ben Bliven of the Wausau Police Department said, “It was a 13-year-old kid who really did a good thing, who really let his integrity shine through in this case.” On its Facebook page, the Wausau Police Department wrote this:

“Wausau PD would like to let the community know about a great citizen here in Wausau. James Erdman Jr, age 13 of Wausau, was out on Halloween and found a wallet. The wallet was full of money and other personal items. James brought the wallet home and then turned the wallet in to the police department.

“There tends to be a fair amount of negativity about the youngest generation, but there are many, many great young people in our community. Some of these young men and women will be our future leaders. They are raised with good values and do the right thing even when nobody else would know the difference.

“Thank you, James, for doing the right thing and letting your integrity shine!”

Honesty is a Big Deposit in Your Karma Bank”

In October 2014 in Corner Brook on the island of Newfoundland in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, an unidentified person found an envelope containing $1,000 cash near the Commerce Court building on Main Street. The person turned in the money to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, who were able to return the money to an organizer of a local youth sports team, who was very grateful that someone honest had found the money. On Twitter, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary wrote about the finder of the money, “Honesty is a big deposit in your karma bank.” The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary stated that neither the finder of the money and the organization that lost it wanted to be publicly identified.

The Best Thing to Do is Do What’s Right and Treat People the Way You Want to be Treated”

In August 2014, Private First Class Matthew Smith found a wallet containing about $4,000 in the parking lot of the commissary of the Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. He knew what to do: “It’s not mine; I need to give it back. I knew I had to find the owner and get this back to him, it’s just the right thing to do.” He tracked down the owner: an elderly South Carolina military veteran. Mr. Smith’s platoon sergeant, Staff Sergeant Edgardo Calderon, said, “I can depend on Pfc. Smith at any time to do whatever is right … From day one that I met Pfc. Smith, I knew he was a squared-away person.” He added, “It’s a great thing what he did. It is what is expected of any soldier or civilian. I was not surprised. I know I can depend on him to do the right thing even when no one’s looking. … He’s a great soldier, sets an example.” Pfc. Smith said about returning the wallet and money, “I feel like it was my duty. The wallet wasn’t mine; the cash wasn’t mine to keep. With that amount of money in it, I wanted to make sure personally that he got that back.” The wallet’s rightful owner gave him a $100 reward. Pfc. Smith said, “The best thing to do is do what’s right and treat people the way you want to be treated.”

A “Pretty Sweet Ending!”

On 20 August 2014, Jessie Wengert lost her wallet, which contained ten $100 bills, while on her way to Utah State University in Logan, Utah, where she is a student. She had recently returned from a Latter Day Saints mission in Birmingham, England, and her parents had given her the $1,000 to help her out until she could find work. She had lost the wallet when she stopped at a Phillips gas station in Brigham City, Utah. She said, “I remember going to the bathroom and leaving and not really thinking about it.” Later, of course, she realized that she had lost her wallet and the $1,000. She remembers thinking, “I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to go to school this semester, like I might have to move back home again.” Fortunately, Nashlah Bayayan found the wallet and money. She said, “I went to the bathroom and noticed a wallet sitting there. I grabbed it, naturally looked inside and saw $1,000 in $100 bills just sitting there tucked away.” On Facebook, she later wrote, “I froze. I didn’t know what to do. $1000 in free cash is very tempting!! Should I take the money? Should I just leave the wallet there and pretend nothing ever happened? Should I take it to the girl working at the gas station? Is taking money you found stealing?! I knew I had to do something, just walking away from it wasn’t an option for me. If I handed it off to someone else, they would be equally as tempted I’m sure, so then what?!” She tracked down the owner by finding an online family blog; she called Jessie’s mother. Nashlah said, “She mentioned her daughter was frantic and crying and all that. I actually kind of teared up while on the phone with her mom.” Jessie’s mother did not have her phone number, so Nashlah contacted Jessie’s sister, who contacted Jessie, saying, “This lady named Nash just messaged me and says she has your wallet.” Jessie drove to Murray, Utah, and met Nashlan, who gave her the wallet and the money. Jessie said, “It was a really humbling experience, just reminded me that there are good people in the world.” Nashlan said that the story of the lost wallet and money had a “pretty sweet ending!”

Gee, Thanks for Being So Nice”

On 9 September 2014, Maggie Mikkelson, age 81, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, visited the Bed, Bath & Beyond on Tatum Boulevard in northeast Phoenix, Arizona. Unfortunately, she left her purse in a shopping cart outside the store. She returned, but her purse was gone and no one had turned it in at the store. She went home and started making telephone calls to cancel her credit cards. A few days later, a package arrived for her; inside was her purse with all its contents intact, including $61 in cash. Also in the package was this note: “Dear Mrs. Mikkelson, I found your purse in the basket on the parking lot outside of Bed, Bath & Beyond on Tatum. All of your belongings are there. Also, your cash money. I am new to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. I thought of taking it to the police. But I have no idea where to find a station. I know you are happy to have your belongings back. God bless you.” The note had no signature and no way to identify the Good Samaritan who had found and returned the purse. Ms. Mikkelson said, “When Phoenix was a little town, you might have expected that. But nowadays, we have so many bad things happen, we tend to think people are bad … but you find somebody like this that they go over and above. I just think they need to be thanked.” She contacted the Scottsdale Republic and thanked the anonymous Good Samaritan publicly in an article written by editor Chris Coppola. She said, “I feel so badly that I didn’t get their name or phone number or something, so I can say, ‘Gee, thanks for being so nice.’ They said they’re new to this area … I just want to say welcome — we’re lucky we get people like that.”

Lost, Found, and Returned: A Wallet Containing $1,735

In October 2014 in Charleston, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, Jazmine Tucker took a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Charlestown bus to go to a bank, but unfortunately she lost her wallet, which contained $1,735, on the bus. Fortunately, bus driver Richard Cooper, a 28-year employee, found her wallet and turned it in to his supervisors. Ms. Tucker reported that she had lost her wallet and money, and they were returned to her on 24 October 2014.

There are Still People in This World Who Do Care”

On 12 October, 2014, Matthew, the son of Wendi Ruiz, lost his wallet as he left one job at Angelina’s in Tottenville on Staten Island, New York, and was headed to his second job at TGI Fridays by the Staten Island Mall in Staten Island, New York. Inside his wallet were all his ID papers and $260 cash. Fortunately, a man named John saw Matthew’s wallet and picked it up. Kyle, John’s son, tried to find Matthew’s phone number on the Internet but was unsuccessful. No problem. Kyle drove to an address they found in the wallet and returned Matthew’s wallet to his mother, Wendi Ruiz. Wendi wrote in the Staten Island Advance (Staten Island, New York), “He returned Matt’s wallet with all the money and cards intact. What a nice kid! There are still people in this world who do care. So the lesson here is to always have faith and pay it forward. Thanks, Kyle, what an angel you are.”

Jacob Swift: An Honest Man

On 6 October 2014, the Muscatine Journal of Muscatine, Iowa, published this letter to the editor by Troy Clester of Muscatine:

“Thank you to an honest man, Jacob Swift. A few weeks ago, I lost my billfold with my ID and a large sum of money.

“You took it in to your work, took pictures and put it on Facebook to find me — all within hours.

“So I want to say ‘thank you’ to an honest man.”

$625: Lost, Found, and Returned

In July 2014, James Naug of Athens, Texas, lost his wallet, which contained $625 at Lake Athens. Because he did not think that he would ever get his wallet and money back, he did not notify the police. He said, “I remember, I put my wallet back in my pocket when I got out of the water. I didn’t notice it was missing until I got home. I prayed whoever found it needed the money.” Fortunately for him, 10-year-old Samuel Briggs found the wallet at Athens Marina. Samuel and his father took the wallet and money to the Athens (Texas) Police Department, and they were able to locate Mr. Naug, although the address on his ID was incorrect. Mr. Naug said, “Chief Buddy Hill did some research, and came up with the name of my stepmother who I haven’t seen in 30 years. She called, found my brother in Lewisville, Texas, and he found me.” Mr. Naug gave young Samuel a monetary reward. “You don’t find honesty like that anymore,” Mr. Naug said. “When I gave him the money, he shook my hand. A little while later, he asked his mother if he could get some change, and give some money to the boys who were with him when he made the discovery. He’s just a nice little boy.” Samuel’s mother, Lyndi Briggs, said about her son and the boys who were with him when he found the wallet, “They felt like they’d found a treasure.” The boys who were him are Seth Briggs, Owen Grey, and Eli Rincon.

Free Beer for Helpful Man

This account of a good deed appeared in Ana Samways’ always entertaining and almost daily column Sideswipe in the New Zealand Herald on 5 December 2014:

“An open letter to the guy on the scooter with the GoPro attached to his yellow helmet, from a grateful reader: ‘He pulled over and pushed my car to the side during my blonde moment running out of petrol in the middle of the road in Broadway Newmarket. He left again on his scooter without another word. Please pop into the Horse & Trap, there’s a beer waiting for you at the bar — just ask for Jason (husband, very grateful that he didn’t have to leave the kitchen during lunch rush).’”

A Great Human Being from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

On 19 November 2014, Redditor posted a photograph of this note on Imgur:

“I noticed you left your lights on. The battery will probably not have enough charge to start your vehicle.

“I left an blue extension cord on the fence and a HD battery charger beside the fence in the cardboard box. If you know how to hook it up use it to start your car. It is simple: Hook the red clip to the positive terminal of your battery and the black clip to the negative terminal. Do not touch the black + red clips together while the charger is still plugged in.

“The charger is already set on 12 Volts and Start Mofde. You might have to wait a few minutes to let the battery charge.

“Good luck.

“[Name Redacted]

It will come as a surprise to no one to learn that this happened in Canada — Edmonton, to be exact.

Redditor TwoBirdStoned At Once commented, “You guys are the coolest neighbors in the world. Wouldn’t want to live next to any other country.”

Wyiotta responded, “Don’t let Mexico hear you.”

HiZenBergh commented, “American in MA here, accidentally left my lights on when I went to the grocery store last winter. Came back to a dead battery of course. I kept asking strangers for a jump, but no one would give me the time of day.

“However they all came running when I pulled out a $20 and said that who ever could jump me would get it.

“I lost a lot of faith in humanity that day.”

And now for something else positive:

Idontgreed wrote, “A few winters back we where having trouble getting my mother’s car free from a load of ice and snow, out of no where this huge truck roars down the street, a burly looking man poked his head out the window and asked if we wanted some help. We said sure. He got out some sturdy rope and tied it to our (hitch?), and to the front of his (bumper?). He threw his truck in reverse and [pulled] our car out of the snow, untied his rope than drove off the way he came.”

Our Future Looks Brighter Because of Matt Aveni

On 24 November 2014, the New Haven Register (New Haven, Connecticut) published this letter to the editor by Jo-Ann Buccetti of North Haven:

“You don’t always hear about the kindness and good deeds done from a young adult these days. At this time, I would like to do so, to let the readers and people of North Haven know.

“My sister and I were at the Shell Gas Station on a recent Saturday evening on Washington Avenue in North Haven. I was trying to put air in one of the car’s tires and not having any success. I saw a young man, named Matt Aveni, and asked him if he would help us. He was so kind to do so. He stayed with us and proceeded to get air in the tire as I wasn’t strong enough to do so. It was so cold out but Matt didn’t let that bother him. He made sure the tire was filled.

“I thought this was so kind of him. He was such a compassionate gentleman. I want to let everyone know, especially him, that we thank him for helping people like my sister and me, who were in desperate need of help. It’s people like Matt that we need more of in this world. Our future looks brighter because of him.”

NOT EVERY GUY WHO DOES SOMETHING NICE FOR A GIRL IS TRYING TO GET IN HER PANTS

On 20 September 2014, Redditor chipbloch posted on Imgur a Matriz Morpherus memewith this heading: “My friends have been making ‘friendzone’ jokes all morning after I got out of bed at 3 AM to drive a friend home after her car broke down.” The text stated, “WHAT IF I TOLD YOU / NOT EVERY GUY WHO DOES SOMETHING NICE FOR A GIRL IS TRYING TO GET IN HER PANTS.”

Redditor absolutedesignz commented, “People wonder why I’m super nice to my beautiful female friend and don’t believe me when I say I have no romantic interest. When I was 23 I had just had a car accident. Had to quit two jobs then lost my third job on some bureaucratic bullshit.

“I was broke. About to be evicted. Had no money. And no one would help. So I was on my last leg and decided to ask this girl I hardly knew at the time as a last resort for $150 to help me out through the week. Without even questioning me she walked to Western Union in NYC and wired me money in Baltimore.

“From that point on she became my ace boon coon. When I finally moved back to NYC and tried to pay her back I had to practically force the money into her purse as she refused to accept it back.

“But no. [Sarcasm alert.] I’m nice to her because I want to f[]k. Not because she’s one of three absolutely proven friends who I’d easily die for.

“Edit: I’m 31 now.”

He Fought and Scratched Around to Find a Way to Keep Me Alive. If I’d Been Alone, I’d be Dead”

On 8 September 1991, while driving on I-15, Ken Lambson, age 63, picked up a hitchhiker who saved his life. Mr. Lambson choked while eating a hamburger, and the hitchhiker attempted to clear his throat and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until paramedics arrived and took over. Mr. Lambson said, “He fought and scratched around to find a way to keep me alive. If I’d been alone, I’d be dead.” Mr. Lambson was taken to a hospital in Provo, Utah, and one of his relatives gave the hitchhiker a lift to Salt Lake City. While Mr. Lambson, who lived in Hawthorne, California, and was on his way to a funeral in Salt Lake City, recuperated in the hospital, his wife, Jean, searched for the hitchhiker and found him. She knocked on his door and presented him with a check for $1,000. The hitchhiker was 32-year-old Jerry Tanner, an unemployed Kansas truck driver, who said, “She just about threw me into a coma. That’s three weeks’ or a month’s pay — back when I had a job.” Mr. Tanner had been driving trucks for a company in Iowa, but he quit because the company’s trucks kept breaking down. He said about his act of heroism, “I didn’t do anything that anybody else wouldn’t have done. I couldn’t just sit there and let him choke to death.”

Spider-Man to the Rescue

On 26 September 2015, Stephen Grant, age 39, accidentally cut off his finger in a lawnmower. His partner, Lucy Day, age 36, who is from Eastbourne, Sussex, England, and was pregnant, attempted to drive him to a hospital, but their car, which was also carrying their three-year-old daughter, Millie, burst into flames. Fortunately, Spider-Man came to the rescue — or at least a man dressed in a full-body Spider-Man costume did. Lucy said, “You have to laugh when you are having a bad day and suddenly you see that. I did think it was a bit strange, but in the heat of the moment I wasn’t really thinking about it.” The man in the Spider-Man costume was children’s entertainer Tom Roch, age 24, who was going to a children’s party, accompanied by his girlfriend, Kelly Bayman, age 30. He said, “We could smell unburnt petrol and could see smoke pouring out from under the car. It was like something out of an action film, I was expecting the car to explode at any second. We tried flagging them down, and when they stopped, I was shouting at them to get away from the car. We called them over to us, and they got in the car. She was saying, ‘We need to go to hospital’, so we drove over there as quick we could. All this while I was dressed in a full-body latex Spider-Man costume.” Doctors at Eastbourne District General Hospital successfully reattached Stephen’s finger. Lucy said, “We are so grateful for their help. He was only a young guy, and I think he was a bit shaken up by the whole thing. I really want him to know how much it meant. I also want to thank Steve from the A and E who took me and my little girl to the shops to get some sweets while we were in the waiting room. It was such a little thing, but it made a really big difference to us.”

A Lot of Times, We Don’t Think about Our Own Safety [While] Doing This Job”

In April 2015, Kinnelon, New Jersey, Police Officers Mark Ehrenberg and Ricky Ferriola cut the seat belt and pulled to safety an unconscious woman driver out of a burning 2006 Toyota Solara on a New Jersey road. Less than a minute later, the car was engulfed in flames. The woman would have died if they had not rescued her. They had shouted, “Can you hear me?” at the woman but received no response. After rescuing her from the burning car, they hooked her up to a defibrillator and started CPR; she was then airlifted to Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. She survived and was charged with, among other vehicular violations, driving while intoxicated. Kinnelon Police Sergeant Chris Carbone said about the bravery of Police Officers Mark Ehrenberg and Ricky Ferriola, as well as of other police officers, “A lot of times, we don’t think about our own safety [while] doing this job.”

Nicholas Sierra, Age 10: “It Wouldn’t be Fair if They Died and I Lived”

On 17 September 2015, a Tampa, Florida, school bus carrying 27 elementary school kids crashed and overturned in a four-foot deep pond. Nicholas Sierra, a 10-year-old Mary E. Bryant Elementary School safety patroller, became a hero. He carried a little kindergarten girl to safety and then returned and carried two more kids — a first- and a second-grader — to safety. He said, “It wouldn’t be fair if they died and I lived.” Only one child needed to be treated; the injuries were minor. Three Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies and the bus driver made sure the students were safe and accounted for. The bus — which was a substitute bus being used because the regular bus was being repaired — was built in 1994. Nicholas’ mother, Deborah Sierra, said about him, “He has a good heart and always wants to help people around him. I think we’re going to give him a homework pass for the night.”

The Car was Drowning and I had Just Seen Two Little Girls Screaming for Their Lives”

On 8 September 2015, Octavio Herrera of Somerton, Arizona, became a hero following a storm in Yuma, Arizona. He said, “I started hearing like ‘Help! Help!’ and my neighbor’s like, ‘Hey, you should go see what’s going on.’ And I started hearing ‘Help!’ and I thought it was maybe like little kids. But then I started hearing the desperation, so I ran into the water and since it was kind of dark I couldn’t really see, you know.” The storm had caused flooding and a car carrying two women and their babies was in a five-foot-deep pool of water. Mr. Herrera said, “The car was drowning and I had just seen two little girls screaming for their lives. They were saying, ‘Help me! Help me!’ And I was like ‘Aw, snap’ and I just like basically ran into the water, you know. And I had seen the car drowning so I just ran in there and got the girls out and the windows were down and they had the babies with them. So I just told them,’ Give me the babies,’ you know, and ‘Just jump into the water; you guys will be fine.’” One of the women gave him her baby, and other people began to help. No lives were lost. Asked if he considered himself a hero, Mr. Herrera said, “No, I’m not a hero. I’m just doing what I should’ve been doing. I’m not afraid of danger, especially when it’s someone’s life is in danger.”

You Raise Your Kids Hoping [They will] be Quality Human Beings, and Something Like this Validates That. We Couldn’t be Prouder of Them”

On 25 June 2014, brothers Michael Tirado, age 19, and Nicholas Tirado, age 14, were walking home on Slater Boulevard in Midland Beach, Staten Island, New York, when they heard a woman shrieking for help. Her idling car was rolling into the highly trafficked Slater Boulevard. They tried to stop the car by grabbing onto the trunk, which was open, but they could not stop it. Michael then jumped into the car and stopped it and turned its engine off. In the back seat, an infant was sleeping in a car seat. The woman thanked the boys and then drove away. The boys’ father, Joseph Tirado, said, “They came home and told me the story without thinking anything of it. But I said, ‘No, this is actually a really cool thing.’ I was shocked when I heard it.” Michael said, “If you see something and you can help — you should. We’re lucky. It could’ve been much worse.” A neighbor who witnessed the rescue said that the woman was carrying groceries to her car when it started rolling. Joseph Tirado said, “You raise your kids hoping [they will] be quality human beings, and something like this validates that. We couldn’t be prouder of them.”

I’ve Got Tears in My Eyes. It Scares the Hell Out of Me to Think that I was that Close to Dying. I’m Scared Now. I’ve Never Been that Close to Dying Before”

On 19 September 2014, 59-year-old Michael Patrick nearly lost his life when his van stopped on the railroad tracks at Fillmore Street and West Dixie Highway in Hollywood, Florida. He said, “I was crossing the tracks heading east. My foot got caught between the gas and the brake. It just happened so quick. I tried to get my foot out and the steering wheel accidentally turned. I hit my head on the steering wheel and it dazed me.” He added, “I never saw the train.” Fortunately, Alejandro Escobar, age 44, of Hollywood, pulled Mr. Patrick from the van, and then Mr. Escobar and Jose Añez, a 43-year-old tourist from Venezuela, pulled Mr. Patrick to safety just before the train hit his van. Mr. Añez said through a translator, “The train was approaching, and I grabbed his arms and pulled him off the tracks, as the train hit the truck.” Mr. Añez had not intended to drive on that road. He said, “It’s incredible. We were heading somewhere else, and I said, ‘No, we’re going this way,’ and [my wife] and my mother-in-law were saying, ‘No. Why?’ And I was saying, ‘I wanted to go that way,’ and that’s when we saw the van by the railroad tracks.” Mr. Patrick said, “It lights me up to think that someone would do that, a total stranger.” Roni Añez, Mr. Añez’ oldest son, said, “My father is, for me and [Mr. Patrick], a hero. He’s better than Superman. He’s incredible.” Mr. Patrick said, “I’m thankful to be alive; that’s just the way it is. It’s a life-saving thing. It’s changed my life.” He added, “I used to be, not one of the nicest people you know? I am now, though.” Tina Lewis, Mr. Patrick’s daughter, said, “I just completely broke down [when I saw a photo of my father’s mangled van]. If people get stuck, you don’t have much time to get out.” Mr. Patrick said, “I’ve got tears in my eyes. It scares the hell out of me to think that I was that close to dying. I’m scared now. I’ve never been that close to dying before.

Car Crash Heroes

On 14 November 2014, on Highway 101 in central Marin, California, a 60-year-old male driver ran into difficulty. He was slumped over the steering wheel and unconscious, and his car was on fire. His car eventually came to a stop and then caught on fire. San Rafael Police Sergeant Chris Coale said, “The fire was a raging fire; there was smoke and flames. If the person had been in the car for much longer, he would have definitely been killed.” Fortunately for the driver, accountant Gonzalo Outeiro, who works for Guide Dogs, stopped to investigate the car. He said, “When I went down there and smelled smoke, I had to get him out of the car. By the time I opened the car door, I was choking on smoke.” Mr. Outeiro had not been sure whether anyone was in the car. He said, “I was a heartbeat away from going to work. At the last second, I don’t know why, I just said I’ve got to check it out.” Sergeant Coale said, “The driver’s seat, the passenger seat, the headliner, dash was all burned massively.” Mr. Outeiro said about the driver, “He just was completely limp. The car was at an angle and in the mud. I could not get a grip on him at first.” Another passerby helped him rescue the man, and so did Ryan Fischer, an off-duty Corte Madera firefighter. Sergeant Coale said, “They did an incredibly good thing, incredibly dangerous.” Mr. Outeiro said about his own children, aged six and 10, “I hope they’re proud, and hope they realize, if someone’s in trouble, you help. If it was me, I’d want someone to do the same.” The driver is OK, and he did not remember anything. Mr. Fischer said about the rescue, “That’s what we’re here to do.”

It Would’ve been Much Worse if the Bus Driver Hadn’t been So Quick-Witted”

In September 2015, a school bus broke down on a railroad track in Buxtehude on the outskirts of Hamburg, Germany. The 23-year-old female bus driver evacuated 60 school children from the bus just before a train hit the bus. A police spokesperson said, “The B37 road is currently closed due to road works. The bus needed to take a detour through town. As it was crossing the rail tracks, the joint system broke, stopping it from going further.” The police spokesperson added, “The driver had tried to get in contact with [rail operator] Deutsche Bahn. A minute later the train crashed into the bus.” The train driver tried but was unable to stop the train. The police spokesperson said, “It would’ve been much worse if the bus driver hadn’t been so quick-witted.”

I Remember Screaming for Help as a Car Drove By”

In August 2013, 16-year-old Bailey Mcgroarty and three other teens overturned a Jeep in the town of Boston in western New York. Robert Nicholas stopped to help and applied a tourniquet to stop Bailey from bleeding to death. Mr. Nicholas said, “I’ve seen Shark Week [on the Discovery Channel]. I just got done watching; they showed how to do a tourniquet. That’s where I learned. Quickly.” Bailey suffered arterial bleeding from a severe arm laceration. He said, “I remember screaming for help as a car drove by.” Mr. Nicholson stopped. He said, “When I saw him, I thought, There’s no way I’m pulling away.” Bailey, who had a broken wrist and a broken elbow, was airlifted to Erie County Medical Center. Mr. Nicholas credited Bailey’s friends for saving Bailey’s life because 17-year-old Ryan Courteau initially applied a tourniquet. Mr. Nicholas said, “That other boy. He’s the one. He never left him.” Doctors replaced Bailey’s artery with a vein.

I was Very, Very, Very, Lucky. If He Wouldn’t have been Able to Break that Glass, I Would have Died. He Saved My Life Today. I Owe Him Eternal Gratitude”

On 16 March 2015, Larry Coulter was driving a dump truck full of stone when a balloon tire burst on I-90 near Exit 50 for Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga, New York, and he collided with a guardrail that punctured the truck’s gas tank. The truck turned on its side, flames spread rapidly, and Mr. Coulter, hampered by heat and smoke inhalation, needed to kick out the windshield in order to survive. “The tires were bursting all around me,” Mr. Coulter said. “I just kept thinking it was the end.” Fortunately, a car stopped, and Ed Brunner, carrying a metal bar, approached the truck, but the heat drove him back. Mr. Brunner then picked up heavy rocks and threw them at the windshield, cracking it enough that Mr. Coulter was able to kick it out. “I was very, very, very, lucky,” Mr. Coulter said. “If he wouldn’t have been able to break that glass, I would have died. He saved my life today. I owe him eternal gratitude.” He added, “That guy should have been a professional football player or something. That truck was engulfed in flames; it was just unbelievable.” Mr. Brunner said, “I did it because I saw another man who needed my help. God put me there for a reason. Thankfully I was able to break the window.” Mr. Coulter said, “He was my guardian angel that day. Of that I have no doubt.” Mr. Coulter was treated for smoke inhalation at Erie County Medical Center. He said, “You can’t tell when something like that is going to happen.”

It Could Have Burned Me Up and I Could Have Died. Yeah, I Owe My Life to Him”

On 15 September 2015 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Casey Dodson, age 19, saved the life of his quadriplegic father, Barton, after the van they were in caught fire. The van exploded. Barton said, “It could have burned me up and I could have died. Yeah, I owe my life to him. I don’t know what I’m going to have to do to re-pay him.” Casey said, “If I had not been with him, it would have been tragic because he was going to ride alone. It was a gift from God that I was with him.” While swimming 41 years ago, Barton was paralyzed in a diving accident. Casey said, “It makes me feel good about myself that I did that for him because he’s done so much for me in my life — I guess we are even.” Barton said, “All I saw [was] black smoke, and it was coming up around my head.” Casey said, “I’ll say the flames were about 10 feet over the vehicle, and the smoke was tremendous.” Barton said, “It could have burned me up and I could have died.” Casey said about the van, “It’s done, burned to pieces. [The fire] started right under here, under his seat.”

Hey, Your House is Burning Down”

On 24 January 2015, Bonnie Ball, age 28, and her sister, both of whom are natives of Lynn, Massachusetts, took a wrong turn in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and saw two burning buildings. The people in the building at 375 Crescent St. had left the building, but the roof of the building next door had caught on fire and the elderly couple inside were unaware of the danger they were in. The two sisters banged on the door of the building at 373 Crescent and got the elderly couple out. Bonnie Ball said, “I’m excited that I could help somebody else out, because if we weren’t here, honestly, I think they would have went up in flames, too.” According to Fire Chief Robert Houghton, “Both buildings became engulfed in flames. All occupants were removed before any type of heavy fire.” Bonnie Ball said, “It was like something sent us here to help somebody.” Erin Kelley, the daughter of the woman in 373 Crescent, said that the two sisters had rescued her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Ms. Kelley said, “They knocked on the door. They let them know, ‘Hey, your house is burning down,’ and they had just enough time.”

Someone has Got to Do Something. And I am that Someone”

At approximately 3:45 a.m. on 11 August 2015, Paul Reed woke up and smelled smoke. A house across the street was on fire on Alta Avenue in Danville, Kentucky. He said, “Someone has got to do something. And I am that someone.” He called 911 as he went to the burning home. He said, “There were flames just spitting out of the side. Is somebody home? Are they still inside? Do they know this is going on?” Once there, he stepped inside the house and yelled, “Hey, is anyone here? Can anyone hear me?” His yells woke up a woman and her son, and everyone escaped safely before the entire roof was engulfed in flames. The woman carried out of her home an urn containing her husband’s ashes. According to firefighters, Mr. Reed is a hero, but he said, “Oh, I doubt that. I’m just a neighbor.”

From My Viewpoint, It Appeared that the Fire was Behind Her and She Literally Had the Kids Out the Window”

In September 2014, a fire started burning in a Detroit, Michigan, home occupied by a mother and her three small children. Neighbor Jerome Simpson heard screaming. He said, “I’m so glad I was around because she was screaming and nobody was near.” He saw a woman holding three small children as she leaned out of an upstairs window. Mr. Simpson said, “From my viewpoint, it appeared that the fire was behind her and she literally had the kids out the window.” Smoke was pouring out of the window. He said, “I asked her to drop them, you know, and she did, one at a time.” Mr. Simpson caught each child; he estimated the children’s ages as being between one year and four years old. He then moved them away from the house to safety. He said, “You try to focus on keeping them safe … block out everything else.” The mother also escaped the fire. He said, “I told her to get down low and crawl out. And she did. The house was full of smoke. She asked me to put the kids in the car.” The mother was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital, and her children were taken to Children’s Hospital. Mr. Simpson said, “I’m just so thankful to God that He worked it out … I pray that [the mother] will be all right.”

Dear Firefighters, This is Only a House. Please Stay Safe”

Firefighters sometimes die doing their jobs; other people recognize that. In his 27 August 2015 Tucson Weekly column, Tom Danehy wrote, “After three firefighters tragically died in Washington last week, I saw a really cool handwritten sign attached to the front of a house that had been evacuated. It read ‘Dear Firefighters, This is only a house. Please Stay Safe.’”

Sorry About Your Home. It was Already on Fire When We Showed Up. We Moved Your Trucks to the Other Side of the Road. Thanks for Leaving the Keys”

On 15 September 2014, a massive fire destroyed approximately 100 homes in Weed, California, including that of Phillip and Rosanna Alvarado. Rosanna said that they had lived in their home “a lifetime. We lived there 30 years and two weeks.” Not only was their home — with the exception of the chimney — now ashes, their swing set was melted, and their motorcycles were charred. They did grab some photograph albums and money as they left their home. Phillip Alvarado lost his comic books: “About 300 of them. Spider-Man number one, X-Men, and all those.” When they returned to their home to check out what, if anything, was left, Phillip opened their mailbox and checked for mail. Inside it, he found a note that the firefighters had left. The note said, “Sorry about your home. It was already on fire when we showed up. We moved your trucks to the other side of the road. Thanks for leaving the keys.” The note was signed, “Calfire Siskiyou.” Siskiyou is a county in California. The Alvaradoes were touched that the firefighters left the note. One of the Alvaradoes (not identified) said, “I cried. That was the first time I cried. Yeah, it was really special that they cared enough to do that.”

My Immediate Reaction was to Jump into the Canal and Try to Save Them. But I Cannot Swim. So I Removed My Turban and Used It to Save the Boys”

On 27 September 2015 in Sangrur, Punjab, India, four boys who were taking part in a religious ceremony in which Ganesha idols were immersed at Sular Ghat lost their footing in a canal and were in danger of drowning. Two Sikh men removed their turbans — something normally done only at home — and tossed one end to the boys and rescued them. Inderpal Singh, who was sitting on a bank of the canal watching the ceremony, said, “I had no time to think and quickly removed my turban and threw [one end to] the drowning boys and pulled them in.” On the other bank of the canal, Kanwaljit Singh did the same thing. He said, “My immediate reaction was to jump into the canal and try to save them. But I cannot swim. So I removed my turban and used it to save the boys.”

My Brain was Completely Frozen and My Body was Not Moving. I was Just Praying [To] God, that [My Son] will be OK”

In September 2015, three-year-old Parikshith Kumar wiggled out of his lifebelt and came close to drowning in a swimming pool at a Northville Township, Michigan, apartment complex. His father, Yathindra Kumar, said, “My brain was completely frozen and my body was not moving. I was just praying [to] God, that he will be OK.” Ryan Kilgore, a 21-year-old Wayne State University student, ran to the boy and performed CPR. Mr. Kilgore said, “I never thought I’d have to do anything like this.” As he revived the boy, another man called 911, and firefighters, paramedics, and police quickly arrived. The boy was taken to a hospital. Yathindra Kumar said about Mr. Kilgore, “We’re fortunate that he was right there at the right moment, otherwise we cannot imagine what would be the situation.” Parikshith’s seven-year-old brother, Vrishabh Kumar, said to Mr. Kilgore, “Thank you for saving my brother’s life.” Mr. Kilgore said about the boy whose life he saved, “His life is so precious and amazing. He’s bouncing off the walls. Just brings me to tears on the inside.”

If I Hadn’t Stopped for that Drink, I would have been Further Down the Beach and He Would Probably have Drowned”

On 19 September 2015, ultramarathon runner Dennis Potton, a 37-year-old father of four, rescued a small boy from drowning in a rip current at Sandsend Beach, Whitby, Yorkshire, UK. While stopping for a drink at a café next to the beach, he heard a young boy shouting, “He is drowning!” Mr. Potton said, “No one was really moving so I ran to the shore; a woman pointed to where he was and I dropped my bag and went in. He was crying his eyes out and really struggling. I picked him up and started walking back in but there was such a strong rip current it kept taking my legs from under me.” The boy was believed to be approximately 10 years old. Mr. Potton said, “I’m a dad myself, and I was just overcome with emotion of how different it could have been — if I hadn’t stopped for that drink, I would have been further down the beach and he would probably have drowned.” When he finished the race, he was given a hero’s welcome. He said, “News had spread because I had spoken to a man after I got out the sea and he told people at a checkpoint, so everyone knew by the time I arrived. When I finished I was repeatedly sick — the adrenaline had kept me going, but I really crashed. My wife and children are extremely proud; they are over the moon.”

She Would have Died if They had Not Put Their Heads Together and Responded like They Did”

On 11 October 2014 at Fogarty Creek State Park near Depoe Bay, Oregon, eight people were stranded on a rocky outcropping during high tide. Three people took their chances in the high water and surf, and a Coast Guard helicopter based in Newport rescued the others one by one. Two of those who took their chances in the surf presumably made it OK to shore, but a girl ran into problems. People on the beach formed a human chain and rescued her. Witness Ray Felle, age 67, of Portland, Oregon, said, “They worked together as a team; it was more like they were a rescue crew and they weren’t, they were just kids. These people handled themselves very well in doing what they needed to do to save this girl. She would have died if they had not put their heads together and responded like they did.” He added, “Even when they were in a group carrying her away, the waves came in again and swept them off their feet.” Depoe Bay Fire Chief Joshua L. Williams said, “The quick response by a helo out of Newport made all the difference. There were five frightened, cold, wet people stranded on those rocks, I needed a helo here in 10 minutes, not an hour. We depend on the USCG helo. The surf is too dangerous and too cold for firefighters to enter the water and time is not a luxury you have when performing rescues.”

At that Moment, That Became My Child. I Reached in and I Pulled Her Out like I Would Any of My Babies”

On 26 July 2015, Angelo Mondragon, age 32, was swimming in Windsor Lake in Windsor, Colorado, when he felt sometime brush against his feet. He looked down and saw the feet of three- or four-year-old Sitlali Hernandez, who was drowning. Mr. Mondragon, the father of three children, said, “It felt like something you normally wouldn’t feel in the water. I did sort of a back kick to bring up whatever it was, and then I saw the bottom of a baby’s foot float up.” He added, “I saw just the bottom of her feet and then right then at that moment, that became my child. I reached in and I pulled her out like I would any of my babies.” He added, “I grabbed her and carried her limp body to the shore. The girl was already blue. She wasn’t breathing.” As he carried her to the beach, he yelled for people to call 911. On the beach, two off-duty nurses revived the little girl, who had not been wearing a life vest and who was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, where she was later pronounced in good condition.

Just as I Pulled Him Back, the Train Hit His Wheelchair… His Wheelchair Exploded as Soon as the Train Hit It”

At 1:30 p.m. on 15 September 2015, Ashley Aldridge, age 19, rescued Earl Moorman, age 75, after his motorized scooter got stuck on a railroad crossing in Auburn, Illinois. She barely got him to safety before the train struck his scooter. Ms. Aldridge, who did not know Mr. Moorman, said, “I’m just glad he’s OK. The only thing going through my mind was, I hope he’s OK.” She lives near the railroad crossing, and she heard Mr. Moorman calling for help. A neighbor watched her two children, ages one and two, as she went to help. As she went to help, she heard the train. She said, “His back wheels were stuck on the track. They weren’t coming out. I tried lifting the chair, but that didn’t work. Then I looked over and the train was right there. I was like, I’m going to keep trying. I tried again and I ended up lifting him just enough that I could tilt the wheelchair back and then I started pulling him.” She pulled him out of the chair to safety. She said, “Just as I pulled him back, the train hit his wheelchair… His wheelchair exploded as soon as the train hit it. There were pieces of his wheelchair clear on the other end of Auburn.” Dave Beck, Mr. Moorman’s son-in-law, said, “I was coming down to tell her thank you. I’ve hugged her I don’t know how many times today. It’s overwhelming. I can’t get over how much I’m in debt to her.”

I Think It was Just Something Random, and It Didn’t Make a Difference Who It Was. They Just Wanted to Inflict Pain on Someone”

On 16 September 2015, gunfire broke out in South Los Angeles. De Je Brewer, age 14, was in the back seat of a Ford Explorer. She was shot twice, but she protected the life of her 10-month-old nephew. She said, “I didn’t know what to do, and then I felt something hit my arm. I touched it and it was blood. So I tried to cover the baby, and I laid over him.” Another bullet hit her back. The baby was unharmed, and Ms. Brewer is expected to heal. Ms. Brewer said about being shot, “When it hit me, I didn’t feel nothing because I was shocked. But like afterward, it started hurting.” Donna Brooks, Brewer’s aunt, said, “I think it was just something random, and it didn’t make a difference who it was. They just wanted to inflict pain on someone.” She added about the violence, “Enough is enough. Any time a life doesn’t matter, we have a problem.” Ms. Brewer said, “I’m blessed.”

Have You Ever Saved Anyone’s Life? How Did It Happen?”

On 21 December 2014, Redditor Benjaha asked, “Have you ever saved anyone’s life? How did it happen?” Here are some replies:

1) dougismycat wrote, “One day at central station in Sydney, I noticed a drunk old bloke near the edge of the platform. When I saw a train coming, my gut told me he was going to fall on the tracks so I walked up near him just in case. Sure enough, he stumbled a few steps and was about to fall on the tracks when I grabbed his shirt and pulled him back when the train was about 20 metres away.

“Then I took a bite of my Mars bar, trying to be all nonchalant, but my heart was beating a thousand miles an hour. An old lady walked up to me and said, ‘I think you saved that poor man’s life.’

“I shrugged and gave a self-effacing smile, but the voice inside my head was saying, ‘F[]k yeah, I saved his life. Make me a cape, old lady, while I put my underpants over my pants, because that’s the most superhero sh[*]t you’re gonna see all day.’”

2) CaptainAwesome06 wrote, “My wife pulled a family out of a burning car when she was younger. A couple of guys who said they weren’t going to risk their lives ended up taking credit for it. She also performed CPR on a guy on a train when he collapsed and stopped breathing. I’ve never had the opportunity to save a life, except I stopped a pit bull from attacking my dog once. He still needed surgery.”

3) warshadow wrote, “Was camping with my family and some friends from work. He has a young daughter, maybe 10-11 at the time. We are camped on the shore of a really nice river. It was great to swim in, but was really deep and had a pretty good current. My friend’s daughter went into the river without her life jacket on while me and her dad were getting a fire ready to cook with. I have my back to the river, and I hear a strangled cry for help. Turn around and I see my friend’s daughter struggling and going under. My wife was pregnant with my first born at the time, and I don’t know if it was me being in dad mode, over protective or what, but I was able to cover the roughly 30 ft of distance between us in a split second. I pulled her out of the water with little damage done, and after her mom and dad finished chewing her out, she is told, ‘From this moment on, everything that you do in your life, you owe it to /u/Warshadow for saving your life today.’

“And that’s how I learned Japanese guilt has nothing on any type of guilt trip American parents can try.”

4) Handsome_Hunk wrote, “Saved a girlfriend from likely drowning after she vastly overestimated her ability to doggy paddle and tread water. Luckily I was aware that IRL [In Real Life] drowning looks just about the exact opposite of TV and movie drowning: people don’t really loudly, visibly struggle so much as they quietly go under and don’t come back up. I saw her quickly losing her breath and panicking as the boat drifted away, grabbed her, flagged down the boat, and nearly drowned myself trying to keep us both above water as she panicked and tried to climb me to remain alive.”

Heroes Include a Have-a-Go Granny on a Mobility Scooter

In September 2015 at the Liverpool city centre in England, a dog viciously attacked a man, who survived. The man tried to climb on top of a car bonnet (American “hood”) to get away from the dog. Some people came to the man’s aid, including a female old-age pensioner on a mobility scooter who sprayed water in the dog’s face. A witness said, “A man managed to get the dog off him with a stick. I thought he was going to kill the dog in the street.” The dog died from injuries it incurred as people tried to stop the attack. The dog’s victim was hospitalized, but his injuries were described as non-life-threatening. A police spokesperson said, “The full circumstances are unclear at this time and officers are working to piece together the events of this incident.”

I Don’t Care if I Get Arrested. I’m Going to Save This Baby”

In September 2014, Angela Radtke saw a one-year-old baby boy in a hot car parked in an H-E-B grocery store parking lot in San Antonio, Texas. H-E-B staff used the loudspeaker to try to find the baby’s parents, but no one responded, so Ms. Radtke used a tire iron to break the front windshield so she could crawl through it and rescue the baby. She said, “I don’t care if I get arrested. I’m going to save this baby.” She said, “It scraped up my arms and legs and back a little bit.” The baby had been in the car for at least 40 minutes, according to H-E-B video surveillance footage. The child was treated for dehydration at Methodist Children Hospital. The father of the one-year-old boy said that he had forgotten that the baby was in the car; the boy’s mother was at home. The father was arrested and charged with child endangerment.

Lambing Technique to the Rescue

This account of a good deed appeared in Ana Samways’ always entertaining and almost daily column Sideswipe in the New Zealand Herald on 27 November 2014:

“Great yarn from the letters to the editor in the UK Times newspaper: Anita Menzies was reminded of an event in the late 70s, ‘when an infant fell into a neighbour’s garden pond.

“‘On hearing screams followed by pleas for help, I and an elderly neighbour dropped our gardening tools, and struggled over the hedges and fence that separated us from the commotion. The 3-year-old girl was at the bottom of the pond; I jumped in, pulled her out, and passed her lifeless body to my neighbour. He laid her down, got hold of her ankles and lifted her up, in a lunatic fashion, to swing her around his head. Horrified and paralysed, the child’s mother and I watched as, moments later, water poured from the child’s mouth and nose, and she gave a loud cry. I asked my neighbour where he’d learned to do such a thing. He said he’d been a shepherd for 30-odd years, and when lambs were born ‘dead’ it was the standard way of making them breathe and ridding them of any birth debris. But for that old shepherd Aaron, that child would not be alive today.’”

I Don’t Know What Would have Happened if I’d been Completely on My Own and the Ambulance had Not been Called — It Doesn’t Bear Thinking About”

At approximately 7 p.m. on 18 October 2013, Kayleigh Street, age 26, suffered a seizure while driving on Silverdale Road in Eastbourne, Sussex, England. She has no memory of what happened, but she crashed into an empty parked vehicle. A man called emergency services, and an ambulance took her to Eastbourne District General Hospital, where she suffered four more seizures. A CT scan revealed a brain tumor. She said, “The last thing I remember is turning into Silverdale Road and I would have been looking for a parking space, but I don’t remember that and the next thing I know I’ve come round in hospital. I was lucky I was driving at a very low speed. If it had been five minutes earlier, I would have been on a main road.” She added, “My life has changed, it’s quite overwhelming, but it helps to talk about it because it’s something that people need to be aware of. My neuro-surgeon has told me that in about 70 to 80 per cent of cases with my kind of tumor the first time people will know anything is wrong is when they have a seizure.” Doctors believe the tumor is benign. She said about her Good Samaritan or Samaritans, “They pretty much saved me from a very difficult situation because I don’t know what would have happened if I’d been completely on my own and the ambulance had not been called — it doesn’t bear thinking about. It must have been quite a shock for them to see and have dealt with, I’m very grateful to them. I appreciate they might not want a personal thanks, but I would love to be able to send them a bunch of flowers or something.”

Relief Comes in All Different Shapes and Sizes”

In September 2015, Isabella Gregory, a 5-year-old from Kentucky, was in a McDonald’s restaurant when several law enforcement members entered. Isabella’s mother, Sarah Yockey, had told her about the funeral for slain Kentucky State Police trooper Joseph Ponder after they had seen the funeral procession. These law enforcement officials had just left that funeral. Isabella decided to buy the troopers ice cream sundaes. Ms. Yockey said, “She used her allowance she earned this past week to put smiles on their faces. She said, ‘Their friend died, and it’s not fair because he has a family, too.’” The troopers took a photo with Isabella and both Ms. Yockey and Trooper Eric Homan shared the photo on Facebook, where it went viral. Trooper Homan said, “I had no idea that so many people would share it. We agreed the ball is now in our court to pay it forward as we will soon return back to work in our communities to serve the public.” On his Facebook post, Trooper Homan wrote, “Thanks to this fine young lady who used her allowance to treat us to ice cream today after the funeral services. We needed that! Relief comes in all different shapes and sizes, thank you for supporting us Isabella, 5 year old from E-town, KY you are living proof of what makes coming to work everyday worth it.”

I Told Myself I was Going to Do Something Good for Someone Else Today, So I’m Going to Fill Up Your [Gas] Tank”

On 21 September 2015, Kat Hartman of Charlotte, North Carolina, needed gasoline, but she had only $6 when she pulled into at the 7-Eleven on Gilead Road in Huntersville. She had sold her son’s stroller to get the money to buy the gas. Her son wanted chocolate milk and asked her to buy him some at the gas station, but she said, “I had to tell him ‘no’ because I didn’t have enough money.” As she was preparing to leave the gas station, Huntersville police officer Thomas Bautista knocked on her window. Ms. Hartman said that he said to her, “I saw you were paying in change and only put a small amount in your car. I told myself I was going to do something good for someone else today, so I’m going to fill up your tank.” She added, “I immediately started [bawling] my eyes out. Not all cops are bad! This was amazing. I can’t thank him enough.”

Ms. Hartman uses Facebook and posted a photograph of herself and officer Bautista and this note about the good deed:

“This is officer Bautista. He did something amazing for me today! I walked into the gas station to get some gas. I was paying in change. Liam was with me and asked me if he could have some chocolate milk and I had to tell him no because I didn’t have enough money. I walked back out and pumped my $6.00 into my tank. I got in my car and officer Bautista came knocking on my window. He said ‘I saw you were paying in change and only put a small amount in your car, I told myself I was going to do something good for someone else today so I’m going to fill up your tank.’ I immediately started balling my eyes out. Not all cops are bad! This was amazing. I can’t thank him enough. PLEASE SHARE THIS POST SO IT GETS BACK TO HIM!”

Huntersville police Captain Scott Sharp said about officer Bautista, “He’s just one of those guys who goes out of his way to help people.” He added, “It’s just nice to see one of our officers being recognized for something they do when no one’s really watching them.”

No Sooner Than My Total Flashed Across the Screen, This Little Kid Said ‘I’m Gonna Pay for His,,, (Breakfast)”

In September 2015, Deputy Donnie Jackson of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida had a positive interaction with a small boy at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop. He wrote about it, and what he wrote appeared on the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page along with a short introduction: “We had to share this post from Deputy Jackson. With so much negative attention around law enforcement, we were so happy to see this. Please read and share!” This is what Deputy Jackson wrote, “I walked into this restaurant to get breakfast before heading to work my detail. As I enter, all eyes are fixed on me. I could only imagine what was going through the minds of the people inside the restaurant with all the negativity surrounding law enforcement officials. Nonetheless, I proceed to the cash register and placed my order. No sooner than my total flashed across the screen, this little kid said ‘I’m gonna pay for his,,, (breakfast). Shocked and flattered. I declined and his parents insisted saying, when you walked into the door, he insisted on buying your breakfast because he appreciates the thankless job you do!
It’s a good thing I had on my Oakley’s [sunglasses] because I really teared up. In closing, I really appreciated this kind act by this kid and the fine qualities being instilled in him by his parents!” A photo of Deputy Jackson, the small boy, and the boy’s father also appeared on the Facebook post. Deputy Jackson told the Huffington Post, “I’m really just sitting back and soaking [the positive reaction to the post] all up. I feel like it’s a really positive, uplifting game-changer. Hopefully people will focus on what the good [members of law enforcement] do.” He added, “In 26 years of my law enforcement career, nothing like that … has ever happened to me. It really meant a lot to me because it was kinda the first time someone actually showed appreciation — coming from someone so tiny.” 

“What Would It Hurt to Put Them Up for the Night? I Had the Extra Funds. It Made Me Feel Better that I Did This Because … I Wouldn’t Sleep”

On 26 August 2015, Corporal Che Atkinson helped a woman with a domestic dispute while he was at work at the Prince George’s County Police Department’s station in Hyattsville, Maryland. He contacted social services and a relative of the woman. The relative was supposed to pick up the woman and her one-year-old daughter. The next day, however, the woman was still at the police department lobby, sleeping. “She was now homeless,” Corporal Atkinson said. “What would it hurt to put them up for the night? I had the extra funds. It made me feel better that I did this because … I wouldn’t sleep.” He got permission from his supervisor, Sergeant Jimmy Seger, to pay for a hotel bill for the woman. Sergeant Seger wrote this on the police department’s Facebook page: “With his own money, Corporal Atkinson rented the woman and her child a hotel room. He found a child car seat and put it in his cruiser in order to safely transport the little girl to the hotel. He also bought them food and drinks. We wish this mother and daughter well in the future.” Patrolman Michael Owens, a member of the county Police Department, said, “I’m sure Corporal Atkinson didn’t know [his good deed] was going to receive this much publicity. He was just doing his job. Something like this extends a sort of goodwill to the community that one bad apple doesn’t necessarily destroy the whole bunch.” Corporal Atkinson said, “Officers go above and beyond every day. It doesn’t necessarily mean it has to do anything with money, from changing a tire to taking somebody somewhere. This is not a Corporal Atkinson thing. This is for all officers who get up every day, put on a uniform, and try to do the right thing and go home safe to their families.”

Above & Beyond: Denver, Colorado, Police Department Officer Troy Smith & Officer Ryan Vogel

Here is a 22 March 2015 post from the Denver (Colorado) Police Department Facebook page:

“ABOVE & BEYOND: OFC. SMITH & OFC. RYAN

“Late Friday night, March 13, 2015, Denver Police — District 6 Officer Troy Smith and Officer Ryan Vogel responded to the 400 block of W. Colfax Avenue on a welfare check. When they arrived on scene, they met a man who was with his wife and 6-year-old daughter. The man explained that he was going through a hard time, and couldn’t make it in Denver. He explained that the following day, he was planning to return to a neighboring city, but did not have anywhere to stay for the night. Not being from Denver, the family did not qualify for a hotel voucher. Not wanting the child to be left on the streets, the officers took them to a nearby hotel to see if they could get them a room. The hotel staff explained that they could not provide a room for free, so the officers paid for the room with their own money.

“The generosity of these officers ensured the family had a safe, warm place to stay their last night in our city.”

On the Facebook page, a few people wrote comments recounting good deeds by police officers:

1) Pam F Black wrote, “I received an emergency phone call in the middle of the night about my mom [who] was 2 hrs away [and] started headed down 1-95 [and] got to a town 40 min from hospital […] I was on empty, stopped at a gas/restaurant to try to find help [but] everyone just stared at me, I was crying but a police officer pulled my car up to a gas tank and put 20.00 of gas in my car…. I will never forget his kindness, my mom died 5 days later […].”

2) Sara Correll wrote, “I live in the small town of Wabash, IN. A couple of years ago there was a young man traveling through our town with his dog. They were homeless and trying to get to some family out west. I was unaware of the fund that local police have for emergency lodging, but someone I spoke to told me to contact them on his behalf. I did and an officer came and told us that the man could stay one night at a local hotel. We loaded the young man, his dog, and some food we got them in our van and followed the officer to the hotel. When we went to register him, we were told the dog could stay for an additional fee. Having just spent the last of my cash loading him up with supplies, I wasn’t sure how we would pull that off. But the officer said not to worry about it and pulled cash out of his wallet and paid the fee. That young man was so grateful for a warm place to sleep, knowing his dog was safe with him. I will never forget that officer’s generosity.”

3) Brian El Patrón Jeter wrote, “About 2 years ago my grandpa was going crazy because he didn’t have his nerve medicine and was coming down from it and we called the police and they came and she [asked] us what was wrong with him and we told them and they went up to the pharmacy and paid for my grandpa’s medicine, almost $100. They helped us out big time because at the time we had no money. So grateful for those God-sent police officers.”

Unified Police Department Officer Cody Miskin: Good Samaritan

In January 2015, while driving on Redwood Road in the city of Taylorsville, Salt Lake City, Utah, Julia Henkel got her first flat tire. She said, “I heard this noise, and I was like, ‘Oh no….’” She pulled over and checked out the situation. She said, “I had a totally flat tire — my first one ever. I’m 50 years old, and it was my first flat tire!” She tried to fix the flat, but she was not able to. She said, “I decided to try and make my way down Redwood Road with my flashers on going about 20 [miles per hour], when all of the sudden, I saw lights on in my rearview mirror, and an officer came to my rescue!” Unified Police Department Officer Cody Miskin fixed her flat tire. He said, “I was just concerned — didn’t want her to get hit by a car or anything like that, wanted to make sure that she was okay and safe.” He added, “You know, to me it just felt like I was doing my job. I love helping people. To me that’s the reward.” Ms. Henkel said, “I have no family here or anybody — no immediate support system, I was truly on my own, and he did not know that … I didn’t tell him any of that, and he went ahead and changed my tire.” Officer Miskin said, I love seeing a smile on people’s faces. I smile a lot myself, and I just like to make people happy, and I’m out here to serve the public …. I just want people to know that most officers are good-hearted and have that act of kindness in them. You just have to find a reason to bring it out.”

Chapter 4: Stories 151-200

Police Chief Michael “Spike” Jones: “We are in the Business of Protecting and Preserving the Constitution of the United States and that Includes the First Amendment”

In December 2014, a number of people protesting police brutality held a “die-in” at the Covington Police Headquarters in Kentucky. Organizer Nicole Comer said, “I have seen and heard a lot of hateful comments as to why we are protesting. Protesting is needed because it is not allowing these actions by these police officers who feel they can kill because they have a badge …. Unfortunately, history shows that police treat blacks unfairly and we want an immediate end to police brutality. It’s not about black and white. It’s about right and wrong.” The protestors held signs that stated “Stop Police Brutality” and “Black Lives Matter.” Recently, several high-profile cases in which a black man (Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) died at the hands of police. One of the good things that Covington Police did was to lend the protestors a bullhorn, an act that Assistant City Manager Frank Warnock mentioned at a Covington City Commission meeting in January 2015. Mr. Warnock said, “I thought it was a very good thing.” Mayor Sherry Carran said that Police Chief Michael “‘Spike’ [Jones] was in constant contact with the organizers of that event and made sure they had what they needed and that things were under control. I think we impressed upon a group of people how we do our policing.” Chief Jones said, “The folks that assembled that day were very peaceful and we were appreciative of that. We are in the business of protecting and preserving the Constitution of the United States and that includes the First Amendment. It’s the first because some people felt it was the most important. These folks were exercising that right peacefully.” On 7 January 2015, an article headlined When Anti-Police Protesters Didn’t Have Bullhorn, Covington Police Lent Them One” appeared in The River City News of Northern Kentucky. In a comment on the headline (that appeared on The River City News website, clear evidence that The River City News supports the First Amendment), Vanessa Wieland pointed out that the protestors were not anti-police — they were anti-police brutality. This is an important distinction because all responsible people, including good police officers, should be, like the protestors, anti-police brutality. This is Vanessa Wieland’s full comment: “Protesters aren’t ‘Anti-Police’ they are anti-police brutality. There is a difference and that headline is sloppy. As for the protests, cities across the nation were having them; this was about a greater degree of solidarity, and that’s pretty well-known, even to casual followers, so the confusion shown by the police as to ‘why here?’ It’s because abusers of power exist everywhere.” Mitch Ruth also made an interesting comment: “I went to school with Spike Jones, he was a good guy then and he’s a good guy now. If you got to be arrested you would be lucky to have him making the collar. I also point to the hostage situation some months ago in Latonia as testament to Chief Jones’ quality of leadership. I agree that in many cases police brutality is getting out of hand and the ‘obey me or get shot’ mentality needs to be opposed by all responsible citizens. But I can happily point to Spike and several other contentious [sic, should be conscientious] officers I know as evidence that there is still a lot of hope for the situation.” The hostage situation in Latonia, a neighborhood of Coventry, Kentucky, occurred in December 2013 when a military veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder barricaded himself in his home with his three children. He released his three children and then got in a shootout with police. He fired at police and then was shot in the arm in return fire. The military veteran then surrendered.

John Zubrinic: Good Guy Cop

On 2 December 2014, police officer John Zubrinic, who works at Arvada West High School in Arvada, Colorado, as a school resource officer, responded to a call about a woman who appeared to be very ill on the sidewalk at West 60th Avenue and Ward Road in Arvada, Colorado. The woman, age 31, was terminally ill and had walked over a mile to get her medication, but she had over-exerted herself. Officer Zubrinic drove her home. He discovered that she had very little money left to buy groceries after she had bought her medication, so he used his own money to buy groceries for her. The woman weighed 98 pounds. He also contacted Arvada Police Victim Advocates, which contacted some social service agencies to help the woman: the Arvada Food Bank and the RTD Access-a-Ride program, which will help her with transportation. Officer Zubrinic also asked the woman’s neighbor to check in on her occasionally.

“‘Can I Give You a Hug?’ I Just Looked at Him and Said, ‘Sir?’ and He Said, ‘Can I Hug You?’ I Just Smiled and I Said, ‘Absolutely’”

In December 2014 in Lee County, Florida, Gregory Cooke went to the Lee County Justice Center to pay court fees; unfortunately, he lost an envelope containing $400 in cash. Mr. Cooke said, “I didn’t even realize it ’cause I had paperwork in my hands. That’s when I had to start praying.” Fortunately, a first-floor cashier saw somebody pick up something from the floor. Cashier Nora Fort Gervais said, “I got to thinking about it, and I said, ‘Wait a minute, I did see somebody pick up something?’” She contacted Lee County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Kevin Karlsen, who reviewed security footage that revealed both Mr. Cooke dropping the envelope and someone else picking it up. Police Sergeant Karlsen got Mr. Cooke’s money back and arranged to meet at a nearby gas station to give him the money. Police Sergeant Karlsen said, “He just looked at me and he said basically, ‘Can I give you a hug?’ I just looked at him and said, ‘Sir?’ and he said, ‘Can I hug you?’ I just smiled and I said, ‘Absolutely.’” Mr. Cooke said, “With all the crazy things that are going on, and the bad press that police get … those police officers went above and beyond the call of duty for me.”

She Tried to Give Me All the Money She Had. It was about $1.25”

In December 2014, Tarrant, Alabama, police officer William Stacy was called to the Dollar General store on Highway 79 — a woman had allegedly attempted to shoplift a dozen eggs. Officer Stacy said, “When I got there, I made contact with the lady that was suspected of stealing.” As a police officer, he had once been called to the woman’s house, and he knew that she was impoverished and having a hard time taking care of her children. He said, “It was just a small glimpse into her life. It was enough to make an impression on me.” Mr. Stacy paid for the eggs, and Dollar General management decided not to press charges against the woman. Mr. Stacy said about the woman, “She tried to give me all the money she had. It was about $1.25. I told her the best way to pay me back was to never do something like that again.” A customer at the store recorded the good deed without Mr. Stacy being aware of it. He said, “The manager came up and told me later. It didn’t bother me. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.” The customer posted the video on Facebook, and it went viral. Mr. Stacy said, “My phone was blowing up with notifications and texts.” He added, “I was pleasantly surprised that something good came out of me getting a phone call on a Sunday, instead of something bad.” Some of his fellow officers even started calling him “Hollywood” for a while because of all the attention the video was getting. Mr. Stacy said, “After all the stuff that’s been going on all over the U.S. with law enforcement officers [an apparent referent to police in 2014 being accused of brutality and murder in such places as Ferguson, Missouri], this is a positive uplifting story. I’m just one out of hundreds of thousands [of police officers who] do this on a daily basis.”

The woman whom Officer Stacy helped is Helen Johnson, who shares a small apartment with five other people: a niece, two daughters, and two young grandchildren. She said that they “ate from day to day,” and that when she went to the store her grandchildren had not eaten in two days: “I actually thought that if I didn’t feed those babies, they were going to die.” She needed 50 more cents to buy a dozen eggs at the store, so she decided to shoplift. She said, “I had no idea anybody was watching me. I thought I was smooth as a criminal, and so I put three eggs in my jacket pocket.” She said that she appreciates what Officer Stacy did for her: “He did something he didn’t have to do. He just bought me eggs. Any time you see the police, you’re always afraid you’ve done something wrong, and they’re after you and they’re about to get you.” She added, “This man — he pushed my world in the right direction, and I will never forget it.”

People rallied around Ms. Johnson by donating food, and Officer Stacy delivered two truckloads of groceries to home. He said, “I don’t like the spotlight being on me, I just did my job — serve and protect my community. I feel like this video has made a huge, positive impact for the image of all law enforcement officers all over the United States. We’re not all crooked individuals looking to beat up or kill somebody. That’s not what we swore to do. That’s not why I wear this badge everyday.”

Officer Stacy remembered, “She started crying. She said, ‘I need help. I need help, Officer Stacy. I need to put food in my babies’ stomachs.’ That’s what got me. That’s what hit me the hardest. I told her [to] park on the side of the parking lot, I ran in, bought the carton of eggs, came back outside, handed them to her and she got very emotional, very apologetic.”

Patrol Car 4373 (Montgomery, Alabama)

On 4 November 2014, this letter to the editor by Ron Tejeda appeared in the Montgomery Advertiser (Alabama):

“You will not see this on CNN or Fox News or even on our local TV news, but Sunday morning I witnessed a good deed by one of Montgomery’s public safety personnel.

“When I teed off at Gateway golf course and for a couple of holes, I noticed a vehicle stranded on Interstate 65, on the shoulder. Then by the third hole I noticed a Montgomery police vehicle had pulled up behind it, checking it out. As I played the third hole, I witnessed one of the best things you never hear about. I saw a police officer help a young driver change a flat tire.

“That police officer did all the work while the driver stood safely behind the vehicle. Whoever was driving Patrol car 4373 deserves a 48-hour weekend off. Thanks for carrying the flag for Montgomery citizens.”

I am Paid to Uphold the Law, and It’s My Job to Set the Example Whether I’m Working or Not”

In October 2014, an off-duty California Highway Patrol sergeant (who wishes to remain anonymous) found two bank deposit bags lying in the middle of a road in Concord, Contra Costa County, California. The bags contained $120,000. The officer said, “I opened it [one of the bags] and it was filled with hundreds of hundred-dollar bills.” The money was the life savings of a man; CHP found him and returned his money to him. The CHP officer who found the money said that getting the money back to the man was “the right thing to do. I am paid to uphold the law, and it’s my job to set the example whether I’m working or not,” the sergeant said. “I am happy to hear the rightful owner was identified and that the money has been returned.” CHP Golden Gate Division Chief Avery Browne praised the sergeant, adding, “On too many occasions our personnel do not pause to be recognized as they feel they were simply doing their job.”

Justin King: Good Cops Cross ‘Thin Blue Line’ in Florida, Turn on Bad Cops (The Anti-Media)

Broward County, FL – With all of the negative attention given to police officers lately, the public is left wondering if there are any good cops left. The bad apples seem to have spoiled the cart, but in Broward County several cops stepped forward to break the thin blue line in order to turn in one of their own.

“I’ll believe good cops exist when they start turning in the bad.”

For Broward County Deputies, that day was today. Former Broward County Deputy Eduardo Mesa is accused of stealing from a man that had been killed by a train in January. Mesa is alleged to have stolen the victim’s prescription pills.

Author’s note: Anti-Media is withholding the names of the cops that turned Mesa in to protect them from any officers who would view their actions as an assault on the thin blue line.

Detective A. reportedly saw the amber bottles of prescription pills in the victim’s possession, but the pills were never logged into evidence. Detective A. did some preliminary checking hoping that the pills had been innocently misplaced, then contacted Detective B, who obtained a search warrant for Mesa’s marked patrol vehicle. Most of the pill bottles, still bearing the victim’s name, were reportedly discovered. A warrant was issued for Mesa’s arrest.

The local criminal justice machine did not go easy on Mesa, either. He has been charged with armed trafficking in hydrocodone, possession of alprazolam, grand theft of a controlled substance, evidence tampering, and falsifying an official document. The armed trafficking charge stems from the amount of drugs that were stolen and the belief that the former deputy possessed his service weapon at the same time he possessed the narcotics.

Sheriff Scott Israel, Mesa’s former employer, seemed to have no objection to the stiff charges. He said[,]

“When you commit a felony and you’re carrying a firearm, as I’ve said many, many times, we’re not above the law. We’re right there with everybody else.”

Armed trafficking typically carries a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years, and the amount of hydrocodone gives the charge a fifteen year minimum mandatory sentence.

Note: This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive our latest articles.

Source of Article: Justin King, “Good Cops Cross ‘Thin Blue Line’ in Florida, Turn on Bad Cops.” The Anti-Media. 5 September 2014 <http://tinyurl.com/pro6hat>.

I Want to Keep Him in the Position to Where I Can Maintain Control Without Having to Go to Deadly Force. That’s Obviously the Last Resort I Want to Go To”

Police officers are justified in using their guns when needed to protect their lives, but it is better when a bad situation can be handled without injury or death and without the use of deadly force. On 17 September 2014, a black Mercedes stopped moving near the intersection of Sunrise and Swan in Tucson, Arizona. According to witnesses, the 67-year-old driver appeared to be dazed or unresponsive. Pima County Deputy Kevin Gardner responded. He said about the driver, “He grabbed a walking stick or cane and thrust it at me and hit me in the chest.” Deputy Gardner added, “He got away from my grasp, was able to reach into the center console and pull out a six-inch folding knife. He opened it up and displayed it at me at that point.” Deputy Gardner did not draw his gun, but he did draw his Taser, aka stun gun. He said, “I want to keep him in the position to where I can maintain control without having to go to deadly force. That’s obviously the last resort I want to go to.” Deputy Gardner did not use the Taser until the driver moved toward a citizen. The driver fell to the ground but kept ahold of the knife. Another deputy found the driver’s identification papers in the car. Deputy Gardner said, “At that point we told him, ‘Edward, we need you to put that knife down.’ I think he realized what the situation was. He saw several deputies with guns and Tasers on him, and he realized the situation, what it was. He looked at the knife and threw it to the side.” Som Lisaius, a reporter for Tucson News Now (Arizona), wrote this: “We’ve learned that the driver involved in this ordeal recently left his wife in California without explanation. We’re told he’s a Vietnam veteran who is bi-polar and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He could face local charges for what happened Wednesday. But in the meantime, he has been admitted into Pima County’s Mental Health Services.”

Everyone has Inner Strength — But You Don’t Know It Until Something like that Happens”

In January 2015, neo-Nazi Zack Davies attacked Sarandev Bhambra, a dentist, with a hammer and a machete in a supermarket in Mold, North Wales. Ex-soldier Pete Fuller, age 44, came to the rescue, but first Zack Davies slashed Mr. Bhambra’s head and back and almost severed his hand. Reason for the attack? Mr. Bhambra is Asian. Mr. Fuller said, “It was like something out of a horror movie.” He added, “I heard the attacker say, ‘Remember Lee Rigby.’” Fusilier Lee Rigby was a British soldier whom Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale murdered on 22 May 2013 in London; they said they murdered him in retaliation for the deaths of Muslims killed by British soldiers. Mr. Fuller remembered, “I saw a man lying in blood on the floor and the guy standing over him, hitting him. Somehow the victim managed to get up and run back down the aisle — towards me with the man chasing him. I decided there was no way I was backing away. People were running and screaming. I moved into the middle of the aisle and made myself as big as possible. I was shouting at the guy that what he was doing was madness. I made it clear he was either going to have to go through me or he was going to stop.” Mr. Fuller, a father of three, was afraid at first Zack Davis was going to kill him. Mr. Fuller said, “He stopped and put the weapons down and I managed to talk him around. I told him what he was doing was daft. He said, ‘We are under attack,’ and I said, ‘This guy hasn’t attacked anyone’. I was looking him straight in the eyes and I think it took the wind out of his sails.” Mr. Fuller kept talking to Zack Davies, who was later found guilty of attempted murder and is in prison, until police arrived. Mr. Fuller added, “Everyone has inner strength — but you don’t know it until something like that happens.”

The Malviya Nagar Maniacs: Heroes

On 19 August 2015 at around 10 p.m., a woman from Uzbekistan who was on a business trip in New Delphi, India, was followed by a man who tried to steal her mobile phone. When she resisted, he tried to slap and choke her. Members of a football (soccer in the United States) team —the Malviya Nagar Maniacs — were practicing in a nearby park; they heard her and came to her aid. Arun Singh Rajput, one of the heroes, said, “The man was like a ‘goal’ that had to be scored.” Sarthak Sharma, a class XII student of LBS School R K Puram, was the first of the football players to jump over the park wall and run after the attacker. He was quickly followed by Rajput, a class XII student of St Paul’s School; Japneet, a second-year-student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College; and Aayush Joshi, a class XII student. Sharma said, “We were playing in the park when we heard a scream. We rushed towards the sound. We saw a foreigner, who was all teary, and then a man running towards Apeejay School. We sensed something was wrong.” Japneet said that after running after the attacker, “We were discussing where he could have gone when we saw him hiding behind a car. As we approached near him, he confidently came out as if he hadn’t done anything. But we recognized him.” They then captured the attacker and handed him over to police. A friend of the woman said, “She is scared and doesn’t want to step out alone after dusk. She has asked me to get her tickets booked for Uzbekistan. It was her first visit to India and I am embarrassed with whatever happened with her.”

The Night of the Attack, His First Response was to Take Care of Me. He was Being Attacked and He Didn’t Fight for His Life. He Got Me Up … He Wanted to Make Sure I had a Chance”

On 12 November 2010, Paul Skinner, age 47, and his wife, Mara, were lying asleep in bed in their home in Yale, Michigan, when two men tried to stab them to death. In September 2015, Mr. Skinner’s first reaction when he woke up was to shake his wife awake rather than shield himself against their knives. His wife, Mara McCalmon, formerly Skinner, said, “The night of the attack, his first response was to take care of me. He was being attacked and he didn’t fight for his life. He got me up and probably that’s why he didn’t make it … he wanted to make sure I had a chance.” Mara added, “If he wouldn’t have done that, I know I wouldn’t have been here. He is my hero.” Mr. Skinner then fought the men and chased them out of his home despite his multiple stab wounds. Mara herself had been stabbed over 20 times. Mr. Skinner died as the two men fled. On 15 November 2015, Mara McCalmon and the St. Clair County Victims Rights office will host a fundraising 5K run and 2-mile walk called “P.S. You’re My Hero” in Port Huron, Michigan. Sheryl Eckert, St. Clair County’s victim rights coordinator and office manager, said, “Paul died a hero. He saved Mara’s life. Everyone has heroes — parents, grandparents, police, veterans, doctors, nurses — we’ve all had someone who has lifted us up when we’ve been down.” The two men who attacked them are both serving sentences of life in prison without parole.

How Grand It was to Help Someone”

In October 2014, the Derby Telegraph (UK) published a column by Geoff Hayes about his helping a boy recover a stolen bicycle. At about 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday, after Mr. Hayes and his wife had returned home from shopping, he saw a boy with a sad face. He asked, “Have you lost something, sonny?” The boy replied, “Yes, I have. A man and a girl have pushed me off my bicycle and have ridden away on it.” “How long ago?” “About five minutes since, Mr. Hayes.” He then told the boy to get in his car: “We’ll go and try to find them — they can’t be very far.” They drove around and found the man and the woman, who ran away, leaving the bike behind. As it turned out, this was the boy’s first day riding the bike — his birthday present. Mr. Hayes wrote, “I went home feeling pretty pleased with how things had turned out. It had taken less than half an hour and a situation had been resolved.” A couple of hours later, the boy and his mother knocked on Mr. Hayes’ door. The boy’s mother said, “Mr. Hayes. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did this afternoon. You’ll never know how much. I’ve only just finished paying for the bicycle. Thank you, thank you.” She kissed his cheek and gave him a large box of chocolates. Mr. Hayes wrote, “How grand it was to help someone.”

Please No! God No! F***ing No! Don’t Do This! Don’t Do This!”

In early 2014, Dale Green, a 46-year-old African-American man, rescued a 19-year-old woman from a violent sexual predator in Harlem in New York City. He heard the woman screaming outside his apartment. Mr. Green said, “I kept hearing, ‘Please no! God no! F***ing no! Don’t do this! Don’t do this!’ I had been watching the Olympics. I thought it was a lovers’ quarrel, a squabble outside, but they didn’t pass by,” so he looked out the window. He said, “I saw this guy pick this Asian girl up and put her on the ground between two cars. I can’t believe somebody tried to rape somebody in that spot. It’s right out in the open. She was saying, ‘No, no, take my keys.’ It seemed like he was trying to hit her really hard, so I started dialing 911.” While on the phone, he opened the window and asked the woman, “Are you OK?” She shouted, “No! He’s trying to rape me!” Mr. Green ran to her while giving the 911 operator a description of the sexual predator. The suspect fled, and the woman ran to safety. A law enforcement source for The New York Post said, “He chased the perp right toward the police. His description of the suspect and his direction of travel, toward the Madison Avenue Bridge, is really what helped us get him.” The suspect was arrested and charged with attempted rape.

There were a Lot of People Who Didn’t Do Anything. I was the Only One that Did Something. When You See Something like That, You’re Supposed to Help”

On 12 August 2015 someone tried to rape a 28-year-old woman on a subway platform at the Bergen Avenue stop in Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York. Maurice Osborne, a person of color who heard the woman scream, said, “There were a lot of people who didn’t do anything. I was the only one that did something. When you see something like that, you’re supposed to help.” He added, “Usually when you’re on the train you hear commotion, you don’t think nothing of it, but she was screaming for like 15, 20 seconds.” The suspect had approached her inside a subway car and then tried to rape her after she got out. Mr. Osborne said, “I punched him, hit him a couple of times.” He also head-butted the suspect. After subduing the suspect, he then dragged him two blocks to a police station. Mr. Osborne said, “I just picked him up and tried taking him to the police precinct and she was following and crying. Once we got there, she said thank you, she thanked me.” Mr. Osborne’s mother said, “He’s always been a helpful person and I’m proud of him and he got a twin, too, so look out!” Mr. Osborne said, “That he would do that right there on the platform and not care, that was shocking.” The suspect was cited with multiple charges, including sexual assault and public lewdness.

Help! Help! He’s Hurting My Sister! Call the Police!”

In September 2014, Bob Baker heard an 11-year-old girl crying for help in Reed Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He said, “We heard a child, a young girl, screaming across the lot saying, ‘Help! Help! He’s hurting my sister! Call the police!’” He ran to her, and she told him that a man was attacking her sister, age 13. Mr. Baker said, “By the time I got across the bridge and up the grass a little bit, the other little girl came out and she said this guy had hit her and some other stuff that I don’t feel comfortable talking about.” Mr. Baker caught up to the suspect, whom police said is mentally ill, and talked to him until police arrived. The suspect admitted to police that he had hit the 11-year-old girl and had attempted to sexually assault the 13-year-old girl. Mr. Baker said, “I’ve got five kids. And I’ve got a granddaughter that comes to this park with us. So I would never want something like this to happen to my kids. And I can’t see it happening to someone else’s.” Like many heroes, Mr. Baker said that he is not a hero, that he was just doing the right thing: “That’s the way I was raised. I try to instill that in my kids.” He said that the real hero is the 11-year-old girl: “She did everything correct. She ran to get help and brought it back. She was able to save her sister from being victimized any worse than what she had been already.” The suspect was charged with kidnapping, child abuse, and lewd molestation of a minor.

Malyk Bonnet: “Now I Realize What I Did and Wow … It’s Really Awesome. I Mean, I Saved a Life!”

On 1 August 2015, 17-year-old Malyk Bonnet, a black man, was headed home after finishing his shift as a chef at a restaurant in north Montreal, Quebec, Canada, when he saw a man and a woman fighting at the bus stop. They asked him for money — they said they needed bus fare to a town named Laval. Mr. Bonnet was worried about the woman, so he bought the tickets and in order to stay close to the woman, he said that he was going to Laval. He actually lives in Montreal. Mr. Bonnet said, “My plan was to keep them in a public place where he wouldn’t hurt her. I decided to be friendly with the man and have him think I was his friend. I played my game and he seemed to trust me.” After arriving in Laval, he asked the couple to eat with him and gave them $50. During the meal, however, he left and called the police. Mr. Bonnet said, “I borrowed a cell phone from someone because mine had died and told police that it was an emergency, that someone had been kidnapped and were at this restaurant.” In fact, the woman’s family had reported her missing, and the police were searching for her. Lieutenant Daniel Guerin of the Laval Police Department said, “We had been looking for a 29-year-old woman who had been reported kidnapped by her former boyfriend. We knew that the man was not stable. He was recently in jail for violence and had been found guilty of assault and [making] death threats against her.” Mr. Bonnet said about the woman, “We made eye contact and she had tears in her eyes. She was really happy.” He added, “She was almost crying. She was so happy, so happy not to be with him.” Mr. Bonnet had spent $250 on bus fare and food; police officers collected that amount and reimbursed him. Lieutenant Guerin said, “He’s a real hero, we all think. His quick actions may have saved this young woman’s life. He now has 500 new friends in our department.” Mr. Bonnet said, “I don’t think of myself as a hero; I’m just a normal guy. I guess I saved a life, though, and that’s really awesome.” He said that his mother is proud of him: “She bought a lot of copies of the [news]paper and thinks all this attention is amazing. She told me she is going to tell my kids about this one day.” Police charged the man with kidnapping, forcible confinement, and assault. Lieutenant Guerin said about Mr. Bonnet, “He managed the situation very well and took good decisions that probably saved the life of this woman.” Mr. Bonnet said, “Now I realize what I did and wow … it’s really awesome. I mean, I saved a life!”

Thomas “Cannibal” Cottingham: Died a Hero While Protecting a Woman and Baby

On 14 September 2015 in Wilmington, Delaware, a man confronted a woman with a baby in a stroller and chased them while brandishing a large knife. The woman tried to board a DART bus to get away from the man. Thomas “Cannibal” Cottingham, a 27-year-old African-American man, intervened to protect the woman and baby. The man stabbed Mr. Cottingham in the back. Mr. Cottingham managed to separate himself from the man, but he collapsed and the man stabbed him several more times before fleeing. Police quickly made an arrest; Mr. Cottingham died in Christiana Hospital. Mr. Cottingham’s girlfriend, Tam Nickens, said about him, “He did what most people wouldn’t have the courage to do.” She added, “I almost had a panic attack. I didn’t want to believe it until I actually spoke with the detective. I feel completely lost right now.” According to police, the attacker did not know the woman. Mr. Cottingham was a popular skateboarder and rapper in Wilmington. His friend Michael Marconi said, “He went out as a true hero and a legend. Not many people would take the time out of their day to help someone out like that.” Jessica Hitchens said, “He genuinely was a good person. It’s another friend from high school being buried over the same crap out here. I hate this city. I just hate it.” Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams released this statement: “I give my condolences to both the family and loved ones of Thomas Cottingham, and pray they find solace and strength in knowing he was a hero, as he bravely risked his life to protect a fellow citizen.” Ms. Nickens said, “He will never be forgotten. He will be always loved by the family. Even though he’s not here on Earth, he’s here with us.”

Alanah Pierce: Fighting Online Sexual Harassment by Contacting Mothers

Alanah Pierce, a 21-year-old video games journalist in Brisbane, Australia, has been the victim of internet trolls, including some who have threatened to rape her. She said, “A while ago, I realized that a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren’t adult males.” At first, she had thought that the trolls were middle-aged men, but she said that she was wrong: “It turns out that mostly they’re young boys [according an article by Nina Bahadur in the Huffington Post, the boys were 10 to 15 years old] and the problem is they don’t know any better, so responding to them rationally didn’t resolve the situation. And it got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable.” She added, “I’m unlikely to be able to rationally discuss the harmful nature of online harassment with a young boy, but it also means they’re probably naive and can learn from the experience. So, I thought about it, and the obvious solution was to try to find their family, via Facebook, and ask that they address the issue.” She wrote four women, and one woman responded to her. Ms. Pearce said, “She responded in almost exactly the way I wanted her to. The fact she called him a little sh]t I found funny as well because I thought that but I wasn’t going to say anything.” The mother’s response was admirable. Ms. Pearce said, “She has gotten him to handwrite me a letter and she’s also spoken to other parents in the community. She is going to the school to talk about online harassment and bullying and trying to make other parents more aware of what their kids are saying online.” She posted on Twitter about the response. She said, “It was just a way to try to reach a resolution, to productively teach young boys it’s not okay to be sexist to women, even if they’re on the internet, that they [women] are real people and that there should be actual consequences for that.” Huffington Post writer Nina Bahadur supports what Ms. Pearce has done: “Pearce’s actions are admirable for bringing more attention to the issue of online harassment — and hopefully the boys who’ve threatened her will change the way they treat women on the internet, stat.” The Huffington Post created a Facebook page about this story. On that page, Carol Jo Armstrong commented, “I was a wedding photographer for years. After the ceremony and quite a few drinks I would get mooned by the smart [ss guys in the wedding party. I think I’ve been mooned more than anyone on the planet. When the pictures were back, I would track the ‘boys[’]’ parents thru the bride and groom and gift mom with an 8 × 10 of her son’s [*]ss. Boom.” By the way, there were internet rumors that some of the parents of the boys who threatened Ms. Pearce were suing her for defamation. This was just a rumor. Ms. Pearce tweeted, “Again, nobody is suing me. That ‘story’ was posted on a joke website and others assumed it was true. It’s not!”

Former Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling Protects His 17-Year-Old Daughter

On 25 February 2015, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling posted a tweet congratulating his 17-year-old daughter on being accepted to Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, where she will pitch on the softball team. Some trolls posted sexually explicit tweets, such as “I’m going to make your daughter’s underwear as red as your sock,” about Mr. Schilling’s underage daughter — something that he made sure that they regretted. He outed the trolls — at least one of whom mentioned the word “rape” while tweeting about Mr. Schilling’s underage daughter, online by listing their names and jobs. In some cases, the trolls were fired or were kicked off athletic teams or were suspended from school. In all cases, people learned how horrible the trolls were and they learned the trolls’ real identities. Mr. Schilling said, “As a father, besides providing for my family, what other job do I have? Loving my kids and protecting my family.” He hopes to exact more justice, pointing out that “my daughter is 17. She’s a minor. And these guys are all adults. I’m pursuing legal recourse on a couple of them because they broke the law. What they did can have them labeled as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.” One troll who worked as a part-time ticket seller for the New York Yankees was fired. Jason Zillo, the Yankees’ executive director of communications, said, “There is no place for anything like this, and the Yankees have zero tolerance for anything of this nature. He is no longer with us.” The fired man had been a member of the Theta Xi fraternity while at Montclair State. The fraternity said in a statement, “We are aware of the inappropriate and offensive tweets that were posted by an alumnus of Theta Xi Fraternity. We agree wholeheartedly that cyber-bullying is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. This is not in accordance with the values of our organization, and we assure you that disciplinary actions have begun to address his unfortunate decision and hold our member accountable.” Another troll was a student at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. Avis McMillon, a spokeswoman for Brookdale Community College, said, “The student has been summarily suspended and will be scheduled for a conduct hearing where further disciplinary action will be taken.” Mr. Schilling stated, “I’ve said a lot of dumb things, a lot of stupid things. I’ve said things I wish I hadn’t said. But I don’t ever remember in my life, online, in person, in a dream, saying things like that to anyone, or thinking things like that to anyone. Again, I was a high school boy, college kid. I know how we act and how we think. But if I was ever to utter something like that, my dad would come out of the grave and kill me. This is almost like people saying to a woman who got raped, ‘Well, you were dressed for it.’ Are you kidding me?” On his blog, Mr. Schilling wrote, “Now let me emphasize again. I was a jock my whole life. I played sports my whole life. Baseball since I was 5 until I retired at 41. I know clubhouses. I lived in a dorm. I get it. Guys will be guys. Guys will say dumb crap, often. But I can’t ever remember, drunk, in a clubhouse, with best friends, with anyone, ever speaking like this to someone.” In an interview, he said, “This is not a pride thing, where it’s, ‘I’m going to show them.’ One of the defenses of people trying to defend these guys is, ‘You should know this is the world we live in now.’ And my response was, ‘No, it’s not. We can allow it to be that way, but it’s not.’ You want bad to be the norm, then do nothing. Let me be very clear. I don’t know that I could put myself in a place where my daughter would take her life [12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, the victim of cyber-bullying, committed suicide in 2013], but if that happened, I’m that father with nothing to lose. This was an attack on my family.”

If You Help a Damsel in Distress, You Might be Rewarded with Pie. And Beer”

On 22 January 2015, Redditor streetparker posted on Imgur a Good Guy Greg meme with this text: “HEARD A WOMAN SCREAM IN TERROR AT NIGHT, RUN OUTSIDE TO HELP / SEE THAT HALF OF NEIGHBORHOOD RAN OUT READY TO KICK SOME ASS.” Of course, a Redditor asked, “What happened?” streetparker replied, “Around 1am I ran out of the building and some dude had just jumped into the car and drove off quickly, probably saw people running over towards them the second she started screaming. Maybe a thief or a rapist; her plea for help was terrifyingly real. The girl was all right, and I think the neighbors she knew took care of her.”

Qwicksilfer told this story:

“I get terrifying nightmares from time to time and sometimes I have been known to scream while half asleep (or jump out of bed or fight some bitches!). Anyway, my upstairs neighbor was a cop and one night I woke up at 2 am thinking there was someone standing over me and I screamed bloody murder. Within minutes, my neighbor was banging on my door asking if I was ok.

“Suuuuuuuuper awkward to open the door in my jammies and tell him I was just having a bad dream.

“I tried to make it up by baking a pie and bringing him a six pack of beer.

“That being said, my downstairs neighbor saw me a few days later and he just nodded to me and was like ‘Something happen a few days ago? Heard you scream. But then I heard the dude upstairs banging on your door and I went back to sleep.’

“Him I did not bring pie and beer.

“Moral of the story: If you help a damsel in distress, you might be rewarded with pie. And beer.”

Lazysheepdog716 told this story:

“Some ]sshole was wasted, walking up my street and punching holes in some real estate for-sale signs and threatening a girl (who I assume to be his girlfriend) with violence. This dude was making a point of screaming and cursing as loud as physically possible so I came running out in sweatpants and no shirt (put on sneakers with no socks ’cause you know I gotsta have that footing) and a steel shaft 8-iron I keep by the front of my house. Three of my next-door neighbors (all men) had some blunt object or other and were already outside. We were trying to be reasonable with the dude but then he started motioning like he was going to hit his girl, then would pull back and cackle like WE were the idiots in this scenario. Right then the sort of spinster cat-lady of the neighborhood (still a very sweet and kind woman who doesn’t bother anyone) comes out on her front porch with a double barrel shotgun broken resting in the crook of her arm, not pointing it at anyone. She says, ‘Honey [talking to the girl], come inside and away from him.’ The girl immediately says ‘Thank you’ and ducks into her house behind her. Then Cat-Lady goes to the guy, ‘Now f[]k off and run before I sic one of my cats on you.’ Dude went flying down the street terrified and we all lost it and started high-fiving. Best late night sh[tty wake-up ever. And best way I’ve ever heard someone threaten to shoot someone else. Don’t think it will ever be topped.”

Dale Green: Hero

Around 4:30 a.m. on 18 February 2014, Dale Green, age 46, was with his wife in their apartment in the 25th Precinct of Harlem when he heard a woman screaming in the street below. Police Captain Thomas C. Harnisch, commander of the 25th Precinct, said, “He knew from the pitch of the screams that it was serious.” Mr. Green looked down from his window and saw a man assaulting a 19-year-old woman. Mr. Green said, “She was saying, ‘Oh, God! No, God, no! Don’t do this! Don’t do this!’ In my head, I’m like, ‘Ok, gotta get this person’s attention. He doesn’t know where I am, or who I am. So I’m like, let me scare him off.” Mr. Green yelled at the man from the window and then ran down to street level to confront the man, who ran away. Mr. Green chased the man and then gave police a detailed description of him. Police made an arrest. The man had been punching the woman and slamming her head against the ground. Captain Harnisch said that the man was a registered sex offender and that he admitted “his intention was to rape a woman that night.” Many people called 911 after hearing screams. Captain Harnisch said, “It’s an excellent example of how we can work together to prevent crime, catch violent criminals, and keep people safe.” The woman was treated at Harlem Hospital and released. Mr. Green said, “Just to know that I was able to rescue her, because I had a family member that had been raped before. So I know this is a traumatic experience. It can’t be a good thing.” He added, “I wouldn’t consider myself a hero. I’m one person here, trying to make a difference.”

Homeless Man Stops Attempted Rape

Around 3:30 a.m. on 31 March 2015, a recently homeless African-American man named Ketrell Ferguson witnessed a rape attempt in Washington D.C. The woman was screaming, and she was trying to fight off a man. Mr. Ferguson said that he grabbed a stick. He added about the alleged rapist, “As soon as he lifted his head up, I smacked him with the stick, hard as I could in his head. And he fell off the lady, stumbled, stumbled and I smacked him again. And I just kept smacking him with the stick, I mean, as hard as I could.” After fighting off the man, he went to a building and asked someone there to call the police. An arrest was made. Mr. Ferguson said, “Even though I’m going through hard times, God put me in a place where I could help. I was at the right place at the right time.” He added that he had to do something — he has family members who have been raped.

I Think It is Wonderful that She had the Courage to Stand Up and Face the People Who Raped Her”

A rapist who gets away with one rape may commit additional rapes. A rapist who is tried and convicted and sent to prison is likely to commit no or fewer future rapes. Testifying in a trial against rapists is a way to protect women who could be future victims of the rapists. In January 2015, a jury convicted Vanderbilt University football player Brandon Vandenburg of nine counts, including instances of aggravated rape. The same jury convicted Vanderbilt University football player Cory Batey on multiple counts of aggravated rape. Two other former Vanderbilt University football players were awaiting trial as of January 2015. The woman was unconscious at the time of the rape, which took place in a Vanderbilt dorm room in June 2013. Two rape survivors whose attackers never stood trial regard the woman who took the football players to court not as a victim but as a hero. Annie Wortham of Hendersonville, Tennessee, said, “I think it is wonderful that she had the courage to stand up and face the people who raped her. Not only the people who raped her, but also the people who witnessed it and did nothing about it. More power to her for being strong and not being afraid to stand up when so many people are scared.” Ms. Wortham said that 14 years ago in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, she survived stranger rape. Sarah O’Brien, who is pursuing a master’s degree in divinity at Vanderbilt, experienced acquaintance rape on the same campus. She said, “I’m ecstatic that there was actually some type of justice served for this woman. I really hope it shakes the nation because I know the nation has been following this story. … I cannot express enough gratitude for this survivor and the courage she demonstrated in sitting in that courtroom. She has really empowered a lot of women that I don’t think she even knows that she has.”

Following the convictions, the rape survivor issued a statement that Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman read in full:

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this difficult process. I’m thankful that the criminal justice system will hold the defendants responsible for their violent crimes. The hard work of the law enforcement officers, prosecutors and victims’ advocates who dedicated so many months of their lives to this case has made justice possible.

“I want to especially thank detective Jason Mayo, Sgt. Mike Shreeve, Detective Chad Gish, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman, Assistant District Attorneys Jan Norman and Roger Moore and victims’ advocates Wanda Swan, Lt. Rochelle Barrios and Teresa Shearon. You are my heroes and I am so proud of and grateful for each of you.

“I am also hopeful that the publicity this case has received will lead to a discussion of how we can end sexual violence on college campuses. Finally, I want to remind other victims of sexual violence: You are not alone. You are not to blame.”

The rape survivor testified at the trial and identified herself in several videos of the rape.

A Good Samaritan Doesn’t Mean a Boy Scout”

At 4:30 a.m. on 6 June 2014, a man with shoulder-length dreadlocksjust off Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Washington DC saw a blue Toyota Camry park in an alley. The man stopped smoking synthetic marijuana and sipping tequila and went over to the Camry to investigate. He saw a man on top of a woman who screamed, “Help me. Help me. He’s raping me.” The man who was a Good Samaritan opened the car door, pointed a handgun at the man on top of the woman, and yelled, “Get the [expletive] out.” The attacker ran away. In November 2014, a trial culminated with the conviction of the assailant for first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping. The survivor was a 19-year-old Trinity Washington University student who called the Good Samaritan her angel. The testimony of the Good Samaritan, who is also a convicted drug dealer, was valuable in getting the conviction. The Good Samaritan said, “I got nieces, a little sister. I got a mother. That [The attack] ain’t cool.” An article by Keith L. Alexander in the Washington Post about the case did not identify the Good Samaritan, who is afraid that he might be targeted by criminals because he cooperated with law enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenya Davis told the jury, “A Good Samaritan doesn’t mean a Boy Scout. If it weren’t for that gun, he [the attacker] would have finished what he started.” The Good Samaritan was the only eyewitness of the sexual attack. Kelly Higashi, head of the sex offense and domestic violence unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in an interview, “You take your witnesses as they come. He happened to be the one who rescued the woman who was being raped and who thought she was going to be killed. As a witness, he was extremely compelling and honest, plainspoken, straightforward, and not hiding a thing.” After the attacker ran away, the Good Samaritan drove the survivor to her mother’s house. The Good Samaritan hid the loaded gun before police arrived because, he said, “I wasn’t trying to go to jail.” When the attacker’s attorney asked the Good Samaritan why he had hidden the gun, the Good Samaritan replied, “I’m not that much on the good side yet.”

Where Other People Looked the Other Way, Tugce Showed Exemplary Courage and Moral Fortitude”

On 2014 November 15, Tugce Albayrak, a 23-year-old female German citizen of Turkish origin, heard cries for help from a restroom in a McDonald’s in Offenbach (near Frankfurt). Germany. Three men were harassing two teenage girls. Tugce intervened and rescued the girls, who fled. Later, one of the men attacked her in the McDonald’s parking lot. He hit her, she fell, her head hit a stone, and she went into a coma. She was pronounced brain-dead on 26 November, and her parents had her life support turned off on 28 November: her 23rd birthday. Her attacker has been identified as Senal M, an 18-year-old man from Serbia. German President Joachim Gauck praised her bravery in a letter to her family: “Like countless citizens, I am shocked and appalled by this terrible act. Tugce has earned gratitude and respect from us all. She will always remain a role model to us, our entire country mourns with you. Where other people looked the other way, Tugce showed exemplary courage and moral fortitude.” In an article published on hellogiggles.com, Kit Steinkeller wrote, “It is heartbreaking that Albayrak’s life was cut so tragically short because she had the courage to come to the aid of these girls when no one else would (restaurant employees obeyed their non-intervention policy, a decision McDonald’s supports in the wake of this tragedy). People the world over are asking themselves if they would have the courage to step in like Albayrak did, if they would go as far and suffer as much as this young woman did to do the right thing.”

Strangers Can be Rapists, or Heroes

In April 2014, Good Samaritans helped women who were targeted by a rapist in Tacoma, Washington. On 5 April 2014, a homeless woman who was sleeping near South 13th Street and South Yakima Avenue was woken up by a strange man who told her that he wanted to have sex with her. When she said no, he hit her in the face. She screamed for her, and a passerby heard her and called 911 and scared the would-be rapist away. The man, however, succeeded in sexually assaulting a 59-year-old grandmother later that night. A man approached her, asked if she was lost, and grabbed her and sexually assaulted her against a fence. She screamed for help, and a stranger came and told the alleged rapist to get away from the woman. The alleged rapist lied and said that the woman was his girlfriend, but the stranger hit the alleged rapist and then walked with the victim to a hospital. A third woman was also allegedly assaulted. The police made an arrest in the case.

Her Pants were Ripped and Her Underwear was Sticking Out, and She was Screaming, ‘Help Me!’”

In July 2014, a Good Samaritan named Fuat Sarieminli helped to capture an alleged rapist on the Coney Island beach in New York, although the alleged rapist fought him. Mr. Sarieminli, who suffered a fractured cheekbone andseveral loose teeth, said that he saw the victim crying as she stumbled. He said, “Her pants were ripped and her underwear was sticking out, and she was screaming, ‘Help me!’” The woman identified a man on the beach, crying, “That’s him! That’s him!” Mr. Sarieminli said, “I went to him with my hands up, and I said, ‘What happened, bro? What did you do to that woman? He kept saying, ‘I didn’t do it’ … then he looked scared and started to run. I held on to him. I was trying to hold him, but I’m not a young man anymore. He took off his belt, wrapped it around his wrist gangster style. The buckle was hanging a few inches off the belt. He got me on the cheek, then used it as a whip. He got a shot to my head, and then he started running.” The alleged attacker was quickly arrested.

He Saw What He Thought was a Behavior that was Not Right, He was Concerned About the Victim, He Went Over and Checked on Her and Then He Immediately Called for Help”

In January 2014 in Isla Vista, California, two men were arrested for rape in concert — a crime in which two people work together to commit rape. The rape survivor was an 18-year-old student at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Also arrested was a 15-year-old boy. Kelly Hoover, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, called it “just very disturbing and disgusting that they would come to Isla Vista and victimize this young woman in this way.” A Good Samaritan was instrumental in helping to capture the suspects; after seeing something suspicious, he flagged down police; later, he identified the three suspects.. Kelly Hoover said, “The Isla Vista resident in this case did the right thing. He saw what he thought was a behavior that was not right, he was concerned about the victim, he went over and checked on her and then he immediately called for help. That is the kind of response that we want to see from Isla Vista residents or residents anywhere when they have any suspicion that there’s something that is not right going on, to call for help immediately.” The three suspects were also suspected of committing another crime — a theft at a convenience store — the same night. Kelly Hoover said, “Well these guys obviously came to Isla Vista to cause a lot of trouble. Not only were they arrested in this horrendous crime, but they also were associated with petty theft that had occurred just prior to this happening.” People in the region were grateful to the Good Samaritan. Siena Florentine and Danielle Cross are first-year students at UCSB. Ms. Cross said, “I was shocked. I haven’t heard about anything like this happening, so I’ve liked to think that it’s been very safe. I still think it is, but I was really shocked and it’s really scary to hear that.” Ms. Florentine said, “That’s really nice to know that people would call because you hear that people see things and not always report it, so knowing that people will actually do it out of the kindness of their hearts is really nice.” Blake Zimmerman, a sophomore at UCSB, said, “We need good people out here. People do get assaulted and raped and it’s disgusting. But we need good people in the neighborhood to counter balance it.”

Uber Considerate

The Stranger, a newspaper in Seattle, Washington, has a weekly feature called “I, Anonymous.” In it, anonymous people usually write to complain about annoying people. On 15 April 2015, however, an anonymous person wrote to thank a driver for Uber, a service which gets pedestrians a ride to where they want to go: “To the Uber driver who brought the drunken girl to my apartment building early one morning: Thank you. You could have just dropped her off and been on your way. But you hung around and tried to help her find her home. You were able to get her phone, call a friend, and take her to her friend’s place. I don’t know if you even got paid for driving her, but you spent a good deal of time being responsible for her when she couldn’t be responsible for herself. Though great heroics are often needed, evil is most often ground down by the common man or woman doing simple acts of kindness and respect, and being responsible for one another. What could have been an ugly situation ended up being no more than a hangover.”

Being that I Have Sisters of My Own, Several Female Relatives Which I’m Closer to, and Nieces, I Couldn’t Let That [a Rape] Happen”

On 31 May 2014 in Arlington, Virginia, a man allegedly followed a 31-year-old woman after she left the Arlington Metro. Outside the station, he allegedly threw her into a bush and attempted to rape her. She screamed, and four men who were in their 20s rescued her and called the police, who arrested a man and charged him with sexual battery. One of the four heroes is Mitchell Baltimore, a 24-year-old Northern Virginia college student majoring in psychology, who does not consider himself to be a hero. He explains, “Implying that someone is a hero implies that they did something that was out of the norm.” He believes that what he did was not out of the norm. He said that he and three friends intervened to help the woman after they heard her screaming: “[…] I immediately ran over where I heard sounds coming from, and at the time when I got there, there was a woman in the bushes and a guy kind of standing up at this point.” Mr. Baltimore asked what was going on and the woman said that she was being attacked, so he went after the attacker. Mr. Baltimore said, “His first words to me were, ‘You don’t know me.’” He added, “When I ran after him, I just put my hands on his shoulder; when he turned around, I got a sock to the face. At that point, I used some training I had previously in martial arts to put him in an arm bar and restrain him until the cops arrived.” His friends stayed with the woman; they did not want to talk publicly about their heroism. Mr. Baltimore said, “My virtues are selflessness, one of them, and I can’t imagine another human being walking by someone in that situation.” He added, “People let fear paralyze them from taking action that they know can help someone or save a life. Being that I have sisters of my own, several female relatives which I’m closer to, and nieces, I couldn’t let that happen.” The woman was shaken up mentally and bruised physically. The police arrested the suspect and charged him with sexual battery.

This is the Right Way to Do It

In September 2014, a man who was coming out of Beemers Pub in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, allegedly saw a man who was beating a woman. He approached them in order to stop the beating. The man allegedly pulled out a gun and told the man, “Get out of here.” Wisely, the man went back to Beemers Pub and called the police, who arrived and arrested the man who was allegedly beating the woman. Police charged him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The woman was gone by the time the police arrived. According to Police Captain Linda Swears, the gun was a BB gun.

How to Quickly Stop a Man from Harassing a Woman

On 8 February 2013, SofaPirat posted on YouTube a 26-second video that shows a hooligan harassing a woman. An unidentified hero comes up behind the hooligan and pulls the hooligan’s pants down. The hooligan pulls his pants up and leaves. Watch the video on YouTube: <http://tinyurl.com/plvqrf9>.

Priya’s Shakti

On 16 December 2012, a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi, India, She died from her injuries several days later. Many protests against rape and sexual violence took place in India, but some people blamed the victim. Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, talked to a police officer in New Delhi about the gang-rape. Mr. Devineni said, “I’m paraphrasing here, but he basically said, ‘No good girl walks home alone at night,’ which implies she deserved it or provoked it. I immediately realized the problem of sexual violence in India is not a legal issue but a cultural problem.” He added, “I spoke to some gang-rape survivors and they said they were discouraged by their families and communities to seek justice; they were also threatened by the rapists and their families. Even the police didn’t take them seriously.” Mr. Devineni created a new heroine whose story he tells in his comic book titled Priya’s Shakti. Priya survives a gang-rape but is then rejected by her family and fellow villagers; she travels deep into the forest, where the Hindu goddess Parvati grants her the gifts of fearlessness and the ability to influence people’s minds. Priya tames and rides a tiger, and then she returns to her village to begin her fight against rape and sexual violence. Mr. Devineni said, “The people have to change. But Priya gives them the motivation to change. She doesn’t force anyone to change. It’s always up to them to make that leap.” He also identified the main goals of his comic book: “Basically two goals: one is to challenge those patriarchal views and help create a cultural shift, and the second is to create empathy for rape survivors so that people who have been raped can report it and get justice.” The story of the comic book is by Ram Devineni and Vikas K. Menon; the artwork is by Dan Goldman.

This is What I’ve Told My Son about Women”

On 10 October 2014, Redditor poisonghost asked, “This is what I’ve told my son about women, am I wrong? Suggestions appreciated.” This is what he — poisonghost is not the son’s mother — posted on the subReddit AskWomen:

“So, my boy is nearly a legal man. He’s 16 about to be 17. I’m very proud of him for a lot of reasons: He’s kind and mostly confident. Now, he’s asked about girls and we’ve had a lot of very frank discussions about sex (sex is positive, masturbation is good for you, etc.). When it comes to women, I’ve explained to him the most important thing to remember is they are people and like all people they deserve the benefit of the doubt whenever possible and basic respect and dignity. I’ve explained to him the concepts of enthusiastic consent, looking out for others (including men), and speaking out against reprehensible behavior.

“I’ve talked to him about how to ‘pick up’ women. Pretty much the ‘method’ I’ve explained is this: Talk to them like human beings, introduce yourself (Hi, my name is poisonghost’s son) and engage them in conversation as you would any human being. And above all make sure you’re a decent human being. To wit, be passionate about something, anything in your life, be confident about that thing, be curious and open about the experiences of others and be grounded in your own space. Don’t let people run over you, don’t let people run over others. Be respectful of the boundaries of everyone you interact with.

“Don’t catcall, it’s crass. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to be wrong.

“Again, always seek enthusiastic consent. Always use condoms (no matter what anyone says).”

Here are some comments:

1) Dajbman22 wrote, “As a guy here who basically follows the approach/worldview you’re giving your son, the one thing I would add is not to get hung up on whether or not anything romantic/sexual happens between him and a girl he likes. It’s a lot easier to really get to know someone and let that chemistry explode when you’re going in with no pretext and just looking to meet new people, not looking to meet a potential partner.

“I wish my father were as succinct about things as you were. He’s a pretty sensitive guy and definitely sex positive, but the advice I was given at your son’s age just seemed too focused on short-term pleasure than building meaningful relationships, and that just wasn’t my bag, so I had to learn a lot on my own.”

2) upatstars, a female, wrote, “To add, maybe some words about seeing rejection (as at some point, rejection happens to all) as an incompatibility of some type rather than it being a reflection of his worth as a whole. I know that rejection is hard for most people and even once can eat away at someone’s self esteem. If he does ever face that, just something so he knows that it’s not that he isn’t a valuable and good person, but that for whatever reason that particular person wasn’t a good match.”

Reddit, How Did Someone Show You So Much Kindness, You Couldn’t Find the Words to Fully Express Your Gratitude?”

Here are some answers:

1) berthejew wrote, “[…] when I was sixteen. My parents were renovating our kitchen and I was starving. They refused to drive me to the nearest McDonald’s cause they were busy, so I walked. It was only two miles or so.

“I’m halfway there when a van with a couple of guys drives past, cat calling me and yelling obscenities. It turns around in a parking lot just ahead of me. I’m on the side of a busy road with no place to hide. I haul ass across the drive they were in, and run to a Gordons Food Service store. They followed me. Banging on the doors was fruitless — it wasn’t open yet. They pulled in the lot and a heavyset guy pulls open the back door. I’m getting ready to run again, I can see the McDonald’s but I can’t get past these guys without running around the giant building. I take three running steps to go around back, turning the corner wild-eyed and crying. A guy is sitting in his car. I scream for help and he gets out slowly, confused at first, and then I see his eyes widen in surprise as the skinnier guy comes running around the corner. I spin around, and hear the crack of a gun. I was convinced I was shot.

“The car guy [had] leaned back in his vehicle, pulled [out] a gun, and fired it into the air. Skinny actually puffs up dust trying to stop. He pulls a 180 and runs the other way. The van squeals out of the lot and he and I just stand there, staring after it, amazed.

“Guy bought me McDonald’s breakfast, and then drove me home. My mother started freaking out when I pulled up with an older stranger until I explained what happened. We called police and both gave statements. Cops didn’t have much to go on, never found them as far as I know. That man saved my life and I don’t remember his name. Thank you, kind stranger.”

2) Mollywobbles225 wrote, “Last September [2014] was the one-year anniversary of my husband’s death. I was 27 years old, by myself at around 9 AM and was facing a 1.5-hour-long drive from the town I lived to his grave and was at a Food City to buy a single white rose (the symbol of remembrance) to lay on his grave. While I was in the floral department, I started breaking down a bit when the florist complimented my necklace, which my husband had given to me while we were dating as teenagers. I managed not to bawl in front of her, paid for my rose (which she had wrapped in very lovely paper) and walked back out to my car, where I sat for a minute or so in order to cry and compose myself a bit before heading out.

“All of a sudden, an older woman (my guess was late-50’s) walked up to my car and knocked on my window. I had never seen this woman before, but I opened my door to her anyway (my car’s window did not roll down). She introduced herself and told me that she had been behind me at the floral counter and had asked the florist about me (I can’t remember why exactly she asked) and she said that ‘something’ had told her that she needed to know more about why I was there and buying what I was buying.

“So, I broke down and told her, and she hugged me and cried along with me. She then ran back to her car and came back with a $20 bill and a loaf of bread from her grocery cart. She didn’t know it, but I had a long way to go, and even though I had a job and all of that, $20 still filled up my gas tank and really helped me make that long trip. The bread was wonderful, as well — I wasn’t starving, but it was a rare thing for me to eat anything other than what I could get at work (McDonald’s). I really honestly couldn’t say anything other than ‘Thank you’ and ‘I will’ when she told me to drive safely and to take care of myself. I haven’t seen her since, but I really hope she knows how much I appreciated the sympathy from a complete stranger.”

3) MOT_2014 wrote, “Mine occurred several years ago before concussions gathered as much attention as they do today. Most of what I’m going to say here is what I’ve been told happened as my actual memories of it are scarce.

I play goalie for soccer and got knocked out cold for a good 90 seconds. Came to and ended up finishing the game (stupid mistake number 1). Game ends, and it’s time to drive home. My teammates let me (stupid mistake number 2).

“I was about halfway home (10 or so miles to go), and I got pulled over for driving erratically. The officer instantly thought he had nabbed himself a drunk driver. He ran me through a field sobriety test, which I failed miserably. But then he ran a breathalizer on me, which came back at 0.0. Perplexed, he asked where I was coming from to which I said a soccer game. To his credit, he asked if I got hit in the head at all. I said, ‘Yeah, I think so.’

“The officer asked if there was anyone I could call to come pick me up because he felt I was in no condition to drive. I knew my wife was working at the time, and I wasn’t thinking clearly beyond that to come up with anyone else.

So rather than let me go on my way, he called in a tow truck at the city’s expense to get my car home & he gave me a ride to the hospital my wife worked at. He got a hold of my wife at work for me to let her know I was on my way there and needed to be checked out.

“I can’t thank him enough for looking out for not only me, but all the other people I had put in harm’s way at the time. I know he was just doing his job, but it’s still a big thing to me.”

4) Maavrick wrote, “My wife and I are both teachers.

“We were expecting our kid soon and were trying to save money. Wasn’t working out so well because we continued to have things come up over and over. Unexpected bills and such.

“One of them turned out that we needed to get four new tires because the ones we had were very worn down. It was going to cost us about $300 for the cheapest new tires we could find. We were both incredibly heartbroken over having to spend more money.

“I was talking to our science teacher about it and he was also a mechanic in the army in his younger years. He would constantly work on our car and help us out by changing headlights and filling our oil.

“I was going to charge the $300 and max our credit card. I gave the okay to the mechanic to do it and went back to school; the shop is right across the street.

“I go back at the end of the day and ask the mechanic what I owe. He tells me I owe him nothing. I kind of laugh and ask him what we really owe. He once again said nothing, and gave me a receipt.

“I was kind of taken aback. I asked him why. He told me someone had already paid for it and got us a nicer model of tires. It was about $550. He wouldn’t tell me who it was.

“I knew who it was because I had talked to only one person about it that day, the science teacher. I went up to him and thanked him while crying a bit. He laughed and said it was no big deal — he knew we had a kid on the way.

“My wife is famous for her pies in the area and made him one.

“At the time, and still now, there was nothing we could do to express how thankful we were. He takes care of his mentally handicapped daughter and isn’t super well off. He told me he had just gotten an inheritance from his dad and wanted to help us out.”

5) WaterMazer wrote, “I went to high school in a new school district, so I didn’t have any friends there. I tried, but I was terribly shy about approaching new people. Most days I was really embarrassed about the fact that I ate lunch alone because I had no friends and would bury myself in a book to keep from feeling too lonely. This worked out ok for me until Christmas. I remember on the last day of school before winter break, people were showing up at school and exchanging gifts with all their friends. The sight of so many people showing their love for each other really made me realize how lonely I felt. I was sitting outside of the pool after school, when one of the girls on my water polo team came up to me with a gift card, and said, ‘I just wanted you to know that I didn’t forget about you.’ I just burst into tears and couldn’t stop. I’m pretty sure she just gave me one of her gifts when she noticed I didn’t have any, but at the time it meant so much. Some of the other girls on my team came over and asked what was wrong, but I couldn’t get any coherent words out. Right at that moment, my mom showed up to pick me up. I had to go to a fundraiser that evening, but when I got home, my mom told me that a bunch of girls had stopped by while I was gone. At first I thought this was just something she had invented to make me feel better, but when I ran up to my room, there was a stack of gifts from girls on my water polo team and little notes from all of them telling me that they were there for me if I needed them. As I read through all of the notes and opened my gifts, I just sat there and cried out of sheer gratitude for their kindness. I have no idea how they found out where I lived. Thinking about it now 10 years later still makes me tear up a little.”

The Woman Could Hardly Believe that She Got to Pick Out Her Own Shoes”

On 29 November 2014, Reditor_in_Chief posted on Imgur a Good Guy Greg meme with this heading: “Saw this in my hometown recently.” This is the text of the meme: “SEES HOMELESS MAN WALKING DOWNTOWN WITH NO SHOES ON / ASKS IF HE NEEDS SHOES, TAKES HIS SHOES AND SOCKS OFF, LETS MAN TRY THEM AND KEEP THEM, THEN WALKS BACK TO HIS CAR BAREFOOT, SAYING, ‘THEY DIDN’T FIT ME ANYWAY,’ WHEN THANKED.”

whiskeyjane45 commented, “While my aunt didn’t give away her own shoes, she just happened to have a bag of shoes she had cleaned out of her closet that she was taking down to donate when she saw a woman walking down the street with no shoes on. She let her dig through the bag of shoes and pick some out and said she will never forget how her face lit up like a kid at Christmas. Said the woman could hardly believe that she got to pick out her own shoes. She even asked if she could take another pair for her friend and cried when my aunt explained that she could have as many pairs as she wanted. Makes you appreciate the things you have.”

russiangn commented, “A few years ago I went to a gas station to buy something and when I walked out I noticed a young guy smoking a cigarette. We made eye contact, did the headnod, and he asked me if I wanted a cigarette. I declined, thanked him, and left. As I left, block by block in my car, I couldn’t stop thinking about how it just seemed like he was reaching out to say hello, to tell me a story, anything. I pulled a U-turn, pulled into the gas station, and he was gone. I drove around looking for him and couldn’t find him. I think about it a lot. I got p[*]ssed thinking that I was so shy I declined another person reaching out to me.

“Now, I don’t look back and consider it a mistake. Instead, I view mistakes as learning your lesson, understanding what you did wrong, and then doing it wrong again. If that happened to me today, I think I would react differently. Only time will tell.”

eusebius8806 commented, “I had the opportunity to do this one but chickened out. I must admit that it is one of the biggest regrets I have that I didn’t do it. The guy’s shoes were literally falling apart and were taped together.”

I Wasn’t a Big Fan of the Police, But Them Helping Allowed Us to View Them in a Different Light and Say, ‘Yes, They Really Do Want to Protect and Serve,’ It was Really Nice”

In September 2014, Kim Washington was living in her SUV, which she named “The Silver Bullet,” in St. Paul, Minnesota, with five children and grandchildren after escaping a bad situation in Florida. She said, “It was hard. We had some tough times. We had people looking in the truck, trying to get in. They see single females. It was some tricky times.” She had grown up in Minneapolis and decided to return when the relationship with her boyfriend in Florida got bad. For weeks, the family of six lived in the SUV, and eventually people on the street where they parked called police to ask them to check on the wellbeing of the family. Police officers arrived and decided to help the family. They bought food and gifts coupons and paid for the family to live for a few days in a hotel or motel. Ms. Washington said, “I was very leery of them. Every time I saw them I was like, ‘Oh, Lord, here they come to harass us.’ A lot of them were kind, empathetic, and they understood. I appreciate them.” The police also helped her to get other kinds of help aimed at finding the family a permanent home. She said, “I wasn’t a big fan of the police, but them helping allowed us to view them in a different light and say, ‘Yes, they really do want to protect and serve,’ it was really nice.” Among the helping police officers were Theresa Spencer, Mary Alberg, and Jill McRae.

Formerly Homeless Redditors, What’s the Best Way to Go Out and Do a Nice Thing for Homeless People?”

On 4 October 2014, Redditor SweatyCoffee asked, “Formerly homeless redditors, what’s the best way to go out and do a nice thing for homeless people?” Here are some replies:

1) Franco_DeMayo wrote, “If they’re legit and not just flying a sign? Socks and toiletries. If I only had enough for one or the other, I’d buy the bottle that let me sleep in a park over a tube of toothpaste. Priorities are different when you’re on the street, and not always for the reasons you think. I was never ungrateful for food, but, there were two major issues. The first being that if you pick a good spot, you’ll get multiple food offers every day. I can eat only so much, folks. The second being that if you just give me food, I now have to safely store it. I’m fucking homeless, not gonna waste the sh]t. So, now I add it to my pack. If it’s perishable, I have to eat that day-old sh[t before the hot meal the next day. Still grateful, btw. But, also hoping that it doesn’t get me robbed or something when I squat for the night. Being homeless can be like surviving the wasteland in that way; maybe that’s why I’m so good at Fallout.

“Before this turns into an essay, I’ll say just talk to them. Ignore anybody with a sign and no pack; they’re doing this shit by choice, ie, scamming. But, if you see someone, just set your limits and ask what they need. Be open to reason (storing and carrying food, for instance.) If you approach a legit person in need, it’s just about understanding.

“One time I asked a guy if he could spare any change. He said he wouldn’t give money, but he’d buy me something I needed. So, I checked my pack, and found myself ok. Not that I couldn’t have used more, but you can carry only so much. So, I tried a compromise. I told him I was well equipped, but the truck stop up the road had showers. So, I asked if he could spare a ride and $2 in quarters. He thought about it for a sec, probably decided I couldn’t get high on $2, and agreed.

“I got my first hot shower in months, and he made it happen by being willing to look past (at least somewhat) his initial assumptions/priorities. To this day, I have never enjoyed a shower more. And yes, that includes copious amounts of shower sex; never even came close.”

He added, “What I do now, having been there, is buy a this or a that. And then, when they’re legit thankful because I bought them deodorant? That’s when I give them a few bucks. Anybody who is thankful, truly, for anything from a dollar store deserves a warm bed. I’ll just spend it on beer or something else I’ve learned to take for granted anyway.”

He also added, “If you just come up on [a homeless person who is proud and declines to ask for help, bring stuff in advance] and say, ‘Hey, Xmas in October! I’m gonna give you a present. Is that cool?’ It almost always is. Presents calm people the f[]k down when they don’t expect them.” […] “Resist the urge to watch him open it; that really drives the charity aspect home in an odd way.”

He also recommended giving packages of dehydrated soup and Ramen noodles. And multivitamins.

2) Jesc651 wrote, “My dad would always give money to anyone who asked who was in need if he could spare it. There was a woman he ran into who was asking for bus fare to get to her son’s funeral that she couldn’t afford to pay for. My dad purchased her ticket and the next week saw her again with the same story. I asked if he was mad about seeing her again with the same story and he told me no. He said he did his good deed by helping her, it was on her for being dishonest. He said the same for giving people money. He said that he does his good deed by giving them money [and] what they choose to do with it, is their choice [—] he wasn’t one to judge. I pretty much do the same now.”

3) lardmanpo wrote, “I was homeless from age 18-19 and I remember always wishing I could just have a smoke with someone. I lived in a shelter, so I had as much food as I wanted, so that wasn’t an issue. However, I was a smoker and wasn’t able to come by my own smokes a lot of the time. So I’d see someone smoking and casually ask them, “Hey, man, can I bum a smoke?’ People are generally cool with that. Then I’d get to have a quick chat with someone while we had our cigarettes together. It may sound weird, but it means a lot to just be able to exchange a few words with a stranger when your whole life is up in the air and you can’t decide if it’s better to stay alive or just end it because your friends have drifted away from you since you became a hobo. Now that I’m not homeless anymore, I try to offer a smoke and a chat or some fast food or something. Because I remember always wishing somebody would stop and talk to me.”

I’ve Been Homeless. I Can Tell You, SOCKS ARE GOLD!”

On 5 October 2014, Imgurian sinkfloridasink published a Success Kid meme with this heading: “Feels good to help people.” The text of the meme stated, “SOCKS ON SALE AT TARGET / BUT A PACK FOR THE HOMELESS GUY WHO IS ALWAYS DOWN THE BLOCK, HE IS SO EXCITED THAT HE CRIES AND GIVES ME A HUG.” Sinkfloridasink added, “I also threw in some granola bars, fruit cups, and a toothbrush and toothpaste.” Imgurial IIge joked, “I’d hate to put my socks on and have chunks of granola bars, fruit cups, a toothbrush and toothpaste on my foot.” Imgurian [name censored] wrote, “I’ve been told homeless people are ungrateful for food. Bought a cheap McDonald’s sandwich for a homeless man and the excitement he showed towards me for the food would make up for 100 people being ungrateful. I’d like to have care packages in my car for future times. theurbanshaman wrote, “I’ve been homeless. I can tell you, SOCKS ARE GOLD! They’re called ‘freshies’ and it feels SO good. More people do this, please.”

Former Homeless Redditors, What is the First Thing(s) You Should Do if You Become Homeless? [Serious]

On 5 November 2014, Redditor BigDirtBottle, asked, “Former homeless Redditors, what is the first thing(s) you should do if you become homeless? [Serious].”

Here are two interesting comments:

1) RunAMuckGirl wrote, “The single most important thing that saved my [*]ss and greatly shortened the time I was on the streets was having a cell phone. I could call agencies and get on waiting lists. Agencies could call me back and let me know a spot was open. I could keep in touch with family and let them know I was ok or I needed help in some way. Even if it’s only one of those free government phones, get one. The next most important thing was a bus pass. So even though I had very few resources, I could at least get to places that were providing them, such as clothes, food, personal care supplies, etc.”

2) OnlyMySofaPullsOut wrote a long comment about what to do if you become homeless, including this paragraph: “Whole Foods dumpster is a f[]king gold mine. My experience is that most of the folks who work there are pretty liberal, and will literally tell you when they’re throwing out what, and would genuinely rather just hand it to someone than chuck it in the dumpster. Oftentimes, if you call ahead or text someone’s cell, they’ll literally leave you a ‘care bag’ of meat, pastries, veggies and sh]t, for free. They’re cool peeps. I’ve never been told to go screw by anyone at Whole Foods. And the food quality is awesome. If you cook any expired sh[t within a day or so of the expiration date, it’s fine. Many non-chain local restaurants (especially pizza joints and ethnic food places, for some reason) will literally give you their leftovers at closing time if you ask nicely and explain your situation. Build relationships with these people, especially if your town doesn’t have a Whole Foods. It could be the difference between starving and not starving.” OnlyMySofaPullsOut was homeless in Boston, Massachusetts. This is why: “My freshman-year roommate decided to do a bunch of crystal meth and then decided to make a batch while I was at work one evening. Blew up our apartment & burned out our whole apartment building. No insurance on my sh[*]t. My school told me to go screw when I came to them looking for housing assistance. The rest is history.”

To [be Invited to] Sit Down and Eat, This is a First”

In early 2015, Stanley Long, a homeless man, approached Alex Camarillo and asked for money outside a Pizza Hut on Edgebrook Drive near I-45 in Southeast Houston, Texas. Mr. Camarillo invited Mr. Long to share a meal with him inside. Mr. Long said, “To [be invited to] sit down and eat, this is a first.” Mr. Camarillo said, “I grew up broke. I grew up in poverty.” After lunch, Mr. Camarillo bought Mr. Long some gifts. Mr. Long said that the gifts were “from-head-to-toe clothes.” Mr. Camarillo said, “If you’re able to do it, why not help somebody out?” He added, “Even the smallest deed can change somebody’s life.”

Seeing This Today Brought Tears to My Eyes! Compassion has NOT Gone Out of Style”

On 16 September 2015, Destiny Carreno of Chicago, Illinois, witnessed a good deed at a McDonald’s in Chicago. An elderly man in a wheelchair needed help cutting his food, so Kenny, a McDonald’s employee, shut down his cash register and helped him. She wrote a post about the good deed on Facebook, and the post quickly went viral. Kenny’s employer, Rod Lubeznik, owner of the McDonald’s franchise, gave this statement to the Huffington Post: “We are very proud of Kenny, and overwhelmed by the positive response he has received for his compassion and kindness. It’s a true testament to who Kenny is, and a reminder to us all that one seemingly small act of kindness can touch the hearts of so many.”

This is Destiny Carreno’s Facebook post:

“Seeing this today brought tears to my eyes! Compassion has NOT gone out of style.

“Today I made a quick stop at McDonald’s after work. As I waited in line to order, an elderly handicapped gentleman wheeled himself over to the cashier in front of me. From what I perceived, the gentleman may have had a case of quadriplegia, the same medical condition my uncle has.

“The man politely tried to ask the cashier something and it took him a few tries before either of us could understand he was saying ‘Help me, please.’ Neither of us knew what help he needed, and the cashier suggested a few things before he figured out the gentleman needed help cutting and eating his meal.

“To be honest, I thought the cashier wasn’t going to help, especially during rush hour in downtown Chicago, but to my shock, he shut down his register and disappeared from view….

“Not to get away from helping him, but to wash his hands and put gloves on! I had to stick around and see how this would play out, especially since it hit me so close to home with my own uncle.

“The cashier came out from the kitchen, sat down, and began cutting the man’s meal and helped him eat.

“At that point, the tears started to gather in my eyes. My heart was so appreciative for what he did. I couldn’t contain my emotions in the crowded restaurant.

“This employee, who put everything on hold for this man, went above and beyond his responsibilities to help this handicapped customer out. That was the kindest and most humble thing I had ever seen.”

To the Person Going Through our Trash for Their next Meal, You’re a Human Being and Worth More than a Meal from the Dumpster”

In April 2015, Ashley Jiron, the owner of a restaurant named P.B. Jams — because it serves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — in Warr Acres, Oklahoma, noticed that someone had been digging through her restaurant’s trash. Thinking that the person was looking for food, she posted this sign on a restaurant window: “To the person going through our trash for their next meal, you’re a human being and worth more than a meal from the dumpster. Please come in during business hours for a classic Pb&j, fresh veggies, and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked. — your friend, the owner.” She said, “I have had times when my daughters and I went home to a dark home [because of an unpaid electricity bill]. Friends were kind enough to let me stay with them until I paid the bill. Sometimes we didn’t have enough left on our benefits at the end of the month and we had to buy a loaf of bread and some peanut butter from the dollar store. I am thankful to the state for allowing me to feed my children when I needed it most.”

Neil Robson: Food Bank Good Samaritan

As of early May 2015, Neil Robson, a retired human resources manager in his 60s, has been making a weekly donation for the past year to the Wandsworth food bank in south London, England. He spends approximately £20 and then drops his purchases off at the food bank. Before shopping, he goes to the food bank’s website to find what is most needed, and he concentrates on buying those items. Why does he do this? He said, “Anger. How can it be that there should be people so stretched for cash that they can’t get the money they need for food? I am not a churchgoer; I do this in a secular capacity. My motto, like a Victorian embroidered sampler, is: ‘My neighbour must not go hungry.’” He added, “I’ve been reading about people who, through no fault of their own, are not getting the money they need. I am affronted — shocked that in this wonderful country, people are stuck in a situation where they truly don’t have enough money to eat for the next couple of days.”

What is the Most Pathetic Meal You’ve Eaten Because You were Poor?”

Here are some replies that involve good deeds:

1) nuvistor wrote that “in my panhandling phase during a few months in 2008, I went to a Nob Hill and asked the manager if he had a sandwich that was about to expire or anything, and he gave me one, and told me he much, much preferred people ask him than take stuff; he can generally help them out.”

In another comment, nuvistor wrote, “Man, one of my first jobs was at a gas station, pumping gas (self serve had just come in but we just pumped it for the customers because self-serve seemed kinda weird). So one day the manager came to me and said, ‘Nuvistor, you look like you’d blow away in a stiff wind, but every time someone goes to get lunch, you always say you’re not hungry, what gives?’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t get paid for another week, so I can’t afford to be hungry until then.’ He took me into his office and made me take an advance on my pay. And I think someone just cut an onion somewhere around here.”

This is another comment he made: “Yeah, if you offer to clean their fingerprinty glass door, a restaurant will find something for you. Or at a convenience store after 10 or so, they gotta toss out those hot dogs, might as well give them to you.

“A big thing is to find people who are not white, born-in-America types. Those of the dominant culture here are taught from birth to be [*]ssholes. But your Mexicans, etc., they’ll take care of ya.”

2) eckpm wrote, “When I had just turned 18, I made the decision to pack what I could into a beat-up truck and blaze a new life for myself about 700 miles from my hometown. My cousin accompanied me because I promised adventure and I was determined not to fail.

“We started working as day laborers doing odd construction jobs and whatever we could for the first few weeks. Any cash we had saved got wasted on non-essential items pretty quickly. Unfortunately for us, the staffing company didn’t have much work and after a week of no income we resorted to pawning the Sony PlayStation and all the games. Yeah, we pawned Need for Speed, too. That gave us another week.

“By week 3 we had zero dollars and nothing left to liquidate. We had paid the lot rent on the trailer for 3 months up front and the manager wouldn’t budge on a refund so hunger set in pretty quick. A plan was hatched to get free food.

“I called up to Churches Chicken and told them that they forgot to include a bucket of chicken and mashed potatoes with our drive-through order and that I was coming to pick it up. There hadn’t been an order because we were absolutely broke. I drove there and picked up our meal for the night.

“That food made me feel like the most pathetic person on the face of the planet. I felt subhuman, lower than low.

“The next morning my cousin and I went to find a job. The first site we went to wasn’t hiring but they told us of another that was. I remember talking to the foreman and I explained our entire situation to him. I didn’t cry, but I was on the verge. All of the details spilled out, even the stolen bucket of crispy chicken. He gave us each 10 dollars and told us to go get something to eat because he couldn’t allow us to work for him on an empty stomach. I worked my [*]ss off for the next 3 months of that job and every day since.

“It’s amazing how bad a stolen chicken thigh tastes.”

Here are some replies that show why food stamps (now SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — in the United States) or the equivalent are important:

1) natty1212 wrote, “The meal I’m most ashamed of? It was during a bad bout of unemployment a few years ago. I knew where my neighbor kept his spare key, so when he was at work I went into his apartment. He had a sh[*]tload of frozen pizzas so I stole a couple. My plan was to eat just 2 pieces a day, one in the morning and one at night, so 2 pizzas cut into 8 pieces should last 8 days. However, I was so hungry I ate one in one sitting, and the second lasted me only 2 days. I seriously cried when I finished the last one because I felt so ashamed and I didn’t know what I was going to do. My unemployment check was still 3 days away.” He added, “The worst part was, my neighbor was such a good guy I probably could have just asked and he would have helped me out. But I was ashamed that I had let things get so bad. (It’s a long story that I won’t go into.) But yeah, things are much better now.”

2) nuvistor (the same nuvistor as above) wrote, “Yeah, we coped in various ways. I fished, foraged, did odd jobs, and sold artwork. One of my [sisters] was … promiscuous … because when you’re that you get fed. Another one became a real con artist, and stole stuff, and would steal food from friends’ houses. No judgement from me, no judgement at all. I’m sure if I would have been willing to f[]k or steal for food I’d have done it, fishing was just something I liked anyway, all kids foraged, and art was my thing.”

3) How about food banks? No doubt they help, but …

-Poison_Ivy- wrote, “Went to a food bank once. Got 8 cans of cranberries, 4 purple onions (looked homegrown), and a bunch of apples.”

RUST_LIFE commented, “That’s nothing, try two jars of mayonnaise (expired) and three jars of yeast (also expired) to feed two kids :)”

Note by David Bruce: Food banks can’t give away food unless they have food to give away. Even food banks run out of food.

Foreverflightless commented, “You can be turned away if you ‘make too much’. We were.”

4) This is the most pathetic meal lepurpleplum ate because of poverty: “Toast sandwich… two variations to this: — 2 slices of bread with 1 slice of toasted bread in between — 2 slices of toast with 1 slice of bread in between.”

5) CasuallyConversing wrote, “When we were struggling, we ate a slice of bread for dinner. That was the only meal we had at home. My mom always told us to eat a lot of food at school since our lunches were free at least.

“Once, my brother ate two pieces of bread instead of one, and our mom was so angry. I asked her about it more recently, and she said she was so angry because that was all the food we had, and we had to make it last for a week. We didn’t realize our situation was that dire.”

6) HoosierDoc wrote, “My mom and I shared a Tootsie Pop when she was pregnant with my sister. We ran out of our savings and my dad hadn’t sent for us yet. My mom cried because I was hungry and we couldn’t even afford a $1 sandwich.”

SunDevilJeeper commented, “You see, this is why I don’t want any kids. If I’m having a hard time keeping my checking account out of the negatives, and subsequently feeding myself, [what] the f[]k makes people think having a kid is a good idea?

“‘Have you thought about kids?’

“Yeah, I have. I think they’re a terrible decision for somebody like me.”

Note: David Bruce comments, “My mother used to eat lard sandwiches when she was growing up. Bread and lard and a little salt. Sugar instead of salt when her family had it, which often they did not.”

WE NEED FOOD STAMPS (SNAP)

The comments below are in response to a posting on Imgur that was against food stamps:

1) Jrex42 commented, “You know, it’s very possible to work hard and still not have enough money to make ends meet.”

2) Marrionetta commented, “Foodstamps got me through my childhood. My parents are two of the hardest-working people I’ve ever seen. Always have been.”

3) heykathihey commented, “[…] just because someone depends on food stamps and other support, doesn’t mean that they don’t work hard.”

4) MrsGarrison commented, “My husband and I both lost our jobs a month apart 2 years ago. We had a baby to feed. Sat in the welfare office crying. Felt completely ashamed to utilize a system we had both paid heavily into, for the reason it was intended, because we shame the people who use it. We used [it] for 6 months while we dug out, tried not to get evicted, and tried to keep our kid alive. “

5) jnnfrhll commented, “I’m on food stamps. Me and my fiancé work full-time jobs. He’s a diesel mechanic. So yeah we work hard but still need help.”

6) ZeGed commented, “As long as there is a single hungry kid, we should all be working hard to feed them.”

7) cyanideandsadness commented, “I was on food stamps when I was pregnant. It was the only way I could feed my fat belly that was growing. Nothing wrong with it.”

Food stamps in the USA are SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. We need this. It feeds kids. (And adults. Adults need to eat, too.)

Gifts of Food, and a Gift of Dagga

Mandy Bodart used to live in a house in Cape Town, South Africa, that was near a place where homeless people took shelter. Nearly every day a homeless person knocked on Mandy’s door and asked for food. Mandy even prepared bags of food and kept them by the front door to give to the homeless. The bags contained ingredients for stew, which had to be prepared, and each bag was labeled “2” or “4,” according to how many servings the bag contained. Most of the homeless who came by to ask for food were able to cook it; Mandy wrote, “Our regular vagrants are as organised as cross-arctic explorers.” One day, a young Rastafarian knocked on her door. He did not have cooking facilities, and as a Rastafarian he did not eat meat, so Mandy gave him some already prepared veggie curry. Every day for three weeks, the young Rastafarian asked for food and Mandy considered asking him to start varying the people whom he asked for food. But the young Rastafarian showed up one day and said that he was now able to leave Cape Town because he had a bus ticket to Port Elizabeth, where his family lived. He also said that he wanted to give Mandy a gift. He pushed a large bag of dagga (marijuana) into Mandy’s hands and rushed away. Mandy wrote, “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. There I was holding a large quantity of illegal drugs in my hand, knowing I couldn’t burn it because the neighbours would call the cops. I didn’t dare put it in the garbage in case it was traced back to me, and at the same time I was so touched that ‘Bob’ really was giving me his most prized possession! In case you’re wondering, I eventually mixed it with sand and dumped it in a municipal bin under cover of darkness. And yes, I remained touched by his generosity, greater far than mine — for he gave his greatest treasure.”

Candy Bars and Water

On 9 January 2015, James Fillmore of WSBT (South Bend, Indiana) reported on a Wisconsin family who had been stranded for hours on the Indiana Toll Road because of several crashes that blocked traffic. The Urbans family had no food and were unable to make baby formula for their 4-month-old daughter. Jenesssa Urbans, who was stranded with her husband and infant on the toll road, told him, “I’m worried. I just don’t want her to be hungry. We haven’t eaten since last night at seven o’clock. So, I’m not so much worried about us. I’m worried we’re not going to have enough water for her to eat.” After the interview was over, Mr. Fillmore brought the Urbans family candy bars and water. Jeff Urbans, the father of Jenessa, wrote this post on Facebook thanking Mr. Fillmore for his good deed: “Special thanks to James Fillmore. I am the father of Jenassa Urbans and the grandfather to Fallon. James brought water and food to my daughter and granddaughter who were trapped in the traffic jam on January 10th [actually, 9th]. Your deed did not go unnoticed as we shared your story on Facebook and you are being haled as a hero by many in Wisconsin, our home state. James, you made us realize that there are still caring people in the world and even though we have never met, you will always hold a special spot in our hearts. If you are ever in northern Wisconsin, please look up our business, Northwoods Rest Motel and know you will have a place to stay at no charge. God bless you! Jeff and Beth Urbans.”

Waiters of Reddit, What’s the Most Ridiculous Order Someone’s Placed and How Did You Deal with It?”

On 3 January 2014. Redditor evil_snow_queen asked, “Waiters of Reddit, what’s the most ridiculous order someone’s placed and how did you deal with it?” Here are some replies:

1) misinterpreddit wrote, “Not a waiter but manager. I worked for a really, really famous chef in a very meat-focused restaurant in London.

“I had a lady call in booking a huge table for her birthday. She was vegetarian and allergic to f[]king everything. Milk, wheat, nuts, onion, tomatoes, even chocolate. And a list of other sh[*]t printed on a card. This was legit btw, she sent me a medical report, with severity levels and reactions. something like this is not that uncommon but usually it gets dismissed as attention-seeking or unneeded drama. This lady also said she’s fine with anything — it’s her birthday, she’s not bothered what she eats, just wants all her guests to be happy without her dying.

“Anyway, celeb chef owner was in that day for a shoot and new menu testing when I told him about this. He made it his personal project that day to make her a full-course meal and even a flourless, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free carob (chocolate alternative) cake. With orange zest and some sort of sour cream she could have. They even used the test kitchen to prevent any cross contamination.

“When the dinner was over, the chef had to be gone already, the lady came over to the kitchen in tears saying it’s the first time in 20 years she could have a birthday without a ‘f[]king fruit salad’.

“We just gave her a note from the chef, saying: ‘Hope you had a great birthday and that you enjoyed the cake. Love, J.’

“It was awesome seeing how much effort went into this dish, and how happy it made her.”

gomailabear commented, “This is one of the best things I’ve ever heard. Here’s someone who got such a short end of the genetic stick in regards to food that it’s basically covered in sh[*]t, and she’s not trying to be a pain — she just wants to have a birthday without dying.

“And, unlike every other story I’ve heard about a chef who’s made it big and become famous, your boss actually still remembers why he loves being a chef: creating food that makes people happy and gives them special memories. So he hears about this woman who’s basically been doomed to not enjoy food and makes it his personal mission to guarantee that for one god[*]mned birthday she can.

“I do feel really bad for that woman, though. Because of all the ]ssh[les out there who are picky-[*]ss bastards she can’t just say, ‘I can’t have this food,’ she has to provide medical documentation or people probably won’t take her seriously and she’ll end up in the hospital or dead. (Not saying you wouldn’t have, just that you know someone somewhere would go, ‘Yeah, sure, whatever. I’m sure it’ll be fine if we cut this up on the same cutting board as an onion.’)”

2) Aeorik wrote, “I worked at a national pizza chain for a while as a manager. We used to get this guy who would order all the time. He was lactose intolerant so couldn’t have cheese, and had severe heartburn when he ate red sauce. He would order an XL Supreme with no sauce and no cheese. I told the guy if I did that, the toppings would just fly all over the box but he didn’t care. We ended up just baking the dough separate from the toppings and put the toppings in a small wing box on the side for him. Guy said no other pizza place would do that for him, and he turned out to be a great repeat customer who always tipped well.”

DCRogue commented, “I will say one thing about the picky pizza people: You get it right for them, you become their new best friend. And it kinda feels good.”

An Accidentally Made BBQ Bacon Pizza

On 28 September 2014, Jamesev93 posted on Imgur a Good Girl Gina meme with this caption: “‘Sorry I made the BBQ bacon pizza by accident, do you know anyone else that would want it?’ she said with a wink.” This is the text: “HEARS I AM ONLY 50 CENTS SHORT FOR A SPECIALTY PIZZA, LEAVING ME TO ORDER A CHEAPER AND LESS APPETIZING PIZZA / ‘ACCIDENTALLY’ MAKES THE PIZZA I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR.”

So, was Good Girl Gina actually Bad Employee Heather? Zheon commented, “Not exactly, if it means that the customer was so happy with the service [that] he will give the place good reviews to friends and family, as well as likely be a return customer. Being a good employee means keeping the customer happy enough that they want to come back, and want to recommend the place to others. Likely about a $1 gross loss for the pizza joint on that sale’s profit, but it should lead to further future sales. Just looking at the big picture though.”

On Reddit, Jamesev93 wrote about some of his own good deeds:

“I remember doing something like this for a nice kid. Used to work in a store in an amusement park that sold candy, too. To put the candy through you get scales, measure the amount of candy and times by like however many cents per gram. We always threw away so much candy as kids would drop it and no one really cared. This kid came up, really polite, about 10 years old, asking me how getting candy worked. I told him to pick the candy he wanted and come back to me and I’ll tell him how much it is.

“He brought back about $5 worth and only had $3; he wouldn’t know how much is $5 worth until he came to check. When I told him it was $5, I saw him look down into his hand to count his change. He looked so sad. I asked him how much he had, ‘I only have $3’ I thought about taking more candy out, but I just faked an input weight and gave the kid his candy for $3. He probably didn’t realize what I had done but it made me feel good.

“Tl;Dr gave a nice kid $2 more of candy

“There was also another time when a kid’s 50c got stuck in the jawbreaker machine and the candy didn’t come out. The machine was outside the shop front and I walked out to help. It was pretty busy being summer holidays. Sure enough the mechanism was stuck with a jawbreaker in limbo. I had no idea how I was supposed to fix it, so I just lifted it about 2 inches and dropped it. About 25 jawbreakers came out. I just stood there like ‘what do I do now’. All the kids within 20 meters turned to look at their prey as the candy twirled around the plastic innards. Do I tell my manager and be the bad guy, or do I let the kids destroy the evidence and be the good guy. So I just shrugged, said ‘have fun’ and walked back inside.

“Tldr Jawbreakers for everyone. “

As usual, Redditors had some good comments:

1) akatherder commented, “I was at an arcade once when a guy was working on the token machine. No one was paying much attention, but then he dropped a canister of tokens. There was a moment of hesitation as the nearby 15-20 kids stopped in their tracks and stared at the couple hundred tokens spinning and bouncing around. It seemed like stealing to go grabbing the tokens … One kid reached down and picks up a couple at his feet. The worker just says ‘Well, go on then. There’s no way I’m picking all this up.’

“It was a mob scene. Tokens were worth their weight in gold to kids that age. I remember going to a birthday party where they put full-size candy bars in a piñata … It looked like a rugby scrum. That was nothing compared to this mayhem. Kids were running, screaming, grabbing, pushing. Some kids tried separating a pile off to the side like it was all theirs. Nope. Other kids came and just started picking up their pile. I wished I could just sit back and watch, but I was in the mix trying to get my fair share, too.

“I noticed the worker and the other workers came to watch and enjoy the fray. They might’ve done it on purpose.”

2) ElVidVargas, “I remember one time I was buying a King Kit Kat Bar. I was by myself in the check out and I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t realize this until the clerk told me I needed to pay slightly more than I had. I must have had a very sad face when I put away the Kit Kat as a white woman behind me asked how much it cost and paid for me. This happened when I was 6-7. I’m 21 now. One of [the] random memories my brain decided to keep.”

3) IHaveMoreGunsThanYou commented, “I used to work at a pizza place and they always told us to make sure we throw the old pizza in the dumpster (and make sure they’re thrown in the dumpster good) at the end of the night because homeless people would dig through the dumpster to get it if we didn’t. F[]k that sh[*]t, they would get it anyways. I always sat the boxes in a nice pile on the dumpster because f[]k making someone else lose dignity when they don’t have to.”

Chapter 5: Stories 201-150

Tips for Jesus

On 3 September 2015, Breanne Snow, a waitress at the Bourbon House in Salt Lake City, Utah, received a tip of $3,000 on a food bill of $150 and a drink bill of $505. She said that her boyfriend and she “have been working as hard as we can and always feel like we’re not ahead.” The tipper paid with an American Express black card and wrote “Tips for Jesus” on the bill. Ms. Snow said, “I started tearing up ’cause it really meant a lot to me.”

$278.55 Bill and a $2,000 Tip

On 28 April 2015, Loran Lopez, a 19-year-old student at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, got the tip of a lifetime at her part-time job as a waitress at Logan’s Roadhouse in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The regular customer, who was with a friend, ran up a $278.55 bill and added a $2,000 tip. “I couldn’t talk for a good two minutes,” Ms. Lopez said. “I sat there and stared at it. I couldn’t believe what happened.” About the regular customer, Ms. Lopez said, “I’ve seen her in there before, but I’ve never spoken to her. I’ve always heard about her tipping well, but I’ve never experienced it myself until this time.” The Good Samaritan wishes to remain anonymous. “I thanked her a million times,” Ms. Lopez, who also hugged her, said. “She said, ‘I know I don’t have to tip; there’s no gun pointing at my head — it’s something that I want to do for people.’ She used to be a waitress, too, so she just likes to give back.” Ms. Lopez added, “She thinks waitresses deserve more than what they’re getting. She’s so generous.” Ms. Lopez plans to use the money to pay college expenses: “I’m very grateful for what she did. I didn’t expect it at all.”

We’ve Both Been in Your Shoes. Paying It Forward”

On 27 September 2014, Makenzie Schultz and Steven Schultz made a Facebook post in which they wrote about receiving bad service at a restaurant. The bad service was the result not of a bad server, but of a severe lack of servers. Understanding that, they left a 150% tip for bad service. The Schultzes wrote this:

“So here’s the deal. Our service tonight sucked. Took 20 minutes to get water, 40 minutes for an appetizer and over an hour for our entree. People all around us were making fun of the restaurant & how bad the service was. Yeah, it was pretty terrible. But, it was very obvious that the issue was being short staffed, not the server. He was running around like crazy and never acted annoyed with any table. At one point we counted he had 12 tables plus the bar. More than any one person could handle! As I sat there and watched him run back & forth and apologize for the wait, I said to Steven… Wow, this used to be us. Waiting tables. I don’t miss it at all and I never loved that job. I did it for the tips. Steven and I agreed it would feel good to make this guy’s night when he would probably be getting minimal to no tips due to slow service. We walked out before he saw this and I’m not posting this for a pat on the back. I’m just sharing this as a friendly reminder to think of the entire situation, before you judge. And always always always remember where you came from.”

The bill was $66.65, and the tip was $100. They also wrote on the bill, “We’ve both been in your shoes. Paying it forward.”

Bill: $14.01; Tip: $1,000

On 11 September 2014, a man with a $14.01 bill for a few drinks left a $1,000 tip. The lucky recipient of the tip was Chrisi Kemp, a 37-year-old bartender at One Whirled Café in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Ms. Kemp can use the money. Her five-year-old daughter has been ill and seeing a doctor, and her washing machine broke recently. She and her husband paid their bills, but they had no disposable income. Ms. Kemp said, “I … I … I’m still just speechless about some parts of it. I can’t even believe. And I think my bosses were shocked because they came out and are like are you sure you want to do this? And the gentleman was like ‘Yeah.’” The generous tipper wants to remain anonymous, but he said that he believes in karma. Chris Ortlepp, a chef/owner at One Whirled Café, said, “We were extremely surprised, astonished.” Chris added about the tipper: “He was adamant about it. He was very forthcoming that he was in a position to do this and very willing to do so, and he was going to stand by it.”

Native Americans Rescue Polar Bear

In September 2015, some Native Americans in Alaska noticed something struggling in the sea. It turned out to be a polar bear that was caught in a fishing net and was exhausted and close to drowning. Flora Rexford said, “My mother, my father went out on their boat.” So did Rolan Warrior, in whose net the polar bear was caught. Ms. Rexford said, “My mother and my father went on their boat, and then the guide, Rolan Warrior, the guy whose net it was, they went out with their boats. They helped with rescuing the bear because they darted it but it went into the ocean so if the boats weren’t there … they were critical in helping save it. They got it to the shore — rolled it up on the beach — had a hard time getting it up on the beach in the waves and they got the net free.”

Reddit, What is the Nicest Thing Your Pet has Done for You?”

In 2012, Redditor ZoeAngeline asked, “Reddit, what is the nicest thing your pet has done for you?” She told this story:

“My Labrador puppy, Ace, isn’t allowed upstairs. But one night when it was storming rather violently, my two little sisters couldn’t sleep because they were so afraid (crying, hugging each other, the whole deal). I couldn’t do anything to make them feel better. I was about to give up and get my parents when I heard Ace coming up the stairs to see what all the fuss was about. And mind you, he is not allowed on the second floor and he knows it. When I saw him, I expected him to be scared and whimpering, like he does when I use the blender. Yet he was calm (and perhaps even a bit annoyed). Ace climbed up on the bed and lay down between the girls. And they stopped crying. They curled up with Ace between them, they all fell asleep (well, there were a few minutes of sniffling and cooing at Ace), and I myself enjoyed some Zzzs.

“TL;DR [Too Long; Didn’t Read] Our puppy comforted my baby sisters and got them to sleep during a thunderstorm.”

Here are some other stories:

1) MissMaggie wrote, “Labs are amazing. I’m a rape victim, so his constant vigilance is something I couldn’t live without. With Chase (the ever handsome golden) in my life (as well as my wonderful boyfriend), I am never afraid. That’s the best gift I could ask for. They give a safety combined with everlasting love that is unparalleled. If you don’t have a dog … get one — the shelters are full of amazing pups.”

2) VividLotus wrote, “My dog is pretty much the most defenseless creature in the world, and he seems to know it. Between his missing teeth and his joint and breathing problems, he seems aware that he doesn’t stand a chance in a fight, and his best defense if threatened is to just try and hide. That’s what he does if he feels scared of another animal.

“But if he senses that I’m scared or upset by another person, he’ll stand in front of me and bark at them. In spite of seeming to understand that he’d stand very little chance in any kind of fight, he still wants to try to defend me.”

Helping Jim was Just Something I Did Without Thinking About It. And I Couldn’t Believe People were Messaging Me from Arizona and Australia to Say How Great It Was”

In August 2015, Jim Heron, age 84, fell as he was shopping in St Johns in Liverpool city centre in Liverpool, England. Fortunately, sisters Sophie and Shannon Gower, ages 19 and 17, respectively, who are from Seacombe, helped him up. Mr. Heron’s granddaughter, Sophie Heron, age 26, said, “He has got glaucoma, so his eyes are deteriorating and he is a little bit unsteady on his feet.” She added, “He is also quite a proud man so he would not have liked much fuss, but he did say the girls were absolutely stunning. The girls asked him where he was heading to and he told them he wanted to go to Wilkos so they took him upstairs and stayed with him.” Sophie Gower even bought him a walking stick. Sophie Heron said, “They disappeared for a bit and came back with a walking stick. He was overwhelmed by their kindness. The way they bought him a walking stick with their own money, you don’t expect it from the younger generation.” Sophie Gower said, “I was just outside St Johns and I saw him fall up a few steps so I helped him up and asked him where he was going. After when I sat him down in Wilkos I was walking away, I just thought I couldn’t leave him there. Two doors down there was a shop that sells bits and bobs, and I went in [and] bought him a [walking] stick.” She added, “I got flowers, chocolate, and a candle from Jim’s granddaughter Sophie, but I didn’t realise all this [news of the good deed went viral] was going to happen. Helping Jim was just something I did without thinking about it. And I couldn’t believe people were messaging me from Arizona and Australia to say how great it was.”

This was a Beautiful Gesture that I will Cherish Forever. Thank you, American Express Cardholder”

On 16 September 2015, this letter to the editor by Ed Cahan appeared in the Herald and Review (Decatur, Illinois):

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and she was at South Shores Kroger store on Sept. 2 [2015].

“I am still smiling and a bit awestruck at an experience I had then. When I was about to check out at the store, I couldn’t find my credit card. I searched my wallet, my pockets and looked on the floor. No card. The clerk held my groceries while I walked up and down every aisle thinking perhaps the card had dropped on the floor. Still, no card.

“As I know the clerks and am a regular customer, I went back to the checkout counter and asked the clerk to hold on to my groceries while I went home to look for my card or get my checkbook. She smiled and said there was ‘no need.’ I thought she meant I could take the groceries and come back later. However, she continued, ‘No need, sir, a good Samaritan paid for your groceries.’ I was flabbergasted.

“Still stunned, I returned home, found my card and went back to credit the good Samaritan’s account and charge the groceries to my card. The clerk would not do it. She said the lady behind me in the checkout lane told the clerk I reminded her of her father who had recently lost his eyesight and was struggling with everyday tasks.

“This was a beautiful gesture that I will cherish forever. Thank you, American Express cardholder. There are wonderful caring people in Decatur and you are one of them. Bless you and your family.”

Is There a Person Whom You Met Once in Your Life and are Likely to Never Meet Again that You Sometimes Think Of? Who is that Person?”

Here are some replies:

1) Bluios wrote this: “A long time ago, my father was in jail for a small misdemeanor crime (he served only a month) and my mom was out of the country.

“At the time, my parents were divorced, so my dad’s girlfriend was the one who was supposed to babysit me for the month. My mother didn’t like that. She called the police and they came to take custody of me since I wasn’t with a legal guardian. The cops then took me to an orphanage.

“Being the age of 7, [I thought that] this was the scariest thing ever. There were kids there who were bigger and the adults weren’t nice. I knew no one. I was put in a room with four other kids and given a bottom bunk.

“After being put to bed, I cried and cried until the kid above me called my name. He then tossed me down a stuffed Scooby Doo animal with an eye patch and bandana. He said I could have it to make me feel better. It did. I took the thing in my arms and went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, he was gone.

“I’m grown up now. I still have the Scooby Doo on my dresser.”

2) alaniomartinetz wrote this: “When I was young, I remember a man visiting our house a little bit before Christmas. I can’t even really picture him now, but he was an obviously older man. Anyway, I was in the kitchen watching The Land Before Time on our small kitchen TV, when my dad let him in the house. They talked in the hall while I kept watching TV. Then they came into the kitchen and the older man approached me. I remember that I could tell he was nervous.

“He made small talk with me, and I made small talk back, but I didn’t know why he was there, so I wasn’t all that interested in him. I assumed he knew my parents and was just being polite by acknowledging me. I focused more on the film than the conversation.

“After a short time, he and my dad left the kitchen and continued their conversation, and I got back to the film. When I heard the front door close, I knew he’d left, and my dad came into the kitchen with a full, black bin bag. It was full of toys — stuffed animals, Lego sets, things like that. My dad told me the man had brought them for me.

“I learned later in life that the man was actually my grandad. He had Alzheimer’s (pretty far-gone, too) and as a result my mum decided it might be too painful for everyone involved to have him in my life. This year he just wanted to see me no matter what.

“He’s dead now. I never met him again after that day, but I’m told he came to watch one of my football games when I was a teenager, and made sure I didn’t know he was there. I often think about him, and what a relationship with him would have been like. I also kick myself for paying more attention to the film than to the person trying to get to know me as best as he could with his one and only opportunity to do so.”

3) qwertykitty wrote this: “When I was like 12-13, I went to a week-long summer camp. I was the really awkward, shy girl, and I always struggled to make/keep friends. Well, at this camp, I was being my usually awkward shy self and putting my sleeping bag and stuff on a top bunk in the cabin I was assigned, and another girl walks in and takes the top bunk next to mine. We just instantly clicked. I have never before or since clicked so perfectly with someone before and we were absolutely inseparable for the rest of the camp. I had the time of my life. I never learned her last name, and we completely lost touch after the camp was over. Shawna, I hope life is as kind to you as you were to me.”

4) MyBobaFetish wrote this: “My ex had burned all of my belongings, including my purse and all my identification. I was on the street, and hungry. I went to the food stamp office, thinking maybe I could get some emergency assistance, because a friend told me they could do it same day if you were in desperate times. It was the end of the day, and the lady told me to come back tomorrow, and I asked if it could be in the morning because I was so hungry, and had no way to eat. She slid me ten bucks across the counter and said, ‘Please don’t tell my boss. I could be fired.’ Today, after leaving him, and in a WONDERFUL place in life where I get to be the one helping rather than the one being helped, I think of her often.”

5) Bebinn wrote this: “When I was 9, my parents had just gotten divorced. My mom moved my brother and me from Baltimore to Boston. As a newly divorced single parent, Mom didn’t have much money for necessities. One thing that she counted on was not having to buy boots for us until […] Christmas. She wanted them to be a gift from Santa.

“She underestimated how cold canvas shoes can get in the winter in Boston. Snowy weather starts much earlier there than in Baltimore.

“I ended up going to school on a very cold morning, and before I was halfway there, I was crying from the pain in my feet. A nice man stopped and asked what was wrong. He helped me calm down and half-carried me the 2 blocks to the school. I probably wouldn’t get in his car or let him fully carry me. I don’t trust strangers that much. He came in and took me to the nurse who helped me with my wet, cold shoes. I think my mom had to go buy me boots that day because we both got boots.

“I think about him a lot. I don’t know his name, and even if he were standing next to me I wouldn’t know him. But his kindness meant a lot to me.”

6) RynoLanerz wrote this: “I remember being about 7 years old and I crashed my bicycle into a handicapped sign in my apartment complex. I know… hahaha. I crashed and hurt my leg badly (ended up being broken) and a guy walked by and saw it happen. I was crying my eyes out, but he did nothing. I remember his dumb face staring at me as he walked by and did nothing. Sure I wonder about that ]ssh[le, but it’s the young couple I remember. They saw the aftermath and came and picked me up and carried me back to my apartment where my mother took me inside to give me a warm bath because she didn’t [know] the severity [of the accident] at the time. I am 31 now and that couple had to have been mid 20’s. So they would be like in their 50s or so now. I always wonder [about them]. Maybe they were brother and sister? Are they still together? Alive? Plus I live in a completely different state now on the opposite side of the country. Maybe one or both live in the same state as me again. Hmmmmm … always the mysteries of our fellow human beings.”

Josh Ausmus: Good Citizen

In May 2015, Josh Ausmus noticed a pile of stinking trash along the James River in Greene County, Missouri. He cleaned it up, putting the trash in his car, and got permission to put the trash in a city dumpster in Springfield, Missouri. Many people appreciated this. Mr. Ausmus said, “People have been trying to give me free stuff, buy me a steak and beer or a slice of pizza. And I got thanked a lot. I just hope it opened a conversation about responsibility.” In June 2015, the Greene County Commissioners presented him with a Good Citizenship Award. Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin told Mr. Ausmus, “I want to shake your hand. This goes beyond the call of duty, and we love seeing this and you are very deserving of this certificate.” Josh’s father, Rick Ausmus, said, “I’m absolutely proud of him. He’s always been a very clean kid. His car always stays clean inside. And he always kept his room clean.” After his clean-up job, Josh Ausmus had to hose out his car. He said, “I have a big bag of cedar chips in there now. It seems to help with the smell.”

What is the Biggest Good Deed You have Done for a Complete Stranger?”

Here are some answers:

1) ruey-soho wrote, “When I was moving from MN [Minnesota] to WA [Washington], I was getting rid of most of my stuff, since I was moving into a small apartment from a house. I’m talking loads of silverware, furniture, bedding, etc.

“I had put one of my chairs out by the trash because it was all torn up. Then I put all the rest of my stuff into a van and we were driving it to Savers (kinda like Goodwill)…

“Going down the road, we saw a woman and a little girl carrying the chair that I had thrown out. There was a matching chair in the van, so we stopped and asked them if they wanted the matching chair.

“With a little conversation, we found out that the woman, her brother, and her daughter had pooled all their money together to buy a house up the street for cash ($40,000). It was not in good shape… and they had spent all their money on it, so they didn’t have anything to put in it. No chairs or anything.

“I asked where they lived, and we drove the van there and gave them everything in the van. They were so thankful.”

2) thumper5, a female, wrote, “Towards the end of my last finals week of college, I’d just gotten out of one of my last tests and was walking to the bus stop when I noticed someone wandering around, seemingly aimlessly, in the middle of a busy four-way intersection. I was exhausted and thought, ‘Wow, what a moron,’ before I realized he had a walking cane. He was blind.

“I looked around for a minute at all the other students around me, and they were all giving him weird looks and going about their day. The cars just drove around him. I got pissed.

“I ran into the intersection where he was and asked him if he was all right, which is when he started sobbing. He had no idea where he was because he’d never been to that part of campus before. Linking my arm around his, I led him out of the middle of the road and back to an area he was familiar with. We sat on a bench for a bit while he calmed down. When he had, he gave me a fast, awkward hug that took me by surprise before heading wherever he was going.

“I was late to work. I didn’t even care.”

3) kanikkers, a female, wrote, “I honestly feel like kind of a sh[*]thead for sharing this, but maybe people will be inspired to do something similar…?

“I tipped a Taco Bell drive-through worker a $20 once because I’d just gotten my first kiss and was feeling fantastic.”

Fujiwara_Bunta commented, “Did actually do something similar a couple years back.

“Stopped for gas at a Pilot, and saw some pregnant girl roaming around asking for cash for her electric bill or some such. She said her bill was something like $120 and she scrounged up about $40 and change.

“[I had a] good pay week from both my jobs at the time, so I opened my wallet and handed her a $100 bill.

“Not sure if it was a scam or not, but I did get a hug and kiss on the cheek from a teary-eyed and pregnant 20-ish year old.”

4) imthebar, a female, wrote, “This is small fries compared to some of these other posts, but I have routinely gone out of the way to return wallets when I find them. Looking up their Facebook via their ID when applicable to message them there, taking the bus more than an hour out of my way to physically hand it to them, and never ever ever taking any money or anything out, or snooping beyond checking out ID for returning purposes.

“I’ve lost my wallet too many times, and it SUCKS. I don’t want anyone to have to go through replacing stuff if it can be avoided, especially college students who are often short on cash, have out-of-state IDs with their parents’ addresses instead of where they currently live, and student IDs that are obnoxious to replace (I hated dropping $20 any time I needed a new one at school). So I figure it’s a little good karma to do whatever it takes to return the wallet, whenever possible.”

5) ageekyninja, a female, wrote, “I met a woman at a party who seemed a bit down in the dumps. I found out this stranger was the mother of a friend of mine who passed away several years before that. We talked about her daughter the entirety of the time we spent together, how wonderful and compassionate she was. The fact that she could share her grief with someone seemed to brighten her day.”

6) Ember357 wrote, “Had a guy in the neighborhood trying to find some work, door to door. Just a kid really. He had just moved into a trailer and his pregnant sister was moving in, too; they had nothing. I told him I didn’t have any work for him, but I took them about 50 bucks worth of groceries later that day. I think I could have knocked him over with a breath when he opened the door. Some people aren’t used to kindness. That’s a shame.”

7) SpermJackalope, a female, wrote, “I’ve prevented a few drunk girls from being raped. Usually never saw them again, never even really got their names or numbers, just called a friend of theirs to come pick them up or walked them home or something.”

I had $120 in My Front Pocket and I Reached in My Pocket. I Didn’t Do It for Everybody to See Me, You Know. I had It in My Hand and I Handed It to Her”

In the summer of 2015, David Bugarin of Roswell, New Mexico, performed a good deed in the Roswell Walmart. The credit card of a woman with two children was declined, and she started to leave without her groceries. Mr. Bugarin said, “Something told me, you know, to help her out. I had $120 in my front pocket and I reached in my pocket. I didn’t do it for everybody to see me, you know. I had it in my hand and I handed it to her.” A woman witnessed the good deed and posted about it on Facebook, saying that she was surprised by the good deed because Mr. Bugarin has many tattoos, including tattoos of horns on his forehead, and she judged by his appearance that he would not do such a kind deed. Mr. Bugarin knows that his tattoos affect many people that way: “I get the looks and I see the people get uneasy when I come around, until they know me, until they talk to me and find out who I am.” Empathy made him perform the good deed. He said, “I’ve been there. I know the situation. I know how it feels and I didn’t want to put her on the spot, so you know, I kind of just kind of snuck it to her and I walked away.” He added, “I just believe that it’s random acts of kindness that make a difference.” By the way, after giving her the money, he did not have enough money to pay for his own items.

Disability Parking Activism

On 19 February 2015, Redditor RufusMcCoot posted on Imgur a Good Guy Greg meme with this heading: “My boyfriend is in a wheelchair and this was all I could think of doing when I saw a soccer mom in a rush without a sticker take the last handicapped spot.” This is the text of the meme: “SEES YOU PARK IN HANDICAPPED SPOT / BREAKS YOUR LEGS SO YOU WON’T GET IN TROUBLE.” On Reddit, curious-inquirer commented, “I leave a wee note under the wipers that has the symbol of a wheelchair and the words ‘You have my park, do you want my disability too?’ Great embarrassed looks from the offenders.”

There’s an Older Man with a Walker Shoveling Snow — I’ll Help Him Out”

In February 2015, Tommy Adams, a teenager in Nottoway County, Virginia, saw an older man — who used a walker — shoveling his driveway. Tommy was in a car with his mother, Teresa Adams, and he told her, “Mamma, stop the car.” She said, “I got scared and asked, ‘What’s wrong?’” Tommy replied, “There’s an older man with a walker shoveling snow — I’ll help him out.” Tommy asked the older man for his shovel; he remembered, “I told him to get back into his car because it was cold.” The older man told Tommy, “God bless you. The world needs more people like you.” Tommy said, “Other people who saw him in the snow should have had the decency to stop.” Teresa Adams said, “I was so proud, I started to cry.” Tommy, who said that he spent over 15 minutes clearing the driveway, added, “I try to do good for the elderly because one day I may need help, too.”

Random Kindness on the Appalachian Trail”

On 10 January 2015, Redditor wmccrani35 posted this on the Random Acts of Kindness subReddit:

“So I’m new to Reddit and this happened quite a while ago, but I found this sub and it seemed appropriate so … here we go! In 2012 I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia and really learned how awesome people can be, but one experience will always stand out. I was about 2 or 3 months into the trip and ended up walking a stretch from Connecticut through New York and New Jersey into Pennsylvania (about 3 weeks) without having a single rest day, shower, or night in a bed. It was hot and dry, and I was miserable to the point of sitting down and crying alone one night. The next day I stopped for lunch and a father/son pair came hiking up and sat down to eat, gave me some fresh fruit (awesome!) and told me about how they were cutting their 2-night trip short because the dad needed a shower. ‘Oh yeah, wait until you hear about my experience!’ I say, and proceed to spill out my heart to them about the last few weeks. After I was done, they invited me to come stay with them in a nearby timeshare, gave me a bed, shower, 3 hot meals, and a ride back to the trail. I, a complete stranger, got to stay with their family and get rejuvenated for free. It’s an act of kindness I will never forget, and if they’re out there and reading this, I hope they know how much their kindness meant to me. It was a life-changing experience, and I hope one day I’ll be able to do the same for someone else who’s having a hard time.”

Graham: Good Samaritan in Raleigh, North Carolina

In February 2014, a bad winter storm hit Raleigh, North Carolina, and some people were forced to abandon their cars. Fortunately, complete strangers helped some of these people make it home. Andrea Crane and Jenna Crane, a mother and daughter, work in the same doctor’s office, and they got caught in the winter storm. Andrea said, “Maybe we probably shouldn’t have even gone in to work.” Jenna tried to follow her mother home from work. Jenna said, “When I had her on the phone, I kept saying, ‘This is bad,’ and she would say, ‘Oh, no, no. Think positively.’ And then like two, three hours [of driving] later, I’m like, ‘This is bad.’” Andrea and Jenna became separated, and Jenna became stuck on the Falls of Neuse Bridge. Jenna abandoned her car, and a Good Samaritan — a man she remembers only as Graham — showed up. She said, “Graham. Yeah, he pulled up in a really nice pickup truck.” Graham was able to reunite Andrea and Jenna, and they got home safely. Jenna said, “I wish I knew more about him.” She added, “When people say don’t be on the road or be where you need to be by noon today, I think we should trust that.” Graham told Jenna that he had helped other people that afternoon.

Dear Redditors, What’s the Nicest Thing You’ve Done for Someone and that Person Never Knew You Did?”

Here are some lightly edited answers:

1) evilrobotluke wrote,“When I was young, we used to have a family Easter Egg hunt. The adults would hide chocolate Easter eggs around the house or the backyard or wherever it was we were and the kids would run around trying to find them.

“One year my cousin just got unlucky and didn’t find any eggs. She was a little sad about it. So later I hid some of my own eggs again then convinced her maybe we missed some earlier & we should have another look. I guided her to the right areas but let her find the eggs herself. She was so happy and completely convinced the rest of us had just missed them earlier.”

2) egh42792 wrote, “My university didn’t have an Easter break. My first year, I noticed people round me were really stressed out about school and generally sad about not getting to go home for an extended period of time. The day before Easter, my friend and I took a bus to a bunch of different stores and got over 300 plastic eggs and a huge bag of candy and spent the rest of the night filling the eggs with candy and handwritten inspirational quotes (there was a whole lot of Dumbledore — we kept it secular). At about 4am we got up and hid the eggs all over our dorm with signs telling the residents to hunt for eggs but not to be too greedy. We had a blast the next day watching people post on our dorm’s Facebook page about how much fun they were having doing the hunt. We didn’t really tell anyone it was us and we’re both non-religious so no one suspected us. One of my favorite Easters!”

3) tsim12345 wrote, “My best friend did something nice that she thought I’d never find out about.

“She had met a guy who she was trying to hook me up with like in 7th grade. I don’t remember how she even met him, I just remember her being like, ‘Hey, I found a guy I think you might like, let me arrange a date!’ So I get dressed up and meet her at the movies with the guy. She had told me this would be his first-ever date.

“I can tell right away he is immature for our (already immature) age, and he seems uncomfortable. We watch the movie and let’s just say sparks are not flying. At one point she goes to the bathroom and he just straight up says, ‘I don’t think we should date.’ And I’m like … ‘okay, cool, we can be friends.’ And he’s like ‘Callie (my best friend) made it sound like you were the most beautiful girl on earth or something.’ And he scoffed like she was way off.

“Now, usually this would have bothered me. Like, I’d never been called ugly before so that stung, and I didn’t know how to deal. But really, stronger than my disappointment or hurt feelings was this rush of appreciation and love for my friend. She apparently saw me as so pretty she never considered he might not feel the same way. I knew she was a keeper.

“It was a great day.”

I_Validate_You replied, “You’re a pretty amazing friend, too, /u/tsim12345! It’s a pretty rare cat who sees past her own hurt, to recognize the core of what was happening — that your friend thought you were beautiful […]. A lot of people would get wrapped up in reacting to rejection, or feeling insecure about their looks. And while you did experience those things, they weren’t the most important thing.

“I just want to take a second to tell you that you had some pretty sophisticated emotional intelligence for a young person. I can only imagine that as time goes on, you’ve continued to see through trivia and focus on the heart of matters. And your comment history here is testimony to that — a pretty steady stream of clear-eyed excellence and kindness.

“You’re pretty amazing, did you know that?”

4) ShadowShaman24 wrote, “There is a group of those snotty douchebags in my school that every school has that bullied me for a majority of my freshman year. I learned from one of my friends (whose dad is a cafeteria worker) that the ‘leader’ of their group was in debt $200 to the school and he wouldn’t graduate because of it. The dude is like 20 and a senior and isn’t very privileged. So despite being bullied by him and his group for an entire year I paid almost $450 to wipe away the group’s debt to the school so they could graduate high school. They have no idea it was I who did that. Quite frankly I don’t mind if they don’t.”

So Maybe Good Samaritans Really Do Exist. I Want to Thank All of You Who were Kind Enough to Stop Today. Thank You for Taking the Time to Help Someone in Need”

Sometimes a person will pose as a Good Samaritan to someone but will then rob that person. Following one such incident, TV station KYTX in Tyler, Texas, decided to see whether real Good Samaritans still exist. In September 2015, reporter Jacqueline Sarkissian pretended to have car trouble. She then waited to see if anyone would stop and offer to help her. Within five minutes, Joshua Ford stopped. He said, “I looked over, you know, saw you had your hood up and you didn’t look like you knew what you were doing.” In one hour, seven people stopped and asked if she needed help. Once, two separate vehicles stopped. One of the drivers, Jimmy Shepherd, said, “I didn’t know he [the other Good Samaritan] was here actually. I went down and did a U-turn back there, and when I came back by I saw he was here, but like I said it’s a Chevy and I got the antifreeze in my truck and jumper cables. I didn’t know what the guy helping already had.” Why did they offer to help? Mr. Ford said, “I was raised in a home where if someone needs help, you stop and see what they need.” Another Good Samaritan, Justin Vaughan, said, “It’s just who I am. My mom always taught me [to] help who you can help.” Yet another Good Samaritan, Kevin Henry, said, “I have sisters and I have cousins first of all and you never know … anybody, everybody needs help, especially being on the side of the road.” Ms. Sarkissian, the reporter, said, “So maybe good Samaritans really do exist. I want to thank all of you who were kind enough to stop today. Thank you for taking the time to help someone in need.”

A Good Deed at Aldi’s

On 16 December 2014, the Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut) published this letter to the editor by Rosemary O’Connor of New Milford, Connecticut:

On Nov. 25 [2014], I was shopping in Aldi’s in New Milford and lost my wallet.

“I realized it as I went to pay for my groceries. I began calling out that I’d lost it and asking if anyone saw it.

“A young woman, about age 40, came up and gave me a $20 bill, saying it might help pay for my groceries.

“The wallet was finally found in the mushroom bin. It must have fallen out of my purse when I reached for the garlic.

“By that time, the young woman had left and I wasn’t able to give back her $20.

“I am very grateful for the good people we have here in New Milford.

“I will pass along the good deed that young woman did for me.”

Reddit, What have You Done in Real Life that Deserves a Gilding?”

On 9 January 2015, memephobic asked, “Reddit, what have you done in real life that deserves a gilding?” Here are some replies:

1) dollfaise wrote, “To most, this probably isn’t a big deal, but it made me really happy.

“I worked at a book store that offered an annual membership, and with this membership you could get coupons and a percentage off your purchases. One day, I was working as a cashier when this young guy came through, maybe 17, and asked to purchase the membership. With tax, it came to $27 for the year. He only had $15.

“He was rushing to catch his bus at the time and clearly felt embarrassed. He became noticeably frazzled, looked down at the crumpled bills in his hand, and my heart just broke. I told him to wait right there and ran clear to the back of the store to get my credit card from the break room. I ran back to the front, swiped my card, ran back around to my register, and finished the transaction. He was so thrilled, I think it was one of my best moments there ever. I was just so damn happy that he wanted to read; of all the things to spend money on, he wanted a bookstore membership. Who couldn’t get behind that?”

2) santacruzer7 wrote, “Saved a little kid’s life.

“He must have been about 4 years old. He was trying to sit on the top protective railing on the second floor of an indoor mall. His parents were watching their other kids at the play area directly below. So the kid pulled himself up and threw his leg over the railing, resting his weight right onto the downward moving escalator railing. It pulled his little body right over the edge. This happened right as I walked by him. I snatched him right back over, just as he was about to fall to his death in front of his parents.

“I’m no hero, nor did I do anything ‘heroic’ … but that kid would have been splattered dead in front of his family if I didn’t happen to be walking by.”

3) [NameCensored] wrote, “I was running late for work one morning but had to fuel up the old automobile. While I was paying for the gas, I overheard a young mother with a 6-month-old on her hip calling her boyfriend to ask him to change her flat tire. He was refusing and she was upset.

“I didn’t have time to help her, but I offered to help her anyway. I changed her tire to the spare and loaded her flat tire into her trunk. She offered me money for my time, but I told her to keep it because if it had been my son and his mother, I would hope someone would offer to help them.”

4) djduni wrote, “In first grade, my parents thought something was wrong with me because whenever they drove by the schoolyard during recess (small town, mom’s not a creeper) they always saw me standing alone under a tree with a girl. All the other boys would be playing kickball or hopscotch or whatever, but I was always under that tree with the little girl. So they come in for the first parent-teacher meeting night and ask if I am having developmental problems because they assumed all the boys shunned me and the girls shunned this girl. The teacher exclaimed to them, ‘Absolutely not! Your son is the sweetest boy I’ve ever taught. He stands out there every day with that girl, who is blind and in our class, and tells her what is going on around the playground.’ I ended up sitting by her in class, too, and helping her learn to read. I remember getting her Braille books for her all the time from the library.

“When my parents asked me why I decided to do this, I responded, ‘Because I am teaching her how to read, and she’s teaching me how to listen.’”

5) bobbed wrote, “I saw an overly obese person in a parking lot that just looked 100% defeated because someone had parked way too close to their car and it was just physically impossible for them to get into their car. I walked over and without making it a big deal asked her for her keys. She immediately gave them over. I crawled through the passenger side and backed her car out of the spot so she could get into her car. I felt like a hero for a day.”

6) StarbuckPirate wrote, “Fourth of July, I was at Home Depot in my truck to pick up some wire. I noticed a man and his wife bought a new BBQ grill and were trying feverishly to put it into their hatchback Honda. No way it would fit.

“I jumped into my truck, pulled over to them, and introduced myself. ‘Let’s get this bad boy into my truck and get you folks home,’ I said. ‘It’s fourth of July and the grill isn’t even warm yet.’

“The husband jumped into my truck as the wife followed. I helped them unload. He tried to offer me money. I said, ‘No brother, just pay it forward some time.’”

Doing My Bit for Those Who Want to Change

On 8 January 2015, Imgurian Brigand7935 posted a Success Baby meme on Imgur with this heading: “Doing my bit for those who want to change.” The text of the meme stated, “SEE A NEWBIE AT THE GYM WONDERING HOW TO USE A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT. THEY WALK OFF EMBARRASSED. I BREAK FROM MY ROUTINE, PERFORM A QUICK SET, AND RETURN TO WHAT I WAS DOING. / NEWBIE RETURNS TO THE EQUIPMENT, USES IT PERFECTLY, WALKS A LITTLE MORE CONFIDENTLY ARIOUND THE GYM NOW!” Brigand7935 also wrote, “Was working out in the gym today and saw a young woman, slightly overweight, trying out some of the equipment in the gym. Sat herself down in front of the lateral pull down machine and looked totally bemused. I waited until she moved to the next machine and without making eye contact or acknowledging her I stopped my squats and [did] a quick ‘super set’ [and then] went back to my station and watched in the mirror as she walked back to the machine and performed 3 perfect sets. I love seeing people, [both] men and women, deciding to change their lives for the better. Small steps lead to great journeys.” Other Imgurians appreciated this good deed:

1) booksncleverness wrote, “Coming from a slightly overweight woman who was struggling with weight machines the other day, this was honestly the best way to help!”

2) EveryoneKnowsYouPoop wrote, “You’re awesome! As a female gym goer, I am way too intimidated to use the machines. Super nice of you.”

3) LifesAGraveAndIDigit wrote, “You’re [da] darlin’ real MVP! Thanks, op, for being a good human. I award you three head pats and a tummy rub!”

Nyfesha Miller, You will Never Understand How Happy this Act of Kindness has Made My Family”

On 24 September 2015, Rebekka Garvison, a Patient Access Representative at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, posted on Facebook this account of a good deed:

“Something amazing happened to me today and I will never be able to express how grateful I am for it. If anyone has ever traveled with an infant you know how stressful it can be. Today, I was reminded that there truly are absolutely AMAZING individuals in this world even if they are complete strangers to you. I have been planning this trip to surprise Nick Garvison for quite some time and have been most stressed about flying alone with Rylee and all of our stuff to lug around with no help. As soon as we got on the plane at 5:30 AM it was very quiet and it was a full flight. I noticed that the 2 seats next to me were taken and this couple looked very annoyed and I could tell by their body language sitting right next to me that they weren’t thrilled about sitting next to Rylee. Of course I’m already stressing and then Rylee started crying when we were just getting ready to taxi. I decided to ask the other flight attendant if I could move up 2 rows where there were 2 empty seats next to each other and I’d have more room to do stuff. She said yes and next thing I know I was sitting next to this amazing woman! I’m not sure if she could tell how stressed and upset I looked or what, but she turned our day completely around. Rylee wouldn’t stop crying no matter what I would try and do….so she had asked if I didn’t mind if she tried and of course I let her. As soon as she had her, Rylee was looking out the window and stopped crying. When we got in the air she fell right asleep and slept in her lap the whole flight until we got to our gate. She kept saying it wasn’t a problem at all and it was actually a comforting feeling for her. She even carried her off the plane and held her so I could get the stroller and carseat put back together so I wasn’t struggling to try and do it all alone.

“Nyfesha Miller, you will never understand how happy this act of kindness has made my family. You could’ve just rolled your eyes and been irritated like everyone else, but you took her and held her the entire flight and let me get some rest and peace of mind. It brought tears to my eyes while I sat there and watched you and Rylee sleeping next to me. I just couldn’t believe how that ended up working out and how caring you were to us. Thank you SO much!!

“God bless you!!”

What Random Act of Kindness has a Stranger Done for You that You’ll Always Remember?”

On 5 January 2015, Redditor Fluffstermonster asked, “What random act of kindness has a stranger done for you that you’ll always remember?” Here are some replies:

1) TWSS33 wrote, “I was 18 and out on my own travelling the world. I was near the end of my trip (London to New York for a week and then home to Australia) and I fell ill with what I didn’t know at the time was glandular fever. Anyway I was in terrible condition and I barely had any energy. I was pretty worried because I was so sick and had no idea what was wrong with me. All I knew is that I was in a bit of trouble.

“I was desperate to get home, so I pushed forward. On the plane I met a girl who was a fair bit older than me — around 30 odd. She was English and spent the whole flight chatting to me. She could tell I was pretty sick and did her best to keep me happy.

“She was flying over to meet her friend who was American and lived in New York. When we got to the airport, they met up and hugged. They had a quick chat, and the English girl turned to me to say what I thought was goodbye. Instead she asked me how I was getting to the city and where I was staying. I answered I didn’t know to both these question. She and her friend insisted I cab into the city with them. I said ok as I had no idea how to get there otherwise.

“When we got to the American girl’s apartment, I thanked them and said I would be on my way. They said no way as they could tell I was unwell. They insisted that I come upstairs and have a rest and when I was ready that I could find a hostel. I ended up sleeping for 20 hours straight there. When I woke up, I was so embarrassed. However, they cooked me dinner and insisted I stayed a few more nights, which I did.

“Anyway, I have rambled on a bit, but what they did for me was amazing. I was a young sick kid in a big city who had met one of them 8 hours before and one for only 5 minutes and they took me in. I offered [them] all of my money and some wine I was taking home, but they refused. They just said pay it forward. Definitely the biggest act of kindness I have received from strangers, and I have never forgotten it.”

2) BeatnikThespian wrote, “I was backpacking through northern Italy in the middle of winter and my bank froze my account even though I’d told them multiple times I was going to be overseas. This left me in the middle of a sleepy college town with only twenty euros to keep me going until my bank opened again in three days. I thought I’d be able to just sleep on the streets, but I quickly realized how horribly that wasn’t going to work.

“I found a local bar, went in and bought a cheap mug of mulled wine, and just started talking with people. Eventually, I made friends with these two Scottish girls studying abroad at the local university. When I mentioned my predicament, they let me live with them for a few days. I don’t take having a warm place to sleep for granted anymore. Keep in mind, I’d been on the road for like six months and probably looked sketchy as all Hell. That kind of generosity and trust really stays with you.”

3) Hedrix wrote, “Does a compliment count?

“In seventh grade, I was walking to the subway on my way home when two girls from the high school near my middle school stopped me and told me I was going to be so cute when I grew up and one kissed me on the cheek.

“13-year-old me felt so good about myself. Still think about it randomly when I’m feeling down.”

4) ScootScootAway wrote, “I was under one of the worst depressive lows of my life when my friends/family could not be trusted, had an argument with some of my closest friends, and that every aspect of my life was crumbling apart. I had to bike ~20 miles total round trip to get to my counselor that evening because of an emergency. On the way back home, I was speeding up to clear [the] steepest hill on my route. Halfway up the hill, my chain popped off the track and got into a really nasty knot that got stuck. Since it was already nighttime and the bike was a last-minute thing, I did not have my lights or tools to check it out.

“I had to lift the bike to a nearby lot to check it out. After a few minutes of fumbling around with the only light source in the area for a good while, I saw the owners just peeking through their windows and I felt a little freaked out so I grabbed my bike and I just kept running up the hill. After carrying the bike for some time, I finally reached a commercial lot and stopped in front of a Safeway to inspect the bike.

“After a few minutes of [me] fumbling, this man came out of nowhere on his skateboard. He looked like he was in his early thirties, wore a dark cap, a hoodie, and some old jeans. He also had an unlit cig in his mouth and what looked like a rosary underneath his shirt, which were probably the two things I remember him the most by. After [I explained] my situation with the bike to him, he went to work. Few minutes later, he managed to fix my bike. I have never felt so grateful in my life.

“I offered a monetary tip for his help, but he told me of a story where there was a time when a stranger came just on time when he needed it the most. I thanked him again and told him that he really just made my day. He smiled and wiped the grease off his hands onto his jeans. And as fast as he came in to help, he rode off into the night.”

Finally, this is Fluffstermonster’s own story: “When I was a teen, I was sitting by myself in my town’s ER (nothing too serious). Had been there for a bit, still waiting to be seen, when two middle-aged men came in with their elderly mother. After a while, one of them left to go get some food for the three of them. He came back with two McDonalds bags and gave me one, saying he noticed how long I had been waiting and that I must have been hungry. He then said he hoped I liked cheeseburgers. It was so sweet (and delish, I was starving), I never forgot about him.”

I Couldn’t Believe It When This Fella Knocked on My Door and Said He Wanted to Help for Free. What a Gesture”

In August 2015, David Perez saw his 75-year-old neighbor, Richard Dubiel, working to put a new roof on his house in Fremont, California. Mr. Perez said, “It was hard to watch. I was feeling sorry for someone that age up there all by himself.” Mr. Dubiel, however, said, “I like to have certain things done a certain way.” He added, “Oftentimes, people that you hire are out to do it as quickly and easily as they can without worrying about the quality put into it, and unfortunately, that’s not my method.” Nevertheless, he admitted that the work was hard on his knees. Mr. Perez is not a roofer, but he snapped a photo of Mr. Dubiel working on his roof and posted it on Facebook, along with a plea for experienced roofers to help him on a certain Saturday. Mr. Perez said, “I woke up and looked out my window at 7:30 and there were already people on the roof.” Twenty people helped. Bob Valdez, a roofer with over 18 years experience, who traveled with his son to help Mr. Dubiel, said, “My father taught me that it’s important to help others, and I want my son to see that.” Mr. Dubiel said, “I just can’t thank you all, enough.” He added, “It restores your faith in humanity. I’m just astounded. I couldn’t believe it when this fella knocked on my door and said he wanted to help for free. What a gesture.” They completed the roof by noon, and Mr. Dubiel nailed on the final shingle.

What’s the Nicest Thing a Stranger has Done for You?”

On 11 January 2015, Redditor StrayaaaPlayaaa asked, “What’s the nicest thing a stranger has done for you?” Here are some replies:

1) westernwitch wrote, “It might sound kind of stupid, but one morning during my usual jog on the riverside, an elderly man stopped me and said, ‘Miss, Miss, take this: it’s lucky!’ It was a beautiful four-leaf clover. I had never found one in my whole life. I still have it, pressed inside one of my cookbooks, and will cherish it forever. It is lucky — thank you, kind old man!”

2) Mmbopbopbopbop wrote, “I was mugged in broad daylight (was the only person at a bus stop) and several local guys chased after the bastard who stole my phone. Customers and staff came out of a nearby cafe to help, I was given a hot drink for free to calm me down, a customer let me use their phone to report the theft, contact the phone company, etc. It’s nice to know there are decent people who will take time out of their day to help a stranger in a big city. I contacted the head office of the cafe chain to compliment their staff and to please pass on my thanks.”

3) chyx wrote, “Ran out of gas money driving home for winter break from university one year. I stopped at a random gas station in the middle of nowhere because I was very nearly out of gas to hunt for change. Still 50+ miles from home and I found a grand total of $2 stuck in between the seats. At this point I’m starting to panic, and even though I absolutely HATE asking for help, I decided to ask the next person who pulled into the gas station if they had any change to spare to help me get home. A family pulls up in a station wagon and I asked if they had any change and the father was like, ‘Oh no, honey, I’m so sorry. This should be enough to get you home, I hope?’ And handed me a $50 bill. I started crying and thanking him and then he gave me a giant box of chicken nuggets his kids hadn’t finished from McDonald’s and said he just hopes that if something like that happened to any of his children in the future, that a stranger might do the same for them. That was the first time I’ve ever asked a stranger for help, and it was so touching to be met with such a warm and genuine example of human kindness when I honestly wasn’t expecting much of anything.”

4) sezrawr wrote, “My ex had just dumped me after 3 years together. The next day I was on the bus on my way to uni. I was still very upset.

“A guy got on the bus with a massive bouquet of roses and gave me one. He said that no one should be sad in this world. Cheered me up loads.”

5) punkandbrewster wrote, “I spilled juice on myself while driving to work one morning — I was at a stop light. While trying to wipe it off, I heard a tapping in the window. So great, I think, now I’m going to get mugged or carjacked, but no. Instead, a guy saw what happened, jumped out of his car and gave me a handful of napkins. It’s the nicest stranger interaction I’ve ever had. Thanks, napkin dude!”

A Giving Lesson from Charlie Mahoney”

Personal finance expert Scott Burns’ grandfather was Charlie Mahoney, who had a problem with alcohol. Young Scott saw him only when he was sober; in other words, young Scott did not see him often. One sober day, Charlie took young Scott to Quakenbush’s, a big department store in downtown Paterson, New Jersey. At a side entrance, they met a man who asked, “Can you spare a dime for a cup of coffee?” (It has been a while since Mr. Burns was young Scott.) Charlie gave him two quarters. The man was happy and said, “Thank you.” Young Scott was surprised. The man had asked for a dime for a cup of coffee, and Charlie had given him two quarters. Why? Charlie explained, “Because he didn’t want a cup of coffee.” So what he want? “He wanted a drink.” Young Scott asked, “So why did you do it?” Charlie replied, “Because it will get him through the day.” He then talked about two kinds of alcoholics. Some were like Charlie, who could be an alcoholic and yet hold down a job. Others were like the panhandler, who could not hold down a job. Charlie said that the panhandler would buy a small bottle of sneaky Pete, which is sweet cheap port wine that would help the man get through the day. In a column, Mr. Burns wrote, “I understood the lesson he was teaching. Today, some might consider me a ‘soft touch.’ If someone asks for money, I tend to give it. I know the money won’t promote world peace or eradicate poverty. It won’t help more people read and go to college. And it won’t improve inner city education, cure cancer, or bring the lost closer to God. But it will get them through the day. That has to count for something.”

That Time that You Did that Extremely Cool Thing, What Happened?”

On 27 February 2015 Redditor jtw999 asked on r/askwomen, “That time that you did that extremely cool thing, what happened?”

Luhdk wrote, “jock bully in middle school takes my enormous mid nineties linda carter glasses off my face; breaks them, laughs, and throws them out the window. Little nerd me SNAPS after a lifetime of this sh[*]t. 7 seconds of absolute silence and I click into Hulk Mode. I FLY at him like [martial artist] Tony Jaa; knee to the chest, knock him to the floor and proceed to beat his face until his nose splurshes with blood. Other kids run to get the dean, some cheer, some just stare at the spectacle of it all. Fast forward 3 hours later; the head master and dean are trying their professional HARDEST to contain their laughter as the captain of the football team cries and tells them both I’m a big bad bully with cotton shoved up his nose. His parents are lawyers and of course he threatens to sue. The dean and head master conclude that [they] are required to punish us both equally for violence; and give us each a month of early morning work detail. I weep at the injustice. On my first day of work detail, I am delighted to find the dean felt the same. Every morning at 7:00, the dean brings me breakfast and tells Bully to go scrape gum off desks while I eat. She knew he was a damn bully, and smugly made sure he knew how she felt about the matter by letting me eat breakfast while I watched him clean; every morning for a month.”

By the way, Mmmadmuser wrote, “One time me and my friends were walking home at night. And I have this thing where I like to pretend that I’m a cool secret agent, so we had to jump a fence at some point and I did this super cool roll jump thing over it without falling. I should also mention that I’m kind of clumsy a bit, so I thought I was super awesome. No one noticed, though, because I had fallen behind, so I called everyone back so that I could repeat it, but I fell on my butt. So yeah. That’s how cool things in my life happen. No one’s there to watch until I fall. It’s funny, though, so I don’t even care.”

All Hail to Caring Bus Driver

This account of a good deed around Christmas appeared in Ana Samways’ almost-daily and always-entertaining column Sideswipe in The New Zealand Herald on 22 December 2014: “Janet Harris was walking her dogs on a hot and humid morning about 10am, when she saw an old lady with a walking frame in the middle of the street trying to hurry along. ‘She would stop every few metres and look over her shoulder, so I caught up with her, to ask if she was okay. “The bus, I don’t want to miss the bus,” she told me. And sure enough, the bus was coming, with at least 100m to the next bus stop. So I stepped into the road, and hailed the bus for her. The driver pulled in, got out of his seat, lifted the lady’s walker, then helped the lady on to the bus and into a seat. The driver of the number 007 bus in Pt Chev that day captured the true spirit of the season.’”

What’s the Most Memorable Thing that You have Seen or that has Happened at Your Gym?”

On 22 November 2014, ArabianDisco asked, “Gym Employees of Reddit, what’s the most memorable thing that you have seen or that has happened at your gym?” Here are some replies:

1) Yoinkie2013 wrote, “I’m not a gym employee, but I have a good story for this. For the past three years, I’ve been using the gym in my Condo building. I don’t much like crowds while working out, and our gym has all the necessities of getting in a good workout. A few months into my start, I started noticing this guy start coming into the gym basically on the same schedule as me. I tend to work out late, usually 9ish, so there are only 5-6 other people in our gym at that hour. This other guy, let’s call him Chuck because that’s his name, looked like he was in [his] late 30’s, early 40’s, and quite overweight. First few months I saw him, he would always be on the treadmill. After a while, I started observing some noticeable differences in him; his physique started looking better, his overall mood looked brighter, and he just generally started to look like a better guy. It always cheered me up to see him in there, because seeing dedication in any form is motivation to improve yourself as well.

“After a few more months, however, I stopped seeing him in there. I figured his life schedule changed and he was coming in at a different time. But one day I noticed him in our building elevator, and it looked like he had lost all the gains he had made in the months I had seen him. Now, we never really talked in the gym, we both had headphones on and did our own collective things. But there were always head nods and we always acknowledged each other in some way. I decided to make small talk and said that I hadn’t seen him in the gym in a while. He said that some sh[*]t had come up in his life, and it had thrown him off track and he had lost motivation to care about his health as much. It was only a 15-second elevator ride, so I really couldn’t say anything other than I hoped to see him back in the gym sooner or later.

“I saw him back in the gym maybe a month later, and he tried to do the treadmill and some stretching, but his heart just didn’t seem to be in it. I decided to go over and actually talk to the guy who had been such a source of motivation for me. He told me that he wanted to give the gym another try, and he had been working out once a week if lucky, and felt it was pointless because he had lost all the gains he had made and there was no point in starting over. He kept on having ‘day 1’ and couldn’t find the motivation to build on them. I completely understood what he meant, we have all had bad weeks or months where we stop working out, and it seems pointless to start again. The first days are the worst, because you remember yourself being so much better, and now here you are basically starting at ‘level 1’ all over again.

“I couldn’t really give him any sound advice, and just gave him some cliché lines, hoping it would help him. He thanked me for the talk and we both went our separate ways. Before I left the gym, I took off my headphones and told Chuck, ‘I’ll be in here at 9 tomorrow night. Hope I see you here for day 2.’

“And sure enough, the next day I walked into the gym and saw him — there he was for day 2, with a smile on his face.”

2) Dianaofwhales wrote, “I teach Zumba and hip-hop classes at my gym (free membership, little pay, guaranteed workouts even during busy weeks … great 3-4hr/week part-time work!) and there is a wall of glass panels on one side of the studio I teach in, so other members can see the different classes and join if they want (all are free). One guy who was playing on a rec basketball league walked past on his way to the gymnasium, and apparently liked the booty shaking … because he started rubbing his balls on the window, no effing joke. Now, I have plenty of women who have had to give themselves months of pep talks to set foot in the studio and join a class, let alone one that anyone can look into and watch them within. This did not sit well with me. I put a regular in charge of finishing the song (we were nearly done with the hour as it was), and ran out after him, which he didn’t expect. I tried to stay calm and rational (and did, for the most part), but when he stepped forward and pushed his chest against mine, I flipped my sh[*]t in front of my ladies (who were all glancing out of the window). Luckily there were PLENTY of witnesses to his actions, and the owner threw him out. I … wish I could say I was super brave, but I was shaking like a leaf once he was escorted out, and gladly accepted one of our personal trainer’s offers to walk me to my car once my class was over for the night. Still makes me angry, but as the group leader I can’t just let someone get away with that, even if I’m nanoseconds to getting myself punched.”

She added, “I’m a teacher in real life outside of the gym, and think it’s just part of the job — you protect your students (even if they are adults, and you’re at your part-time job).”

NothingThatIs commented, “Shaking is normal, actually. Your brain told your body you were about to fight due to recent sensory inputs: anger, running, getting shoved. So your body reacted by flooding itself with adrenaline, the aftereffects of which include shaking. My first fight I didn’t stop shaking for 2 hours afterwards.”

Dianaofwhales replied, “When I got home I angry-cried for about 30 seconds, and shook for quite some time, as well. I honestly hope I never have to put myself in that place again, but simultaneously know that if it ever happens again I’ll be running back out there to confront another d-bag.”

Mementomori4 asked whether the d-bag member was permanently banned from the gym.

Dianaofwhales replied, “His membership was yanked, and he was escorted out. It’s a Family-friendly gym/rec facility, so they were especially sensitive about what he did.”

Rush-Hour Drivers Give Pick-Up Driver a Hand, Not a Honk

On 23 November 2014, the Times Free Press (Chattanooga, Tennessee) published this letter to the editor by Bernard Coombes:

“During afternoon rush hour a few weeks ago, my wife and I were heading north on Norcross Road toward Highway 153. Traffic was heavy in all directions.

“As we stopped for a red light at the intersection of Ely Road, a large pickup truck traveling east stalled in the middle of the intersection. The driver, who was alone in his vehicle, stepped out to try to push his truck out of the way.

“Within 60 seconds, four other men had left their vehicles to help. Another man walking nearby also joined the task, and the group quickly moved the stalled truck into an adjacent, convenience store parking lot.

“The intersection was cleared in a very short time, the helpers returned to their cars and normal traffic flow resumed.

Another beauty of the moment was that not a single driver sounded his horn. I’m sorry I can’t give even one name of the kind souls involved.”

What is Something Someone Said that Forever Changed Your Way of Thinking?”

On 22 October 2014, Redditor AWWWshetz asked, “What is something someone said that forever changed your way of thinking?” Here are some replies:

1) Mutericator wrote, “I’m the oldest of three kids. I’m older than my little brother by 2.5 years and my little sister by 9.5.

“When I was about fourteen or so, arguing with my dad in private about something I don’t remember, he, being the second-oldest of eight kids, told me, ‘Any decision you make in this household, you make three times. Once when you make it, once when your brother makes the same decision after watching you do it, and once when your sister makes the same decision after watching you and your brother do it. How you treat your brother will tell him how he can treat your sister; and how you treat your sister tells her how she will expect to be treated for the rest of her life, even as far as her future boyfriends.’

“That kinda shook me up and made me rethink my role as the oldest child; I started taking my responsibilities as the role model a lot more seriously after that. Even when you aren’t trying to actively influence those around you, those who look up to and respect you will still base their decisions, in part, on how they’ve seen you handle similar situations. If you break down and get stressed and angry when something inconvenient happens, they’ll feel better doing the same when something similarly small happens to them. But if you keep your cool in a dire situation and under a lot of stress, it can inspire them to believe they can do the same.”

2) NRBQ_BBQ wrote, “‘You have an attitude.’

“It was said to me by a friend when I was about 25. I’m almost 40 now. He elaborated by saying that my personality carries a huge lack of humility. The things I would say or do, in most cases, were very off-putting to a majority of people. I always had a better story after someone finished theirs. I was full of knowledge on any subject, or whatever opinion I had on the matter was always superior and correct. My way of doing things was the best way. I appeared ungrateful, selfish, and pompous. And I had no clue whatsoever.

“I’ll never forget that conversation and the paradigm shift my brain experienced that day. Once I was aware of this attitude, I started thinking about my relationships and the environment I created because of my general [*]ssholery and douchebaggedness. I actually sunk into depression for a short time, realizing the way I had treated people and taken them for granted.

“Over a few years I slowly learned so many things about myself and others. I learned how to listen. To enjoy myself in groups and not need to be the focus of the group. To be compassionate and empathetic. To give advice only when asked, or out of heartfelt concern or genuine worry. To put others first when it counts. To show up. To be a friend instead of a competitor. I’ve learned many other things from that statement, too many to list.

“It’s incredible to me how I’m still learning. I think we all are and no one really has it figured out. I know I don’t. But I’ll never forget how that one small statement had/has a long-term effect on me.”

3) RedheadBanshee wrote, “I met a person who was in a wheelchair. He related a story about how a person once asked [him] if it was difficult to be confined to a wheelchair. He responded, ‘I’m not confined to my wheelchair — I am liberated by it. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my room or house.’

“Amazing perspective.”

4) ssara075 wrote, “‘I’m bored is a useless thing to say.’ I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen [hardly any] of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say, ‘I’m bored.’”

USPS Goes Above and Beyond to Deliver Young Girl’s Letter to Her Grandmother”

On 27 July 2014, Granny Upchurch sent this letter to the editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee):

“Recently my 8-year-old granddaughter sent me a letter. There was no return address, no city, no state, nor zip code on this letter. Someone in the Unites States Postal Service went above and beyond to ensure my granddaughter’s card made it to my mailbox.

“Thank you to the person or persons who took the time to find my town and deliver it. You not only made my day, but thrilled an 8-year-old who thought her special card was gone for good.”

What is the Nicest Thing You have Ever Done for a Person?”

On 7 October 2014, Redditor Geiravor asked, “What is the nicest thing you have ever done for a person?” Here are some replies:

1) Mungo–Clump wrote, “Adopted him,” then joked, “Little ingrate called me a poo-poo head and giggled at me this morning. After everything I’ve done for him….”

Mamietea commented, “I was adopted and my mom always told me, ‘All babies come out of a stomach. YOU came out of MY HEART because I chose you.’ I was never kept in the dark about being adopted and my parents took me out of class in grade 1 to let me hold the papers with them and it was official. One of the best days of my life right there. I knew right then that no one could relocate me or take my stability away again. Holding those papers in my hand and seeing my new name there was priceless.

“Priceless. I finally had a home and no one was going to uproot me (again) and send me back to the orphanage. It was forever. To all the adoptive parents out there, thank God above for you. I am so very grateful to my parents and to people who take that chance on a kid who has NOBODY — that’s God’s work right there. I salute you and thank each and every one of you.”

2) Mantis_MD wrote, “My friends and I paid off another friend’s mother’s medical bills.

“Most of my friends (including me) come from families with means, and as I’m sure you’ve noticed we tend to stick together for various reasons. However, one guy in our group comes from a pretty normal middle-class family; we all love him mostly because he’s an awesome guy, but also because he really doesn’t give a sh[*]t about the fact that we have money. Which sadly is pretty rare.

“Anyhow back in junior year of college his mom got cancer and with our fantastic health care system here in the US the bills inevitably started piling up. Naturally they had to prioritize the bills which meant that my friend had to pick up extra shifts to afford spending money. His grades soon began to drop and eventually he quit the soccer teams.

“My friends and I who had never really seen someone we cared about go through something like this (struggling with money) decided to do something about it. We knew our friend would never accept money from us, so we decided to visit his mother.

“At first she refused, she was even embarrassed. Which in hindsight was easy to understand, here came three blonde guys who never earned a penny on their own, barely over the drinking age, to ‘save’ a women who had worked hard her entire life. I guess what won her over was telling her how much her son was struggling; he obviously put up a brace face whenever he talked to his parents so they didn’t know how bad he had it. Not only financially (there are plenty of struggling college kids out there), but how much he worried about his mother.

“This happened a little over two years ago, and my friend still has no idea we did it. He did, however, get back on his feet and graduated with great grades.”

stew-roids commented, “I don’t know who you are. But I love you.”

3) PM_Me_tasteful_nude wrote, “Stopped to change a tyre for a young lady late at night; she was very nervous and quite shaken up from the tyre going. Once it was all changed, she was too shaken up to drive, so I drove her and her car back to her parents’ house (only 20 mins away), and got a friend to pick me up from there to go back and get my car. At some point she must have decided I wasn’t a serial killer.”

SUFC1889 commented, “I did this once and it took f[]king hours.

“Two ladies in the middle of the night, one of them was crying and the other one was just staring at the tyre.

“They had the wrong tools and the wrong jack, no mobile phone, and no hope of changing this tyre unless they called out an AA van they couldn’t afford.

“I was on my motorbike so after an hour and a half of trying with the wrong tools, I rode home, then drove back out in my car with my jack and tools to change the tyre.”

4) latinalovesasians wrote, “Some of my friends aren’t well off financially, so I like to buy new clothes since we’re around the same size, and pretend that I hate the way they look on me. I have them come over and take all of the clothes home. They always comment that I dress pretty nice and always look pretty, so I want them to feel the same way without bringing up their financial situation or embarrassing them.”

She added, “I just do it because I love them. They’re some of the most amazing people who have been there for me through some incredibly difficult times.”

5) Doddamn_Spinnakers wrote, “So I was selling peanuts at a rodeo, and every time I passed by this one family there would be a little kid saying hi. I waved back and eventually he stopped me and asked for a bag of peanuts. I was saving up money for something and that’s why I was doing a job, and peanuts were $3 a bag. His mom looked at him and said he couldn’t have one. From the looks of his mother, I could tell she was one of those hard-working, working-2-jobs single mothers. I took money out of my paycheck (which was low enough as it is) and bought the kid a bag of peanuts. So far that is one of the nicest things I did to someone. Just letting a little boy have a bag of expensive peanuts. TL;DR: Gave a kid a bag of expensive peanuts and paid for it since the mother was having money troubles.”

Good Samaritan at Coffee Shop

On 1 October 2014, the Brantford Expositor (Brantford, Ontario, Canada) published this letter to the editor by Robin Baird Lewis of Guelph, Ontario, Canada:

“Take a break from all the doom-laden news of late.

“After an especially trying day emotionally commemorating the death of some family members, the practical needs of the living had to be addressed and so a quick bite to eat before departing Brantford seemed in order.

“At the Williams on West Street my niece was thwarted from paying for our meal because her new bank card’s pin number was declared invalid — this despite a confirmation all was fine only half an hour earlier after a similar stall at another location.

“Witnessing my niece’s emotional embarrassment as she once more struggled with her bank’s call centre, a gentleman behind her stepped up and offered to pay the bill, commiserating that he too had experienced a similar problem recently.

“Then he left — and we never got his name. So, for the generous guy who just stopped in for a tea about 6:30 p.m., Sept. 25 [2014], my family expresses a huge heart felt thank you.

“Restoring our faith in the kindness of others, we all vow to pass it along. Rock on, Brantford!”

Did You Ever Get a Response to Your Fan Letter?

On 29 September 2014, MattMaster asked on Reddit, “Did you ever get a response to your fan letter?” Here are some answers:

1) livefast221 wrote, “Martin Sheen came to talk at my alma mater. I am a huge Martin Sheen fan, and he’s had a profound effect on my family. I had dropped out of college and The West Wing inspired me to get my ass back in school and finish. My father, who was an author and very ill, spent the last few years of his life writing the Great American Novel by hand (his carpel tunnel and arthritis made typing impossible, but he could still hold a pen) while watching The West Wing over and over. He had previously published a book where one of the characters was written specifically for Martin Sheen should it ever be made into a movie. As it happened, a writer/director/producer had gotten in touch with my father about making that book into a movie a few months before he died (hasn’t happened yet).

“Anyway, I wrote Martin a letter, grabbed a copy of the book and went to his talk. First of all, nicest guy in the world. He shook every hand, posed for every picture and signed every autograph. I waited till the very end and handed him the book with the letter tucked inside. He went to sign it and I explained that I wasn’t asking for an autograph, the book was a gift, and the letter explained everything.

“(I know this part sounds like it was scripted for Hollywood but every word is true) Fast forward a few months. I’m in Vegas in Caesar’s Palace waiting for a poker tournament to start. I was watching The West Wing on my iPod. Happened to be my father’s favorite episode (‘In Excelsis Deo’) when my phone rings. It was Martin Sheen. We talked for about a half hour. He read the book and loved it. He wanted to know all about who my father was. At the end he gave me his home number and told me to call him any time. We’ve spoken a few times since. We invited him to my wedding and he sent a lovely card apologizing that he couldn’t make it due to a commitment to promote his movie The Way with his son Emilio in Europe on that date. He couldn’t be a nicer or more genuine human being. I wish him nothing but the very best.”

2) Proteon wrote, “I wrote to Charles M. Schultz, illustrator of Peanuts (Charlie Brown), in elementary school as part of a class project and he wrote back with this advice which I to this day love which basically said, ‘Once your art is done and sent out, turn your back on it and go back to your art; don’t lose focus worrying about how something you already sent out will be received.’”

3) bluto521 wrote, “In fifth grade we had to write to who we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote to Jim Carrey and Robin Williams. I received an autographed picture from both. I was not allowed to share the Jim Carrey picture with my class because it said, ‘Spank you very much.’”

4) LC4LYF wrote, “Wrote a letter to 221b Baker Street. Got a letter back from the guy who owns that place/museum saying Sherlock Holmes kinda retired, busy with bee keeping but is still interested in the modern crimes that come with today’s technology and helps out sometimes. And there was a leather bookmark included. So cool.”

5) Purecheetodust wrote, “Wrote a letter to Chuck Palahniuk [author of novel Fight Club] the year I graduated high school. Basically telling him how much I enjoyed his novels. I got a handwritten letter and care package from him that included an advanced readers copy of Diary. Still have the care package somewhere ….”

Stumper93 commented, “Chuck Palahniuk was amazing when I had written him a letter many years ago. I think I was in middle school and told him how much I loved Fight Club and that I was working on reading his other works. He sent me a package. No kidding. A package filled with goodies. Probably the same type you had gotten, too. He called it ‘my own personal book signing’. In it was many gag gifts, some audiobook samples, my own personal letter, and even my own power animal (a dog).

“I don’t have a scan of the letter on me, but that was easily the most thoughtful thing I’ve ever gotten from someone famous. He had written something along the lines of ‘glad you enjoyed my book, this letter might be hard for me to write considering your age, sorry if Guts freaked you out, and still believe in Santa Claus.’

“Chuck’s a great guy!”

Good Guy Greg Buys a Toy Truck

On 1 December 2014, Redditor Anaria32 posted a Good Guy Greg meme on Imgur with this heading: “Just witnessed this… The little boy’s mother started to cry. The father stated that he had just lost his job so money was really tight.” This is the text of the meme: “A THREE-YEAR-OLD BOY FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS TOY TRUCK, BUT HIS PARENTS COULD BARELY AFFORD WHAT WAS IN THEIR CART / GENTLEMAN IN FRONT OF THEM IN THE CHECKOUT LINE OVERHEARD AND SECRETLY BOUGHT THE TRUCK FOR THE BOY, ASKING THE CASHIER NOT TO SAY ANYTHING UNTIL HE HAD LEFT THE STORE.” Redditors tend to be a suspicious bunch; this is not necessarily a bad thing — being suspicious can involve critical thinking. HeyLeesin commented, “Straight bullsh[*]t. How did the parents not notice the firetruck not get rung up, huh?” Anaria32 replied, “He handed the cashier more than enough cash to cover the truck… Whatever was left over went to helping out with their grocery bill.” Jynnjynn recounted a similar story: “When I was maybe 4 or 5, I was with my mom and brother at a JC Penny’s or something like that… my brother who is a few years older than me really wanted some pair of shoes, but my mother couldn’t afford them. An older woman in the store overheard the conversation between them and bought the shoes for him, stating that her own grandchildren were spoiled and wouldn’t appreciate them as much.”

What is the Downright SCARIEST Thing that has Ever Happened to You?”

On 13 September 2015, Redditor Xavendeir asked, “What is the downright SCARIEST thing that has ever happened to you, be it paranormal or otherwise?” Here are some answers:

1) HundRetter wrote, “When I was younger and visiting my parents, I took my stumpy, never-met-a-stranger Lab mutt out to go potty around 5 AM. At the end of the super long driveway I ran into a guy just kind of hanging out in the pine trees. He asked for a cigarette and when I said I didn’t have one he wished me a good night. The whole time my happy little dog (She must have been about 10 months old) was straining towards him for attention.

“I get halfway up the driveway and she suddenly lunges behind me, practically ripping my shoulder out of the socket. Just going absolutely ape sh]t, something I have never and still haven’t seen from her to this day 8 years later. When I spun around to get her under control, I see the guy is just beyond her reach booking it away. He was following me up the driveway. Later I remember my family remarking over the few days I was there that it smelled like cigarettes around the front porch and garage. This guy had probably been hanging around our house. I don’t know what would had happened had my dog not flipped her sh[t.”

2) gothamsdarknightwing wrote, “I was about 5 or 6 years old living in Dallas and I was in the nurse’s office when the tornado warning siren went off. The nurse ran out of the room towards the other side of the school, leaving me behind. The lights had gone off and I didn’t want to be alone so I went to follow her and ended up on this ramp that connected both sides of the school. To the right of me was the cafeteria and on my left was a wall with floor-to-ceiling windows. It was so dark outside that I could barely see anything out the window. The sound of the siren combined with the intense wind scared me the most. By this point I was in tears and I just stood there for who knows how long because I was so scared. Then the vice principal came running up the ramp, scooped me in her arms and asked whose class I was in. I remember walking into the classroom and seeing my teacher with a flashlight in her hands huddled with the other students in the middle of the classroom. Sixteen years later Ms. May is still my hero.

3Bottom of Form2) CariniGambarini wrote, “I worked in a coffee shop in high school. One night, right around closing, this woman comes up to the counter looking slightly frantic and tells us someone is following her. We told her to come into the back with us and use the phone to call the police. As the office door closed, in walked a disheveled-looking guy. He just stood there looking around the store for a minute or so and, not seeing her, turned and left. Never be afraid to ask for help from other people.”

Plantgirli gave this advice: “For girls (and boys!) reading this, I’ve scared off several people following me by doing [the following]. Walk somewhere that is very close with a considerable number of people in it (think a public library or a Starbucks) and stay for a while. If there’s no doubt they’re following you and they keep doing so, ask them loudly why they’re following you in that public place. Make sure that you have a safe person to walk or drive you home or elsewhere. If you feel the need, call the cops! Seriously, guys, when I get scared I sometimes lose my brains and have to remind myself not to hide.”

4) Purplesheets wrote, “I used to work in a really bad area and one night I came out to my car to see three really big Samoan guys breaking into my car. I have no idea why but I yelled, ‘What the f[]k do you think you are doing! That’s my car you’re breaking into!’ It was around 8 at night so there were still some people in the parking lot, I was just parked way in the back. I’m a 5-foot, 95-pound female. In retrospect I was pretty much asking to get the sh[*]t beaten out of me. I have no idea where my anger came from, or the guts I had that I did that. I’m pretty sure the reason they just ran off was because I yelled in a parking lot full of people and everyone turned and looked. Pro-tip, draw as much attention as possible if you think you’re in real danger. Statistically you’re less likely to get attacked if you draw attention to your attacker. Yell, kick, scream, make a huge scene.”

5) sh]tzykid wrote, “I had a man shove me into a change room at a store I worked at and I feel ashamed for just freezing […]. Luckily my coworker noticed. She was a 60-year-old tiny Chinese woman who suddenly developed Hulk strength and literally threw the guy out of the room. He ran out and nothing came of it other than me feeling like a piece of sh[t…”

He Helped a Young Child in a Very Dangerous Situation”

This letter to the Editor of the Tulsa World (Oklahoma) appeared on 7 August 2014:

“I would like to commend the Tulsa Police Department and a young man who works at the Sonic at 4949 E 71st St.

“I was in Tulsa for a dental appointment and came out to find a young man in a Sonic uniform with a young girl holding onto his finger. She had wandered away from home and made a dangerous trek to the office suites next to QuikTrip.

“A gentleman whose conference room has a view of the front confirmed that he saw her latch onto this young man as he walked by. The three of us spoke with her, and called the police who arrived quickly and handled things very professionally.

“She was returned home and this young man proceeded on to his job. He deserves to be recognized for helping her, and I certainly hope he was not penalized for being late to work. I wish I had gotten his name. He helped a young child in a very dangerous situation.”

Is It Weird for Me to Compliment You Randomly with No Intention of Hitting on You?”

On 12 October 2014, canicomplimentyou asked on the subReddit AskWomen, “Is it weird for me to compliment you randomly with no intention of hitting on you?” canicomplimentyou elaborated, “Sometimes when I come across a really pretty or cute girl on campus (and I’m not interested in hitting on them or coming across that way, at least not in the initial situation. I’m not easily attracted to a girl just because she’s pretty or cute, need personality and similar interests), I just want to compliment them on how they look that day or in general or maybe what they did to look good (hair or outfit perhaps). Would that be weird? I barely ever do it because I feel like it might be weird to compliment and not follow up or maybe I worry about worst case scenario where they just feel uncomfortable or insult me for ‘hitting on them’.

“Perhaps it’s a confidence issue since I haven’t been with a woman in quite a while, but anyways I just want to know how the majority of women would react to something like that. I feel like the answer to this question also depends on how attractive the person it’s coming from is.”

Here are some replies from women:

1) 7thbrightshiner wrote, “To me, these are the absolute best type of compliments and always make my day! The key thing is to say something nice and then walk away. A compliment with no expectations is a rare thing!”

2) SickGame wrote, “One time, I was in line at Subway and this average-looking guy complimented me on my shoes. This guy creeped me out because he crowded my space, because of his tone of voice (it was kind of slimy and lascivious), and because he continued to talk to me about my shoes and my day even though I was visibly uncomfortable.

“Another time, a different guy complimented me on a dress I was wearing. Again, he was average-looking. However, this time, I was happy to receive the compliment. This man had a pleasant demeanor and it came across in his tone of voice. He didn’t linger, crowd me, or force a conversation on me.

“I think these examples should answer your question. It’s only weird if you make it weird.”

3) blessedintheshessed wrote, “If you comment on my outfit or hair or something, I would be flattered.

“If you commented on my body or something physical about me, it would be weird.”

4) weekendoffender wrote, “Nope, not weird at all. I’d find it quite lovely to get those kind of compliments.

“You know the best compliment I’ve ever gotten from a man I wasn’t dating? One night at the club, I walked past a table of young yahoo-looking lads. You know the ones, the kind of guys at the club that you expect to be groping women & generally being anti-social.

“So I walk past these guys & one of them calls out to me. I turn around, expecting to be told I was a fat pig or something. But instead he says, ‘Your handbag is f[]king awesome!’ I blush a bit & genuinely say, ‘Thank you.’ As I walk off, I hear another one of them say, ‘Her cardigan is really cool, too’.

“I was pretty much walking on sunshine for the rest of the night.”

Ray Came Along and Opened Up My Ears. It Adds a Whole New Richer Dimension to My Life”

Rayvon Williams, a student at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, visits senior centers and teaches senior citizens how to use computers. One of the seniors he taught was Hilli Hockett, who wrote him this thank-you note using Microsoft Word, which he had taught her (as well as how to use YouTube):

“Dear Ray,

“Thank you will all my heart (and more, if possible) for the wonderful gift of music

“yYou have given me (obviously haven’t quite mastered the intricacies of Word yet). I

“spent all last night searching YouTube and ‘subscribing’ to stuff I hadn’t heard in years except in my

“mind (as well as some comedy routines that never fail to crack me up).

“Again, with all my heart (I could use on of those little emojis righ5t now!),

“Love,

“P.S. And I even get to WATCH them!! How could I ask for more

“P.P.S. And there are several versions of many of them — be still my heart!!”

In an interview, she said, “Ray came along and opened up my ears. It adds a whole new richer dimension to my life.”

Mr. Williams said, “Seniors — they have a huge interest to use technology but they don’t know how to use it or nobody is there to show them how to use it,”

Ms. Hockett said, “This is a gift of immeasurable worth. Wonderful.”

People Who Went Missing, What Happened?”

On 12 December 2014, Redditor ilovedon asked, “[Serious] People who went missing, what happened?” AskReddit. Here are some responses:

1) magenta_thompson wrote, “When I was four, I got lost in a city and was rescued by what my dad thought was a gang. We had dinner in Chinatown with another family. Five kids in all. Crossing the street after dinner, we were holding hands in a big chain. My older sibling let go. When the light changed and everyone crossed, I stayed on the sidewalk — I was looking through a window into a barber shop where some huge guy was having his head shaved — I can still picture the scene. When I finally looked around, everyone was gone. I started to cry. A group of teenagers approached and asked if I was lost. I said yes. A tall kid hoisted me into his shoulders and started down the block. Other kids split up and went in different directions. We rounded a corner, and I saw my dad. He turned white and ran toward us. The kid lowered me to the ground. A few other kids were there. They stood around awkwardly while the tall kid explained to my dad what happened. My dad (not a demonstrative guy) flung himself at the kid and hugged him. My mom appeared and picked me up. Years later, my dad told me he saw the same group of kids hanging around when he first parked in the city that evening and was suspicious that they were a gang. He was embarrassed and tried to be less judgmental after that. Wish I could thank those guys. This was a long time ago.”

2) sir_sweatervest wrote, “I was at the zoo with my parents. They were very … opinionated against black people. I was like three at the time so I couldn’t tell but they told me that they were. Anyways, I saw a big slide that swirled around and looked like a snake (we call it the snake slide) and decided that I wanted to go there. My parents were talking next to me so they didn’t notice I left. I got completely lost on the way to the snake slide. When my parents found me, I was with a big black lady who had been walking me all over the park trying to find my parents. They both gave her a giant hug, and it completely changed their views about black people. It’s nice to see false beliefs crushed by kindness”

3) ronglangren wrote, “A few years ago I was working a job in Manhattan. The building I worked in had 11 floors in it. One day after going out for a smoke, I went inside and pushed the button for the elevator. The doors opened and a very young blond girl of about 11 was standing there in tears.

“I asked her what was wrong, but she couldn’t speak English. She seemed to be speaking Polish, but I wasn’t sure. She came out of the elevator crying and just looking at me with so much fear in her face.

“I walked her away from the elevator trying to figure out what was going on. She was wearing high heels and a really short skirt as well as wearing a bunch of make up. All she kept saying was ‘7’ and ‘Uncle.’ I was so confused and had absolutely no idea what to do.

“I worked on the seventh floor, so I took her up to my office in hopes that someone would know her. They did not.

“I ended up taking her to every floor in the building asking people if they knew who she was. No one had a clue. I was losing heart and was getting ready to call the cops. We finally reached the 11th floor, and I learned her uncle had an office there.

“When she saw him, she ran to him screaming and crying. He looked at me like I was a Pedo. I quickly explained what had happened. Turns out her Aunt had dropped her off at the building, gave her the wrong floor number, and then just took off. The poor thing was horrified.”

What is the Nicest Thing a Stranger has Done for You?”

On 12 March 2015, Redditor Danface247 asked, “What is the nicest thing a stranger has done for you?” Here are some replies:

1) androgenous_potato wrote, “I ran into Starbucks one morning to grab a coffee and breakfast for myself and my daughter. I had my purse in one hand, my daughter in the other, and she was hungry and wanted a banana (she was 2 at the time so when you agree to something you d[*]mn well better deliver). I couldn’t find my wallet once I got to the cash [part of the transaction] and assumed it was in the car. I ran out and of course [found] no wallet, and now I [have a] crying 2-year-old who thought she wouldn’t get her breakfast. I ran back in to just tell them not to bother making it as I didn’t have my wallet, and sorry for wasting their time.

“The man in line about to pay told the person to just add my order to his and also got my daughter a cookie. Starbucks isn’t cheap, so I would never have expected that and it almost made me cry at how kind someone was to do that for us.”

2) TonyNevada1 wrote, “When I was no older than 7, I was vacationing on a cruise ship with my parents and three siblings.

“We went to sleep one night and somehow I woke up hours later on some random lobby floor in my underwear. No one was around. So, I did what any 7 year-old who didn’t know his room number would do in that situation.

“I ran up and down hallways, screaming and crying.

“Some lady came out and consoled me, took me into her room, and introduced me to her family. She asked me where my room was and what I was doing. I did not know. Thankfully, I had a day-care wristband on that had my room number on it. She walked me to my room, and my parents didn’t even know I was gone.

“After that day I was forever known as the sleep walker in the family.”

3) ebonymessiah wrote, “I was once riding my motorcycle from New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale. Round about Mobile [in Alabama], the bike started sputtering and eventually died. Unbeknownst to me, a fuel line had broken and had been leaking out for miles. So, here I am, side of the interstate, no gas, no gas station or exits for 20 mi, and my nearest help was almost 3 hours away. I sat down, lit a cigarette, and thought about my options. About 20 min and 500,000 cars later, an older woman stopped behind me. She got out, walked to the trunk, and pulled out a gas can. She came over and handed it to me and said, ‘I passed by a few minutes ago and came back to help. I hope this is what you need.’ I thanked her profusely and tried to pay, but she wouldn’t accept. As I poured the gas in, I noticed the leak. She rummaged in her trunk again and found me some electrical tape. I ghetto fixed the problem, but she said, ‘Let me show you where the local Harley shop is so you can properly fix that.’ I followed her into town and to the nearest dealership. I went in and started talking to the service guy about the problem. We agreed on what part needed fixed and when I went to pay, another cashier told me that the old lady had already covered the repair costs. I frantically looked around, but didn’t see the woman. I ran outside in time to catch her leaving. I stopped her and thanked her again and she said, ‘It’s no problem, sweetheart. My son used to ride, but he was killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver while broken down on the side of the road 2 years ago. Since then my husband and I have vowed to help any stranded bikers we may come across. Pass on the love for us.’ She gave my arm a squeeze, threw up the horns, and said something that I’ll never forget (and that I wear on the back of my riding vest): ‘Live free, ride fast.’ Apparently that was a motto her son lived by. I’m still in contact with Barbara and try to stop by every time I’m going through Mobile. TL; DR. My motorcycle broke down, old lady stopped and gave me gas, took me to the local mechanic and paid for my repairs.”

4) CRFyou wrote, “I had a problem with identity theft when I was 19.

“Some sneaky b[*]tthole got traffic tickets in my name that I didn’t know about. I tried talking to people at the courthouse about what to do and they gave me a name of a female district attorney. No one in her office would see me.

“So I went ahead in the courtroom to see the judge.

“He told me I had a failure to appear and asked how I pleaded. I said, ‘Not guilty,’ and explained that it wasn’t my ticket and I had no idea about it.

“He cut me off and said the arraignment is not the time for the story, the trial is. Since I was a failure to appear, he said he didn’t trust that I’d return to court and had the bailiff place me in handcuffs. I was going to county jail to await my next court date…

“I was devastated. I was 1 month away from leaving for Marine Corps boot camp and I was in handcuffs for some sh[*]t I didn’t do…

“I told the judge, ‘I want to speak with XXXXX,’ giving the name of the DA I’d never met.

“The court called her up, and she asked what this was all about to the judge.

“He said, ‘CRFyou asked for you…’

“I briefly explained my situation. She was lit on fire with passion for me. Demanded I be let go and said if the judge arrests me, she’s paying my bail right now.

“Just like that, the judge had the cuffs removed and the case was dismissed.

“This lady didn’t know me and saved me from a horrible situation, offering up her own money to help.

“I was touched by the passion she displayed for a young kid she didn’t know.”

5) AfricansInOveralls wrote, “When I was 5 or 6 years old, I went to my first Major League Baseball game with my father (Red Sox). As we waited in line to get into the stadium, I was fixated on the men selling bags of peanuts on the sidewalk who were yelling and waving their arms to make some sales. Needless to say, selling peanuts won’t provide someone with financial stability, so these guys were really earning their living. As I watched them, one man looked at me, smiled, and walked towards me with a big brown bag filled with peanuts. When he reached me, he held out the bag and said, ‘Allergic?’ I just shook my head and he tossed them to me, nodded, and said, ‘On the house.’ That one small gesture stuck in my head for the rest of my life, even though he probably did it everyday.”

6) harvestmoon3k wrote, “Ran out of gas on my way home from work. Not everyone had cell phones back then, and I was stranded. The house my car died in front of had a bunch of kids playing in their front yard. One of the kids ran up and asked me if I needed to use the phone, which I gratefully accepted. She ran inside and told her hearing-impaired mother, who brought me out a cordless phone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach my husband or anyone else to help. I was about to ask her if she had a gas can that I could borrow to walk up to the nearest gas station with, when she insisted on taking me there herself. She loaded all five kids, the gas can, and me into her car and took us up there. The can’s cap didn’t seal properly so gas was leaking a little when I filled it. I tried to insist on just walking back with it, so it wouldn’t leak in her car… but she refused and told me not to worry about it.

“I had scribbled her address down when I got back to my car and as a thank you to her, I bought a gift certificate to the frozen custard place down her street for enough to get her family each a cone. I sent it to her in the mail, along with a letter thanking her for her help. I didn’t know her name, so I addressed it, ‘To The Good Samaritans.’”

7) synarps wrote, “A couple years ago I studied abroad in Hong Kong. For some reason, being a stupid American college student I brought a sh]t ton of luggage with me, and tried to take even more back. Now, taking the sheer amount of items I was trying to carry on my person, you would have thought I would just get a taxi to take me to the airport, which I did — on the trip from the airport to uni. However, fast forward three months and I am now a broke college kid in a city with amazing public transportation. So, dumbass me decides that I can totally lug my three giant bags + backpack + giant purse onto the subway by myself. BIG MISTAKE. The campus is located in the side of a friggen mountain and I have to make three connections to get to the airport line (oh, and did I mention I decided to do this during peak rush hour?). As [you can imagine], things did not go well, I nearly decapitated a small Asian woman with my giant backpack, ran over several toes with my luggage, and overall was walking chaos — I immediately regretted my decision. Then the cosmic travel gods looked down on me, and sent me a savior. At the second connection (over an hour into this ordeal), out of nowhere this young Asian guy comes up and offers to help me with my bags. At first I was sure he was trying to rob me, but at this point I didn’t give a f[]k and gladly accepted the offer of help. He helped me get to the next train and I thanked him for his help (thinking he would jump off and go on with his way). Oddly enough, though, he stayed on the train with me and got off at the third connection, grabbed two of my bags, and herded me towards the last train. At this point, I figured that maybe he was heading to the airport as well and had decided to help me (he spoke very little English and I speak zero Mandarin — so communication was minimal). We finally get to the airport, and he again grabs my bag and leads me to the check-in counter. At this point I am so thankful for the help; I wanted to hug this guy. Then he turns to me, says ‘Good luck,’ and u-turns to go back to the train. So here I am in the middle of a densely populated Asian city, and some complete stranger takes an hour out of his day to help some dumb American tourist get her sh[t to the airport, and then leaves with no expectation of repayment. I was flabbergasted, but so appreciative of his help.

“Wherever you are — thank you!

“TLDR: I was young and stupid and tried to take way too much luggage on the HK [Hong Kong] subway; stranger sees me struggling and helps me get to airport, going over an hour out of his way. Faith in humanity restored.”

Jason Ward: Muscle and Ink Studio Good Samaritan

Each Friday, Suzie Barry, who has Down’s syndrome, walks into Muscle and Ink studio, in Hamilton, New Zealand, she brings some stick-on tattoos and asks tattoo artist Jason Ward, age 44, to put them on her. He does — without charging her. Mr. Ward said, “The first time she came in, she just walked in, slapped a couple of stick-on tattoo packets on the desk and asked me to put them on her arm. I said, ‘What?’ And she said it again so I sat her down and put them on.” As of early December 2014, this had been a routine for four months. Mr. Ward said, “It started out as something quite funny, though. I mean, who does that? Who walks into a tattoo shop to get stick-on tattoos? But if she was a member of my family and she had have walked into another tattoo shop and they had told her to bugger off, I’d be angry. Why would you say no? You should treat everybody the same. She’s just started to get a little more comfortable now, and I try and engage with her more to get her talking.” A friend took a photo of the two and put it on Facebook, and the photo went viral. Mr. Ward said, “I didn’t even know her name until Monday [1 December 2014], when everything went nuts on the internet but I still don’t know a lot about her.” He added, “On Monday I wanted to hide. I had no idea what was going on. It was crazy that a photo that a friend took on a typical Friday could just take off like that.”

What is the Nicest Thing You’ve Ever Done that No One Knows About?” (2010)

In 2010, Redditor joepaulk asked, “What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done that no one knows about?” Here are some replies:

1) [Name deleted] wrote, “I was day tripping to Vancouver from Seattle and stopped in for lunch at a little cafe. From my window, I saw a young teenage girl out in the cold, squatted down in a closed-up business’ doorway, holding a small bundle in her arms. She was panhandling; people were mostly walking by ignoring her. She looked just broken.

“I finished up my meal and went outside, went through my wallet and thought I’d give her $5 for some food. I got up to her and she was sobbing, she looked like she was 14-15. And that bundle in her arms was a baby wrapped up. I felt like I just got punched in the chest. She looked up, putting on a game face, and asked for any change, I asked her if she’d like some lunch. Right next door was a small QuikTrip-type grocery store; I got a can of formula for the baby (very young, maybe 2-3 months old.), and took her back to the cafe though I’d just eaten. She was very thankful, got a burger and just inhaled it. Got her some pie and ice cream. She opened up and we talked. She was 15, got pregnant, parents were angry and she was fighting with them. She ran away. She’s been gone almost 1 full year.

“I asked her if she’d like to go home and she got silent. I coaxed her, she said her parents wouldn’t want her back. I coaxed further, she admitted she stole 5k in cash from her Dad. Turns out 5k doesn’t last long at all and the streets are tough on a 15-year-old. Very tough. She did want to go back, but she was afraid no one wanted her back after what she did.

“We talked more. I wanted her to use my phone to call home, but she wouldn’t. I told her I’d call and see if her folks wanted to talk to her; she hesitated and gave bad excuses but eventually agreed. She dialed the number and I took the phone, her Mom picked up and I said hello. Awkwardly introduced myself and said her daughter would like to speak to her, silence, and I heard crying. Gave the phone to the girl and she was just quiet listening to her Mom cry, and then said hello. And she cried. They talked, she gave the phone back to me, I talked to her Mom some more.

“I drove her down to the bus station and bought her a bus ticket home. Gave her $100 cash for incidentals, and some formula, diapers, wipes, snacks for the road.

“Got to the bus, and she just cried saying thank you over and over. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and a hug, kissed her baby, and she got on the bus.

“I get a Christmas card every year from her. She’s 21 now and in college.

“Her name is [name redacted] and her baby was [name redacted].

“I’ve never really told anyone about this. I just feel good knowing I did something good in this world. Maybe it’ll make up for the things I’ve f[]ked up.”

2) Sykotik wrote, “This is a story about my father.

“I’m awakened by my mom around 1:30 am. ‘Get up, there’s a fire, we have to go outside,’ she says. I’m freaking out, but I don’t smell smoke. I assemble outside with my mother and younger brother and sister. Down the street a townhouse in the same row as ours is engulfed in flames. I don’t see my father around, so I ask my mom.

“‘He went to see if he could help,’ she says. I can hear the nervousness in her voice, my father is known to be rather bold. The story as it was told to me as an adult goes like this:

“My father arrives after the fire department and learns that a man is alive inside, possibly lost. The FD won’t go in after the man because they do not feel that it is safe yet. My dad is like, ‘F[]k that,’ and (clad in only his long-johns) breaks a window and enters the home. He finds the man at the top of the stairs, badly burned and unable to walk. He carries the man down the stairs and out the front door. The firemen treat my dad briefly for smoke inhalation and the cops take a statement.

“The man he carried from the house died after a week in the hospital, but his family was grateful that he had a chance to say goodbye. The county awarded my dad a plaque and Comcast gave us free cable for a year. He never talks about it, and it was so long ago that no one he knows is aware that it ever happened.

“About a week ago my 5-year-old asked me if superheroes were real. I told him the story of the day his grandfather was a superhero and I almost couldn’t finish. I hope that one day my son will feel that kind of pride in me.

“tl;dr: My dad pulled a guy from a burning building, and no one really knows.”

Sykotik added, “It’s funny, he thinks it was just the right thing to do and nothing all that special. The reason he won’t talk about it is he went in there bare chested and ended up with the guy’s skin stuck to him; it’s not an easy thing for him to think about, I suppose.”

3) piney wrote, “I used to work at a ‘low-income’ housing place in Seattle when I was in my early 20s. There were a lot of sad sacks in residence — ‘former’ alcoholics, addicts, prostitutes, and other down-and-outers. There was a older guy that I would rarely see around the building. He seemed nice enough, but he was reclusive and didn’t speak English very well. More often you would hear him mumbling to himself in Polish. One late afternoon, he came to my ‘office’ (a large closet) and asked if he could come in. He sat down and produced a flask of vodka and offered me a sip. (I declined, and then he pulled the bottle out of his jacket and filled up the flask! I thought that was peculiar.) I asked him how he was doing — you know, lightweight conversation, because I’d barely spoken with him before. Anyway he started talking to me about his life. His parents, his youth, his experience fighting in WWII, his work for the Polish underground against the Soviets, which got him locked up in a Gulag twice, once for nearly 25 years. He’d had a girlfriend, who died during his first stay in prison. He suspected that she’d been killed. When the USSR collapsed, he was released and came to the US because he had no family. He picked Seattle because ‘it sounded far away,’ but he really missed Poland. And he drank — a lot. He came to my office at about 4:30 in the afternoon, right before the end of my workday, but I ended up staying until almost 9pm to listen to him. It was pretty fascinating to hear him open up like that. The whole while, of course, he’d been sipping from his flask, and was pretty sloshed (but still able to handle himself) by the time I left. I walked him to his room. I thanked him for the conversation, and he looked into my eyes, and put his hands on my shoulders and said, simply, ‘Thank you’ and sat on his bed. The next day, his neighbors told me I was the last person he ever talked to. After I left, they said, they heard him crying in his room, but no one bothered him because crying isn’t an unusual sound in a low-income housing residence like this. He just … died … in the night. No foul play, no suicide. Just … the end. I was pretty young, and it hit me really hard, but I’m glad he had someone to talk to at the end.”

4) jpohnbc5 wrote, “When I lived in the city, an older lady about 90 got her apartment robbed in my building. They went in and stole all her cash and took some valuables that she had. She did not have a bank account, so the thieves took about 30K — the lady’s life savings. She was afraid of being evicted for the apartment because she wouldn’t have the rent money and did not want to end up in a state-run nursing home. I called the landlord and paid her rent in full for the rest of the year, five months worth and told the landlord not to tell her it was me. I also had groceries delivered to her once a week for the next two months until she had some money saved from her social security checks. I never told anyone what I had done for her, and I don’t think she even knew my name because the apt building had about 50 apartments in it. The landlord was the only one who knew and he wanted to tell her what I was doing, but I told him that I would deny it. I did not want her to feel indebted to me. She posted a letter in the lobby of the building to thank whoever had helped her. I took the letter down and kept it. The landlord still writes to me every few months to tell me how she is doing. She is still living in the apartment seven years later. I never told any one.”

5) icandothat wrote, “I heard a fight outside my apartment one night. I looked outside and saw the fight but couldn’t tell if it was a man beating up a woman or a teenage boy. (I couldn’t find my glasses.) I called 911 and told them what I saw and while I was on the phone the man started dragging the other person around the corner of the building. I told the operator that I couldn’t see them anymore and that I had to go. Contemplating bringing a weapon with me as I threw on shoes and pants, I decided it would be best to go bare handed. If the other guy had a gun or something, he would have already used it to subdue his victim. I ran outside and quickly scanned the area and bam there he was on top of this woman. He had stripped her and thrown her clothes on top of an 8’ hedge. He was about to rape her. I hollered at him to get up and told her to come stand behind me. It was January and she was naked and freezing. I quickly took off my coat and gave it to her, never taking my eyes off the guy. Now at the time I was in very good shape and probably looked a lot tougher than I do today; this was nearly 20 years ago. The guy looked like he might try to fight me, but I told him that I had called the cops and that they’d be here any minute and that his best bet was to get in his car and get the hell out of there. (I got his license plate as he drove off.) The first thing the girls says is ‘Can you get my underpants, please?’, so I climbed the fence next to the hedge and got all her stuff. I let her go into my apartment and lock herself in the bathroom while we waited for the cops.”

6) thagirion wrote, “When I was working as a summer job in our local hospital, I got paged to a room by a patient. Usually what they wanted for me to do is shift their position or get them some water or something similar. This time the old lady asked me to come to her and take her hand. She told me, ‘I don’t want to die alone.’ I assured her that she would not die alone. After a few silent moments of her just staring at me [and?] smiling, she said, ‘Thank you, good bye,’ and then she died.”

What is the Nicest Thing You’ve Ever Done that No One Knows About?” (2014)

On 8 December 2014, Redditor hairyfedora asked, “What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done that no one knows about?” Here are some replies:

1) GallowBoob wrote, “I once shared the picture of a metal worker in the UK on Reddit. It went viral and got ported to Imgur. I then proceeded to redirect the entire traffic to his webpage/Facebook account, which had about 1,000 likes, and in 24 hours he had over 80,000 likes and was trending on most design/art blogs and Reddit feeder websites. Over the next few days, he ended up finding me to thank me even though what I did was a total indirect act of karma. He told me his metal wire working was a hobby and that with the amount of demand and positive feedback he is getting he decided to quit his job and make his hobby his life.

“He now has an active community and sells a lot of do-it-yourself kits as well as the actual structures on eBay for a few £7-8k. He has a shed in northern England and seems to be rather happy, from the few messages we shared and the feedback from his social media page.”

2) lowbrow_mrpeanut wrote, “When I was doing my undergrad, there was a homeless man who slept on a bench along my route to class. I had a strange schedule so I would often pass him when he was asleep, but I left him a sandwich every time I walked by his bench on my way home. I’m glad he didn’t know it was me. I like to think he looks at every stranger as a possible friend.”

3) [Name censored] wrote, “Me and my friend won a shitload of tickets at the bowling arcade. Something like 2 thousand tickets which is quite a lot there. We didn’t really know what to do with them, so we just handed them to some random five-year-old kid and walked away.

“I feel really good about that for some reason. It isn’t anything major, but he looked happier than anyone I have ever seen before.”

4) ottersbelike wrote, “This kid was messing around with a bouncy ball machine near me while I was in line to be seated at a restaurant. I had a quarter in my pocket and discreetly threw it in front of him. He didn’t realize where the quarter of Heaven came from, made his f[]king day.”

5) TruthBestowed wrote, “When I got into med-school, I received a lot of gifts (cash) from relatives. I took almost three quarters of it and left an anonymous money order for it in my uncle’s mailbox.

“He’s my father’s brother who, with his wife, basically raised me while my parents struggled to do so when I was younger. When I got older, he had a huge falling out with the rest of our family (including my parents) and he also became unemployed. He was at rock bottom and I felt like it was my duty to help him, and to this day, two years later, he still doesn’t know it was me.”

6) Looterhooter wrote, “In high school, I was asked to be a Girls State representative. I would’ve loved to go. But there was another girl in my class who wanted to go. She hadn’t had many opportunities to do much through high school because of her home life and grades. So, I included a message in my application letter — a synopsis of why this girl should go, and how it would be good for her. She was accepted and had a blast. The only people who know are myself and the people who read my application letter/message.”

7) morenifflers wrote, “I write to my friend’s sister who is in prison. I knew her a little bit before, but she wasn’t really my buddy or anything. I found out nobody in her family was in contact with her and felt bad for her, so now I email her a couple times a week, send her at least one card a month, and have bought her a music player and sh[*]t just so she knows at least someone is thinking about her.”

morenifflers added this about emailing someone in prison: “It’s through a service called Jpay. You have to buy ‘stamps’ for every email you send, but it winds up being cheaper than actual letters.”

Have You Guys Ever Met Anyone for a Very Brief Period in Your Life and Wish You Still had Contact With? What was the Story on How Y’all Met and Why Did They Make Such an Impression on You?”

Here are some answers to that question:

1) the_timps wrote, “I was 11 or 12, and we were on a brief holiday between fruit-picking towns. It really stands out in my memory because we didn’t holiday, ever.

“So we were travelling from one small dusty fruit-picking town to another and we’ve stopped off at this caravan park. [“Canavan” is a British referring to a vehicle that people live in on vacations; it is often pulled behind a car or truck.] It’s dusty and dirty, run down, and looks abandoned like every other caravan park we stayed at. I don’t know if you’re familiar with caravan parks, but there’s no middle ground with them. They are either well painted and clean and run by someone who loves what they do, or dusty and dirty with faded broken signs because you need them (nowhere else to stop on that road) and they don’t need to maintain things to keep business coming.

“So we’re settled in and I go for a walk, through the bushes, following this dusty dirt track. And then suddenly the trees and bushes give way and the ocean is there. It’s nothing new, we lived on the beach in Bowen, but here was beautiful. The sand was whiter, the water a little more blue than green, and it curved around us; this little bay was beautiful and the sun shone down to showcase it for us.

“There was a little girl on the beach. I said hello; she was 8 or 9. As a kid in a caravan park, there are no age boundaries except adulthood. You are all in this together. Boy or girl (I’m a dude, by the way).

So we played on the beach, drew lines in the sand running along with sticks dragging behind us, threw rocks in the water, but not swimming. The little girl, named Renee, didn’t want to swim; it was too dangerous.

Renee tells me she is going to die. Sometime soon. That’s why she is in the caravan park. They are on holiday so the family can have fun together before she dies.

“I think nothing of the story; it’s just a story right?

“So we head back into the caravan park and meet up with my older sister and her older brother. We all play some more; he tells her to be careful on some things. And when [we were] playing on a roundabout (spinning ride in a playground [merry-go-round], not a traffic roundabout!) he catches her as she falls off the edge and carries her home. Apparently the spinning got to be too much and she got very dizzy.

“We run into her parents later that night, and I ask if Renee is ok. Her father says she’ll be fine, but because she’s so sick things can take a toll on her. He confirms the story. She had chemotherapy and lost all her hair, and then it grew back after treatment stopped. She has long brown hair she brushes constantly, and she wears ribbons, headbands, and flowers in it because she never used to be able to.

“She wasn’t sad; she was ok with knowing what her future was. She told me she needed to enjoy the time she had because she knew it wasn’t too long.

“I’ve grown up (I’m in my 30s now) with this little girl leading the front. She’s not always on my mind or anything, but she comes up sometimes. When things are dark, when it’s hard. When bills come in, or I’ve injured myself and I’m working through pain. She was dying, and at 8 or 9 years old she had a quiet grace and a positive outlook.

“I wish she’d been ok. But in just 8 years how many other people did she meet in caravan parks, and hospitals and everywhere else she’d been? How many lives did she touch with her absolutely unbreakable spirit and positivity in the face of what she knew was coming?

“Every day matters, and the only person who can really decide how you live it is you.”

2) EbenHSHD wrote, “I grew up in an abusive home, so my social skills weren’t where they needed to be in my early childhood. I’d go to school and pretty much just keep silent the entire time. I never spoke to anyone and if someone spoke to me I’d only give them nods or single-sentence responses while making sure not to make eye contact. This eventually led to bullying and the harassment only caused the gap in my social skills to grow over the years.

“About halfway through 5th grade, I was on the swings by myself as usual when a kid came over and sat on the swing next to me. He introduced himself, but that was it. He didn’t try to talk to me; he didn’t try to play with me. He just sat there with me all through recess. He did this every day for a few weeks before my curiosity overpowered my social anxiety and I asked him why he sat with me everyday. He looked at me and said, ‘You look like you needed a friend.’ I was blown away. Never had anyone extended their hand out to me like that. I slowly started trying to talk to him and for the rest of the year he was my only and best friend.

“Over the summer, before going into 6th grade with my friend, it was discovered I was being abused and I was forced to move. I’m 22 now and I’m doing okay, but if I could thank Christopher for what he did I would. I really and truly believe he saved my life just by trying to be my friend. I really hope he is doing well.”

3) bankergoesawrr wrote, “Told this story before … when my cousin and I were kids, we were swimming in the pool at this hotel that had famously great hot chocolate. We decided we wanted more hot chocolate, but couldn’t find our parents anywhere.

“We went up to a random couple & demanded hot chocolate. They actually bought it for us and we hung out with them until our parents found us. By then, we’ve finished our hot chocolates & all evidence had been cleared away. We decided not to tell our parents because we knew they’d be pissed, especially since we tried asking for more hot chocolate, and they [parents] told us we couldn’t have anymore since they were so overpriced (I believe they were $6-8ish/cup … can’t really remember). The couple was nice enough not to mention it, so they never got paid back.

“ Looking back, I think they were probably on their honeymoon since they were really gushy around each other. I’m sure they weren’t planning to spend half a day babysitting two annoying 5- and 6-year-old kids.

“To the couple whose honeymoon I ruined, I’m so sorry. I hope you’re still together and happy!”

4) jenny010137 wrote, “When I was 26, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I had really good insurance, was diagnosed early, and my prognosis was good. My first day of radiation therapy, I was sitting in the waiting room waiting for my turn. A young woman, about my age, was standing at the reception desk. I couldn’t help but overhear her conversation with the receptionist. She had just been diagnosed with cancer, but had no insurance. The receptionist had to tell her they couldn’t help her. She asked, ‘What do I do?’ I didn’t hear what the receptionist said, but the girl left. That was eleven years ago, and it still haunts me. I’ve always wondered what happened to her. I hope she was still able to get treatment and beat her cancer.”

[David Bruce comments, “Thank God and Obama — a good team — for Obamacare.”]

SugeNightShyamalan commented, “Depending on your area, this may have been me. I had cervical cancer at the time.

“A very good friend offered to marry me because he had great insurance. Eventually, I took him up on it. We’re divorced now, and never told our friends or family.

“Edit: This was San Diego County, California. [Later, she added that the year was 2005.]

Fretboard commented, “If you look up the word ‘friend’ in the dictionary, there would be a picture of this guy.

“I’m going to look it up now; I want to see what he looks like.”

5) ColoradoFishTapes wrote, “Yep, I still think this dude was my guardian angel of sorts, I think about him almost everyday. My guardian angel happens to be a 300-pound Mexican line cook ….

“I was pretty down and out, sitting in some shitty burger joint on Sunset Boulevard. At the time, I was seriously strung out on drugs, and probably at the lowest point in my life in regards to my alcoholism (I was going through a bottle of Bicardi 151 Rum just about every two days). So, here I am unshaven, and still awake after being up for about two days. I wasn’t really even hungry due to the drugs I was on, just didn’t have anywhere to go.

“I looked down and saw this cockroach run across the floor, then thought, ‘Wow, so this is the bottom, I guess.’ I looked towards the kitchen and saw this fat Mexican dude turn his head really fast, so that I wouldn’t see that he was staring at me. He was huge, sweating like a champ. He wiped his hands on his nasty greasy apron, and then threw a burger on the plate.

“I looked out the window wondering what my next move was. Was I gonna go get strung out again, or try to find my girlfriend, who was also strung out and probably giving some guy head in an alley? It was hot, and I had not showered for a while.

“‘You look hungry?’

“I look up to see my fat Mexican buddy with a burger on a plate.

“‘You know, I work three jobs; this is my second stop today. I noticed that you look sad, and I am sad a lot, too.”

“I just kinda sat there wondering why this dude was talking to me. He set the burger down in front of me. ‘You need to eat, and you need to be healthy. I don’t do this much with all the bums around here, but I don’t feel like you are like that.’

“He then walked away and told me to keep my head up, and that it ‘gets better.’

“So, I did get better. It was probably the lowest point of my life, and I had nobody that I could genuinely call a friend, or anybody that even gave a shit about me. I am still convinced to this day that that one guy saved me from spiraling further into substance abuse. For a few minutes he was my buddy, and that’s all I needed. I wish I could tell him thank you.”

Thank You, Dear Angel, for Your Assistance”

On 10 October 2014, The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, Illinois) published this letter to the editor by James Atherton of Kenoir City, Tennessee:

“I was visiting the Oakland Avenue Cemetery [in Carbondale, Illinois] on Sunday Sept. 28 [2014], and was trying to find my parents’ and grandparents’ grave site.

“It had been many years since I had been there and I could not remember the section they were in. Along came this Angel of a Lady asking if she could help me. She got on her cell phone, called her husband and had him look up the section in the book she had at home.

“Without her kind help I would have never found the right section. I did not get her name, but she was driving an SUV with her 17-year-old daughter. She spent a good 30 minutes of her time to assist me and I want to say to her, ‘Thank you, Dear Angel, for your assistance.’ My wife and I were impressed with your kindness and hope to give the same kind of help if ever needed. I think The Lord put you in that place at that time to help us. Peace of The Lord be with you.”

A Very Big Thank You to a Lovely Young Lady Who Unknowingly Gave My Mum a Lovely Memory [in] the Last 24 Hours of Her Life”

On 29 July 2015, a person whose online name is “interstate” was pushing her mother, who had recently turned 90 years old, through Clifford Garden Shopping Centre in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. They saw a group of young girls, one of whom gave the bouquet of flowers she was holding to interstate’s mother because she looked like a lovely lady. Interstate wrote in the Toowoomba Chronicle, “The flowers were put in pride of place in a vase on the china cabinet and drew Mum’s eyes throughout the evening and [Mum commented] about the spontaneous act of giving her the flowers.” Not long afterward, interstate’s mother died. Interstate wrote, “I would like to say a very big thank you to a lovely young lady who unknowingly gave my mum a lovely memory [in] the last 24 hours of her life. […] The single spontaneous act of a young lady has bought joy to not one, but many elderly people and I sincerely thank her hoping she gets to hear of our appreciation for her act of kindness.”

I Just Wanted to Point Out that Not All the ‘Faith In Humanity’ Stories We Hear and Read Everyday are Always in Places Far Away”

On 15 September 2015, Imgurian NextOnSadSickWorld posted a photograph with this caption: “I’m not even sorry … Some Feels and Faith in Humanity for a Tuesday evening.” The photograph was of a woman named Khristin who works at a Publix grocery store. Along with the photograph appeared this text: “A few days ago, I placed an order for a cake at [location removed] Publix with Khristin [last name removed]. I explained to her that I had just recently lost my wife and two young daughters in a car accident. One of my daughters would have been five today and I promised her that she would have a princess birthday cake for her birthday. I wanted to fulfill that promise to her. Khristin took the cake order and had the decorator do the cake. Khristin took it upon herself to pay for the cake and also picked out balloons to go with the cake. I was very touched by Khristin’s actions and it moved me to tears. Thank you for helping me during my time of grief to celebrate my daughter’s fifth birthday.”

NextOnSadSickWorld then added this comment: “Ladies, Gentlemen, Imgurians, I am proud to say that this woman [Khristin] is my sister. I just wanted to point out that not all the ‘Faith in Humanity’ stories we hear and read everyday are always in places far away. They can be right next door. It makes me feel better knowing that for every flaw I have, there are people like her out there that make this world liveable. She is an amazing mother and an amazing human being. (She did this for this man on a single mother’s salary as a grocery store baker.)”

We Haven’t Seen Our Little Boy Smile in MONTHS. He Smiled, as He Passed Away. It was A Gift to Us. Thank You.”

When Caroll Spinney, who identifies himself as “the puppeteer who has brought life to Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for the last 46 years,” did an Ask Me Anything for Reddit, he received this question: “What has been your most meaningful interaction with a child […]”? He replied with this story:

“This is a very sad story, but it’s real.

“I got a letter from a fan who said his little boy, who was 5 years old, his name was Joey, he was dying of cancer.

“And he was so ill, the little boy knew he was dying.

“So the man, in his letter, asked if I would call the little boy. He said the only thing that cheered him at all in his fading state was to see Big Bird on television.

“So once in a while, he wouldn’t see Big Bird on some days, because he wasn’t necessarily in every show. So he asked could I telephone him, and talk to the boy, tell him what a good boy he’s been.

“So I took a while to look up a phone, because this was before cell phones. And they got a long cord to bring a phone to the boy.

“And I had Big Bird say, ‘Hello! Hello, Joey! It’s me, Big Bird!’

“So he said, ‘Is it really you, Big Bird?’

“‘Yes, it is.’

“I chatted a while with him, about ten minutes, and he said, ‘I’m glad you’re my friend, Big Bird.’

“And I said, ‘I’d better let you go now.’

“He said, ‘Thank you for calling me, Big Bird. You’re my friend. You make me happy.’

“And it turns out that his father and mother were sitting with him when the phone call came. And he was very, very ill that day. And they called the parents in, because they weren’t sure how long he’d last.

“And so his father wrote to me right away, and said, ‘Thank you, thank you’ — he hadn’t seen him smile since October, and this was in March — and when the phone was hung up, he said, ‘Big Bird called me! He’s my friend.’

“And he closed his eyes. And he passed away.

“And I could see that what I say to children can be very important.

“And he said, “We haven’t seen our little boy smile in MONTHS. He smiled, as he passed away. It was a gift to us. Thank you.”

Appendix A: Bibliography

Altman, Linda Jacobs. Women Inventors. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1997.

Gulley, Philip. Front Porch Tales. Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Books, 1997.

Pasachoff, Naomi. Linus Pauling: Advancing Science, Advocating Peace. Berkeley Heights, New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2004.

Robbins, Jhan. Inka Dinka Doo: The Life of Jimmy Durante. New York: Paragon House, 1991.

Appendix B: Some Books by David Bruce

Retellings of a Classic Work of Literature

Dante’s Inferno: A Retelling in Prose

Dante’s Purgatory: A Retelling in Prose

Dante’s Paradise: A Retelling in Prose

Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Retelling in Prose

From the Iliad to the Odyssey: A Retelling in Prose of Quintus of Smyrna’s Posthomerica

Homer’s Iliad: A Retelling in Prose

Homer’s Odyssey: A Retelling in Prose

Jason and the Argonauts: A Retelling in Prose of Apollonius of Rhodes’ Argonautica

Virgil’s Aeneid: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s 1 Henry IV, aka Henry IV, Part 1: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s 2 Henry IV, aka Henry IV, Part 2: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s As You Like It: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Henry V: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s King Lear: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s King Lear: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Othello: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s The Tempest: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona: A Retelling in Prose

William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: A Retelling in Prose

Children’s Biography

Nadia Comaneci: Perfect Ten

Personal Finance

How to Manage Your Money: A Guide for the Non-Rich

Anecdote Collections

250 Anecdotes About Opera

250 Anecdotes About Religion

250 Anecdotes About Religion: Volume 2

250 Music Anecdotes

Be a Work of Art: 250 Anecdotes and Stories

The Coolest People in Art: 250 Anecdotes

The Coolest People in the Arts: 250 Anecdotes

The Coolest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes

The Coolest People in Comedy: 250 Anecdotes

Create, Then Take a Break: 250 Anecdotes

Don’t Fear the Reaper: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Art: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Books, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Comedy: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Dance: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Families: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Families, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Families, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Families, Volume 4: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Families, Volume 5: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Families, Volume 6: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Movies: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Music: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Music, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Music, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Relationships: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Sports: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Sports, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Television and Radio: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People in Theater: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People Who Live Life: 250 Anecdotes

The Funniest People Who Live Life, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

The Kindest People Who Do Good Deeds, Volume 1: 250 Anecdotes

The Kindest People Who Do Good Deeds, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

Maximum Cool: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People in Movies: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People in Politics and History: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People in Politics and History, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People in Politics and History, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People in Religion: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People in Sports: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People Who Live Life: 250 Anecdotes

The Most Interesting People Who Live Life, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

Reality is Fabulous: 250 Anecdotes and Stories

Resist Psychic Death: 250 Anecdotes

Seize the Day: 250 Anecdotes and Stories

Appendix C: About the Author

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly a cry rang out, and on a hot summer night in 1954, Josephine, wife of Carl Bruce, gave birth to a boy — me. Unfortunately, this young married couple allowed Reuben Saturday, Josephine’s brother, to name their first-born. Reuben, aka “The Joker,” decided that Bruce was a nice name, so he decided to name me Bruce Bruce. I have gone by my middle name — David — ever since.

Being named Bruce David Bruce hasn’t been all bad. Bank tellers remember me very quickly, so I don’t often have to show an ID. It can be fun in charades, also. When I was a counselor as a teenager at Camp Echoing Hills in Warsaw, Ohio, a fellow counselor gave the signs for “sounds like” and “two words,” then she pointed to a bruise on her leg twice. Bruise Bruise? Oh yeah, Bruce Bruce is the answer!

Uncle Reuben, by the way, gave me a haircut when I was in kindergarten. He cut my hair short and shaved a small bald spot on the back of my head. My mother wouldn’t let me go to school until the bald spot grew out again.

Of all my brothers and sisters (six in all), I am the only transplant to Athens, Ohio. I was born in Newark, Ohio, and have lived all around Southeastern Ohio. However, I moved to Athens to go to Ohio University and have never left.

At Ohio U, I never could make up my mind whether to major in English or Philosophy, so I got a bachelor’s degree with a double major in both areas, then I added a master’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Philosophy.

Currently, and for a long time to come, I publish a weekly humorous column titled “Wise Up!” for The Athens News, and I am a retired Ohio University English instructor.

 


The Kindest People: Be Excellent to Each Other (Volume 7)

This book contains stories about 250 good deeds, including these: 1) Dave Grohl, Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, went to a Towers Record store and bought some music. The manager rang up his order and began to give him a discount, but Mr. Grohl noticed and asked, “Whoa, dude, do you know who I am?” Of course, the manger did, and Mr. Grohl said, “Then you know I don’t need a discount. Give it to those guys.” The guys in line in back of him got the discount. 2) Redditor nuvistor wrote that “in my panhandling phase during a few months in 2008, I went to a Nob Hill and asked the manager if he had a sandwich that was about to expire or anything, and he gave me one, and told me he much, much preferred people ask him than take stuff; he can generally help them out.” 3) On 6 October 2014, following allegations of harassment and bullying and intimidation by Sayreville War Memorial football players in the Parlin section of Sayreville, New Jersey, school officials announced that the rest of the football season had been cancelled. Superintendent Richard Labbe said, “There was enough evidence that there were incidents of harassment, of intimidation and bullying that took place on a pervasive level, on a wide-scale level and at a level at which the players knew, tolerated and generally accepted. Based upon what has been substantiated to have occurred, we have canceled the remainder of the football season. We can set the standard right now for all kids for all school districts in Middlesex County, in the state and in the nation that we are not going to stand around and allow kids to do this to one another. We are going to start holding our students responsible for doing the right thing and reporting these kinds of behaviors. I believe with every fiber of my body that the only way we are going to stop bullying is if we get the kids to go to an adult or to the authorities.” An unidentified local official told ABC News, “They [Freshmen] would live in fear of seniors and juniors. They would race to the locker room to get changed and get out before the older kids got there.” A parent of a younger player did the right thing and called the police. The unidentified local official said, “It was a parent of a younger kid being taunted, threatened, bullied.”

  • ISBN: 9781310043321
  • Author: David Bruce
  • Published: 2015-10-04 23:35:12
  • Words: 97678
The Kindest People: Be Excellent to Each Other (Volume 7) The Kindest People: Be Excellent to Each Other (Volume 7)