High - inspired stories for Kindness Day

Stories on Kindness in Unexpected Places

“Going to the post office is usually a weekly event for me. I rarely give it any thought other than to drive there, go inside, and drop off my letter or package. However, our world has changed and now I must give careful consideration to this journey as my age and pre-existing condition put me into the “vulnerable” category. There are decisions that I need to make. Is this a package that must go out now? I conclude that it is. Is there anyone else who can take the package for me? I conclude there is not. So I have made two decisions already. Next, I must determine which of the two post offices closest to me would be the easiest one to accomplish my goal. I realize the larger one would be my best choice. Three decisions made! On the drive over, I determine that I will look to see the number of cars in the parking lot before I make my decision to go in. Upon arriving, I conclude the car population is small enough so I pull into an empty space. My next thought is, “perhaps I should wait for someone to come out and ask them to take my package in?” Then I realize, I will be making contact with a perfect stranger, and what is the difference between talking to that stranger and just going in and talking to the clerk? Next decision made, I walk inside. There are only two people and both are standing at the counters making their transactions. I walk to the front of what is normally a very long line. I am standing alone, waiting for my turn. Shortly, I am called to the window. I can see that the postal clerk is aware of the fear in my eyes. She quietly steps back from her station and motions me to come forward. I step up to the counter and place my package on the scale. She then motions me to step back. I move away and she begins the process of weighing it and determining the proper postage. She tells me the price and motions me forward as she takes a step back. Again, I believe she saw the terror in my eyes and said, “one moment, Ma’am.” She leans under the counter and picks up a Lysol wipe. She thoroughly cleans the credit card machine and the entire counter around it. She then steps back and again motions me forward. As I insert my card, tears start to roll down my cheeks. I was so moved by the care with which she accomplished this usually very simple task. When I had completed the transaction, she again motioned me back as she stepped forward. She took the receipt, wiped it down, and lay it on the counter. Beside it, she placed a clean tissue as she could see my tears were still streaming down my cheeks. She again stepped away from the counter. I picked up the receipt and took a step back. In gratitude, I bowed to her. She bowed to me with equal respect. —Jeanne Hall, Nashville, Tennessee

Kind-Hearted Better Half

During COVID, there are orphans whose birthdays are not getting celebrated or they are not getting any gifts from their well-wishers. At this hard time, my wife (Neelam Singhal) collected birthday boxes, gifts, and birthday crowns and started calling various organizations that could accept them. She was able to connect with Kids TLC and she drove there to donate. She felt so happy doing something for them that she almost cried when she returned. I am lucky to have such a kind-hearted better half. —Manuj Singhal, Olathe, Kansas

Sharing the Wealth

When Clayton, New Jersey resident JoAnn Kates received her $1,200 government stimulus check, she initially toyed with the idea of giving $300 to each of her four grown children. But the devout Christian says the Lord spoke to her, telling her to use the money to buy meals for frontline medical workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. While Kates has a daughter who is a NICU nurse in Tennessee, it was actually her six-year experience as a caregiver after her late husband suffered a severe brain injury in 2008 (he died in 2014) that helped her choose her local hospital—Jefferson Washington Township Hospital in Turnersville, New Jersey—for her generous food donation. “Nurses and doctors walked me through the worst six years of my life,” says Kates, whose husband never walked or talked again after a bicycle accident. “I wrote letters praising every nurse and trauma doctor I encountered during that time.” A fan of Scarpinato’s Italian food in Turnersville, Kates used her stimulus money to purchase 110 lunches that were delivered to the hospital on April 27. Staff from Medical-Surgical Units, ICU, Cardiopulmonary, the storeroom, as well as some physicians and residents, enjoyed the hot meal. —Nicole Pensiero Turnersville, New Jersey

Through Sickness and Health

My neighbors, Jay and Treva, have been the best since we moved in. When my husband got brain cancer, they helped with yard work and snow removal. When Jim passed away, they were always helping me, anything they could. Meals, yard work, snow removal, putting my trash can away when I would forget. They still continue to care for me and if they don’t see me outside in a while they text to make sure I am alright and not down or anything. I know I can always count on them to be there for me no matter what happens! —Shelly Golay, Casper, Wyoming

The Value of Essential Work

My husband’s job is one of the essential jobs (sanitation engineer), not a glamorous one but consider the alternative. About the second week of the lockdown, he was having trouble finding a spray for his truck to keep it sanitized. One morning on his way to work at 4 a.m., he stopped at one of the few stores open that early hoping to purchase some. When he got to the door, he saw that they were only open early for first responders and medical personnel. So, he turned to head back to his car. While walking back, a local sheriff’s deputy was going in, and he spotted my husband’s reflective vest and stopped him. He asked my husband which trash company he worked for, then proceeded to thank my husband for being out there. My husband told him that it was he that deserved the thanks. Then the deputy asked if he always shopped this early. My husband told him of the problem of finding a spray. The deputy then asked if he were able to find it that morning, so of course, my husband told him that he could not go in. The deputy told my husband to stay where he was, and he went in and purchased the spray and brought it out to my husband. My husband tried to pay him, but he would not take the money. —Karen Foster, Hillsboro, Oregon

Donations from Unlikely Places

A year ago, Micah Harold had a heart attack and actually died several times. Now, a year later, the coronavirus is here. Micah owns a tattoo parlor (he is an extremely talented artist), and his tattoo parlor has been closed because it is “non-essential.” But Micah has stepped up and is giving back to the community. His shop is on the edge of a not-so-affluent part of town. He has stocked his shop with essentials, such as toilet paper, paper towels, different types of non-perishable foods, and emergency items. Some things he bought with his own money, and he has had some donations from the community. He makes hand sanitizer and also has gloves and other items that people need for this pandemic available in his shop. Everything is free. You just go in, tell him what you need, and he gives it to you. His mother, Deborah Allen is also involved, not in his business, but in making cloth masks for people. She has long been a clothing designer, and now she is making masks and giving them away. They are both helping the community a great deal. —Judy Chandler, Shreveport, Louisiana

She Gave Me Direction

As I left a party, I got on the wrong freeway and was immediately lost. I pulled over to the shoulder and called my roadside-assistance provider. She tried to connect me to the California Highway Patrol, but that call never went through. Hearing the panic in my voice, she came up with a plan B: “You’re near this office,” she said. “I’m about to go off shift. Stay put, and I’ll find you.” Ten minutes later, she rolled up. She guided me not only to the right freeway but all the way to the correct freeway exit. And then, with a wave goodbye, she drove back into the night.—Michelle Arnold, Santee, California

Designated Driver

I’d pulled over onto the side of a New Mexico road and was suffering a panic attack when a minivan full of kids pulled over. A woman got out and asked if I was OK. “No,” I said. Then I laid out what had happened: I was delivering books for a publishing company. My next stop was way, way up this long and winding and, to me, very treacherous road. I couldn’t do it. “I’ll deliver the books for you,” she said. She was a local, and the roads were nothing for her. I took her up on the offer and never forgot the simple kindness of a stranger. —Doreen Frick, Ord, Nebraska

Twice as Nice

Two firefighters were waiting in line at a fast-food restaurant when the siren sounded on their fire truck parked outside. As they turned to leave, a couple who had just received their order handed their food to the firefighters. The couple then got back in line to reorder. Doubling down on their selfless act, the manager refused to take their money. — JoAnn Sanderson, Brandon, Florida

Designated Driver

I’d pulled over onto the side of a New Mexico road and was suffering a panic attack when a minivan full of kids pulled over. A woman got out and asked if I was OK. “No,” I said. Then I laid out what had happened: I was delivering books for a publishing company. My next stop was way, way up this long and winding and, to me, very treacherous road. I couldn’t do it. “I’ll deliver the books for you,” she said. She was a local, and the roads were nothing for her. I took her up on the offer and never forgot the simple kindness of a stranger. —Doreen Frick, Ord, Nebraska

A Christmas Story

In January 2006, a fire destroyed a family’s home. In that fire were all the belongings of a six-year-old boy, including his Christmas presents. A classmate from his school who had a birthday around then asked her parents if she could give all her gifts to the boy. That act of kindness will forever warm my heart because the boy is my grandson. —Donna Kachnowski, Lebanon, Connecticut

Butterflies of Support

I was four months pregnant with our first child when our baby’s heart stopped beating. I was devastated. As the days went on, I was nervous about returning to work. I’m a middle school teacher and didn’t know how I could face kids. This past May, after four weeks of recovering, I walked into my empty classroom and turned on the lights. Glued to the wall were a hundred colored paper butterflies, each with a handwritten message on it from current and past students. All of them had encouraging messages: “Keep moving forward,” “Don’t give up on God,” and “Know that we love you.” It was exactly what I needed.— Jennifer Garcia-Esquivel, San Benito, Texas

Blanket Statement

When I was seven, my family drove to the Grand Canyon. At one point, my favorite blanket flew out the window and was gone. I was devastated. Soon after, we stopped at a service station. Moping, I found a bench and was about to eat my sandwich when a biker gang pulled into the station. “Is that your blue Ford?” a huge, frightening man with a gray-and-black beard asked. Mom nodded reticently. The man pulled my blanket from his jacket pocket and handed it to her. He then returned to his motorcycle. I repaid him the only way I knew how: I ran up to him and gave him my sandwich. —Zena Hamilton, United Kingdom

Just Driving Through

When my friend and I were injured in a car accident, a family from out of state stopped to help. Seeing we were hurt, they drove us to the hospital and stayed there until we were released. They then took us home, got us food, and made sure we were settled in. Amazingly, they interrupted their vacation to help us. —Cindy Earls, Ada, Oklahoma 

Raised Right

Children were playing at the recreation area of an IKEA store when my five-year-old granddaughter motioned for a small boy to stop. She knelt down before him and retied his flopping shoelaces—she had only just learned to tie her own. No words were spoken, but after she finished, both smiled shyly, then turned to race off in different directions. —Sheela Mayes, Olla, Louisiana. 

How Did She Know?

I was driving cross-country to start a new job. What began as a fun adventure turned into a nightmare when I realized I had run through most of my money and still had a ways to go. I pulled over and let the tears flow. That’s when I noticed the unopened farewell card my neighbor had shoved in my hand as I left. I pulled the card out of the envelope, and $100 dropped out—just enough to get me through the remainder of my trip. Later, I asked my neighbor why she had enclosed the money. She said, “I had a feeling it would help.” —Nadine Chandler, Winthrop, Massachusetts

My Commander’s Call

It was one of my first missions on a gunship during the Vietnam War. I was scanning for enemy fire when I spotted a bright object that looked as if it were coming straight at us. “Missile! Missile!” I shouted into my interphone. The pilot jerked the airplane as hard as he could, dumping guys from one side of the craft to the next. Well, turns out the “missile” was a flare we had just dropped. Suffice it to say, the guys weren’t pleased. Back at the base, my commander put an arm around my shoulder. “Sergeant Hunter,” he said, “you keep calling them like you see them. Better safe than sorry.” That kind act gave me the confidence to be one of the top gunners in my squadron. —Douglas Hunter, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

He Kept an Eye on Me

Driving home in a blizzard, I noticed a vehicle trailing close behind me. Suddenly, my tire blew! I pulled off the road, and so did the other car. A man jumped out from behind the wheel and without hesitation changed the flat. “I was going to get off two miles back,” he said. “But I didn’t think that tire looked good.” —Marilyn Attebery, Spokane Valley, Washington

“I Can Still Help”

As I walked through the parking lot, all I could think about was the dire diagnosis I had handed my patient Jimmy: pancreatic cancer. Just then, I noticed an elderly gentleman handing tools to someone working under his stalled car. That someone was Jimmy. “Jimmy, what are you doing?” I yelled out. Jimmy dusted off his pants. “My cancer didn’t tell me not to help others, Doc,” he said, before waving at the old man to start the car. The engine roared to life. The old man thanked Jimmy and drove off. Then Jimmy got into his car and took off as well. Take-home message: Kindness has no limits and no restrictions. —Mohammed Basha, Gainesville, Florida.

White Shoulders

A woman at our yard sale wore a perfume that smelled heavenly and familiar. “What are you wearing?” I asked. “White Shoulders,” she said. Suddenly, I was bowled over by a flood of memories. White Shoulders was the one gift I could count on at Christmas from my late mother. We chatted awhile, and she bought some things and left. A few hours later, she returned holding a new bottle of White Shoulders. I don’t recall which one of us started crying first. —Media Stooksbury, Powell, Tennessee

Breaking Bread

Last December, before work, I stopped at a deli and ordered an everything bagel with cream cheese. It was toasty warm, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. But as I left the store, I noticed an older indigent gentleman sitting at the bus stop. Knowing it would probably be his only warm meal of the day, I gave him the bagel. But all was not lost for me. Another customer from the deli offered me half of her bagel. I was so delighted because I realized that in one way or another, we are all looked after. —Liliana Figueroa, Phoenix, Arizona

Seven Miles For Me

Leaving a store, I returned to my car only to find that I’d locked my keys and cell phone inside. A teenager riding his bike saw me kick a tire and say a few choice words. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I explained my situation. “But even if I could call my wife,” I said, “she can’t bring me her car key, since this is our only car.” He handed me his cell phone. “Call your wife and tell her I’m coming to get her key.” “That's a seven miles round trip.” “Don’t worry about it.” An hour later, he returned with the key. I offered him some money, but he refused. “Let’s just say I needed the exercise,” he said. Then, like a cowboy in the movies, he rode off into the sunset. —Clarence W. Stephens, Nicholasville, Kentucky 

Source: www.rd.com