Older woman who gave me a 60 dollar tip at Subway because she overheard me asking my boss for my paycheck early because I needed gas for my car to get to my doctor appointment. She had it in her hand, put it in mine, and told me not to look at it until she left.
9. Return the Favor
Some guy saw me putting $4 in my gas tank one day. He looked at me and was like, “Four dollars!? What is that going to get you? A gallon? You’re driving a mini-van! You’ll go like 10 miles and be out again!” So I responded, “I put in what I can and when I get more, I put in more.” He noticed I had kids in the car and said, “Hang up the nozzle, I’m not going to let you leave here with only $4 in your tank.” Filled my tank. I couldn’t thank him enough, so he just responded, “One day, you’ll have something extra. Just return the favor to someone in your position once you’re in mine.” I can’t wait for the day I’m able to do that.
10. The Christmas Spirit
In 2007 my father passed away suddenly from a heart attack. It was very difficult as I was only a sophomore in high school at the time, and I was the one who first found him laying there dead. It was very surprising how many people wanted to help, and also how many people I thought would, but didn’t. Later that year on Christmas Eve, it was just me and my mother alone for the first time. My dad worked in a hospital and he would work every holiday except for Christmas so it was very special to have him home that day. Feeling rather depressed, I just sat by the window staring outside at the snow. I left the window for 30 minutes and came back to it. Outside someone had decorated our entire front yard with Christmas decorations galore. On the front step was a basket containing all kinds of goodies. In there was a note that said, “Remember you are not alone. There are many who care about you. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas.” To this day it’s still the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me and my mom.
11. The Other Kind of Subway
I had just paid to re-fill my metro (or subway) card for the month. 78$. I was out doing groceries, and must have dropped it on my way home. Apparently a woman had noticed, and tried getting my attention, but to no avail. The next day, I went to find it, and couldn’t. I was pretty upset that I would have to pay for a new one again. On my way out, downstairs in the lobby of my building, I saw a note that said to call this number, a metro card was found. I couldn’t believe someone would actually make such an effort to return something they could have easily just used for themselves.
12. Childhood Dream
As a child there was nothing I wanted more than to catch a baseball at a baseball game and have it signed by the team. My Dad took me to a baseball game one time and we were seated behind a family with a little boy a few years younger than me. I was talking to my dad about how much I wanted to have a baseball signed by all the players and the boy in front of us heard me. His dad turned around and showed me a baseball that had been signed by a significant amount of baseball players from that team. I looked at it and he let me hold it. When I tried to hand it back to him, he informed me that it belonged to his kid who had taken lessons from some of the players. Apparently this kid had heard me talking to my dad and decided he wanted to fulfill my desire for an autographed baseball. I still have it.
13. Life Saver
Had only just learned how to swim, but wasn’t great at it by any means. Was on my first family vacation in Florida, and we were at the pool when I tried to swim into the deep end of the adult pool at the hotel. I started to struggle, and almost made it to the ledge to get out, but my body just sort of gave out and I sank. And then I get lifted up by some stranger who just lays me on the side of the pool, asks if I’m okay, then is on his way. Nobody else cared to help or just figured I was just playing around like I was drowning. If not for him, I’d likely be dead.
I was homeless for a couple weeks. I worked during the day, rode the bus in the evening catching naps between transits and walked gas station to gas station at night to stay warm. One of the gas station attendants caught on and offered me a place to sleep. He left his keys in the car, so I could run the heater if I had to, and begged me not to steal it. I didn’t, and left in the morning leaving a thank you note on the dash. He woke me up around 5 too, with some microwaved sandwiches. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met. The only thing he’d say as to why was that he knew life was hard, and he always hoped if he was in my spot, someone would do this for him.
15. Laid Off
When I was laid off years ago, with my wife and two kids to feed, someone would send me either $100 cash or a grocery gift card in the mail. It came every 1-2 weeks with no return address. To this day I have no idea who was sending it.