“What’s the Kindest Thing a Complete Stranger has Done for You?”

1) Emily_Starke wrote this:

“I was briefly homeless; I was lucky enough to have a car to sleep in; it was out of petrol but luckily in a residential area where no one seemed to mind me leaving it.

“Woke up one morning and found a fresh coffee and a note on the roof saying, ‘If you want a shower, some breakfast and a chat, come to this address….’

“I was desperate and fully expecting some sleazebag, but it was actually a lovely old man who had seen me when he was walking his dog each morning. He let me stay in his guest room for a couple of weeks, I cooked and cleaned to repay him, he borrowed some smart clothes off a neighbor when I managed to get an interview, from which I managed to get the job.

“We still talk on the phone every few weeks.”

2) emma11232 wrote this:

“I was driving from Buffalo, NY to my parents’ house on Long Island (about a 7-hour drive) on Thanksgiving Day in 2003. I got a flat tire somewhere just before Binghamton, which was about halfway. It wasn’t just a flat, the tire basically shredded. I was able to get a donut on there and limp into a nearby town, hoping beyond hope that something was open so I could change my tire. NOTHING was. I even stopped in a police station and the cops basically told me I was screwed and that I should find someplace to stay the night. As I was driving around some more, the donut blew and I was on the rim. I left the car on the side of the road and just started walking to this house, hoping to use their phone to let my parents know. The elderly woman who lived there invited me into her home, let me use her phone, and then called her son who owned a used car lot. On Thanksgiving, this woman and her family took two or three hours of their holiday to tow my car to this used car lot, replace the wheel for free, and send me on my way with some pie.”

3) EvrythngComesDwn2Poo wrote this:

“I was 25, newly separated, and overwhelmed as a single father of two kids, both under four. I was at a local mall with my kids. I would take them to the playground area. 

“My daughter just spilled a drink all over her. I was out of backup clothes, so now I’m stuck. I have only enough money for the kids to eat lunch and to take a cab home, and it’s raining so we can’t walk… So I make the only choice I can: spend cab money on a cheap new outfit to comfort my daughter, and get them some lunch. I figured I’d work something out eventually. 

“So we are at Chick-fil-A and at the next table there is an older woman eating. I am trying to call people for help but not let the kids know I’m struggling while they eat. As she gets up to leave, she hands me a napkin, said, ‘I think you dropped this,’ and heads to the door. 

“On the napkin was a note that read, ‘A cab will be here in 10 minutes for you. It’s already paid for.’ And wrapped inside were two 100-dollar bills. No clue why she did it, have no idea who she was, I guess she just saw me struggling and wanted to help.”

4) DrawManda wrote this:

“This is about a couple of strangers…

“I was going to school 3,000 miles away from my hometown. It was a rough experience… from the time I got there until I left, I was completely broke. One day, I woke up in so much pain I couldn’t stand it. As it turned out, one of my wisdom teeth began coming in under a molar. It was some of the worst pain of my life! 

“I asked my mother if she could loan me the money to get it pulled, as I was living truly hand to mouth, and she refused. The guy I was dating at the time, who was in my hometown, put me in contact with his parents (whom I had never met). Not only did they immediately pay for my surgery, they sent me about $200 worth of food, which was a literal lifesaver! Soft food for when I was recovering, and regular food to keep me sustained for a while. 

“On top of that, some of the people I was going to school with really came through for me! A very new friend (this incident was only three or so weeks into school) drove me to and from the procedure. One classmate I had never talked to heard about what I was going through and brought soup to my dorm. One of the guys in the dorm across from mine took care of me off and on, made sure I was eating and drinking plenty of liquid. 

“I was upset and scared when my mother refused to help me. But having so many strangers do such kind things really restored my faith in humanity!” 

5) wakaforprez wrote this:

“I did the whole ‘take everything out of your bank account and go live life to the fullest’ once when I decided I was going to kill myself. At the end of the week, I had 0 dollars and 0 cents. My car was parked in a parking garage that allowed free parking on the weekend but if you stayed until the week it would cost $20. When I tried to leave, it prompted me to pay. I had no money left and wasn’t looking to kill myself in a parking garage surrounded by other people, families, and kids. Then came a parking officer in an SUV. Some very, very kind black woman in her mid-20s or -30s. She saw me completely red faced, eyes bloodshot, and struggling to find a way through the gate to the garage. She got out of the SUV, came up to my car, and told me she’d seen my car here since the weekend so she will let me through the gate at no charge. I broke down for a moment and stared at her. I couldn’t put in words how she just made me feel even if it was the dumbest simplest little gesture. I thought life was hopeless and nobody in the world cared. A random stranger in a parking garage changed my view on that. I ended up going down the road and pawning my gun off for gas money. After that I drove to my parents’ house and asked them for help on getting my life back together. They didn’t even ask me what happened or why I was coming to them, they just did it.

“If you ever think that a small gesture doesn’t mean anything at all, just remember that a lady waived a parking fee for me and helped me decide on living or not.”

6) CrazyMomof3teens wrote this:

“I was newly divorced with three young kids. I was working at a burger place, but didn’t have a car. I had to walk everywhere, with my kids (because I didn’t have any family to watch them and their dad — my ex — lived two states away with his new wife). Luckily, we lived in a small town and everything was in walking distance (30-45 minutes or less). 

“Everyday, about the same time, a man would come through the drive-through and order the same thing — two large diet Cokes, half ice. He’d always be in a different car, so I thought he owned one of the car lots near the small town. 

“One day, the lady who usually drove him came to get his order without him. I asked her if he had any cheap cars for sale. She looked at me funny, and I told her my theory. She told me that he didn’t own any of the car lots; he just had a lot of different cars. 

“A few days later, his secretary came to talk to me. She said he wanted to help me. He paid off the tickets I had and couldn’t afford to pay. Then, he paid to reinstate my license. Then, he bought me a two-year-old car and paid for the taxes, plates, registration, and six months of insurance. 

“Later, after I’d moved out of the slum I’d been living in, he had his secretary check on me and give me $1,000 to buy my kids Christmas gifts. Then, he tracked me down and gave me $500 to spend on myself.”

I about fainted when she gave me that [$1,000] check. At that time, that was more than I made in a month! I paid off some bills, stocked up on food, and got my kids some kick[*]ss gifts, and still had some left over.”Bottom of Form

7) BlatantConservative wrote this:

“I was 15 years old, and 5’2” with absolutely tiny hands and feet. (For reference, I am now 5”4’ and my hands and feet have not grown at all.) 

“For years, people had looked at my hands or feet and gone ‘You know what that means, hah hah hah,’ and it would be fair to say I had a complex. I was 100 percent convinced I had a tiny penis. 

“I was at a bowling alley for a guy in my class’ birthday party and we had to get loaner bowling shoes. 

“This 60-odd-year-old woman was at the counter, asking everyone what their shoe size is. Dudes are bragging about their big feet, girls are obviously getting the hints, and I was desperately trying to avoid getting noticed. 

“‘Whatddya need, son,’ the bowling alley lady says to me

“‘Um, size 4 please,’ I say as quietly as I can, but some classmates crowded around heard anyway and giggled. 

“The lady saw this, and got mad. 

“‘Ain’t nothing wrong with having smaller feet. My husband wears size 5s and he’s satisfied me every night for the last forty years, and lemme tell ya there’s no connection between the two,’ she said loudly, glaring at the laughing kids and solidly scaring them. 

“Nobody in that particular group mentioned it or mocked me about it again. Other people made small dick jokes after that, but I stopped letting it bother me so much. Newfound confidence helped me get a girlfriend, etc. I learned I’m about average. 

“This is part of the reason I think trashy bowling alleys are part of what makes America so great. 

“Thank you so much, unreserved bowling alley lady. Your words helped me out a lot.”

8) gadgethackwench wrote this:

“I was stationed in Biloxi [Mississippi] when a hurricane was coming. The base made us stay till super late then let us evacuate. I got a flat tire maybe 15 minutes down the highway. I had been driving for only about a month, so I was already freaking out about how to drive in the crazy weather. Some giant Chevy pickup truck comes down and busts a u-turn to come and help me. Out of the truck step the most redneck-looking individuals I’ve ever seen. I swear I heard banjos playing. I start praying because I as a black girl in the deep South think this is how I’m going to meet my maker. Wrong. They not only changed my tire in the torrential downpour, they also lectured me on how to do it and gave me a full gas can so I can make it safely. They also got my number and called very few hours to check in on me and make sure I made it to my dad’s house. I’ll never forget that it was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.”

NoOneReadsMyUsername commented:

“Country people are some of the nicest! I can’t speak for the South and tensions there, but my dad has been blue collar his whole life and will stop to help most people broken down on the road.

“EDIT: Example — We were running late to something when I was in middle school, but we passed a car off the road in the snow in BFE [B*m F**k Egypt]. Dad pulls over, checks on them, and starts to help pull the car out with his truck. It was an old couple and he was worried about them freezing, so we gave them a bunch of extra gloves and stuff that we had in the truck. They were his work gloves, so not super warm, but their hands were small enough to double up and stuff.”

Source: tothesunshadows, “What’s the Kindest Thing a Complete Stranger has Done for You?” Reddit. 7 September 2017



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