questionswhat is the nicest thing a stranger has done for…

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I left my cellphone on the table at lunch sunday. This VERY nice lady chased me down in the parking lot (I was already in my car) to give it back to me. She really went out of her way.

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Usually the "you dropped this" thing. Never really had anything nice happen, with exception to customer service.

On that side I had a roaming charge of around $800 reversed. That was nice.

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My car had got a flat tire in the middle of a snowstorm. While waiting for help to arrive, this guy stopped, helped us change the tire, and even gave us a case of strawberrys afterward.

He restored my faith in humanity, and to this day, I always try to stop when I see people with car trouble.

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My mother uses a walker and moves really slow. Every time we go out--EVERY TIME--to doctor's appts, shopping, etc, someone always holds the door open for us. I know it's just a little gesture, but it makes me feel good that others are willing to take the time out, to help out a little old lady.

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Gave birth to me. Started a long and prosperous relationship.

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Can't think of anything someone has done for me recently, but I did give a lady and her son a coupon in Toys R' Us the other day that I wasn't going to use.

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In high school I wasn't able to afford to go to prom. I got a card with $100 in it and a note to have a wonderful time at the dance. I still have no idea who it was that helped me out.

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My wife and I used to be in the Army and were in San Antonio for training. One evening we went out to dinner and a guy came to our table and asked us if we were in the miltary, so we told him we were and he thanked us for our service. After we finished our meal I asked our server for the check and he told us the man who came to our table paid for our meal. We thanked the man and he told us that he and his wife retired from the Navy and they wanted to show his appreciation for another young couple who were serving.

Our minds were blown by his kind gesture.

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Yikes, I have lots of great stories to tell here. Many years ago, I used to drive past a supermarket on my way home from work. I'd often see elderly people walking home with their groceries and I would stop and offer them a ride in my beat up Pinto. One gentleman with a charming Irish brogue tried to invite me to join he and his wife for dinner which I of course declined. As he was getting out I warned him to be careful of the sharp edge on my broken inside door handle. He asked me to wait a minute and I thought he was going to bring out his wife to meet me, but he reappeared with a screwdriver and a Pinto door handle. His son worked at the Ford plant and he had all these Ford parts lying around, including the exact door handle I needed. He replaced it right there in his driveway. I never saw him again and often wondered if I'd chanced upon an angel or good spirit of some sort.

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I had lost my cell phone in front of my former culinary teacher's house and this old lady got in touch with the phone company to get in touch with me to return it.

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Story 2: In 1999, we went to Australia for the World Science Fiction Convention, and took a tour before the convention. When we got to our hotel in Melbourne, I realized I had left my role-playing character notebook at the hotel in Sydney. This was a disaster, the notebook contained many original character drawings and watercolor paintings. I called the hotel and the manager said it had likely been thrown away but he would check. He called me back later and told me that the maid had put it in the trash on her cart, but one of the office workers had seen the cover art and liked it so well she salvaged it from the trash and took it home at lunchtime. He'd sent her home to get it, and they overnighted it to me in Melbourne, no charge. Not only was my art saved, but I felt good that someone had liked it well enough to save it. When I got home I had prints made of the art and sent it to the hotel manager for the employee who'd saved my book, along with a thank you card for them both.

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Return a wallet full of cash, drivers license, pictures, credit cards to the service desk of the store I lost it in front of. It fell out into the snow and someone brought it into the store before I had finished shopping for Christmas. I expected it to be cleaned out but everything was in it.I have found money, wallets, a purse in restroom, a boat floaty ring thing that holds valuables-it had cash, even found a beautiful necklace that had huge sentimental value to the lady that lost it, and other things over the yers and got them back to their rightful owners. Karma just came back and kissed me hard that day! =)

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Story 3: I live in the desert on the slope of the last, littlest Rocky Mountain. When it rains, all the down slope streets turn to rivers. I was trying to get home and my car drowned in an intersection. The water was a foot high, so I sat there hoping for help. A police car came and shined a spotlight into my car and then drove off and left me there. A while later some headlights slowly pulled up behind me, demonstrating an intent to push, so I let off my brake and they pushed me out of the river to the dry mid-block. Then like a clown-car the car decanted about a dozen "cholos", tattooed, hairnetted, buttoned up collars, the whole deal. They opened my hood and tried to dry off my manifold(?), tried to help me get the car started but couldn't. They apologized that they couldn't give me a ride but their car was full, offered to call someone for me. I was just glad to be out of the dangerous flood waters and thanked them profusely. Never judge people by appearances!

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i have two stories:

My boyfriend and I arrived in Las Vegas for a weekend of debauchery only to find that neither one of us had our wallets. (How we survived the weekend is another story). It was then I realized that I had put my wallet on the trunk of my car when I was filling up with gas....in San Diego. I stressed all weekend about the hassle of having to get a new license, credit cards, lost money, etc. Instead, I arrived home to find my wallet, with everything still in it, sitting under my doormat.

cont...

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Another time was when my car crapped out at a stop light. I was sitting in the middle lane of a busy three lane road when it happened. It also happened to be right after I bought an entire new bedding set so the car was filled with pillows, sheets, and a comforter. This nice gentleman driving in the opposite direction slowed to ask if I needed help. I frantically gestured yes and he made a U-turn over the concrete median. He helped me push my car to the curb, load my purchases in his truck and gave me a ride home. He even helped me to arrange to get a tow truck. Being that I was only 17 at the time, I needed all the help I could get. Looking back on that, I should have been nervous as a 17 year old girl taking a ride from an unknown man. I'm glad he was just a genuinely nice person.

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In 1998, my then almost 2 year old son and I were flying home to spend Christmas with the family while my husband was deployed. We were supposed to have a 2 hour layover in St. Louis. It turned into a 10 hour layover. Luckily I found the airport USO where a bunch of lovely older women had made a TON of cookies, had hotdogs, popcorn, drinks etc all for the troops that had been departing to go home to their families. Those ladies took great care of my son and I in a time when I was stressed to the limit. They turned what could have been a hair raising ordeal into a renewal in my faith.

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I was stuck in the snow on a busy freeway off ramp. A very well dressed man got out of car in the middle of traffic to help me. He asked me what he could do, I told him he could stand on my rear bumper (I have a beat up Ford Ranger). With a large smile, he stood on my rear bumper jumping up and down to help give me traction in the snow. I eventually got out of the snow. I thanked him and we went our separate ways. That was the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for me.

Thanks again well dressed man.

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I was home sick with Mono and was miserable and thirsty and ordered pizza hut delivery just so somebody would bring me a diet pepsi. When the kid showed up with a pizza he had a sugared pepsi - not diet and I asked if he had one in his car he could trade and he said no but offered to trade it at the gas station - I said -no - itll be fine. A few minutes later there was a knock on my door and there stod the kid with a diet pepsi, 2 gatorades and a icey pop. He said he could tell I didn't feel well. what an amazing kid. Couldn't have been more than 16 and drove a beater car - definately didn't have money to be blowing on good deeds.

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I was in a really bad wreck a few years ago, totalled my car, tore up my left cheek pretty bad. It was entirely my fault, and thankfully the people in the other vehicle were fine, but I had totalled their car as well. It was only 3 weeks off the car lot, and even though insurance had them covered I can't imagine what a pain it must have been to have to get another vehicle and go through all the paperwork. But when the owner and driver of the car saw that I was bleeding, he LITERALLY gave me the shirt off his back to press against my face to hold back the blood. Apparently the police with me hadn't seen any need to do something immediate about it, but that gesture is something that I will never forget.

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When I was in the middle of writing my first book, my computer died. Thanks to my computer tech brother, I managed to save what I had of the manuscript, but couldn't afford another computer, even one he could put together out of used parts - I would have had to buy the parts and wasn't working at the time, was on food stamps, really broke as could be. I went to the library to inform my online writer's club that I wouldn't be submitting my work for critique, due to the disaster.

A few days later I went to the library to use the public computer again, and found a message on our forum from a woman who lives in England, with whom I had exchanged a few pages for review. She said to check my email. I looked, and there was a gift certificate to Amazon for $800 to buy a new computer - I'm not kidding - she included a note saying "A writer must have her tools."(continued)

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She asked for my phone number and called me - from England! - and said she is actually from a very wealthy family, was married to a shirttail relative of the Royal Family, was very happy to be able to help me out. She said that instead of giving to charities, she looks for individuals in distress and helps them directly. Said it's more satisfying to her to know she's helped alleviate someone's worry - a true philanthropist, in my estimation.

We've remained friends to this day, and I had that computer for over 5 years, so her gift was well-used and very much appreciated.

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I think it's interesting that when we upvote, I think most of us are really upvoting all these good Samaritans who aren't here. A general round of applause for people who have been kind to us and our loved ones.

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@moondrake: Seriously! It's such a great feeling reading all of these amazing stories and knowing that people really do stuff out of the goodness of their heart, and not EVERYONE out there sucks!

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Five years ago this December 29th I received a kidney and pancreas from a young man who had been shot on Christmas Eve. This man's family (and EVERY family) who donated organs helped several people in great need.

It can't replace the loss of a loved one but it is well appreciated by the recipients and their families and friends.

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I was in a multi-car accident in the middle of nowhere Nevada HWY 15 (exit 93). I had gotten out of the car to assess damage when I heard a noise, looked up, and saw a semi pulling a trailer full of cows slamming on it's brakes to avoid the accident. It jackknifed. The trailer came loose picked up a disabled car and began hurtling my way and hit me as I tried to jump out of the way. The impact threw me quite some distance. I was badly injured, going into shock and more than a little hysterical when a couple pulled over, led me to their nice,warm truck and comforted me until the paramedics arrived an hour later. It was a dangerous accident scene as it was at the bottom of a steep hill, high rates of speed and poor lighting with a high risk of other cars getting caught in the debris. These people put themselves in danger to help me. Thank you nice people!

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@moondrake: Wait so his son was stealing a pinto one piece at a time from the factory line?

Why a pinto? I would have gone with the Mustang, at least.

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@atomicorange: Pintos had been discontinued as this was after the "exploding Pinto" scandal (I felt so loved when my dad gave it to me for graduation a couple of months after we learned they were basically rolling grenades). But to have the exact right part I needed where he could lay hands on it within a couple of minutes of me dropping him off seemed so unlikely as to be supernatural.

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Back in my freshmen year of college, I was meeting some co-workers at the mall and had an unfortunate accident. Because I was a starving college kid, I was driving on bald front tires and neglected to remember it had rained earlier that day, so the roads were a little slick. As I was turning into the turn lane, I lost control of my car and smashed into a street sign. The street sign broke in half, the bottom of the pole latching onto the front of my car and preventing me from rolling straight off of a very steep hill. I immediately called my co-workers to let them know what happened, assuming they'd come wait with me until the police arrived. They made up a lame excuse and left me stranded less than a quarter of a mile from where they were. A complete stranger, who witnessed the entire incident while stopped at a red light, pulled up next to me, made sure I wasn't injured and waited until help arrived. I never knew his name, but I'm still very thankful.

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I was very badly injured in the military and hospitalized for many months. This was back when enlisted pay was around $400/month. My wife and child were living off post. We had barely been squeaking by on my pay. I supplemented our income by moonlighting, doing apartment maintenance and taking extra duty. Suddenly that was not an option.

Suddenly my wife had to deal with my near death, spending hours daily at the hospital. Plus shouldering all the responsibility paying bills and keeping our home & family together. Our old, beat up car quit running and my spouse was frantic. My battery commander made it a unit project to help her. Guys were given time to pick up the car, fix it. Then for many more months someone would check on her every day, brought her food, did babysitting so she could visit me at the hospital.

It was a very rough time, but the kindness of my commanders and fellow soldiers made it possible for my family to survive the crisis and even prosper.

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The several different occasions where someone returned my dadgum credit card in a mall of all places to security.

The military thing too, several folks have paid for my family or my dinner in and out of uniform.

Those times when my heart drops and someone helps save my day.

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I work at a hospital and one evening a young woman in her 6th month of pregnancy was rushed to our labor and delivery from the nearby airport where a plane had made an emergency landing hours from its final destination. She arrived with another woman, let's call her Claire, at her side. We realized quickly that the young woman was in very early labor and while receiving pain medication and during her delivery she repeatedly requested that Claire stay at her side. Claire held her hand and provided support throughout the entire process. When we were finally able to ask more about what had happened we learned that Claire had been sitting next to our patient, who was alone on the flight. They had never met before, yet Claire stepped off the plane, came to the hospital, held this young mother's hand, and watched as her baby was taken to the NICU.

Made us all tear up.

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Best. Discussion Topic. So far...

I really needed this today. Many thanks!

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I was driving back from an out of town Renaissance festival late at night, and I stopped at a gas station to buy a drink. Somehow I accidentally put my phone down (possible while paying?) and forgot about it. I realized ~30-45 min later than I did not have my phone, and I couldn't remember which middle of nowhere gas station I had stopped at. Worse, I was out of town for the weekend and was driving back to a friend's place that I was staying at, but I didn't have their contact info to call them or to get into their gated community. Long story short, I made it in eventually, and when I got online to report my missing/lost phone, I found a bunch of messages waiting for me. Apparently, some random stranger had found my phone and contacted people in my phone book to find out who it belonged to. They overnight-ed it to me so I didn't have to replace my phone or recover my phone book/calendar! :D

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@professore: What a wonderful thing, although it's a double-edged sword and difficult in a way because organ donation always arises from someone else's tragedy. But it's so hard to put into words how much organ donation means to the recipients - it's life itself. When my brother-in-law died at age 30, he was a donor, and my sister allowed them to harvest whatever they could - they took nearly all his organs, his corneas, his skin - he was physically very healthy (his death was self-inflicted) and in all, he helped six people live longer, better lives because of his and my sister's generosity and caring.

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Sometimes it's the small acts of kindness you remember. When we traveled around Europe in the middle 90s we were on a shoestring budget and kept arriving late at night in a new country with the previous country's money. We pulled into Paris right at sunset, and just as we came into view of the Eiffel Tower they turned on the lights, like it was just for us. We decided to stop at the landmark before finding our hotel. We were walking around the park and I seriously needed to pee. They had these newfangled coin operated public toilets (now quite common), but we still had Irish money. I was standing there staring hopelessly at the toilet when a gentleman pressed a franc into my hand with a smile and continued on his way. Ever since, whenever people speak of the rudeness of the French, I remember that man's small kindness and how grateful I was for that coin.

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Last year we had a decent snowstorm and at the beginning of it, I, being 19 and a moron, decided that the weather was ok for me to drive in. I was going down a road, around a curve, when all of a sudden, I lost control of the car and it wound up going in a ditch. My car was fine, but I wasn't wearing my seatbelt at the time of the slip (I know it's bad), so I wound up banging my head and hurting my right arm a bit. As I stood on the side of the road in the snowstorm, waiting for the tow-truck to come, a young man (older than me, but still young) pulled over on a side road and let me wait in his vehicle to stay warm, even though he had things to do. It took an hour for the truck to come and once it did, I thanked him greatly and he took off. I never saw him again, but I did find out later that his father was actually the PE teacher at my old high school, so weird coincidence I guess.

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I know this 'answer' is a little off topic, but I really wanted to share it. All of these stories about helping people in need reminded me of a recent NP story I heard about a mugging victim helping his attacker. The story helps remind us of the value of helping, respecting and caring for everyone.

It's a little different direction than these experiences but definitely worth a read/listen.
http://n.pr/sWwHwS

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Can't say I was there but I heard this story first person. Late in his life, Fred Rogers (yes, THE Mr. Rogers) was speaking at a Washington press corps function and started his comments by explaining he wanted silence for 60 seconds while everyone in the room thought about all the people who had helped them get to where they were in their careers. The cynical crowd groaned but he persisted and told them he'd keep track of the minute, insisting they indulge him. The time started with some awkward snickers but then there was silence, followed by some sniffles, followed by more than a few hardened reporters sobbing. He gave these strangers a chance to feel real gratitude. I've never forgotten that story.

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Visiting Paris on my own a few years ago, I struck up a conversation with a Frenchwoman while waiting in line to buy Metro tickets (her English was much better than my French, hehe). When it was my turn, she stepped up to the ticket window, asked me how long I was staying, and got me the best-priced ticket for the amount of time I was there, so I didn't waste money. I didn't even ask her to do it. Just one memorable part of a lovely time in the City of Lights.

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I have another one:

My bag with my wallet & money was stolen one night. I took care of all the credit cards, etc, and hadn't lost that much cash. I was bummed but it definitely wasn't the end of the world. To be honest, I was mostly annoyed at losing some of my stamped loyalty cards, and of course, going to the DMV is always a joy.

A few weeks later I get a beat-up card envelope in the mail, open it up, and there are my license, loyalty cards, health insurance cards, everything that you can't get money with. A man had found it all in some bushes outside a fast food restaurant, bundled it up and mailed it along with a letter which indicated English was not his first language. It was so fun trying to decipher what he meant.

At the time, I worked at a radio station cluster, and one station was Spanish. I asked one of the jocks to call the guy (he included his #) and together we were able to thank him for sending me my stuff. Pretty cool!

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I have two incidents on the same dreadful day...9/11.

The first one:

I worked in tower two and quickly decided to leave manhattan.  I walk over the brooklyn bridge AWAY from downtown.  Fifteen minutes pass and the first tower fell. I knew i made the right decision but didn't know where to go. I had only been living here for a few months but had been to a party somewhere in brooklyn the saturday prior to 9/11.  I walked seven miles to that apartment and was greeted by my friends' roommates.  These guys didn't have a clue who I was but had welcomed me with a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a shot of tequila and a cold one.

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The second one:

When the subways we're partially running again they walked me to the closest bus stop that would take me to the nearest subway station.  Several buses drove passed my stop and I was beginning to worry that the subways would close again.  One bus driver finally stopped and asked where I was heading.  I told him I needed to get back to Manhattan and he swiftly opened up the doors.  I noticed that I was the only passenger and asked him what was up.  He told me that I was the first person that he picked up who wanted to get BACK into manhattan.  He said that the closest subway station was closed but he could get me to another one.  He personally drove me off his route...to a subway stop...in a freakin bus...through crazy tight brooklyn traffic...all so a girl could get home.

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These are just heartwarming...Thanks everybody!

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I feel like Ive paid more attention to these stories over the past few hours than I have the Woot Off!
Very cool and very inspiring

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I think this thread has put me more in the Christmas spirit than anything else so far this year. I am having to resist posting a dozen more stories of random acts of kindness by strangers. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories.

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I saw several strangers today, and not a single one robbed or attacked me.
What more could I really ask for, from a stranger?