Driving Home The Kindness, Part 12

, | Towson, MD, USA | Kind Strangers, Transportation

This happened three years ago:

My roommate and I are on our way back from the store (I am driving us in my car) when we see an assisted living bus sideswipe the living crap out of a parked pickup truck. It is almost like it is happening in slow-motion, and it makes a loud grinding noise. My roommate and I just sit there with our hands on our faces in disbelief.

I memorize the license plate number and the company written on the bus, but because my friend has to get back to our apartment to meet up with her mom and catch a flight, we have to leave immediately. I drop her off and immediately go back out to where the truck is. It is still there, so I write a note explaining exactly what happened, leaving my secondary email address in case she needs to get back to me for something. I am not sure how that kind of thing works, but if a witness is needed, I want to be available.

That night, I get an email asking for my phone number, and I provide it. The owner of the truck has called to thank me personally, and we have a nice conversation. She wants my mailing address to send me what she says is a “small gift card,” so I give her my dorm room mailbox address.

Cut to a week or so later. She mails me a nice letter saying that the company’s insurance paid for the repairs, which would have been about $2000 and a lot more of a hassle had I not written my note. She also gave me a gift card. I am expecting $10-20, but much to my surprise, it is $100! That card gets me out of a few tight spots, and even after I use it up I keep it in my car, where it still is today.

I’m terrible about getting back to people, so I never did get back to her, although now I feel like looking through my email and seeing if I can find her and let her know about this website. If she ever reads this, I’d like to say “thank you so much for your generosity, and I’m glad I was able to help you!”

Related:
Driving Home The Kindness, Part 11
Driving Home The Kindness, Part 10
Driving Home The Kindness, Part 9

Tow-tal Kindness

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Transportation

I have lived in Los Angeles for no more than six months when I rear-end a city truck while on my way to work. I am nineteen, alone, and terrified. I don’t know what to do or what is going to happen. My truck is obviously a total loss and I am stranded. I am stressed about the damages, the cost, work and how I’ll get there; the list goes on.

I’m standing on the busy street, waiting for a tow, crying and shaking when another car stops and a man gets out. After he checks in with the others, he comes and talks to me. Turns out he’s a city employee as well. He noticed my license plates were out of state and asks me where I am from. He happens to have family near my hometown. Before I know it, I am not crying anymore but am having a light conversation with this stranger. He even manages to make me laugh.

I never got his name. I wouldn’t even be able to describe his appearance. But he comforted a terrified teenager when she was alone and probably in shock, now that I think of it. Years later, I still think about him sometimes, so if you’re reading this, mystery man, know that I am grateful and thank you.

Kind Strangers Kindness

Trafficking In Human Kindness

| France | Kind Strangers, Transportation

I am in my car driving back home from work in an unusual traffic jam for my small city.

As things are taking forever on my lane, I notice a car in the opposite direction blocking the circulation on the opposite side of the street as they are try to cross.

I decide to let them go. I stop, flash my high beams, nothing happens. I start to wonder if everything is ok when the other driver suddenly gets out of his car and runs to the sidewalk to help up an older person who has fallen.

To this gentleman who chose to stay stuck in traffic a bit longer to help another human being, thanks for restoring my faith in humanity.

Acts Of Kindness Never Re-tires

| Estonia | Kind Strangers, Transportation

I am a young male, having grown up without a father and with no car in the family, so I am not very familiar with how to do anything “under the hood.”

It is early winter. I am driving home from work from the city. It is dark and the weather is bad. Leaving the city I see an older man hitchhiking beside the road. He looks a little bit sketchy in the dark and I am hesitant at first. But due to having hitchhiked a lot before getting myself a car and the weather being really bad, I decide to pick him up. He wants to get to a location more than 20 km further from where I am going but gladly jumps in from the wet and the cold.

About 10 km before the destination the front passenger-side tire breaks with a bang and loud noise like an airplane landing just over the roof. As it is the first time I have ever experienced something like this, I am rather startled but safely stop the car. I am confused as to what should I do next, not exactly sure how to change the tire in the dark, wet, and cold.

Next thing I know, without much thought, the hitchhiker asks me if I have a spare. He jumps out and proceeds to grab the tire and everything else from the trunk, changes the tire himself and puts everything back after finishing. All this in record time and we are ready to continue with the drive.

After getting driving again I feel really grateful and so happy, I decide to pay him the kindness back by driving him the 20 km further he needs to go. On the way I learn he paints cars for a living, which is why he is so familiar with cars and so quick about the tire changing.

To this day I think back with warm feelings about that night because without having him in the car to help me, who knows how long it would have taken me in the dark, cold, and wet weather to figure out how to change the tire for the first time beside that road there.

Kind Strangers Kindness

That’s One Amazing Gas Station

| Lancaster, PA, USA | Kind Strangers

(I have to stop for gas after a long, exhausting week, and I feel I’m about to lose it. I’ve got 60+ miles before I get home. I walk into the gas station to put money on my pump, as my gas tank is on empty. I get through the door, the cold air hits my face, and I lose it. I sob hysterically. I hold up a wall for a second or two when a young man with a trainee badge approaches me.)

Trainee: “Is there anything I can do to help?”

(My story pours out.)

Me: “I was robbed earlier; I am failing a class, and am in an abusive relationship and trying to get out.”

Trainee: “I get off in five minutes. Let me finish what I’m doing, then let’s sit and talk.”

(We sat together in the little cafe almost all evening. I cried and talked, he listened and comforted. I got home, and had strength to leave the relationship. I recovered most of my losses, and moved on with my life. I quit my demanding job, and went back to school full time. I’ve never been happier.)

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