My 87-year-old mother decided recently to foster a sweet, but energetic, rescue puppy named Abby. And since I live next door to Mom, I offered to help by walking Abby in the mornings and afternoons.
One day in early May, I was sick and stayed home from work, so Mom told me not to worry about exercising Abby that evening -- she would take her outside in the yard to play.
As I was watching the nightly news, I got a phone call -- the caller ID was "West Mifflin Boro" -- informing me my mom had fallen. Her neighbor Jim, who is a West Mifflin police officer, had already called for the paramedics and the ambulance.
I rushed next door. It turned out my mom had taken Abby outside, was pulled off her feet and was lying in her yard. Jim had been out with his dogs and heard Mom's cries for help. Had it not been for him, my mom could have lain outside, injured, all night.
Mom is recovering from numerous broken bones, but I would be remiss if I didn't thank Jim for coming to my mom's aid when she needed it the most!
I've seen a lot of bad in the world lately -- people hurting each other in terrible ways. I was starting to think there wasn't much good anymore, but something happened recently to change my mind.
I was in a bad car accident years ago and have been having a lot of trouble walking lately, which I have to do often, as my car broke down. But as I was limping down my hilly street, a very nice woman asked me if I needed a ride.
I didn't need one, as it was just across the street from my home, but I would like to say thank you for caring and showing me things that I thought were gone. You showed me there still are wonderful people in this world.
This morning I had a message waiting for me at my office from a man named John. He had called late the night before to inquire about an overnight accommodation for a homeless woman who had come into his restaurant.
I asked my administrative assistant to follow up with John. (Our agency does not provide housing assistance, but can help with referrals.) John told us that the woman entered his restaurant with all of her possessions in a shopping basket, and she told him how she had lost everything.
He offered to help, and she asked him to drive her to a friend's home, but the friend would not take her in. She then asked him to take her to a church, but the church was closed. He called homeless shelters for her without success. That was when John decided to call our agency, but it was after business hours.
Unable to find overnight accommodations for her, John and his wife fed her, and along with two regular restaurant patrons -- Bill and Charlie -- they paid for her to stay at a local hotel overnight. We also followed up by calling the hotel in the morning, but she had already left.
Pennsylvania Women Work helps women in difficult circumstances by providing job search, education, training, referrals and other services. We were very touched by the kindness and generosity these people demonstrated for a woman in need.
Pennsylvania Women Work
While grocery shopping, I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. The woman behind me in the checkout line paid my bill.
I was speechless, but did thank her. I wished I had asked why she picked me out. Was it my gray hair? The conversation I had with the bagger, who was disabled? Or was there something else?
I have been amazed at how happy she made me. The bill was not large, but I wouldn't have been more happy if it was $1,000.
Has someone done you right? Send your Random Act of Kindness to email@example.com, or write to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. First Published June 21, 2012 4:00 AM