I took my disabled husband to Kennywood so he could see his granddaughter march in a parade held there.
I was a little concerned about how I would get him down the ramp to the tunnel in his wheelchair, so I called in advance to see if there was any other way to get in. Because of the parade, I was told that that was the only entrance I could use.
But they told me I could just ask one of the security guards at the gate to help me down the ramp, and when I was ready to leave I could look for a security guard to help me back up the ramp.
I would like to thank the two Bills who helped me -- the first Bill who helped us down the ramp when we arrived, and the other Bill who not only helped us up the ramp when we were ready to leave, but also pushed my husband in his wheelchair all the way to our car.
I would also like to thank the two gentlemen who helped get my husband on and off the train ride.
All of these men helped us have an enjoyable time at Kennywood that day, and we just want them to know how much we appreciated their kindness. It just goes to prove that there still are good people in this world!
On a recent afternoon, my 20-year-old son who has Down syndrome was out with a friend shopping at Ruthfred Market in Bethel Park.
He is a high-functioning individual determined to become competitively employed and self-sufficient. While attempting to purchase some items using his Visa debit card, the transaction was declined because of insufficient funds. He left the store without making a purchase.
Once he was outside, a stranger who witnessed this gave him a $20 bill and told him to go back inside and make his purchase. My son has learned much from that afternoon's adventure, especially that one must be aware of available funds in one's account prior to attempting purchases. But the most important thing he learned is that there are kind people in the world watching out for him.
He is beside himself trying to figure out how to repay this kindness. Since we may never learn this man's identity and repay him directly, my husband and I are helping our son understand the concept of "paying forward."
In a world where it is unfortunately common to take advantage of people with special needs, we've been teaching our son to beware of strangers. Thank you, kind sir, for demonstrating to him an equally, perhaps even more important lesson. The best way to learn is through personal experience.
I collapsed last month in the parking lot of the Home Depot in East Liberty. My friend was trying to help me to my feet when I heard voices asking if we were OK and if we needed an ambulance.
Immediately, strong arms lifted me and assisted me to a motorized chair. A kind lady saw to it that my sandals and purse were with me. These people stayed with us until they made sure we were OK.
I wasn't able to look up at the faces of these wonderful people. My friend tells me that there were five, one of whom was an employee. They were outstanding in many ways -- unhesitating with kindness and willingness to extend themselves for a stranger, to name a few.
They combined their abilities to form a team in the blink of an eye, each playing a significant role in getting this old girl out of a mess.
I've seen the television show "What Would You Do?". Sometimes the way people respond to situations involving strangers can make you question your faith in humanity. Yesterday, my faith was restored.
Has someone done you right? Send your Random Act of Kindness to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. First Published September 13, 2012 4:00 AM