My story begins with a quick trip on my lunch break to Giant Eagle in Verona.
I have a habit of putting my debit and Advantage cards in my pocket along with my keys -- in hindsight not the best choice. I picked up a few groceries, paid and headed for my car only to discover I had lost my keys.
Back I go to Giant Eagle dragging my cart to start checking to see where they may have fallen out of my pocket. With the help of some very kind Giant Eagle employees, including the manager, Marty, we searched everywhere I had been but without success.
No one had turned the keys in, and I finally asked the customer service desk clerk if I could use a phone.
It would be a long wait for my rescue since I had to wait for my sister to get off work in Bloomfield, go home to Forest Hills and than come to Verona with another set of keys.
I contacted my friend from work to bring my purse to the Giant Eagle since I had no way without the fob on my key chain to get back in the office.
Now totally exhausted and a little embarrassed, I took one more look around the vehicle (because now, of course, I thought a miracle had occurred and they would somehow be where I'd already looked) and there they were -- on the passenger seat almost entirely hidden in the seat cushion.
I must have looked totally crazed by that time, because from across the parking lot I heard, "Do you need some help?" Did I! A wonderful man in a box van became my MacGyver!
Luckily, I had cracked my window open beforehand since it was a nice day, and this stranger constructed my salvation from pieces in his van.
A 3-foot-long round rod that he hammered flat, with a hook that he taped to the end of it, was the answer to my prayers. This man took 10-15 minutes out of his day to come to the aid of someone he didn't know and was able to hook the keys (after repositioning the hook for better accessibility).
I never got his name or noticed the name on the van, but he got the biggest hug from me when he placed the keys in my hand.
I returned to the Giant Eagle to thank everyone and show them the keys (now securely in my grip).
I also told them the story of the "Parking Lot Good Samaritan."
Thank you, MacGyver -- you will never be forgotten.
They took care of her furnace when it wasn't even their job
I have been a widow for seven years, and having no children, I rely on my brother-in-law to help me out with any household emergency.
This month when I returned home from work, I realized that my furnace was not blowing hot air. It was 44 degrees, according to the thermostat in my living room.
My brother-in law tried his best to figure out the problem but was unable to help. The building I work in is currently remodeling for a new tenant and we have quite a few repair men doing the work. When I told one of them my problem, he immediately asked the heating technician to go to my house on his lunch hour and check out my furnace.
He determined what the problem was. He came back to the office and handed the new part to the building maintenance man, and he followed me home after I was finished working and installed it. With his help, a few tools of my brother-in-law's and some prayers, my furnace was fixed within one hour.
None of the guys would accept any payment for coming to my aid. I made sure at Sunday Mass to remember each one in my prayers.
So anxious to catch her ride, she received stranger's assist
Many thanks to the nice lady who helped me in the dental office in Mt. Lebanon. An Access vehicle was waiting for me, and I was frantic. She helped me and even zipped up my coat, then walked me to the van.
I'll never forget her, and I'll pay it forward ASAP.
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 January 31, 2013 5:00 AM