Random Acts of Kindness: Kind man literally lent hand when she drove over hillside

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On Valentine's Day I was driving my valentine's gift, which was a new car.

When going around a curve, my gas pedal stuck and I couldn't slow down. As a result, I went over a wooded hillside in an area where there's little traffic.

I hit my head on the way down. After crashing, I was stuck on the driver's side of the car off the road and couldn't really move -- I was able just to shut off the motor, because I was afraid of a fire.

I honked the horn for the longest time and cried for help. Then I heard someone say, "You're going to be all right. I'll stay with you."

This young man, Harrison, had found me and said he wouldn't leave after I told him I was afraid. "I'll hold your hand until help gets here," he said.

The next thing I knew he was hitting the already-shattered windshield, using his hands. He made a small hole and reached in and did hold my hand until help came. He hurt his hand doing so, and after I was taken to the hospital, he had to be taken also, needing surgery for his hand.

I thank God this wonderful young man found me and stayed with me.



Two different motorists helped a woman lost in the South Hills

I wanted to spend Christmas with my mother, living at Paramount Senior Living in the South Hills. I had driven to the facility with a friend the first time I visited and had never taken public transportation to get there before.

The regular bus did not run on Christmas, so I had to cobble together a different route with the help of the Port Authority. I got off at Brentwood Towne Square and asked a woman in a car if I was headed in the right direction to get to Paramount.

She pointed down the hill but said it was a long walk. I was up to that, as I really wanted to be with my mother. As I walked along, the nice lady -- I think her name was Tina -- drove up and said she would be glad to drive me there.

I thanked her profusely and accepted, but it turned out there are two Paramounts, and the one I was at was not the right one. I went back out on the road wondering what I was going to do, and a truck pulled up. The nice driver, Diane, asked if I needed help. When I told her I had gone to the wrong Paramount, she said she knew where the right one was and would be glad to take me.

Not only did she take me there, but she inquired how I was going to get home. She offered to pick me up when I was ready to leave, and sure enough, at 2 p.m. there she was. I offered to have her drop me at the nearest bus stop, but she would hear none of it. She, her mother and her aunt insisted it was no trouble to take me to my front door in Oakland.

I want everyone who reads your special column to know there are still wonderful people in this world -- I can vouch for two of them.



Stuck in snow in cemetery, he was assisted by walkers

I drove on Feb. 9 to visit my wife's grave in a remote downhill section of Homewood Cemetery.

The road seemed covered by only a little fresh snow, but then it began to snow actively again. When I tried to leave the gravesite, my car slipped backward into a large bank of ice and snow. I tried to free the car, but it only got stuck more deeply.

As I tried to call for a tow truck, a young woman walking through the cemetery saw me and walked over to ask if I needed help. I obviously did, and she called over a man who was also walking nearby to ask him to help, too. Both began to manually remove clumps of snow from the wells dug by my tires, and then they skillfully pushed and steered the car to a clear road surface.

All of this required over one half-hour of hard work in the bitter cold. I thanked them profusely and wondered how I could show my real appreciation -- they quickly said they were glad to have helped, and each went their own way.

The innate goodness of so many people who go out of their way to help others is truly wonderful.



Has someone done you right? Send your Random Act of Kindness to page2@post-gazette.com, or write to Portfolio, Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

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