On a recent Friday I almost missed a bus I needed to catch to an important meeting. I was on the opposite side of the street and waved at the bus driver as he drove through the intersection.
I fully expected him to shrug and continue on, since no one else was waiting.
Instead, he pulled over and waited for me to cross the street. That may not sound like a big deal, but the lights were against me and no drivers would slow down so I could board the bus. A couple of cars even honked at the bus as he waited, but he stayed there until I could finally get to it.
It had been an incredibly stressful morning, and I couldn't afford to miss my meeting, so this driver really hooked me up when he didn't have to.
Local bus drivers have a thankless job. They are often dealing with an ungrateful public, they literally have people's lives in their hands every day, they have to get us all to our destinations on time and they are, for whatever reason, not expected to be human and make occasional mistakes.
As someone who doesn't drive, my existence often revolves around the people who drive the buses. I've had negative experiences with drivers, too, but I've had far and away more positive experiences with them. I wish I had this particular driver's name, but at the very least I want to send some goodwill his way.
One nice gesture for stranger begets an even kinder action
My husband and I were shopping at Aldi's in the North Hills on a Sunday, and it was very crowded.
While we were standing in line to check out, I noticed a man in back of us who was holding two dozen eggs and two half-gallons of milk or juice. I motioned for him to go ahead of us, and he thanked us.
While we were checking out, he was standing near us again. He said, "I'm paying for your groceries because you let me go in front of you." Our grocery bill was over $30.
We were so shocked by this that we didn't properly thank him. It's been months since that happened and we still talk to people about his kindness.
Multiple people lend a hand to assist this wheelchair user
I get around in a battery-driven wheelchair, which makes many things possible for me, but it is not without its difficulties. On two days in a row this winter, two wonderful Pittsburghers offered me their assistance.
At the grocery store, I was trying to figure out how to reach into a bakery case to get some donuts. A very kindly, smiling gentleman neatly reached in and bagged six of them for me. He mentioned that he reads the Post-Gazette's column about people who help others, and it inspired him to help me.
The next day in my wheelchair I was trying to climb an icy hill near the Schenley Park skating rink in order to see my granddaughter skate. I lost traction in the middle of the hill and didn't know what to do! A lovely young woman with curly hair came along behind me and offered to push me up to the top of that icy hill.
I'd like to say thank you to both of those fine people.
Anonymous donor's free lunch aids students in wake of tragedy
The day after the tragic events at Franklin Regional High School, my sister and I went out to lunch at Panera Bread in Murrysville.
Upon ordering our food, I gestured to hand the money to the cashier, but she replied that an anonymous person had donated a gift card to pay for all Franklin Regional students' meals for the day. My sister and I were happily surprised. It is heartwarming to know that despite the tragic events, there were people who chose to help out the students and brighten our day.
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.