It started simply enough as a post on the Rochester Patch Facebook page.
I told readers about a random act of kindess I had experienced:
"So this morning I'm thinking about little random acts of kindness. When I was walking my dog today the neighborhood landscape maintenance guy noticed his loud mower scared my dog and kindly turned it off to let us pass. He didn't have to do that. I didn't ask him to do it. But he did and I really appreciated his kindness. Have you experienced any random acts of kindness out there in Rochester? Or maybe you've done one?"
Fifty-five "likes" and 20 comments later I had a smile on my face that even a Detroit Tigers rain delay could not wipe off.
Some stories are big and some stories are small, but each shows in its own way how a little human kindness goes a long way in making our world a better place.
If you're not on Facebook, or you just happened to miss it, here are the stories to lighten your day.
- Deidre Schmidt Burns: Last year before my daughter's school day, we stopped at Knapp's for a donut and coffee. When I reached in my purse to pay I had forgotten my wallet. I was so embarrassed because my daughter had already started eating her donut. The man insisted I take it and said one day I'd be back. Then the lady behind me tried to give him money for me. I did go back after I dropped my daughter off. I thought that was so nice. What small business like that let's someone take food without paying...on the honor system?? My family now goes there all the time! A business like that deserves my money more then any chain does.
- Patty Griffis: Last year on Christmas Eve I was extremely sad because both my parents were in critical care at the hospital. I was so down and felt alone. I went to pick up the food at Boston Market that Mom had ordered weeks ahead for the whole family. I thought the meal had been paid in advance and I went in without my wallet. When my turn came, the cashier said it would be $150 and I had to run to car to get wallet. I came back in and some of the workers handed me four big bags and said, "Merry Christmas!" The lady behind me paid for OUR meal. She looked me in the eye and said "God told me to buy this for you." A random act of kindness and miracle. If only I could thank her for saving my faith. I was no longer alone on Christmas as I have a Guardian Angel!!!
- Jill Busch Hammett: A family needed a new roof for a very long time. Eventually they put tarp on one side of the house and every day throughout the winter I'd drive by that house and felt so bad for them. It was obvious they couldn't afford a new one. We got a new roof that spring. There was so much material left over, I knocked on their door, and asked them if they wanted it. They were over so fast, grabbing every piece left. It just totally made my day that day. It is now on their roof, not quite the right color, but hey, they're covered and safe!
Little things mean a lot
- Kristy Schachermeyer Ownby: At Kroger last week I had my hands full of groceries and a screaming toddler and a little elderly woman took my cart to the cart return for me. It was a small thing but very kind of her.
- Maria Miceli: I helped unload a cart of groceries for an elderly woman at Busch's last week. She was in an electric wheelchair/cart and instead of her getting out and coming around, I asked if I could help her out. She kept thanking me over and over again. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to make someone's day.
- Jill Marewski: Today in fact, while walking with the triplets to pick up my son from school, a man I see every day waiting to pick a child up, stopped me and handed me coupons for formula that he saved from the newspaper for us. I was having a really bad day, and was so touched by his thoughtfulness.
Pay it forward
- Vicki Coapman LeBay: It was about six months ago, I was at the McDonald's drive-thru and I paid for the person behind me. I told the cashier to tell the person I paid for to 'pay it forward.'
- Rose Sylvester: I was at Starbucks drive-thru and when I went to pay for my coffee the woman working said the car ahead of me paid, and that they have been doing this all morning, so I paid for the person behind me....even though their order was much larger then mine.
- Barbara A. Anness: Just today my girlfriend got her Starbucks coffee free at the drive thru due to a random act of kindness!
Teach our children well
- Sandy Eames Altherr: I'm a big believer in random acts of kindness. It takes a second out of our day and makes others so happy. I think people are shocked when someone will go out of their way for you for no reason. We will always fill up all the parking meters around us when in Rochester, Birmingham or Royal Oak. On vacations, we pay the tolls for cars behind us at toll booths. It's good for the kids to see you do for others in a selfless way.
- Angie Bryant-Petkoff: My family and I used to meet for lunch every week and every other month or so, my dad would pick up the tab for an elderly person. My sister bought a veteran's meal at Panera on Adams on Friday. I like to thank for my Dad for teaching us this small but kind gesture and I look forward to teaching it to my baby girl one day. Small but mighty!
The generosity of a stranger
- Allison Goldstein Mintz: I was at Meijers with the kids and a full cart of groceries. The man in front of us only had two items. As he was leaving he turned around and gave me a coupon for $10 off my total purchase. I was shocked and needless to say very happy with the savings and the good deed this man had just bestowed on me.
- Jen Anesi: I was at Caribou (by Rochester High) a couple months ago. I held the door for a lovely couple with an adorable, plump 2-month-old baby. I talked to them in line and mentioned how much their son looks like my son when he was a baby, down to the bald head and pinchable chipmunk cheeks. Then, for no reason, they bought my drink for me. Made my day!
Give blood, get blood
- Jen Anesi: Then there was that time last September that I landed in the ER at Crittenton. Thanks to at least six selfless volunteer blood donors, I'm still here. Guess I have a lot of good deeds to pay forward, huh? I think I'll start by donating blood today. (Writer's note: And for the record, she did!)
Share your random act of Rochester kindness!