Originally published July 25, 2013
TORONTO – Days after an Edmonton man walked into a Tim Hortons and paid $860 for coffee for the next 500 customers, an anonymous man in Calgary did the same Wednesday while two others repeated the gesture in Ottawa and in Red Deer Thursday.
The random acts of kindness have gone viral and have “pulled on the heartstrings” of many on social media, including Global News readers.
On Wednesday, we asked our readers what was the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for them. From across the country, many of you shared your acts of kindness stories on our Facebook pages or this page here. Stories ranged from “simple” gestures as having one’s bus fare paid by a fellow commuter, to “grand” acts of kindness such as gifting rent money back as a down payment for a house.
For many, the kind gestures received inspired individuals to pay it forward.
We decided to compile some of the best responses. Read some of them here below.
Helped someone who was stranded:
“Many years ago, when my son was a baby, he fell ill. It was a Sunday morning and there were no buses running, so we had to take a cab to the doctor. It turned out to cost more than I thought, and as a single mother, I couldn’t afford to take the cab home. And older couple saw that I was planning to walk home with him in the snow and went out of their way to drive us home, even though they lived nowhere near. I never saw them again, but I never forgot them.”
“At 19 I traveled to Europe and when I was passing through Copenhagen on the way home to Vancouver my wallet was stolen. I only had my passport and plane ticket for the next day and no where to stay. A Scandinavian Airlines employee saw me crying and ended up taking me in, a total stranger for the night, fed me, introduced me to her family and took me to the airport the next day. Never have I experienced an act of kindness so great. I’ll never forget it.”
“I was on the bus from Toronto to Owen Sound, and the bus got storm-stayed in Guelph- the highway was closed due to a winter storm. I went to the ticket counter, and asked the clerk where the nearest hotel was. A lady there heard me, and invited me back to her home for the night. I really appreciated it.”
“I broke down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. A stranger picked up me and my kids & drove us to the closest mechanic. Then stayed with us until we got help.”
Helping someone financially:
“In college, I was buying groceries and had forgotten my bank card. It was a big haul for myself and my roommates- totalled over 200.00. I had 60.00 on me and paid that, was getting ready to go back to the house and get my card. The lady behind me paid the rest of my bill and said to keep paying it forward. I’ve been doing so since.”
“I received $500 from a stranger twice when I was a single mom and working four jobs! This was 2 separate occasions, from 2 different people. I still have no idea who these people were.”
“Last year, on my daughter’s birthday (Hallowe’en), I was very, very tight for money. I went to the store to purchase milk, bread and a witch’s skirt from Walmart which would have been the last of my money for about a week. My debit card was acting up and as I reached for cash from my purse, the young lady behind me had handed her debit card to the lady at the till and paid for all of it. Honestly, that lady was an angel for me that day, and reminded me that there are many genuinely good people out there. Simply being kind to others is a value that escapes many of us these days. Her act of generosity made a big difference to me that day and I like to pass on little acts of kindness now whenever I can.”
“Wasn’t a stranger but a good friend heard I was broke and had no groceries in the house and came with an envelope and discreetly handed it to me. When I realized what/how much money, I tried to give it back to him and he wouldn’t take it. I have since paid it forward”
“When my husband and I were first married, we wanted to buy a house but couldn’t afford the down payment. The man selling it told us we could just pay rent if we wanted for the first year. After the first year, he gifted all the rent money we paid back to us to use as a down payment for the house! He said someone had helped him and his wife when they started it and all he asked was that one day we help out a couple just starting out as well. We were stunned. What a generous gesture. Will never forget him.”
“My boyfriend and I a few years ago went to the grocery store to get food for the next few days with only $20. We had very little, and the guy ahead of us in line was a very happy man. When he got his total, he said to add ours in with his, that he would cover it. We told him not too, then he said “You guys need some meat. Come with me, we’ll get you some meat.” So I went with him and I grabbed some pork chops and hamburger, telling him that was all we needed. “Nope you need more.” He loaded my arms and grabbed even more and we took it all back to the till.. our $20 turned into over $100 worth of groceries. Most of it meat. We couldn’t thank him enough. He told us, the only thanks he wanted was for us to pay it forward. We haven’t yet, but we will.”
Helping someone when they needed support:
“A few years back our 90lb golden lab was poisoned, I had a 45 min drive to get home to the closet vet. I had him in the front seat because he was having seizures and I didn’t want my 3 year old to get injured by him. The was a bad snow storm outside, he started having another seizure, hit my arm and I buried my car in the ditch. Two men who worked for transalta came upon me, got my dog unstuck from under the dash, they stayed with me until the police showed up. One of the officers drove our dog to the closet vet, one of the men jumped in with my dog and the other man followed with the work truck. The other officer drove my daughter and myself home. My husband met them at the vet. Transalta never gave the two men a hard time for missing 2 plus hours of work and taking the work truck! Our dog ended up passing away and when I called the men to thank them for there efforts and to let them know the outcome they already knew, they stayed in contact with the vet! Even though it was not the outcome we had hoped for it was comforting knowing that these strangers decided to help us in our efforts in saving our dog!”
“Several strangers stopped at the site of our accident and did their best to help my teammates out with blankets, jackets and reassuring us that help was on the way. I don’t know who they are but I am thankful for them every day!”
“My kindness bestowed on me was not from strangers, but my neighbors. I was a single Mom raising two daughters. I was called home suddenly to BC where my Mom passed away. My two neighbors took care of my daughters while I was gone for the week. Upon returning home, they filled my fridge and cupboards with groceries, bouquet of flowers on the coffee table and a sparkling clean home. I don’t live in that neighborhood any longer but those neighbours are friends for life!”
As one Facebook user said, “little acts of kindness, put smiles on people’s faces. Makes for a happier world.”
© 2013 Shaw Media