SALT LAKE CITY — It can often be easier to give service than receive it.
Accepting help can feel undermining to your independence. Or maybe you feel someone else needs charity more. But sometimes, being on the receiving end can teach us a few things.
Each Monday, we share moments in which someone received or gave help from a family member, a friend or a stranger.
On accepting help when it's offered:
“I was in a hurry to get home and ran in to Costco to buy just a few needed items. So, I didn't stop to get a grocery cart. As I grabbed the two gallons of milk, bag of bananas, chips and headed to the checkout, I remembered that I also needed two loaves of bread. By this time my arms were overflowing and I could hardly carry it all. I passed a young lady, and we both made eye contact and smiled at each other. She stopped, looked at me and noticed my desperate need of a cart, and asked if she could help me in carrying anything to the checkout.
“I declined and hurried on to the self checkout before I embarrassed myself further in dropping all my groceries. I paid for my things, hurriedly stuck my credit card and drivers license in my pants' pocket with my car keys, asked the employee for an empty grocery cart to put my items in and headed to my car. I pulled my car keys out of my pocket, put my groceries in the trunk, and drove the short distance home.
“I was putting my groceries away when my husband came in from working in the front yard of our house. He was carrying my drivers license in one hand and my American Express card in the other hand, and asked if I was missing them. I couldn't believe it. I had dropped both on the parking lot by my car when I had pulled out my keys. Not only was this couple honest but they also took the time to deliver my lost cards to my home and saved me hours of stress and headache in finding my important cards. I am forever grateful for this honest and charitable couple.
“We can truly help and bless others everyday if we only take the time.”
On fulfilling someone's dreams:
“In my neighborhood, there is a mentally disabled man, probably in his 40's, who lives with his elderly parents. He loves baseball (I think the Boston Red Sox are his favorite), and follows baseball with tremendous passion. Two men in the neighborhood recently took this disabled man with them to a Boston Red Sox game, among other things, all expenses paid. A dream come true!”
On helping someone stay on track:
“It was a busy Friday morning and I had just left the house on my way to work. Wouldn't you know it, I had a flat tire. I pulled over and got the little donut tire out and changed it, then drove directly to the tire shop to have it fixed.
“They happened to be very busy and I was told the wait would be close to two hours. I needed to get to work and had no way to get there. Just as I was about to resign myself to the long wait, another customer spoke up and said: ‘Let me give you a ride.’ I was so grateful to her and her willingness to help. I know she had a busy day because she mentioned that she was heading to California the next day, but she still took the time to help a complete stranger.”
On giving back what was lost:
“A couple years ago, my friends and I were longboarding from the U. of U. down to The Gateway. At some point along the ride, my wallet fell out of my pocket. Needless to say, it was like searching for a pin in a wheat field and we never found it.
“I called all of my card companies and put holds on my cards instead of cancelling them. A week later I got a piece of mail from the SLCPD informing me that someone found my wallet and took it to the police station, they in turn, used the address on my ID to let me know to pick it up. Thanks, anonymous citizen; you are the epitome of civilized!”
On rewarding someone for a kindess:
“A few weeks ago I was in a local grocery store and a young lady with special needs was next to me. She had a really cute haircut and I told her that I loved her beautiful blond hair. She beamed a huge smile to me and thanked me. I happily completed my shopping because her smile made my day.
“When I was checking out the cashier scanned a $10 gift card and I told her there was some mistake. She said no there wasn’t because someone had seen my kind act and in turn did something for me. It touched my heart that someone did that for me for just giving a genuine compliment.”
Have you seen any moments of service or kindness? Do you want to share a story about something that made your day? Email a brief story (100 words or fewer) along with any photos or video to firstname.lastname@example.org.