This week I’m doing something just a little bit different with the ‘good people’ post … I’m letting the beneficiaries of some random acts of kindness tell you their story in first person! A regular feature in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette chronicles these stories and I stumbled upon it last night. They are small things, just … random … acts of kindness … but they are things that mean so much to the person on the receiving end, as you will see.
Random Acts of Kindness
Generous neighbors provide string of good meals for Delmont woman
On the first Sunday of the “lockdown,” my neighbor, Jill Cassidy, called to ask if I would like a Grab & Go turkey dinner from The Lamplighter.
She and her partner, Mick McFarland, were getting them for their own dinner, and thought I might enjoy one, too.
I am in a wheelchair and no longer have a car, so I gladly accepted. When I tried to pay them for the dinner, they refused. That meal fed me for two days and provided a sandwich as well. Quite a bounty.
On the following Tuesday, Jill called again. They were going to do Grab & Go, and would I like a meal? “Only if I pay for it,” I said, but Jill refused, saying she had received an unexpected bonus from work, and this was how she intended to use it.
What Jill didn’t realize was that I was suffering a painful bout of tendinitis, and my energy level to put together a decent meal was close to zero. I told her this as I thanked her, and for several days throughout the next month, she and Mick brought meals from The Lamplighter and Manor Grill.
On two occasions, Mick brought meals he had made — and that man can cook! Each drop-off provided food for two or three days, and really helped in my recovery. And they wouldn’t accept a penny of payment.
Generosity and kindness like this are so unexpected in today’s world and impossible to reciprocate. My mother always said the good you do will come back to you, and in my 71 years, I have found that to be true.
So Jill and Mick have a boatload of good coming to them because I know they did the same thing for other neighbors as well. Such neighbors are more than a blessing.
PEG SASSE, Delmont
Lunch cures cabin fever, comes with gift card
On June 11, my husband and I took my sister to buy tires for her car. Needless to say any excuse to get out of the house.
After installation, hubby said, “since you girls were so patient in the tire shop, I’m taking you to lunch at our favorite Red Lobster on Route 51 in Pleasant Hills. I heard they were open for business again.”
We were thrilled, since cabin fever had set in with COVID-19. We were seated in a corner, social distancing for certain. No seats at the bar, every other booth blocked off.
We were like youngsters out for the day, almost wanted to do a happy dance. During mid-day lunch, a gentleman commented how lucky hubby was to have two lovely lunch companions.
We chatted a bit during what was a very slow day at the Red Lobster. He departed and we continued our amazing lunch out that day.
When we paid our bill, our waitress, Joan, said, “That nice man in the grey shirt wanted to treat you for your next lunch,” then she handed us a gift card.
What a delightful gesture, he can’t imagine what that meant.
Thank you, kind sir. I hope you read this and know you are blessed. We have you in our prayers, and we will certainly pay it forward.
STEPHANIE A. PAUL, Baldwin
Helpful strangers spring into action after fall
On June 22, my husband took me to Vision Works in Fox Chapel to pick up a pair of glasses, but we didn’t make it inside the store because he fell in the parking lot just a few steps ahead of me.
I hollered for help and just about everyone came running. Two young women offered to lift my husband, but couldn’t. Then two strong men lifted my husband and placed him in his car. And I can’t say how many people were on their phones calling 911.
These strangers stayed with my husband until medics arrived. They examined him and took him to UPMC St. Margaret Hospital, where he was admitted and was treated beautifully.
My husband, who is 85 years old is home and is getting stronger every day, It’s going to take time.
I’d like to thank everyone who was there with us on June 22. I want to thank them for their attention and kindness. I can assure you this restores your faith in humanity. It proves there are good people everywhere.
I’ll be the first to say that Pittsburghers are the best.
JACKIE BOEHM, Bloomfield
Stranger attaches part to Duquesne Heights woman’s venerable car
My 21-year-old Volkswagen Beetle is aging (as am I), which means parts periodically loosen and fall off. In fact, I have a bumper sticker that reads “Honk If Parts Fall Off.”
Recently many of the small roads in my neighborhood were torn up and closed due to workers replacing the asphalt. Though driving very slowly, I hit a bump and the plastic guard under the front of the car fell off, hanging on noisily by just a small piece.
I stopped on the narrow alley to which I’d been directed. Several men were building a deck, and one came over to help, saying “I can fix this.”
He got a portable screwdriver and some screws and lay down on the hot, pebbly uncomfortable surface and struggled to attach the guard, managing to get two screws in.
Voila! I was able to drive home.
I didn’t get the name of my “Knight in Shining Screwdriver,” but I am grateful for his generosity. Many thanks to him and all Pittsburghers of good will
SUZANNE POWELL, Duquesne Heights
Lawrenceville restaurant helps make intended wedding day special
On what supposed to be our wedding day, June 27, 2020, my fiance and I, intent on still enjoying the day, ventured out to dinner with a bottle of our homemade wine.
The wine had specifically been made by us and my father and brothers for this day. But instead of having our special wedding wine with around 300 of our closest friends and families at the Pennsylvanian in Downtown Pittsburgh, we enjoyed the wine while dining outside at Piccolo Forno (BYOB) in Lawrenceville.
We had made custom labels for the wine with our photos and wedding date on it and the attentive staff noticed the date and put two and two together. Everyone at Piccolo Forno could not have been nicer and we had the best time and meal.
At the end of the meal an employee presented us with a gift card to pay for the meal. The gift card had been sent to the restaurant by an anonymous person at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to help small businesses and to pay it forward. The employee had held onto it since April, not knowing exactly who to give it to, but she said she knew this is exactly what she was waiting for.
June 27, 2020, ended up being pretty special after all.
NICK TOLOMEO and KAJSA SIEWCZAK, South Side
Again, these aren’t big things that are destined to change the world, but to me, they show the heart of these ‘helpers’ … and haven’t we all been in a situation where we desperately needed one of these people to help us? I certainly have, and most often there has been such a person … a guardian angel, if you will.