The Real Hero Of This Story

, , , | BC, Canada | Hopeless | April 15, 2016

(This happened a while ago on my 13th birthday. I have been a fan of table-top RPG’s for a long time. It is around I week before my birthday and I am looking for something to ask my mother for. I am in their back, less visited room when I notice a first edition version of Dungeons & Dragons. Seeing it doesn’t have a price tag I go up to the counter to ask.)

Me: “Hey, I found this in your back room and noticed that it doesn’t have a price tag… How much is it?”

Employee: “Oh, uh, hang on a minute.” *checks for a price tag* “Well… how much are you willing to pay for it?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t have any money on me right now but my birthday is in a couple of days and I was looking for stuff to recommend to my mom.”

Employee: “Oh, okay. Then, let’s say 10$.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(While I am putting it back a man who I have never met before walks up to me and says:)

Stranger: “Hey, happy birthday. I bought it for you. Go and ask the guy working if you don’t believe me.”

(He then ran off. Thank you random stranger, for making my day!)

Don’t Discount The Power Of Charity

, | USA | Hopeless | April 15, 2016

(I am a mall employee and a December baby. Every December a certain charity sets up a booth at my mall. After my mother gets married my step-grandmother starts sending me birthday checks, thanks to which I wind up with about $600 of spending cash one year. I go absolutely nuts buying clothes and toys to toss in the charity bin over the course of a week, and towards the end of my spree I stop by one store to pick up jewelry, keychains, and wallets with popular characters/logos on them.)

Cashier: “Stocking stuffers?”

Me: “[Charity]! They’re down by the food court.”

Cashier: “Hey, [Manager]? Can we give her a discount?”

(The manager plugged in a military discount on my sale, plus a member’s birthday coupon, saving me $30 on a $75 sale. After I dropped everything off at the charity booth I ran back to my own store to purchase gift cards for the manager and cashier with the money they saved me.)

We’re Above Such Crap

, , , | IN, USA | Hopeless | April 15, 2016

(I live in a suburban neighborhood with lots of other families of elementary aged children. I’m walking my daughter to the bus stop in the middle of winter when a young boy comes running past us, crying hysterically.)

Man: “Zach, come over here, dude. What happened?!”

Boy: “I fell!”

(I then notice the boy is smeared in dog mess from head to toe.)

Man: “Well, it’s too late for me to walk you home to get changed. You’ll miss the bus.”

(The man proceeds to take off his coat and shirt, puts his coat back on and uses his shirt to clean the poor kid up.)

Man: “There you go, kiddo. The bus is here, but I’ll make sure you have clean pants at school before I get to work.”

(Our kids all get on the bus, and we waive them off. I approach the man as he is throwing his shirt in a nearby trash bin.)

Me: “I’m so sorry that happened to your son, but great quick thinking in a pinch!”

Man: “Oh, thanks, but that’s not my son. Honestly, I can’t stand that kid. The only reason I know his name is because I always hear his mom grumping at him for picking on the other kids at the bus stop, but I’m not going to let a crying crap-covered kid get on the bus even if he is a total jerk.”

Under One Unified Umbrella

, | Minneapolis, MN, USA | Hopeless | April 14, 2016

(I have sprained my ankle and gotten a hairline fracture in the same foot, so I am on crutches as I walk to the train. The neighborhood is almost entirely immigrant and Muslim, with a rough reputation.)

Me: *to myself, quietly* “Oh crap! It’s starting to rain.”

(I slow down, not wanting to slip, but am quickly soaked. A man is hurrying out of the mosque and makes a beeline for me.)

Man: “Are you okay? Where are you going? You look cold!”

(I tell him.)

Man: “I’m going most of that way. You can share my umbrella, since you can’t hold one and walk, too. I hope your foot is better soon!”

(He walked three-quarters of the way with me, giving me most of his umbrella and getting soaked himself.)

Now Pulling Into Kindness Centraal

, , | The Netherlands | Hopeless | April 14, 2016

(I’m travelling to the Netherlands from England to see my girlfriend, which due to me being a student, involves flying from England to Brussels in Belgium, then getting a train from Brussels through to Utrecht in the Netherlands. I don’t speak any of the local languages, only knowing a few very basic Dutch phrases. I have never travelled alone before, and have been travelling for around 12 hours at this point. We pull up to a station where I can’t see the sign, but as my watch says we should be 10 minutes away from my destination I figure it’s nothing to worry about. While waiting at the platform an announcement is made, and the only two words I understand are “Utrecht Centraal”, the station I need. I panic, thinking it’s naming the station we’re at, and rush for the doors right as they close and the train starts moving. Having no idea what to do or where I am, I start blindly panicking, twisting and turning trying to see any signs that will let me know what to do, when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn to see a huge bearded man looming over me looking concerned.)

Man: *question in Dutch*

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. I’m English and I think I just missed my stop and I don’t know what to do and—”

Man: “Whoa, slow down there, buddy. What stop do you need?”

Me: “Utrecht Centraal, but I think we just went past it, and I don’t have any money for another ticket—”

Man: “No, no, that wasn’t Centraal; Centraal is the next stop. Here, sit down. You look like you’re about to collapse!”

(He leads me to a seat by the door.)

Man: “You must have had a long day, yeah?”

Me: “Urgh. I got up at 4 am this morning so I could get a plane I could afford to Brussels, then the train here, and I don’t think I’ve eaten since breakfast…”

Man: “You need to look after yourself better! Here, eat this.”

(He hands me a bottle of water and a chocolate bar, which I thank him for and wolf down.)

Man: “So, it’s a girl, yes? No man goes to all that trouble just for a holiday!”

(I admit that yes, it is, and spend the next few minutes talking to him about her and how we met. As we pull into Utrecht Centraal he gets off as well, and walks with me up to the concourse, where I see my girlfriend waiting. We wave to each other and the man pats me on the back again.)

Man: “She’s very pretty; I see why you were so upset about maybe missing her!”

(He then loudly said something in Dutch to my girlfriend and laughed uproariously as she blushed, then walked off, waving over his shoulder and still chuckling. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me it was because of what he said, but wouldn’t tell me what he said. Thank you, stranger, whoever you are – I’m pretty sure that’s the closest I’ve been to full blown panic attack, and you calmed me down almost instantly!)

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