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Positive, feel-good stories

A Caffeinated Christmas Miracle

, , , , , | Right | December 14, 2014

(It’s Christmas Eve. I’m waiting tables with one other waitress for the night at a diner. This waitress is a sweetheart, but has had a terrible year. She was evicted from her apartment shortly after her boyfriend died, leaving her a homeless single mother, crashing on couches, trying to finish her last year of nursing school. A man who comes in regularly asks to be placed at one of her tables. He orders a single cup of coffee, and asks for the check.)

Customer: “Miss, I have my money to pay.”

Waitress: “All right. So, that’s $1.10.”

(The customer takes her hand in his, places a wad of money in it, and closes it.)

Customer: “Merry Christmas. Keep the change.”

(He left without saying another word. She opened her hand and burst into uncontrollable tears when she found $500.00 with a note that said ‘For Mama and Baby.’)

Losing Their Financial Puppy Fat

, , , | Right | February 18, 2014

(It should be noted that I’m a bleeding heart and I cry easily. It’s a really slow night, so I get pretty excited when I see a dad and his daughter, who looks to be about seven, approaching my line. The dad leans in close to me to whisper.)

Dad: “She’s been saving her money up for a while to buy this stuff. Can you split the payment to do her $8.00 in cash and the rest on my card?”

Me: “Of course I can! I have to do the cash first, though.”

Dad: “Perfect. I also have some things to buy in a separate transaction.”

(The girl starts emptying a small purse of money: a few dollar bills but mostly coins. I’m thinking the girl was saving for some toys and art supplies from our kids’ section but after she’s done emptying her purse, she places on the counter pet supplies: a collar, a leash, our most expensive dog bone, and shampoo.)

Girl: “I love my puppy, so I’m buying him some presents!”

Me: “Wow! Gosh, that’s really sweet of you! It must have taken a lot of hard work and dedication to save up this much!”

Girl: *nodding* “I didn’t buy any candy or anything.”

(Her father winks at me and nods toward the big stack of junk food he’s placed on the other end of the counter. I grin and start ringing the girl’s order up while she counts. She gets to $8, mostly in pennies, and scoops it all up to hand to me.)

Girl: “Here, miss. I’d like to pay, please.”

Me: “I think I can help with that! So that’s $8.”

(Her dad pays for the rest of the order on his card and then I start ringing up the snacks.)

Dad: “Thank you for being so patient.”

Me: “Please, sir, it’s no trouble at all. It’s a really slow night, and I have a dog myself. She could have taken all the time in the world, if she’d wanted to!”

(The girl giggles and hugs her bag close to her. Father and daughter both thank me, and after they leave my manager approaches me.)

Manager: “Want to go take five to cry in the bathroom?”

Me: *tearing up as she speaks* “Yeah, I’d really appreciate that. Thank you.”


This story is part of our Junk Food Day roundup!

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A New Year’s Resolution

, , , , | Related | December 31, 2013

(I have driven my SUV onto a median on New Year’s Eve. It has hit in such a way that the tires are on either side of the median and thus useless. No one stops to help, until a woman and her niece pull over.)

Woman: “Hi, I’m [Name] and this is my niece. We noticed you guys were in a little trouble there. Would you like a hand?”

Me: “It’s all right; the car is totally stuck. We’ll just have to wait for a tow truck.”

Woman: “We can at least try. We’re pretty strong; it runs in the family.”

Me: “You two are very kind, but it’s a big car and very heavy. Even I couldn’t budge it. Go on home and have a great New Year!”

Niece: “C’mon, sir, at least let us try. Get in and put it in reverse; my aunt and I will push.”

Me: *reluctantly* “Okay…”

(I get in the car and put it in reverse.)

Woman: “Okay, [Niece.] 1… 2… 3!”

(The two start pushing on the car, and somehow, it moves. After a minute, they’ve pushed it clear off the median and back into the road. It’s somehow undamaged.)

Me: “Thank you, thank you, thank you! What can I give you guys for this? How did you even do that?”

Woman: “No need to give us anything. This is what we do. And I told you: it runs in the family. Have a great New Year!”

(They drive away. The way they showed up at the right moment and pushed the SUV off the median undamaged, even without the use of tires, was nothing short of miraculous. To this day I wonder if they were just two very strong women, or were they something more.)

Teachers Are Problem Solvers

, , | Learning | December 27, 2013

(I have third-grade twins: a boy and a girl. My daughter has always been a straight-A student, but year after year we struggle with my son. We dread parent/teacher conferences because they’re almost always negative. My wife and I are sitting down with his third-grade teacher for the first time.)

Teacher: “Well, where to start with [Son]…”

Wife: “Yes. We’ve heard a lot of things from his teachers in the past, so just tell us what you think is important.”

Teacher: “Oh, yes. Okay. For starters, I wish I had a class full of students just like him!”

(We pause, stunned.)

Me: “Are you sure you’re talking about [Son]? We’ve had teacher after teacher complain every year.”

Teacher: “But why? We struggle so much to get students to participate and ask questions in class. Your son asks more questions than anyone else in class, and he participates in every lesson enthusiastically.”

Wife: “We get told every year that he acts up and disrupts class. He’s constantly getting in trouble.”

Teacher: “I don’t know what his previous teachers are talking about. If I had more students like him, the class would teach itself.”

(We thank her and any other teacher that finds ways to take “problem students” and turn them into a blessing!)


This story is part of our Parent-Teacher-Conference Roundup!

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Doesn’t Understand The ‘A Time For Giving’ Part

, , , , | Right | December 24, 2013

(I work at a toy store. During the Christmas season, we take donations to ‘Toys for Tots,’ a program that helps kids in need get toys they otherwise couldn’t afford. A boy who has just turned 10 comes in with birthday money and buys some Pokémon toys. This happens at the end.)

Me: “Okay, hon. Your total is [total]. Would you like to donate to ‘Toys for Tots’ today?”

Boy: “Yes. I want to donate.”

(I assume he wants to donate a dollar or so, as most people do.)

Me: “Okay. How much would you like to donate?”

Boy: “$50.”

Me: “Are you sure? That’s a pretty big donation!”

Boy: *nods*

Me: “Okay. Thank you so much!”

(At this point a customer behind me speaks up.)

Customer: “He can’t give you that much! You’re just keeping it for yourself anyway. And besides, those people are just lazy! If they actually worked instead of mooching off the government then maybe their parents could get them s***!”

(My jaw drops. I am about to tell the customer off, when the boy steps in.)

Boy: “Don’t talk like that! Besides, I saved up this money for my birthday, and I can pick how I want to spend it! And they aren’t lazy. Sometimes people just need help. I hope if you needed help, someone would help you. Because that’s what God says to do!”

(The customer shut up after that. I was really proud of that little boy. He did donate the $50, an amount most adults won’t even pay!)


This story is part of our Customers Who Dislike Charity roundup!

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