Disasters and random acts of kindness

You probably heard about the snowstorm that struck Atlanta, Georgia last week and shut down the city. Many people ended up being stuck on the highway, miles from home. Children were stranded on school buses or at schools, separated from their parents. Elderly people and those with chronic diseases were in need of medications and care. Even though we all knew it was a temporary situation, with temperatures rising well above freezing by the end of the week, during that initial 24-hour period, it gave all of us here a good taste of how people react in dire circumstances.

I was pleasantly surprised to see, that even in this age of selfishness, there were a lot of examples of people going out their way to help those in need. While social media is often seen as a vapid waste of time, people took to online networks like Facebook and Twitter to learn where there loved ones were and to help those in need. People who needed medical attention were taken to hospitals, and a stranded pregnant woman and young child were provided with shelter. Teachers stayed with their stranded students overnight instead of with their own families. One man walked six miles during the snowstorm just so he could spend the night with his daughter, who was stranded at her elementary school.


Sure, there was the guy who drove a fake tow truck to try and steal abandoned cars off the road, but he was quickly caught. 🙂

It made me think about the random acts of kindness bestowed on my family during my dad’s illness and when I was my mom’s caregiver. The little things that made such a difference, like the shuttle driver that bought my mom flowers while we were viewing my dad’s body at the funeral home. That same shuttle driver risked her life to get me to the airport right after a brutal snowstorm so I could try to make it home for Christmas, then came back to pick me up when the airport shut down and drove me to a hotel. I sent her a thank you card but there really is no way to repay these acts of kindness. There was another shuttle driver who picked me up from the hospital in his personal car after he had completed a long day at work, when I was stranded at the hospital with mom and literally had no other way to get home.

When you are a caregiver, these simple acts of kindness make such a difference, whether you find yourself dealing with a disaster on a personal or larger scale. Bless all of those people who open their hearts and help those in need.

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