I believe it’s in anyone’s nature to be kind — even when it means putting others first. Among our everyday heroes is Clayton Cook, who, on his wedding day, dove into a river to save a drowning boy. (It’s safe to say he was overdressed for the occasion) Alongside him is Kimberly Gager, who gave up her entire coupon collection to donate supplies to hurricane victims. And as if people hadn’t impressed me enough, Cullman resident Eric Gilbreath drove 2 hours out of town to rescue a missing child.
“Your heart just falls out on the floor. My first thought was helping getting out there and looking. I wasn’t going to give up,” Gilbreath explained.
The toddler, 3-year-old Serenity Dawn Sanders, shares a mother with Gilbreath’s son. Despite the presence of a search party, Gilbreath was the first to spot Serenity in the woods of Dekalb County.
“I just walked the ridge top, walked halfway down the ridge and walked the bottom of the ridge and went to the next one,” Gilbreath said.
Serenity was accompanied by her dog. Just as any father would, Gilbreath reminded the unfazed child not to wander without her mother. That’s at least 10 dad points to Gilbreath!
Random acts of kindness can range anywhere from rescuing a drowning family to saving a swan tangled in fishing wire. Whatever the case, they are often unexpected and incredibly heartwarming. This generous elderly man decided he would pay it forward to the next generation, buying toys for a toddler at Target.
“Owen grabbed [three dinosaur toys] and we were trying to pick out which one he wanted when Owen abruptly yelled, “Hi,” at this older man walking past us,” [mom Alyssa] Hacker wrote [on Facebook]. “He turned around and said, ‘Hey sweet boy.’”
A grandfather himself, the generous elderly man handed the child a $20 bill for all three toys as the little boy continued to play with the miniature dinosaurs. His reason for doing so? It’s tear-jerking, to say the least.
“I just lost my 2-year-old grandson last week. You take this money and buy this boy all three dinosaurs.”
Tissues, anyone? Hacker initially felt that the anonymous grandpa was a little too close for comfort — clearly, his act of benevolence changed that. The video that she posted on Facebook even garnered hundreds of thousands of shares.
“There is still some good in this world,” she added.
While it’s often best to remain cautious with strangers, keep in mind that there are a bunch who mean well.
In a controversial era for law enforcement, not every cop has been a bad egg. Among them is the police force of El Segundo, who helped raise funds for a robbed teen. Latest to join the club is Indiana cop Richard Mayer, who spent his first lunch as a cop saving a toddler.
“I looked over and she started gagging. I could see something kind of in the back of her throat, mistakenly reached in to try to grab it out, I think that pushed it back into her throat,” Hasse recalled.
The heroic cop was lunching with colleagues at Chick-fil-A when the frenzied mother approached their table. Hasse then performed back slaps on the child and dislodged the apple chunk almost immediately.
“This is what he was meant to do,” Hasse said. “To save lives in some kind of way.”
Talk about first-day jitters! Luckily, all Hasse’s efforts paid off.