Helping Someone in Need Offers Great Reward

As a young mother worries about paying the bill, fellow customers step in to lend a helping hand.

| May/June 2012

  • Helping Someone In Need
    Good Samaritans at a gas station help one young mother pay for the gas that will get her home for Christmas. Hathaway
  • Pumping Gas
    You can find people helping people at the local gas station, in the park and anywhere in your community.
    Lisa F. Young/

  • Helping Someone In Need
  • Pumping Gas

The young mother with four young children in tow was just ahead of me in the cashier’s line at the gas station. She was frantically searching her purse for a $50 debit card to pay expenses on her trip home for Christmas.

The children kept crying and asking for food, but she knew she had to find that debit card to pay for the $45 worth of gas she had just put into her rusty old car. They still had a five-hour drive to her parents’ house in western South Dakota. The clerk suggested using other cash, debit or credit cards, but the mother said this was the last of her trip money. She then went back out to her car to look for the misplaced debit card.

When she went outside, I stepped forward to pay for my own purchases and told the cashier I also would pay for her gas. As I reached into my purse, two other customers (who also had been listening to this young woman’s dilemma) reached into their wallets to assist this struggling mom. When it was all said and done, we had enough money to pay for her gas, with an extra $20 bill. We asked that the cashier suggest a stop at the next-door fast-food restaurant for the children’s dinner before they headed down the road again.

As we all walked out and went out to our own vehicles to leave, I saw the cashier go to the woman’s car to talk with her. The young mother then burst into tears, and her gratefulness was evident.

As I drove away from that gas station, I realized I had actually given myself the best Christmas gift possible — helping someone in need.  

GRIT salutes people who do the right thing!

Share your stories of Good Samaritans, helping hands, paying it forward, and other altruistic deeds — whether you were on the receiving end or you remember the great feeling of doing the right thing. Email a 300- to 500-word article to Editor in Chief Hank Will (, and we may publish it in a future issue of GRIT. Mail articles to The Right Thing, GRIT Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. The Good Samaritan involved in each printed article, if known, will receive a five-year subscription to GRIT.

Tom Michel
6/6/2012 6:00:24 PM

my co-worker's half-sister makes $64/hour on the internet. She has been without work for five months but last month her check was $17800 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site



September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me