After reading "The Robin Hoods Among Us" (May 23 Forum), I remembered when I was a young single mom, the sole support of my two daughters. My apartment had a gas leak. The gas company was called and the worker told me this was due to my gas range. It was broken, and it had to be disconnected and fixed. Of course I didn't have two nickels to rub together at that time; I had just bought the range secondhand and had no idea how I was going to pay for this.
The man called and told the gas company that the leak was in the line and fixed my range free of charge. He said he saw a lot of women in my spot and he was happy to help me. I was so grateful to him because I had no resources and no help from anyone.
At that time I was a hot dog vendor. I met a lot of people who were down on their luck and a lot of women like me who were raising kids alone. I did give free hot dogs to a few people and let some customers go for the cost of the sauerkraut or chili. Like the movie "Pay It Forward," we all tried to help a little whenever we could.
It didn't make a gigantic difference, but the idea that a stranger would have such compassion is the best feeling in the world.