Readers pay it forward

Our column about the emotional and physical benefits of helping those in need generated several reader comments on Facebook and in e-mails.

"Recently I saw a nice businessman who was sitting in first class hand over his seat to a young U.S. Army soldier," wrote Jennifer. "The businessman sat all the way in the back of plane, and the young soldier sat in front. It's nice to see we have good altruistic constituents spreading acts of kindness to our military community!"

Matt wrote: "I was at the airport recently and we picked up the check at a restaurant for some members of the military just to say thanks to the true heroes. We need more good will these days!"

"I was with my son in a stroller on the train platform and the elevator and escalator were both out of service," wrote Tiffany. "I decided to carry him and drag the stroller down the stopped stairs, when a very well-dressed woman in her twenties ran over and helped me carry the stroller down the long escalator. She then had to run back up to catch her train. I was in shock. I will never forget that. (And she was in heels too!)"

Camille said, "While working downtown a few years back an elderly woman fell and hit her head. People were actually walking over her! I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I went immediately to her aid and called 911."

"Last week while driving through the tolls on I-90 I paid for the car behind me," wrote Marshall. "Every time a pay a toll I usually do this just to make someone's day."

"Since 2004 I have participated in the Chicago Memory Walk for Alzheimer's," said Cassandra. "I remember a specific walk where it was pouring down rain and hail. People were running for cover. I saw a family with an elderly parent in a wheelchair. They could not get their mother covered up. I gave my plastic cover-up to the woman in the wheelchair, helped the family get the wheelchair on the right path and started to zip up my coat to be on my way. The adult son of the elderly parent in the wheel chair said, 'Thank you for stopping. So many others passed us by.' "

Colleen wrote: "I actually helped another mom jump-start her car in the middle of winter this year at Target. As I put my groceries away, I could tell her engine was not turning. I think it was about 15 below zero that day."

"I know someone who always buys a ticket to whatever fundraising dinner approaches her," said Martie."Then she turns around and gives the ticket back to the organization to give to someone who might otherwise be unable to attend. She says the looks of shock when she gives them back are priceless."

Maura wrote, "On Mother's Day in downtown Evanston I saw a grown man applying lipstick slowly and perfectly on his wheelchair-bound mother. I wish I had taken a picture."

And finally, for something a little different: Megan said: "I purposely try to avoid kindness in all its forms."

Twitter: @jenweigel

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