So much to give thanks for….

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the United States, at least, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, a day we set aside to give thanks for all that life has brought us. (In the rest of the world it’s just another Thursday. 🙂 Hopefully you won’t mind if we give a little thanks anyway…)

Here at HeroicStories we have so much to give thanks for…

  • Readers like you who read, share, and are inspired by our stories.
  • Story submissions. We have several new stories in the pipeline for the coming weeks!
  • An amazing team – Connie, Mary Beth, and Andrea – who do most all of the heavy lifting to bring you HeroicStories every week.
  • The resources of Ask Leo! that underwrites it all.

Yes, that last one is kind of thanking myself, but honestly the fact that Ask Leo! is able to sponsor HeroicStories is something for which I remain incredibly grateful, for a multitude of reasons. Being the lover of tech that I am I could go on about being grateful for the technology that allows us to publish and to so easily communicate with one another these days, but … well … you get the idea. Life is good. 🙂

So again, thank you for being here and for spreading the word.

On to the last month’s worth of stories….


Barbie Doll Dresses

A creative sister spreads love throughout the world with small handmade gifts.

Kaye shares a related story:

Between events at a church retreat, I was walking on the grounds when I came upon a woman sitting on a bench under a tree, crocheting a pair of slippers. “Who are you making those for?” I asked.
“They’re for you,” she said matter-of-factly.
“For me? But you don’t even know me,” I said.
“Doesn’t matter,” she said, taking the finished slippers off the needles and handing them to me.
I have larger than average feet, and was surprised that the slippers appeared to be the right size. “Thank you!” I said, as the woman put away her things and got up to walk away.
Another woman standing near-by told me, “She does that all the time. Starts making a pair of slippers and gives them to the first person who stops and asks about them.”
That was more than 30 years ago and I still have those slippers.

Pioneer of Kindness

A teacher goes out of her way for a Pioneer Day celebration.

Kaye shares: My mother-in-law didn’t have a pattern for a pioneer bonnet, but she had an old bonnet in her trunk. She used it for a pattern and made bonnets for me and my 3-year-old daughter when we first moved to their farm in the ’60s. We loved them and found them better than straw hats. I don’t know what the pioneer women used to stiffen the brims before they had cardboard–pieces of leather or wood, perhaps. but I still remember what those bonnets looked like.

Cheryl adds: Teachers have such an impact on children. Kudos to all those like Mrs. Bailey who remember that they teach children, not subjects.

The Hitchhiker

A lesson in treating a traveler with kindness.

Kelly Boyd shares a story: On a bitterly cold night in 1974, I was driving my VW beetle home from college for Christmas vacation when I saw a hitchhiker. I instantly knew his situation was desperate because of the weather, and I stopped for him, heedless of the danger. He turned out to be a cabinet maker from Boston, nearly my own age, and over the next eight hours we became good friends. By the time we reached my exit on I-79 I knew I couldn’t just leave him on the highway at midnight in that weather and expect to have any peace about it. I took him home and announced to my father that he was spending the night! My father was quietly furious, and sat up all night clutching a baseball bat, I found out later. By the time I woke in the morning, everyone else was up and gone, having taken my new friend back to the interstate to catch another ride. Since then, there have been several times that I myself was forced to hitchhike, and someone has always stopped for me. I firmly believe that there is a relationship.

Mary adds: This really hit home! My brothers were in the Army and overseas a lot and I can only hope that they too had wonderful people to care for them in their times of need!

Strangers at a Rave

Kids in a bad situation stand up and do the right thing.

dja comments: I have worked with college students for many years and have personally dealt with the aftermath of delaying medical treatment because someone didn’t want to get in trouble. I applaud the man who helped the others. However, he could have also helped them by calling 911 so that they received immediate emergency medical attention. The time delay of riding in the car, taking the girls home and then taking the men to the hospital could have cost them their lives. Dealing with the legal consequences of taking drugs is always preferable to attending a funeral.

Ironwoman Volunteer

It helps to be rooted on… even if by a complete stranger.

Mary says: This brought tears to my eyes! this is what we need more of today – people who care for others (even strangers)! Deborah is a truly remarkable woman as is her whole family as I am sure she instilled the same qualities into each of them that she possesses just by being who she is 🙂 Congratulations Felix on a job well done!

Annette Naish adds: Mary, I agree. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every day there were stories about human beings showing kindness to others? There are many people who are kind and generous to others, we just need to be reminded.

Gurubandhu adds: I think all these stories are heroic. Most of the stories have a real “need” associate with the story. This was a little different. Deborah probably saw a need that Felix did not see and wanted to help make him feel good and welcome. Kudos to Deborah and her family.

Cut the Soap in Half

In a strange country a small kindness from a stranger makes all the difference.

John P. shares a story: I was fortunate enough to get to visit Germany for a few days in 1980. I was returning home from Saudi Arabia and flew into Frankfurt am Main, then rented a car and drove up to Bonn (the West German Capital at the time). I spent the night in Oberwesel at the Burghotel auf Schoenburg overlooking the Rhine River. After checking in, the lady that ran the desk had to go into town and left her daughter to run the desk. An elderly couple came to check in, but spoke virtually no German and the daughter only spoke some (broken) English. I offered to help act as translator and the couple got checked in and shown to their room. I went back to looking at the traffic on the River when the daughter offered me a drink on the house for helping. Then she gave me the biggest compliment I have ever received – She asked me where I learned my English. I didn’t know what to say, as I explained that I was actually American and learned my German from a couple of wonderful teachers in High School and College.

Cheryl says: What a wonderful example of understanding and help at a very practical level.

Rolling Rescue

Strangers step in to help a woman in a wheelchair at just the right time.

Jake Jacobson says: Having recently fallen off a ladder breaking both legs and my back, I am confined to a wheelchair for 3 months. Though not motorized, the chair does take some getting used to! For example, unless the chair is on a level surface one wheel will just spin and not make contact with the ground. I found myself on a slope in an official hospital drop-off area waiting for my ride home. I couldn’t go forward or I’d end up in the street, and I couldn’t go backward because the left wheel just spun being on the slope – so no traction. Luckily my ride showed up in 5 minutes, but it was horribly frustrating. I can surely relate to the writer’s predicament in dealing with wheelchairs!

Erasing the Color Line

A deep prejudice is removed by kindness and resolve over a long period of time.

Anne Lee says: First of all I would like to say God Bless you Harry for the love you showed Marie’s parents and for never giving up hope or faith in them for coming around. My sister Becky married an African-American man from a large family in Cleveland, OH 25 years ago. They are still married to this day and have five wonderful children. Troy was not exactly loved by all in our family at the beginning. But he is a great man who means a lot to my sister and all of us close to him in the family. It takes real guts and love for a person to not let people get you down. May God Bless you and your family for years to come for the hero’s that you are. Thanks for your story of strength.

Jane adds: I echo your sentiments and only want to add my first reaction to this. Harry’s family obviously held a very high standard for themselves with an enduring love and generosity to all. What a wonderful example.


Again, thank you for being here, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Or Thursday, as the case may be. 🙂


Leo A. Notenboom
Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place