Stories about generous acts of kindness from random strangers always raise our estimation of humanity. It could be someone who simply took the time to listen to a stranger during a long and frustrating delay at an airport, or a judge who forgave hundreds of dollars in parking tickets after learning about a recent tragedy in the defendant’s life.
If you think back long and hard enough, you’ll be able to remember a time you were at the receiving end of unexpected compassion. Keri Marie Carlson, however, will never have to think very long or very hard.
Kerri, a waitress at GW Carson’s in Branford, Connecticut, was chatting with a man while seating his group earlier this month, and she frequently had to ask the man to repeat himself.
It’s not that the customer mumbled or spoke too softly; Carlson had lost her hearing in a car accident when she was a toddler, and even had to repeat first grade because teachers believed she had a learning disability. It wasn’t until several years later that she received her first set of hearing aids. But her hearing has since declined, and she relies heavily on those devices during her shifts at the restaurant.
The stranger with whom she was speaking that day – who has requested to remain anonymous– asked Kerri “if two aids would help, and I told him I normally wear two (but) I just broke one not too long ago,” Kerri said.
After seating the man and his group, another waitress took over and Carlson sat down for a quick lunch. During that break, the customer came up to her and gave her $500 in cash and instructed her to use the money to pay for new hearing aids.
“I didn’t say I needed the money or anything,” Kerri said. “He just came in the back and said, ‘I’m not going to take no for an answer’ and ‘I can’t let you go home like this,’ and I tried to give him the money back, but he was like, ‘No, you deserve this.’”
Stunned at the unexpected gift, she “cried in that man’s arms” and still remains “in shock that it even happened.”
And to top it all off, Jim Kirtopoulos – the owner of GW Carson’s – is donating part of the proceeds from t-shirt sales at the restaurant to the American Society for Deaf Children!
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