We asked you to share stories of random acts of kindness you witnessed or experienced during the great Seattle Snowpocalypse. The result was heartwarming. Here's a compilation of some of the most touching stories you told us.
Well done, Seattle.
Earlier this week, we asked you to submit stories about people who went out of their way to help others during the great Seattle Snowpocalypse. You responded by flooding our inboxes with anecdotes that captured the very best of the human spirit.
There was the 7-year-old boy who reached out to help a man in a wheelchair, and the kindhearted truck owners who ran errands for their snowed-in neighbors just because. There were considerate, generous business owners, and employees so dedicated they slept at work so they could keep helping. So many folks went out of their way to help neighbors and strangers brave the worst snowstorm Seattle has seen in decades.
From Sammamish to Queen Anne, North Bend to Shoreline, among young and old, we heard numerous stories of random — and not-so-random — acts of kindness. The snowstorm clearly brought our community together in a special way. Below, we’ve compiled some of the best submissions we got from readers. Read on and be inspired.
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*Note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
‘A neighbor I didn’t know just happened to be awake’
My son came down with the flu the day after the major snow hit our part of town. We had recently moved to Issaquah and I didn’t have Tylenol or a thermometer on hand. I had a few Advil at home, but despite a day on that, the flu symptoms continued getting worse.
Because of the snow, I wasn’t able to get a delivery service like Amazon Prime Now to deliver anything, and we didn’t yet know our neighbors. As a solo mom with a non-AWD car, I was stuck and worried.
I checked on my son in the middle of the night and he was burning up. So, I went to our neighborhood Facebook page at 3 a.m. to ask if anyone would be making a trip to the store in the morning and could pick up a thermometer and Tylenol for us. A neighbor I didn’t know just happened to be awake. Not only did this stranger make a trip to Walgreens in a snowstorm just to get us these supplies, but he did it at 4 in the morning. Just to be kind. Talk about a snow hero!!!!!!!
Happy to report my son is on the mend.
— Gina Cohen
‘You never know what other people might be going through’
On my drive home Tuesday on Lake City Way, I saw a woman with a cane struggling with each step on the icy/slushy sidewalks. I looped back and offered her a ride to wherever she was trying to go. It turned out that she was on her way to the U District from a dialysis treatment. She had just been evicted from her home two weeks ago (to allow for redevelopment), so she’s living at a hotel until things get sorted out. I was so happy to help make her 2019 a little less awful, even if just for a short time. It was a timely reminder that you never know what other people might be going through.
— Kyleen Junier
‘He slept in chairs and on the floor’
A friend of mine, Michael Rogers, works in the transportation department at Fircrest Residential Habilitation Center in Shoreline. He transports residents to and from their appointments and classes, delivers their meals and laundry, etc. He was concerned he wouldn’t be able to make it to work from north Everett, so, he stayed 24/7 at the office from Friday night until Wednesday afternoon so he could serve residents and transport other workers to and from the Center. There are no “overnight facilities” at his office, so he slept in chairs and on the floor. I think his dedication was heroic.
— Kathy Ellis
‘The guardian angel of Sammamish’
A couple of days back, I saw a post in the Facebook group ‘Sammamish – Ask Anything’ about a girl who had to urgently go to India in this snowstorm as her mother had passed away. She was looking for someone to take her to the airport as Uber, Lyft and shuttle weren’t working. I then saw another post, by a guy called Ankit Sharma, saying he’d be going to the airport and could give a ride to anyone who needs it. I don’t know either of them, but I tagged the girl in a comment on this guy’s post and went to sleep. The next morning, I got a reply to my comment from Ankit, saying he had dropped her off at the airport.
After that, I saw a number of posts from him, saying he could help anyone who needs him as he has a pickup truck and can drive anywhere. He also helped a single mom and her child get back home from ER when she could not find any other help. And today he dropped off some supplies to the local church in need.
And he did all this without taking a penny from anybody. I think he deserves some recognition for his selflessness.
— Ritu Sharma
In Sammamish, where everything came to standstill, Ankit Sharma kept giving people rides to the airport, helping with towing, getting bare necessities for people. He would ask on the Sammamish Facebook page if anyone needs help, and then he would just do what was needed. In these past two weeks, he is the hero, the guardian angel of Sammamish.
— Shyamashree Acharya
There is a local hero in Sammamish who has to be recognized somehow. He has single-handedly rescued people and taken them to and from the airport. No charge. He has been doing this for days. Just amazing.
— Dee Davidson
‘My 7-year-old son knew that man needed help’
While we were out grocery shopping, my 7-year-old son said, “Mom, there is a man stuck in the snow in his wheelchair across the street.” He insisted we pull back around. And there was the man, outside, alone, wheels spinning. He was in front of his assisted-care living facility. He was trying to wave down cars that passed, but everyone kept on driving. We pulled into the parking lot and asked him if he needed help. Sure enough, he did. We went inside and got some extra hands and got him safely inside. It makes me so proud that my 7-year-old knew that man needed help.
— Laura Baker
‘Thanks to all the kind hearts of Seattle’
On Feb. 11, management and staff of the Brookdale Senior Living on 35th Avenue Southwest in West Seattle (many of whom were themselves stuck at work for days) brought food and coffee to all the stranded bus drivers on 35th. They also helped weary walkers, cold and wet, trudging through the snow trying to get to their homes. Many had walked from well outside the West Seattle area. They were welcomed inside to warm up and dry off before continuing on their journeys. Thanks to all the kind hearts of Seattle.
— Cathleen Carlin
‘There isn’t a friendlier place to be during Snowmageddon’
North Bend has declared a state of emergency, and there isn’t a friendlier place to be during Snowmageddon. We got hit by multiple snow storms, and the wind built drifts 4 and 5 feet high. Many of us have been unable to leave our homes. I have seen people helping each other shovel and helping drivers who got stuck, and people are going to extraordinary efforts to both warm and feed our Anna’s hummingbirds. My neighbor Krystal Westerlund knocked on my door and delivered groceries unexpectedly. It was the sweetest thing.
Kroger/QFC made sure employees remained safe and available by paying for them to stay in local motels. I offered my guest room to someone commuting from Enumclaw, and QFC assistant store manager Jeff Lewis stayed here one night so that he could work a double shift to make sure customers had product in the morning. My son Charlie Bond, who is also an assistant manager, lives in Kirkland and cannot get out of the parking lot, so QFC/Kroger Corporate sent a car and driver for him. People would be surprised at the lengths QFC goes to serve their customers. Our North Bend QFC rocks!!!! Absolutely awesome employer! They have my business forever.
— Susan Bond
‘The kind of warmth that gives you hope in this world’
After two mornings of no buses, I walked to the bus on Wednesday morning with unstable footing down a slick hill. I saw my bus turn to head to the stop, at which point I was fairly certain I was going to miss it. But then the bus stopped half a block before the stop and opened up its doors. The woman driving the bus had pulled over and allowed me to hop in, rather than continuing my somewhat treacherous walk, ensuring I made the bus. She had the most friendly smile and was just beaming with the kind of warmth that gives you hope in this world! Big shout out to the Route 47 bus driver on Wednesday morning!
— Morgan Roe
‘Thank you, neighbors of Brierwood!’
My son has been super sick, and on the advice of our nurse, they recommend he go to urgent care on Tuesday. My wife and I got stuck in our driveway because of more than a foot of snow. Our neighbors noticed and helped us dig out. It was a nice way to introduce ourselves to new neighbors, with such an act of kindness. Although the roads were treacherous, we made it to urgent care and got our little guy looked at. Thank you, neighbors of Brierwood!
— Russell Kagele
‘We were treated like snow royalty’
Editor’s note: We were inundated with messages from Northwest Hospital employees who were grateful for the staff of Doug’s Northwest Cadillac in Shoreline giving them hundreds of rides to and from work so they could care for patients. Some mentioned that the dealership has been doing this during every snowstorm for at least a decade. Below are excerpts from a few of the hospital employees’ messages.
The drivers from Doug’s Cadillac did not care how bad the snow nor how icy the road in my neighborhood was; they picked me up and dropped me off right in front of my door. I cannot thank them enough for their kindness. They are so brave to drive the treacherous roads to bring us to work. What they have done for the staff, the hospital, the community is so incredible. They are our true heroes.
— Kristy Ly, RN
Gary and Dames were my drivers, and I cannot thank them enough for their heroic efforts. They went above and beyond in so many ways, and they were kind, patient, and attentive the entire time. Thank you, Doug’s Cadillac, for caring for us employees and our patients who needed our care. You are truly an asset to the Shoreline community. This will not be forgotten!!
— Erica Bauman
They went from Lake Stevens to SeaTac to Issaquah to Renton with grace and safety in those beautiful new Cadillacs. We were treated like snow royalty by them. We do not pay for rides, time or gas! Nothing!
— Mary Filipovic
‘I was so scared’
My story happened around Thanksgiving in 2007. I feel bad that I have not been able to tell it until now.
The snowstorm was not as bad and prolonged as this year, but there was enough snow to make the road icy and messy. At that time, I was working in a building about 10 blocks from KeyArena and would go up the hill to find an all-day parking spot. That day I saw the narrow road was icy but I went up anyway and got stuck right in the middle of the hill. I was so scared. All I could do was push the brake, put the car into park, and try to think of a way to solve the problem.
I hadn’t thought of asking for help yet; however, a good Samaritan suddenly showed up! The gentleman, who was going the opposite way, stopped and told me to get out of the car so he could drive my car downhill. A woman and a kid were in the car with him, and the kid said, “My uncle is the best driver ever!” The woman said, “Don’t worry about thanking us. We only hope that you’ll be safe and sound on Thanksgiving!” After the gentleman successfully parked my car, he smiled, simply told me his name was Jeff, and then walked back to his car.
I have been wanting to thank him in public, and now I have the chance! Wish you, Jeff, and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous year of 2019!!
— Thao P. Huynh
‘Who needs plows when you have good neighbors?’
In North Beach, SDOT does a good job of keeping the major arteries clear (24th, 28th and 85th streets) but the side streets that are often quite steep can pose a problem for drivers. While most of these smaller roads had been converted into sledding hills — some even sported impressive jumps — that was not the case on 95th Street east of 24th. As my kids and I were walking to find a primo sledding spot, we noticed that 95th seemed to have been plowed — odd, as every other side street was covered in 4-6 inches of snow. As we looked up the street, we noticed one man, with one shovel, who was working hard and appeared to have “plowed” the entire street including the entrance to each driveway along the steepest part of the hill. He likely didn’t hear our muted mitten claps, but I would guess his neighbors appreciated his efforts. I couldn’t help but start humming ‘John Henry’ as he defeated the modern steam shovel. Who needs plows when you have good neighbors?
— Patrick Coyle
‘The kind of organization that really cares about their own people’
Overlake Hospital put up more than 200 staff each night for several nights in local hotels. Employees were given meal vouchers for food. This was not just so people could make it safely to work the next day; rooms were also offered if staff didn’t feel they could get home safe. Now that is the kind of organization that really cares about their own people! Our manager in PACU, Pam Bouchez, spent hours each day personally transporting RNs, techs and support staff so our patients could be cared for.
— Tawny Gala
‘The great circle of love just closed again’
I live on snowy Cougar Mountain in Issaquah. My friend’s truck became stuck in the drive and a kind young man from across the street offered to help. When we began talking, I realized he and his sister had been my students many years ago in the neighborhood elementary school. We hugged, and he shared that his great-grandmother had lived in the little house I now occupy and had planted the amazing garden that I now caretake. The great circle of love just closed again, reuniting me with my students and ensuring my place in the neighborhood. I still love my Cougar Ridge families for so many reasons, and now I have a new one.
— Cyndi Moring
‘These are all truly unsung heroes in our eyes’
At the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle, we have been so thankful for all the members of our neighborhood who have helped us during these snowstorms.
One of our neighbors, Jerry Riener, has come through multiple times with his tractor to clear snow from our parking lots and routes to Seattle Children’s. We weren’t expecting his help, so we were incredibly thankful when he drove in the morning after a heavy snowfall.
Between visits from Jerry’s tractor, many others have been helping to shovel snow, including volunteers from Side-by-Side, neighbors, and even some residents’ parents. All this help has been invaluable and allowed families to get to the hospital for treatment.
We’re also grateful for all the volunteers who braved the elements, took on extra shifts, served meals and found ways to help out during the intense (for Seattle) weather. These are all truly unsung heroes in our eyes!
— Kyle Deas, Communications Manager at RMHC
‘Don’t worry, mate, we’ll give you a tow!’
We were walking our dogs through the snowy wonderland when we happened upon a little red car that was driving up — and sliding back down — a local street. My husband, Adam Venn, called out, “Don’t worry, mate, we’ll give you a tow!” (We’re Aussies.) And he ran back to our house to get our Land Rover. He returned with our car and some straps and lay down in the slush to attach them to the little red car. Inch by inch, our Land Rover pulled the red car up the hill and onto the main road, passing other stranded souls in its wake.
Well! We certainly couldn’t leave them stranded! We went back and forth twice more, to collect a baby blue Saab and its owner, and a Passat that was stuck on a steep hill. The snow caused some havoc for these people, but for us, it brought joy and the opportunity to get to know our neighbors a little better.
— Stephanie-Kate Bratton (originally from Sydney, Australia)
‘I couldn’t have made it without Marjorie’
We don’t own a snow shovel, and my neighbor Marjorie had witnessed my pathetic attempts to clear the area. I looked outside from my Magnolia home on Feb. 12 and saw Marjorie furiously shoveling. It was a blessing because I needed to take my dog to the vet to have her surgery incision flushed and examined. I couldn’t have made it without Marjorie. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful neighbor.
— Katie Saunders
‘Many thanks, my fantastic Mount Baker neighbors’
On Saturday morning, Feb. 9, my car got stuck in the snow along this stretch of Courtland Place South. As it started to skid sideways toward another car, I hit the brakes and considered my options (i.e., panicked). Almost immediately, five guardian angels (guys with shovels) materialized from nearby houses and helped move the car safely out of traffic. Many thanks, my fantastic Mount Baker neighbors.
— Mary Scanlon