J. Carlyle Parker of Turlock said he recently drove four Mormon missionaries to Costco to buy some necessities. When the four — from Washington, Utah, Hawaii and Arizona — were checking out, a woman "in a tank top and blue jeans" told the checker she was paying the bill.
One of the missionaries asked, "Are you a Latter-day Saint?" She said no. After paying their tabs, which totaled more than $130, she left.
"We were flabbergasted," Carlyle said. "This generous lady's actions are gratefully acknowledged. We are still wondering who she was. She may not be a Latter-day Saint, but she's certainly a saint!"
Those random acts of kindness seem to be increasing in our area. Dianne Merenda of Modesto wrote to thank the woman at the drive-through at Starbucks on H Street.
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"I was so surprised when told that she had bought my coffee and pastry," Dianne said. "One good turn deserves another, so I will pay it forward and pass on the kindness. She made my day!"
And last Sunday, Carrie Lestor of Modesto and a friend went to eat lunch at Marie Callender's.
"At the end of our meal, our server came and told us that a couple in another booth had paid for our meal and left," Carrie said. "We were shocked! I'd heard of this happening before, but never expected it to happen to me."
Carrie said she hopes the generous couple see this and know how thankful she is.
Heather Lamonte, 29, of Oregon called to brag a bit about her 18-year-old brother, Cody Lamonte. Cody, an EMT student at Modesto Junior College, was on Briggsmore Avenue last month when a boy on a bicycle was hit by a car.
Cody stopped and, along with others, helped the boy, including checking his vitals and calming him down until paramedics arrived. The paramedics, Heather said, were impressed by Cody's work and called him later to say the boy was doing well.
"I think it's pretty cool," Heather said.
Cody, who finishes his EMT training in January, said he decided to enter the field after his mother broke her leg while the family was in Hawaii in October.
"It was seeing how the fire department and the emergency services responded," he said. He also said he didn't do anything special.
"I did what I hope anyone in my situation would have done."
Do you have a story about someone who has helped others or is a terrific role model? Send a brief item to Sue Nowicki at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.