Your stories: Acts of kindness in 2022

Two people old bags and walk down the road
Two people walk down the street in St. Paul during a snow emergency on Wednesday.
Sam Stroozas | MPR News

Earlier this month we posted a request: Tell us about an act of kindness you experienced this year.

Many of the answers were simple but impactful stories of human connection: a thank you note or text, an invitation to coffee from a new friend, a meal delivered in times of need or a shoveled driveway.

“I recently had some medical conditions which required me to have surgery, and my family and my friends all came to support me to help me to do the things that I needed during this time where I really couldn't help myself. And I'm just so grateful for those acts of kindness for those wonderful people who are in my life.”

— Robert Borman, Minneapolis

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“I work at an elementary school, and there were a number of weeks at the end of fall in the beginning of winter, where it was a really difficult time, helping students and families navigate some different challenges. It was really draining both physically and mentally for me. I came into my office one Friday and noticed there was a simple bouquet of yellow flowers with a little sticky note on it. Seeing those flowers, it was almost as if my heart had lightened, and my whole body had just breathed in a sign of a sigh of kindness. Come to find out, they were from a coworker who had noticed how hard the past few weeks had been for me and just wanted to make me feel seen and appreciated.

“The most interesting thing is that, that morning, I'd actually come into work with a headache. At the end of the day when I was packing up my stuff, I noticed I hadn't taken my [migraine] medicine….It was for me probably one of the one of the experiences I can remember where a small act of kindness really served as medicine and was healing for me.”

— Nora Bedard, St. Paul

“I was driving my mom back home from recovering in the hospital from surgery. I was at the supermarket in Cloquet to buy groceries in the pickup flowers from my mom. During my trip in the supermarket, I ran into this woman twice in the store whom I did not know. And the second time I wished her Merry Christmas, as I was leaving the store, I was navigating my shopping cart in one hand with flowers and the other hand, and before I could get to my car, the grocery cart toppled over and all my groceries fell out. So I [put the flowers in the car], and by the time I could get back to my shopping cart, this woman whom I’d met in the supermarket was running to my cart there. She helped me bring all my groceries to the car and helped me put everything inside. And then she even offered to bring my cart back up to the cart corral. When I asked for her name, she didn't give me her name except to say she was an older woman. I did ask her if I could give her a hug, which she graciously accepted, and I gave her a hug. This random act of kindness reminded me that there was still kindness out there in this world.”

— Richard G., Mahtowa

Nicole Watson, director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University, had this to say during an Art Hounds interview about how much it means to have our efforts acknowledged:

“When I host events here at St. Kate's, inevitably, five minutes after I close the event, either online or in person, I get several emails from colleagues here at St. Kate's telling me how much they appreciated it, and how meaningful it was to them. And that is super meaningful to me because I think you always kind of wonder if anyone's kind of tracking what you do or why you do it or, you know, even just showing up. And so it's always really amazing to me that people take the time to send me a note. And now I do it too. Anytime I go to an event, I take the time to send the organizer a note of thanks, because I know how much work goes into those sorts of things.”

Nance Lee Mosquera of Minneapolis spoke of an extraordinary act of kindness from neighbors:

“My next door neighbors have been so kind to me. Two weeks ago I fell off my indoor staircase, sideways. I've lived in this house 30 years, and I’ve never fallen before, but anyway, I broke my ribs. They have been doing all the shoveling. The dad carried out all the garbage I had from a party that same day. They just have been taking care of me, and I really appreciate it. So, thank you to Jason, Caleb, and the whole family.”

“I came home and my garage door wouldn't work. I happened to have a phone number from a friend for someone who could come fix it. What I was most worried about was the cost. They came out from the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities to little Stillwater, and it was a simple mechanism that had to be fixed. And I was fully prepared to pay for a call-out charge; I was so grateful that he was able to fix it. And he said, “absolutely no charge.” I thanked him profusely. It was just really really kind.”

— Megan Arney Johnston, Stillwater

“I had Thanksgiving dinner with my partner's family, and they asked if I wanted to invite my mother, whom I hadn't seen in a while. Having her at Thanksgiving was the best thing I could imagine. My partner knew her, but the rest of the people in the group didn't, so that was very special to me.”

— Raul Gomez, Minneapolis

“This might not be your conventional act [of kindness], but over the last year I have appreciated so deeply a new friend. We connected during the pandemic and ended up taking an online class together. And it turns out we also live three blocks away from each other. So I've been going over to her house pretty much every Saturday morning and having a cup of coffee, and I just can't express how supportive and healing and essential those Saturday coffee dates have been to really [make life] feel okay.”

— Sarah Larsson, Minneapolis

Thank you for celebrating and spreading kindness. We’d love to hear more stories. Please share them by filling out the survey below.