When your car breaks down on the side of the road, you can feel hopeless. You don’t expect anyone to help you, and hardly anyone ever lends a helping hand. That’s what Gastonia, North Carolina native Erica Usinger thought when she found herself stranded with a flat tire on I-85 in Charlotte, NC in October 2019. She was sure no one would help her. After all, no one had helped her before.
But this time was different. A car pulled off to the side of the road and the driver asked her if she needed his assistance. Usinger was immediately shocked, and the story has since gone viral on social media.
Quite A Surprise
This wasn’t the first time Usinger’s car had a flat tire on the side of the road. Every other time, no one stopped to help. But this time, Teewon Vaye surprised her and asked if she needed help. Usinger couldn’t believe it. She said, “He didn’t even think twice about whether or not I was a good person. He just saw that I was stopped and helped me anyway.”
Vaye was on his way home from work. He probably had other plans, but it didn’t matter to him anymore. He stayed with Usinger for more than an hour as they waited for her mother to arrive to provide a spare tire. He wasn’t going to leave Usinger stranded on the side of a busy highway by herself.
However, when Usinger’s mother finally arrived, they found another problem: her spare tire was also flat. It seemed like the day would never end, but that’s when Vaye decided to lend another helping hand by offering his own spare tire so she could get her car off the side of the road. Afterward, they drove to the nearest gas station, where Vaye aired both spare tires.
Surprised By His Act Of Kindness
Usinger was clearly surprised by Vaye’s random act of kindness. It was a nice enough gesture for him to wait with her until her mother arrived to help, but then he kept helping. Usinger commented, “He was doing a lot more than I expected anyone to ever do.”
After Vaye aired up her car tire, Usinger and her mother offered to buy him dinner, but he wouldn’t take the donated money. Instead, he requested that they help someone else in need. Usinger was touched by his kindness. She knew she had to share it on social media.
A Viral Post
Once Usinger safely returned home, she shared her experience on Facebook, along with a photo of Vaye changing her flat tire. She described the event and she wanted to make sure everyone knew how incredible Vaye was the whole time. She commented, “What was a bad evening ended on a positive note and restored my faith in humanity.”
Usinger was surprised when her Facebook post went viral—garnering 41,000 likes, 5,000 comments, and the post has been shared over 45,000 times. Many Facebook users commented about the act of kindness and how these are the type of stories we want to read on the Internet.
Nancy Johnson commented, “More people needed to remind us of simple kindnesses!” Joelle Etler added, “What a very kind man, taking nothing for his help and asking her to pay it forward! It would be wonderful if more people paid it forward and would spread kindness in the world.” Finally, Ben C. Pittman said, “Perfect example of ‘love your brother.’ A good Samaritan, for sure!”
As for what Vaye thought when his act of kindness went viral, he sent Usinger a sweet message thanking her for sharing the story with others. He said, “I feel like if we could help a person in the smallest way possible, we all can make a difference in this world.”
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