How the Kindness of Strangers Helped Unite a Family

February 23, 2023
I am a 16 year old girl from Illinois. I grew up like any suburban family. Nothing particularly unbelievable has ever happened to me, but I think it’s the believable things that shape who you are. My heroes don’t wear capes, but are the people I see everyday. My friends, dad, mom, sister, etc. I try to act everyday with the mindset that whatever I do in my day, I want my mom, dad, sister, friends, and God to be proud of what I’ve done. To this day, everyday I try to be better in all aspects of life.

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I remember not too long ago, my family and I were visiting some ice castles by our house. Though the great big structures of ice were astounding, something even more astounding were the acts of the people of my community that day. My family and I were weaving in and out of the ice castles. Upon approaching one of the ice castles, we heard commotion. “Is this anyone’s child?”

We approached and saw a woman squatting in the snow in front of a little girl, who couldn’t have been more than 6 years old. The woman spoke softly to the girl. “Hey sweetie, do you know where your parents are?” The girl didn’t respond, but her eyes welled with tears, which was answer enough for the woman.

At this point, bystanders stopped looking at the ice castes and turned their attention to the little girl. The woman stood up turning to those around her asking, “Is this child? Is this your child?” People shook their heads. The woman hollered at the crowd of people who’ve stopped, “Has anyone lost a child? Anyone missing a child?” No one responded to her cries.

My uncle went outside of the ice castle to ask around if anyone was missing their child. Another man in the crowd also went out the other end of the ice castle to see if he could find the girl’s parents. Tensions were high and anxiety set into the crowd as the parents of the girl didn’t seem to be anywhere in the vicinity. Though many were helping to find the girl’s parents, even others who have been caught up by the situation do not continue to enjoy the ice castle, but simply stay with the girl until her parents can be located. After a few minutes, the other man who had gone outside the ice castle to call for the parents missing a child came back. “These are the parents,” he hollered.

The girl was safely returned to her parents. “Thank you. Really, that is so sweet of you,” my aunt commented to the woman who stayed with the girl. “I have kids too, so I know I’d want someone to help my child if they ever got lost,” she responded.

Everyone at the ice castle helped return the little girl to her parents, whether they stayed with her or sought out the parents. A community can only thrive if the people in it do what’s right, as they would want others to do the right thing if they ever found themselves in trouble. I almost cried that day, when I thought of how everyone rallied together around helping this little girl. I think that real heroes are people like that woman, or the other man, or my uncle. They are people who step up in another person’s time of need and do it expecting nothing in return.

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