Surprise! Stories of amazing gifts no one saw coming

Acts of kindness both big and small can catch us by surprise.


From a playground built to surprise a toddler with cancer to a revamped car donated to a military veteran facing financial setback amid COVID-19, these stories explore the power of generous acts.

That includes a soccer team in New Providence, Pennsylvania, who banded together with their parents to do yard work for one of their teammates' fathers as he battled coronavirus.

"Our soccer team’s a family. We’ve always been together," said one teammate. "It’s for one cause, for their dad, and we’re just trying to help out."

Meanwhile, a donated therapy dog in Mason, Ohio became a beacon for a community dealing with a terrible loss.
His name is Shiner, and he was gifted to the school by the parents of Sable Gibson, a 10-year-old who died suddenly.

"He's spending a lot of time with our counselors, especially if a child is having a difficult time," said Shiner's caretaker, Robyn Thomas. "When he steps in, he usually is helping the child to calm down."

In Baltimore, a police sergeant got his independence back after a near-death experience, all thanks to his new wheelchair-accessible ride.

Sgt. Isaac Carrington is a 23-year police veteran who received a van designed for his wheelchair, which he has used since being shot while off-duty.

"Still have a long road, still recovering," he said. "I just appreciate everything that everybody’s done for me."

Finally, gift-giving is an art form. But at one elementary school, art was also the gift, in the form of 85 art packs for first grade students.

The packs, which included a sketchbook, crayons, pencils, markers and face masks, were put together by Art Resource Collaborative for Kids (ARCK).

"Kids really right now what they need is to feel safe and seen and heard in order for them to learn," said ARCK founder Sara Mraish Demeter.

Stitch brings you heartwarming stories from a community just like yours. It celebrates our hometown heroes and is inspired by communities, revitalized. Stitch is committed to honoring our history, celebrating our potential and highlighting the tales that bring us together. Every day, we are stitching together the American story.

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