little Indiana’s Challenge: One Year Later

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little Indiana’s Challenge: One Year Later

Good Deed Challenge

Good Deed Challenge


Now that it’s been just over a year, I thought I would update all of you on what I termed last year as little Indiana’s good deed challenge. In case you missed that article, our mission is simple: my husband and I always stop for motorists stranded on our side of the road. Always.

I don’t mean when it’s convenient for us. I  don’t mean we only stop when we aren’t already late or it’s not raining or freezing cold and snowing. I don’t mean we only stop when the kids aren’t sleeping in the back.

We have had great discussion about this at our church. Most express disbelief and say they would be concerned about muggings–or worse. But I refuse to talk myself out of service to others. It’s so easy for us to drop everything and rush to the aid of a friend…why shouldn’t it be like that for anyone? I thought I would share with you some of the things that have happened to us over the last year.

It’s easy to think that someone else will take care of it or that folks have cell phone or that tow trucks will do the rescuing. But cell phones go dead or don’t get reception–and not everyone has one. Sometimes? Tow trucks can’t even help. You’ll see what I mean in the true stories that follow.

Year in Review

Mexican Cheese — This unlucky couple had taken a big road trip down to Mexico to visit their favorite small Mexican town, just like they do every year, when their car got a flat. They were on a cell phone trying to find a place to get a tire. At that time of night, the nearest location was 45 minutes away. Hubs gave them a ride to the tire shop, waited for the change, then drove them back. In return, they offered hubs $100 bucks (which he refused) but they wouldn’t let him turn down a wheel of Mexican cheese and a hackey sack. Random but fun.

Military Leave — This military dad had a long weekend–so this family of two small kids were going to do some visiting quite a distance away. The plan was to drive overnight while the kids slept in the car. Until it died. Late at night. Hubs happened to be passing through on his own. After hours of trying to get the car to work and then hours spent waiting for the tow truck…the two truck didn’t have room for the kids. If hubs hadn’t stuck around, they still would have been stuck!

Don’t Be Late — Coming back from a little Indiana trip we saw a young guy by the side of the road. He had already called the big box place he worked and told them he was stuck at the side of the road. Their response? Don’t be late. You can’t take the day off. Hubs had him back on the road in no time.

There’s also been a middle-aged couple who had been sitting inside their car for an hour. No phone. No way to contact any one. Too poor health to walk very far. We’ve helped an elderly couple from our very own town. We’ve stopped for people who looked like they had it under control–but couldn’t get the lug nut loose or discovered their jack wasn’t good enough or had a flat spare or just needed a phone. Been there, done that.

No Excuses

It’s easy to make excuses, to let the unknown frighten us away from common courtesy–and I hope to change that. At some point, we will all be the folks with car problems. We’ll be the ones stranded. Will anyone stop for us? I’d like to think so. If not, I hope they at least call the police station to let someone else know.

We’ve had a lot of unique experiences as a result of our commitment to helping others. For the record? It doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I internally think “AAAAH! Not again!” But I’m working on it. Are you?

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!

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By |2013-12-19T09:26:50+00:00August 21st, 2012|Creating Community, Extras, Little Towns|1 Comment

About the Author:

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little Indiana.com. More than a website, Little Indiana is a book, "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" (IU Press) awarded first place in the "Best in Indiana Journalism for a Nonfiction Book" by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Little Indiana is also a bi-monthly newspaper column in a local paper and a PBS segment on the former Emmy award-winning program, "The Weekly Special."

One Comment

  1. Ryan August 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Sorry your husband was so late getting home. We never could never have hoped he would have stuck around as long as it took and even offered to pay for our hotel room at the end of it (we didn’t get the car fixed until the next morning). He saved our weekend and we cannot thank you both enough.

    -Military Dad
    (Ryan)

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