Making a Difference in New Hampshire

Winchester New hampshireJoel Yan, a Jewish spiritual leader, and I were returning home from a week-long retreat. Little did we know that our journey would halt on a scorching Sunday afternoon with our car stalling on the roadside. As we stood there, feeling lost and helpless in the tranquil landscapes of New Hampshire, we were suddenly surrounded by the warmth and generosity of strangers in the small town of Winchester. What happened next was nothing short of remarkable – a display of compassion and solidarity that left us both awestruck and deeply touched. This unexpected turn of events will forever be etched in our memories as a testament to the incredible kindness still in this world.

To our surprise, people started stopping by to offer help within moments.

First, a kind woman named Katherine Stewart pulled over and gave Joel her phone number, insisting we call her if needed. Then, a man in a pickup truck offered to diagnose the problem and shared his experience with a similar issue.

As we waited for help, Bruce and his wife pulled up in their pickup truck and invited us over for a cold drink or a place to rest. Another person even drove up in a jeep, proudly displaying a small American flag.

Joel pulled out his guitar and began playing some tunes to pass the time. As we enjoyed the music, a man named Norm rode up on his bike, holding a broken air conditioner, and hung out with us for a while. It was amazing to see how many people were willing to help out strangers in need.

Norm with his broken air conditioner


At a Mobil gas station, we met an attendant who let us charge our phones and use the restroom. We were waiting for two hours when the AAA truck driver suddenly arrived. He advised us that we could drive the car safely once it was in gear, saving us from needing a tow truck. But the real hero of the day was Ralph Scott Britton, a motorbike rider who came to our aid.

Scott helped diagnose the problem with our car, pushed it off the road, and stayed with us for over 3.5 hours. He waited with us for the AAA to come and escorted us to Keene, ensuring our safety every step of the way. As if that wasn’t enough, Scott taught Joel to manually switch the gears under the hood before sending us on our way. He refused compensation and asked us to pay it forward by helping others in need.

Thanks to Scott and other kind people we met, we safely made it to Vermont, Montreal, and Ottawa. Our friends in Vermont even provided us with accommodation for a night. We are so grateful for the power of goodwill we experienced in the small town of Winchester. We hope to pass it on by sharing our story and inspiring others with the spirit of compassion that sustained us.

In a world where it often feels like everyone is out for themselves, it’s heartwarming to know that there are still people like Scott and the attendant who helped us. They reminded us that we’re not alone and are all part of a caring community. Let’s all pay it forward and be the heroes others might need in their time.