An act of kindness by Chaveirim member Kasriel Zakutinsky has gone viral, after a woman posted about his changing her flat tire.
Mary Kate Tischler was driving with her young daughter on the Southern State Parkway last week when she got a flat tire. Zakutinsky, a member of Chaverim of the Five Towns and Rockaways (and also a new Flatbush hatzalah member [F-419]), pulled over to change her tire.
Tischler was moved by the experience, and made the following post on social media on August 25:
Would you like to have your faith in the human spirit restored? Would you like to hear about an amazing and selfless act of kindness?
Ruby and I were on the Southern State Parkway when it became obvious we had a flat tire. There’s no shoulder on the side of that highway, so I pulled off onto the grass, and, almost immediately, a black Jeep pulled off the highway in front of us, just as I was looking for the phone number for AAA.
Then a young man wearing a yarmulke stepped out of the Jeep into the 96 degree heat and walked over to the passenger side window of my car. He said he had lots of tools in his car and could change my tire for me. Really? “Yes,” he said. “I see you have a child in the back, and, if this happened to my mother, I’d like to think someone would do the same for her.”
So, as he’s changing the tire, we started chatting and he told me there’s a group of people in his Orthodox Jewish community who do volunteer roadside assistance – for anyone and everyone. There’s also a volunteer ambulance. I said, I never heard of such thing before. And he said, “yeah, you only hear the bad stuff about us.”
He quickly and adeptly finished changing my tire, and, as I was thanking him profusely, I asked if there was anything I could do to thank him. He responded with a smile, “zero.” I got back in the car, crying.
Ruby asked me why I was crying, and I said they were happy tears and tears of relief. So super scary to think how much worse the day could have been for us, and such an amazingly kind person who came to our rescue. That kid has his ticket to heaven written in stone.
If you’ve gotten this far in reading, please consider doing something kind for a stranger today – I know I will #payitforward #grateful #lucky #guardianangel.
The story recently went viral, and Tischler followed up with a post on August 31:
INCREDIBLE!! Remember my post last week about the kind, young Jewish man who changed my flat tire in 96 degree heat? Well, last night, it went viral. It’s been shared more than 500 times and has more than 1200 likes on FB, it’s been tweeted, and it’s been shared on Instagram and in WhatsApp groups – and it made its way back to the young man who helped me! He found me on LinkedIn, and we’ve been exchanging messages this morning. So amazing!! With his permission, I’m pasting his first message to me below, and I’m also including a link to donate to the roadside assistance organization for which he volunteers, Chaverim of the Five Towns and Rockaways: https://charity.gofundme.com/…/chaverim-of-the-five…
Good morning! My name is **********. I hope I have the right person – I’m pretty sure I do. Last night my friend sent me a Facebook link and said “you’ve got to read this story”. It took me most of the story to realize that this was me! I confirmed it once I saw the picture.
I am part of a volunteer organization called Chaverim. There are many local divisions and chapters, the one I am part of is Chaverim of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway. But all members in all chapters and divisions of all our volunteer groups will always help ANYBODY at any time of day or night. (Just to clarify some of the comments on your post, Hatzalah is the volunteer EMS company, Chaverim is the volunteer roadside assistance, Shomrim is volunteer citizen watch, and there are thank God many many more that help with any issues anyone can think of, from infertility to financial guidance and support, to local food distributions, referring sick patients to the right doctors, etc etc). I went to college in the Five Towns/Far Rockaway Area. That’s when I joined this organization. It was amazing scrolling through the comments on Facebook and only seeing positivity! This story has circulated on some Whatsapp groups of various Chaverim volunteers on the past day … so glad G-d orchestrated our days that we were right near each other and I’m glad G-d granted me the opportunity to be able to assist. I hope all is well with your family and I hope your daughter has an amazing school year this year! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns! My number is ***-***-****
Reached by Hamodia on Wednesday, Zakutinsky shrugged off the incident.
“Don’t make a story out if it,” he said. “It was five minutes of my time.”
“Chaveirim members do this all the time,” he said. “People are supposed to be doing this. We’re supposed to be helping other people.”