By Qi. Thanksgiving is a unique festival in North America. Since I have come to the US, many people have helped me. I have been grateful to meet these people in my life. Among these people, there is one person who impressed me the most. In this article, I would like to share my story about how I met this person and what impact he has given me.

The story happened on a Friday in January 2014, during a winter break. My husband and I lived in Lowell, Massachusetts. We had just arrived in the US several months before to study at a University. We did not have driver’s licenses or a car. The public transportation in Lowell was very limited. Hence, we usually walked to grocery stores. On that day, my husband told me that he would like to take me to a Walmart, and we could do shopping there. He had been there once, so we thought it would be easy to go there and get back home. We were very glad to go out because it had been snowing for a couple days. We took buses to Walmart and bought the things we wanted. Everything sent as we planned.

After we had done our shopping, it was around 6:30pm. It was already dark outside.  We took a bus to the transfer station and started to wait for the bus that could take us home. Unfortunately, the bus did not come as we expected. We had waited for more than 30 minutes, but no buses came at all. We did not know that this route had no buses running after 7pm on Friday. We did see another bus passing by us on another street. We felt hopeful, so we decided to go there and see if we could take that bus  somewhere. We arrived there and began to wait. As time went by, the sky became darker and darker. I remember that the temperature was around 12 °F. We were freezing and starving. Though I wore a pair of gloves, I could barely feel my fingers. My husband was even worse off because he carried all our shopping bags. There were fewer and fewer cars on the road. Only homeless people passed by us. I felt very nervous and scared because I believed that we were in an extremely dangerous situation. We were approximately 6 miles away from where we lived. It was hard to imagine walking back home on such a cold winter night. Neither of our friends had cars. It was impossible to find a taxi as well. We decided to wait for 10 more minutes. If no buses came, we would have to walk back to where we lived.

As we were losing our patience, a car stopped near us. A young man got out and asked if we needed help. He was of medium height and very slim. He was an Asian man and he spoke in Chinese. We hesitated to answer him. Then he said that he had passed by us twice. He believed that we needed help. I was reluctant to accept his help at first because I had been told by my father that hitchhiking is dangerous. However, there seemed to be no better choice. I thought that we were two people while he was alone. Hence, we could outweigh him. Finally, we got into his car, which was a sports car. It was kind of narrow for three people. Since we had several bags, he had to put down the passenger seat to let us in. He told us that his name was Hua. He was a Vietnam American, and he was a descendant of Chinese people. That is why he could speak Chinese. He also told us that he had many Chinese friends.

When we arrived at our home, we invited him to come in and have a cup of tea. He said that it was no trouble at all. He also gave us his cell phone number and told us that we could call him if we needed his help in the future. We thanked him again and then he left. When we finally sat on our sofa and had a cup of hot water, we were so grateful to meet Hua. Otherwise we would still be walking on this chilly night. Our roommate came downstairs and he was surprised to see us coming home so late. For him, it was just a routine evening in the winter break; for us, it was an unforgettable evening.

As time goes by, Hua’s face becomes blurred. However, we will not forget the help he provided to us. For him, we were just two of the many people he has helped. But for us, he saved us in that cold winter night. If we were him, we might not be willing to help strangers under that condition. We still remember that he told us that he would not expect us to do anything to thank him, but he hoped that we could do the same thing as he did for us if we encountered somebody who needed help in the future. If we did that, then that would be the way to express our thanks to him. Now, every time we see someone who needs help, then we think about what Hua said to us. We always try our best to help others. We feel happy when we can help others, and we believe that Hua would be glad to know that someone he has helped now helps other people.