Best Feel-Good Story in Ages

Lovely story here: Kris Doubledee is a bus driver in Winnipeg, Canada. This past Tuesday, just a day after he’d seen a desolate man in bare feet along his route, saw the man again. This time he stopped his vehicle, got out from behind the wheel and approached the stranger. According to an interview Doubledee did with CBC TV, the two had an exchange that went like this:

“‘I said to him, ‘Do you have any shoes?’

The man answered, ‘No, I don’t.’

‘If I give you a pair of shoes [will] you keep ’em?

He said, ‘Yeah.’

‘I took off my shoes and gave ’em to him.'”

Doubledee got back on the bus and continued driving down Portage Avenue, now in his stocking feet. Later that day, Denise Campbell, a passenger of Doubledee’s who’d observed the exchange between the two men, began telling her office colleagues about this unusual act of kindness. Later, she posted an account of what she’d seen on a community news site, under the headline, Winnipeg Transit Driver’s Act of Kindness Stuns Passengers. She wrote,

“I realized that the man the driver was chatting with was barefoot.  The bus was dead silent.  I think we were all stunned and speechless.  As we proceeded to our next stop, one of the passengers got up and said to the driver, that was the most amazing thing she had ever seen; and then she asked him, why did he do that?
The bus driver answered[,] because he couldn’t stand the thought of that poor man walking without shoes.   Wow!  No judgement; it was just, ‘Here buddy you need these more than I do.’ There wasn’t a dry eye on the bus. All the passengers were moved by this bold and selfless gesture. Now, a homeless man will have shoes for his feet because of a bus driver’s random act of kindness. Not bad for a Tuesday morning in downtown Winnipeg.”

Campbell’s blog went viral and soon news crews were looking to interview Doubledee. Eventually he was located and just below is one of the interviews he gave. (He was also contacted by CBS News in New York and he appeared on their morning show today with Mayor Sam Katz of Winnipeg–when I find that link I’ll share it, as well.)

Doubledee’s fateful stop came at the corner of Portage and Main. It so happens that one of the Canadian indie music groups that I heard this summer during the North by Northeast Festival (NXNE) is called Portage & Main, so here is a link that includes their song, “What Have I Done,” a moving ballad about trying to do better in one’s life. I offer it here as a feel-good bonus for all my kind readers. You’ll find it at the top-right corner of their band page at CBC Radio 3.

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