Thanks for, and inspiration from, the kindness of strangers

We’ve brought you a few chapters (here, here, and here) in the story of Addie Killam, the college student soon to be returning home to West Seattle to continue her rehabilitation after a bizarre surfing injury left her with a physical disability. The outpouring of help brings this message from Carrie Rasmussen, who e-mailed it to people including us, and gave us permission to share it here:

*As many of you know a few months ago we had a good family friend who is only 20 years old become paralyzed in a spring break surfing accident. At this point her prognosis is permanent paralysis from the ribs down. If there were ever a young woman that I would want my daughter to aspire to be like it would be our friend Addie. She posses many amazing qualities; kindness, dedication and through this all has maintained a positive attitude that God has a different plan in mind for her.

Over the past few weekends there have been several people; family friends, schoolmates from Our Lady of Guadalupe and Holy Names Academy, fellow Girl Scouts, her brothers friends from Boy Scouts, her parents co-workers etc. who have been working on a home in West Seattle, getting it wheel chair accessible for when she comes home. It is inspiration enough to see all these people who know and love her and her family working countless hours to get things ready.

We as well have spent some time over the past few weekends helping out and Hanna sold lemonade for donations to put into Addie’s account. There have been so many people it is hard to know who is who and how they are connected. This past weekend I saw a gentleman who, when he wasn’t helping build the back deck, was taking some pictures. I had seen him there the previous weekends working but not known who he was, but then again, there were several people I didn’t know. I asked him if he would mind emailing them (the pictures) to me so I could add them to the work party blog ( I am maintaining.

As I was getting ready to update the blog I referenced back to one of the original postings done on Addie and her story on the West Seattle Blog. I noticed that there were new comments and had seen aside from emailing me the pictures the gentleman, whom I now know as “Steve”, had posted a link with the photos to his personal blog.

I realize my story is getting long but bear with me because here is the really inspiring part. I went to Steve’s personal blog and read that he *did not know* our friend Addie, he had *never* met her or her family. He had simply seen her story on the WS Blog and he along with several other friends (6 adults and 1 baby) from his church group decided to spend their Memorial Day weekend at her home pitching in. They then came back this past weekend (with 2 new volunteers) and with the help of some donations from their church, planted a beautiful garden outside of Addie’s new bedroom window so she will always have something beautiful to look at. Amazing!

I must say when I discovered that total strangers rallied together and have spent not just one, but multiple weekends to help someone they do not know and are not connected to is some way, I was inspired. How incredibly full their hearts must feel to purposely make time for others………they do not know……….just because. How cool is that!

That group has given me a gift, one that I hope I can pass along. We all have been given the same amount of time in a day, how you spend it is what matters. That group of people will be my inspiration to seek out doing good for others, just because.

6 Replies to "Thanks for, and inspiration from, the kindness of strangers"

  • JanS June 5, 2008 (4:03 pm)

    I’m pretty sure I/we know the “Steve” that Carrie is talking about. He and his wife are terrific people, and their child is just adorable. They are truly some of the nicest, caring people that I’ve met…it truly is a great message they’ve given you.

    Thanks for sharing your story, Carrie..

  • andrea June 5, 2008 (5:03 pm)

    Oh my gosh, that’s Steve from our Forum group! Way to go Steve and family/friends! How incredibly cool and giving of you all…

    Best wishes and a hopefully peaceful transition back home for you Addie!

  • beachdrivegirl June 5, 2008 (7:58 pm)

    That is amazing. Thank you Steve and family/friends! People like you are who I inspire to live up to. it really touches me to see people come together like that. Please keep us all updated if Addie or her family need any more asistance.

  • Beaboveit June 5, 2008 (8:40 pm)

    I should note that there have been a ton of people who have helped, businesses and their employees who have donated their time and materials. I just was especially moved as most times we as humans step-up to help because of a personal connection to a cause or when we have been touched through a circumstance that we or someone we know have/has experienced. When it is someone/thing we don’t have that connection too, most times, and I have been guilty of it myself, we react with a instinctual desire to help but then get wrapped up in other things and move on in our hurried lives. I honestly think it is rare to find this level of giving but it is something that I will try to do emulate and act on that instinct to help, even if I don’t have a personal connection.

    beachdrivegirl-keep checking the work party blog as there will be a need for continued support and we will post all the details there.

    I must say, I am jealous that I don’t live in WS (I’m in a city south) because you all are an amazing community of people, full of support. Maybe someday I will join you!

  • Beaboveit June 6, 2008 (8:55 am)


    Final touches are happening this weekend to get Addie’s home finished for her arrival home. There is still plenty of help needed-

    Call Michaelle @ 206-349-4663 or
    Dean & Cathy @ 360-341-1799

    Details on what we are working on this weekend can be found at the work party blog. There is also a really cool and inspirational video put together by Michaelle’s son!

  • beaboveit June 24, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    Friends, Angels & Neighbors-

    Join us this Saturday, June 28th anytime between 3-7pm
    to welcome Addie home
    and say thank you to all of Addies Angels!

    Please bring your favorite potluck item; salad, dessert or side.

    See you there!

    8657 17th Ave SW Seattle, WA 98106

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