By Nicole Allshouse
For all of you who question if there is any good left in humanity, this story is for you.
And for those of you who believe there is no good in social media, this story is also for you.
Let’s rewind to Iron Bowl 2021.
My father was in town, visiting from Ohio, and we decided to attend the Iron Bowl in Auburn.
After the game, we made our way back to where we parked - the space was a plot of grass, situated next to old railroad tracks, with zero lighting, and framed by overgrown trees and shrubs. It was not horrific, but let’s say I didn’t want to hang out there any longer than necessary.
My father, who always takes off his jacket before getting into the car, did just that and settled in for our drive home. It was nearly 10 p.m. when we arrived back in Birmingham, and it was then he noticed he didn’t have his phone.
“Oh no! I bet it fell out of my coat pocket when I took my jacket off,” he said.
So now we are a solid one and a half hours away. It’s late, we are tired, and the
thought of driving back to Auburn made my head spin. So quickly, I turned to my
cell and opened Facebook, creating a post that said:
In my mind, I knew it was a long shot - relying on strangers to track down a small lost item in the dark would be tricky - but the optimistic side of me had to try.
Within a couple of minutes, a man named Mike Taylor commented on my post, telling me he was eating at Mama Goldbergs and asked what I needed help with.
I instantly asked for his cell and called him. During our brief conversation, I learned Mike lives in Helena, Alabama, and works for AT&T.
Then I asked him this question: “I realize it’s late, and I am interrupting your dinner. Would you mind walking about a half of a mile to a lot, next to the railroad tracks, and searching for a cell phone, most likely in the shrubs framing the lot? Oh, and the lot is unmarked, but if you give me a second, I can get on Google maps to see if I can at least find a street name, so you know you are headed in the right direction.”
I know. That sounds like a crazy proposition, doesn’t it? And one that most people would say no to without giving it a second thought.
But not Mike Taylor.
He accepted the challenge, and at that moment, I knew no matter what anyone sees or reads these days, I now had proof goodness in humanity still exists. That strangers are willing to help you, no strings attached. And there is more love in this world than we are led to believe. Sometimes, we just have to look for it.
I stayed on the phone with Mike while he walked in the dark, alone, for half a mile, for a total stranger.
“I think I am at the lot you are talking about,” He finally said.
“Ok, I will call my dad’s phone, and since he is hard of hearing, the ringer should be loud. Or if nothing else, walk close to the shrubs, and it should light up when I call.” I replied.
Three seconds of silence passed. I could tell both Mike and I were holding our breaths. And secretly, I was praying he did not get mugged or kidnapped out there alone.
Then I heard it.
An extra loud ring and I knew Mike had located my father’s cell phone.
“I have it!” he excitedly exclaimed.
Now coming from a 44-year old mama, who is not in love with social media, I wanted to give Facebook a big hug at that exact moment … and Mike too!
Over the years, I heard several stories about people crowdsourcing through the app, but never in a million years did I expect to use it for this Christmas miracle.
Ultimately, Mike, who returned to Helena the following day, met up with my dad and returned his phone to him, as you can see in the picture!
Some people would have kept the expensive gadget.
Others wouldn’t have even thought about taking time away from their evening to hunt it.
But Mike Taylor is the hero of this story.
So back to the beginning - for those of you who don’t believe there is any good left in humanity, we now know that is not true. Pure hearts and helpful hands are all around us.
And for those of you who hate Facebook (Meta), remember - it’s just like any other tool or social media platform in life - it can be used for harm or good.
You just have to decide which way you’ll use it in 2022.
Nicole Allshouse is a former television reporter and host, and a regular contributor to 1819 News. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com