Mother Uses Last Bit of Change To Help Stranded 'Big, Hairy, Tatted-Up Biker'


Sometimes the urge to perform a kind deed for another person comes in the form of a little voice in our heads. There’s really no explanation for why this little voice appears, but it is always worth it to shed light and kindness on someone’s life.

A great example of this was when the destructive Camp Fire in Paradise, California, forced many people out of their homes, leaving them without jobs, money, homes and belongings.

A man named Wayne Williamson was walking down a highway in California on his way to a job interview when a stranger named Greg Beyelia heard a little voice telling him to stop and pick up Williamson. He ended up driving him to his interview, buying him lunch and even buying him a brand new phone.

This left Williamson at a loss for words and feeling incredibly loved and blessed after the fire took everything he had.

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Similarly, Medford, Oregon, resident Grant Hidy was stuck walking over a mile back to his house because his motorcycle ran out of gas.

According to Mail Tribune, Hidy was wearing dark clothing when his motorcycle ran out of gas on a frigid Monday night. He was on his way home from work and was already noticing the freezing effects of the cold air.

Due to issues with his fuel gauge on his bike, he usually has to mentally calculate the fuel he has left.

“I have an issue with my fuel gauge, so I track miles on my bike by looking at the odometer,” Hidy said. “I thought I had, like, 10 more miles’ worth of gas in there. … And I didn’t.”

He decided to make the long trek home to get a gas can after dragging his bike some of the way. He didn’t want to call for help because his kids were being put to bed. That’s when good Samaritan Tina Smithee-Ortiz and her 4-year-old daughter stopped to help.

The mother and daughter had just finished drying their clothes at a laundromat because it was too cold to hang clothes outside to dry. The mother-of-three lives in a studio apartment and survives on little, but she still decided to stop and offer this biker any help she could.

“I thought, ‘Is that guy having a problem?’” she said. “My daughter, Clover, was like, ‘Why don’t you ask him?’”

Smithee-Ortiz rarely carried cash, only dispensing $20 to get gas and go to the laundromat, resulting in a remaining $1.75 in quarters. She planned on using these quarters for their next visit to the laundromat, but instead, she decided to go fill up a gas container with as much as she could give Hidy.

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“He told me I didn’t have to, but I wasn’t asking,” she said. “It was more that I just told him we would go get him some gas.”

Hidy, raised by a single mother, understood the notion of giving all you have to help another person. He posted his thanks on Facebook, calling himself a “big, hairy, tatted up biker.”

“She tried to downplay it all but, I mean, it was a big deal to me. Nobody would’ve stopped. I told her, ‘I look like a serial killer,’” he said. “Nobody’s going to stop and ask me if I need any help. When I go into grocery stores, security follows me around like I’m going to steal something.”

Hidy decided to mail Smithee-Ortiz a gift card as thanks, despite her refusal. She noted that her biggest thanks was the fact that her young daughter was so excited about helping someone.

Smithee-Ortiz just hopes that the story will be uplifting and inspiring to others.

“Like I said, if I was broken down, I just hope someone would care enough to stop and ask if everything was OK,” she said.

It’s these moments that leave little pieces of joy in others’ lives. You never what kind of impact your act of kindness will have on another person’s life!

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Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a major in English, minors in both Writing and Communication Studies, and a Technical Writing concentration. She is currently working on designing and writing a book of poetry to financially support a new homeless ministry of Grove City, PA called Beloved Mercy Ministry. In her spare time, she loves to sing, play piano, exercise, traverse cities, and find the cutest coffee shops. She also has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Philadelphia, PA
Scholarship of Academic Achievement and Moral Character
Grove City College
Grove City, PA
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Visual Design, Document Design, Technical Communication, Literature, Computer Ethics