93-year-old seeks Good Samaritan who helped her by writing letter about race relations

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An elderly woman is searching for the Good Samaritan who helped her on I-75.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – A 93-year-old woman is trying to find the Good Samaritan who stopped to help her when she got stranded on the side of a highway in Michigan.

Alyce Gilroy said she was driving home when she started having car trouble.

After she realized she didn’t have her cellphone with her, she started to pray for help.

That is when her prayers were answered.

She said an African-American man stopped to help her.

“He said ‘I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to help you,'” she told WXYZ.

At first, she said she couldn’t understand why her rescuer would think that she would assume she was in danger.

Later, she thought about the broken trust within the African-American community and how race and fear are playing out in America.

The woman told WXYZ that the unfairness bothered her, so she sent a letter to the local newspaper describing the encounter.

She hopes the letter reaches the Good Samaritan, whose name she cannot remember.

The woman said she just wants to say “thank you.”

Below is the text of the letter as published in the Oakland Press:

Good Samaritan Saves an Elderly Lady

By Alyce Gilroy

In these times of disharmony and racial tension, here is a story of redemption.

When a 93 year old woman’s car breaks down while driving on I-75 it is a frightening experience. As I was driving back from my daughter’s home, I felt something tugging on the right side of the car. At first I panicked and then told myself to calm down. I took three deep breaths and pulled my car over to inspect the damage. There was a large piece of rubber that my tire was dragging. I tried to move it but it wouldn’t budge. I was stuck out here on my own.

I realized that I needed help. Call 911, I thought to myself. I went for my purse to fetch my phone. After a few minutes of frantically searching, I remembered giving it to my great granddaughter. Never give your phone to a two year old. I did not get it back. Now what?

Nervously I looked out at the heavy traffic praying for help. My son said I should have waved my panties to get attention, but at my age I think that might have scared people away. After 15 minutes of waiting and thinking about my next steps, a young African American man stopped. He approached me and said, “Ma’am, my name is Axelrod ( or was it Acacia? ) and I am not here to hurt you, but I stopped to help you.”

I wondered why he felt the need to explain that he wasn’t here to hurt me. Of course I thought he stopped to help me. Then I remembered reading about the young black men being shot by police and the violence that happened in Dallas.  Is that why he felt the need to tell me that he was here to help? I smiled at him and said, “You look like an angel dropped from heaven to me!” When I said that, he hugged me. Never have I felt more safe than in the company of this stranger. He looked at the car and diagnosed the problem. He told me that the wheel cover had come undone. He tried to remove it unsuccessfully. Then he retrieved a crowbar from his trunk and pried the cover loose.

Now that I could drive again he asked me to take car to my mechanic as soon as possible. He told me he would follow me down the road for a mile or so to make sure the car was safe. Such random acts of kindness cannot go unnoticed. If more people thought about being kind instead of correct all the time, the world would be a better place. I waved good bye and later realized that I did not get his full name nor number. I would like to find that gentleman who saved a stranded woman on the highway to thank him and offer him a tray of my much sought-after chocolate chip cookies.

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