Act of kindness was no brainer for Summerside man
It was a regular grocery shopping run for Ronnie McLean and his wife, Krystal.
They were passing through the produce section of Sobeys in Summerside recently, when Ronnie turned to his wife.
“You see that lady over there?” he said, pointing in the direction of the produce section.
“I want to go ask if she needs help, but I don’t want to offend her.”
Krystal told him to go ask, encouraging him to try to help.
“As soon as he said that, I knew he needed to go and help her.”
Ronnie approached the curly, white-haired woman in the wheelchair. A basket was sitting on her lap, so far only containing a salad. She was slowly shuffling her feet in an effort to move along the rows.
“Would you mind if I helped you?” he asked the woman.
“I can manage. But, I would like that very much,” said 90-year-old, Ruth Waite.
So Ronnie grabbed the basket and started to collect the things on Waite’s list. One of those items was cream.
He had to return to his wife to ask, “Where’s the cream?”
But after fetching the cream, Ronnie didn’t stop there. After Waite purchased her handful of items, Ronnie offered her a drive back to her apartment, instead of letting her take a taxi.
He accompanied her inside the building, pushed her wheelchair to her apartment and put her groceries away for her.
“If you need any help, any time, give me a call,” he said, giving Waite his phone number.
A week later, Ronnie got a call from Waite.
“I thought she might need a lift somewhere. I didn’t think it would be about sharing our story,” he said.
Waite added, “It deserves to be heard. It’s people like him who make you believe in humanity again.”
Ronnie says it’s his history of living on the streets as a young boy that has shaped his outlook on kindness.
“It’s made me a better person. It was tough, but I made it. That’s how I look at it. It allows me to appreciate what I have now.”
Waite said she was floored by Ronnie’s kindness.
“People like him are scarce. I was a long way away from the cream when he came and asked to help,” she said with a chuckle.
Ronnie said helping others and showing kindness should be a priority.
“Sometimes people can be so busy the thought of helping others doesn’t occur that often. But I always try to reach out when I see someone who needs help.”
He added, “It made me feel good to be able to help Ruth. People need to find their humanity again.”
“It deserves to be heard. It’s people like him who make you believe in humanity again.” Ruth Waite
Ruth Waite, 90, left, and Ronnie McLean are shown on Waite’s balcony. McLean helped Waite gather her groceries, drove her home and then put her items away after he reached out to her during a grocery-shopping excursion.