UPDATE: Stranger gives elderly woman surprise bouquet of flowers

ELKHART, Ind. -- After this story aired, the mystery stranger came forward. He would like to remain nameless, but told us he pledged to do the random act of kindness after hearing about a group called Acts of Random Kindness.


Sometimes a small gesture is all that’s needed to brighten a person’s day. These moments are commonly referred to as random acts of kindness, and often, they go unrecognized.

NewsCenter 16 sat down with an elderly Elkhart woman whose day was brightened by the kindness of a stranger.

Altie Mae Kern, 82, went to the Goodwill on Jackson Blvd. to find a “sloppy” pair of shoes. Her feet and legs were swollen as the result of an ailment that would send her to the emergency room the following day. But first, when Kern left the Goodwill a stranger in a car approached her.

“I saw him motion at me and I looked around to see if it was for somebody else that he was wanting, and he said ‘no you.’”

Kern walked over to the car and was handed a bouquet of flowers.
The stranger told her to have a nice day and then drove off.

“It’s a possibility that maybe the guy just lost his wife or his mom Memorial Day and he just wanted to give somebody some flowers, which I appreciate him very much,” said Kern. At the time Kern didn’t know she was hospital bound, but looking back she said the stranger might have been sent prematurely to cheer her up.

Kern’s grandson, Brian Matthis, wants to find the kind stranger who brightened his grandmother’s day. It not only made Kern’s day but Matthis’ day as well.

Matthis has a message for the man, “I am thankful and I feel like you should be recognized.”

The entire family is grateful and curious to know what motivated the stranger to give the unexpected gift.

“They’re not the prettiest things in the world, but to me they are,” said Kern. Kern hopes that when she returns home from Elkhart General Hospital that the flowers she carefully placed in a vase will be alive and well.

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