Teen’s Random Act of Kindness for a Blind and Deaf Airplane Passenger Reminds Us That There is Still Good in the World

Image of teen Clara Daly using sign language.CBS Philadelphia

An act of kindness sparked by an honest request over an in-flight loudspeaker has gone viral. When Alaska Airlines made an announcement asking for help during a cross-country flight, a teenager answered the call.

Clara Daly, 15, was traveling from Massachusetts to Los Angeles with her mom when she volunteered to help a fellow passenger. Flight attendants were trying to assist Tim Cook, a deaf and blind man, during the six-hour trip, and asked if anyone knew American Sign Language.

Initially, staff members did their best in trying to understand his needs, but were struggling with communicating. That’s when someone suggested using the paging system to ask for a volunteer.

Clara, who started studying sign language a year ago, was happy to help communicate with the man, who wanted to ask for a cup of water. She knelt and took her time signing with her hands into his, allowing him to read her fingers.

She wound up keeping him company throughout the rest of flight, learning about his life and why he was traveling. Mr. Cook, 64, shared how he lost his sight and hearing and discussed his time as a traveling salesman, and they both talked about their families in Massachusetts.

He was heading back home to Portland, Oregon — a layover during their flight to L.A. — after visiting his sister in Boston. Touched by the interaction, one of Mr. Cook’s row mates snapped a photo and posted a message on Facebook to her friends about Clara’s kindness.

Lynette Scribner was seated in the same row as Mr. Cook and another gentleman who also helped out. Everyone on the plane was taken by the young lady’s kindness and the flight attendants’ attentiveness:

“It was fascinating to watch as she signed one letter at a time into his hand. He was able to ‘read’ her signing and they carried on an animated conversation. When he asked her if she was pretty, she blushed and laughed as Eric, who had learned a few signs, communicated an enthusiastic yes to Tim. I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being. All of us in the immediate rows were laughing and smiling and enjoying his obvious delight in having someone to talk to. Huge kudos to the flight attendants of Alaska Airlines who went above and beyond to meet Tim’s needs. I can’t say enough about this beautiful young woman named Clara who didn’t think twice about helping her fellow passenger, and Eric’s instant willingness to assist as well.”

Mr. Cook told People magazine that it was the best trip he ever had, and he’d had a nice conversation with Clara after having a rough start to his day. Both he and Clara were caught off guard by the amount of attention their interaction garnered, but they hope it inspires others to look after one another.

In this clip from CBS Philadelphia, you’ll get to meet Clara and her parents, and hear more about this heartwarming story. It turns out this young teen has a naturally giving spirit!







What are your thoughts on this young lady’s kind gesture? Have you ever had a chance encounter like this that made someone’s day?