One woman’s unlikely bond with her Uber passenger became the start of a lifelong friendship for both of them.

The world is filled with unexpected kindness. Small wonders happen every day, we just don’t always see them. Some acts of kindness, on the other hand, are so significant that they change lives in ways we can’t even imagine. This is what happened when Jenni Tekletsion picked up an Uber passenger who would change her life.

An impactful lift

Jenni Tekletsion, 55, was working towards her doctoral degree in business administration at Franklin University, working remotely in banking, and driving Uber on the side. She was working hard to make extra income so she could send funds to an orphanage in Ethiopia, her home country. One day, she picked up Paul Webb, an 88-year-old gentleman suffering from dementia.

Right away, Jenni recognized that Paul was lonely. They quickly hit it off, with Paul explaining to Jenni that after a stroke in 2017, he was unable to drive himself around. Jenni realized that Paul needed support and gave him her personal phone number. She told him to call her whenever he needed a ride anywhere, and she would take him free of charge. 

I told him I live nearby his house, so I said, ‘From now on, when you need a ride, just call me. I will take care of you.’

Jenni Tekletsion

A beautiful friendship

After their wonderful first encounter, Paul began calling Jenni regularly, asking for help running errands and getting to appointments. Over time, the two became true friends. Jenni developed a habit of taking Paul out to eat daily after finishing work. 

We talk about anything and everything and we usually agree on everything.

Jenni Tekletsion

The two continued to grow their bond and when Paul became very ill, his family had a decision to make. Paul’s children, who had at first been suspicious of Jenni, were faced with a tough decision: Would they put Paul in a home so that he had round the clock care for his declining condition or was there another solution? Luckily, Jenni had the best plan. She suggested to the family that she would quit her own job and become a full-time caretaker for Paul. In order to make this deal work for the family, she accepted a 50% pay cut. 

It’s marvellous. I don’t even want to think about losing her friendship. She is like a daughter to me.

Paul Webb to Washington Post

A shining example

Thanks to the support of her own family, including her husband who works three jobs himself, Jenni continues to work as Paul’s caretaker full-time. Her selflessness and love is a shining example of what being a good person is all about. She prioritizes giving back, and is always there for those who need her. In 2022, we should all strive to be a little more like Jenni!

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kindness lasts forever
Whether it’s saving someone at sea or giving up your plane seat, kindness makes a lasting impact.