Jon Potter is not your typical 29-year-old guy. Matter of fact, many people in his hometown of Pittsburgh consider him quite the superhero. His notoriety began back in 2015 when he actually did something the opposite of what a superhero would do.
A woman walked up to him and politely asked if he could give her a ride to a women’s shelter. He told her no, and walked away. But almost immediately, his conscience started tearing away at him. He felt terrible about turning her down and it has haunted him ever since.
So Jon, a handyman by trade, made a vow to himself that the next time a stranger needed his help, no matter what it was, he would give it. A few weeks later, he got the chance to prove himself. He found something in the Pittsburgh Reddit forum asking if someone could help install a TV antenna. So Jon did it, at no charge.
Then, someone posted that they needed a sitter for their cat. Jon did that as well, for no charge. And then, Jon was doing just about anything that would pop up.
Says Jon: “I decided that for the next year, if anyone asks me for help, as long as it’s legal and as long as it won’t harm anyone else, I’d do it. It sounds ridiculous, but I did it.”
In the four years since Jon turned down that woman for a ride to the women’s shelter, he has done more than a thousand good deeds for others. He has bought people groceries and he has raised money for a teen injured during a hate crime. But probably the most outstanding thing Jon has done was in August, when he donated one of his kidneys to a complete stranger.
Says Michael Moore, the recipient of Jon’s kidney: “It’s an unbelievable act of kindness. You find out that there are other people in the world who care, and that’s a strong message.”
Jon was diagnosed with high-functioning autism some time ago, and he has gone through several bouts of depression in his life. But by doing all of these things over the last four years, Jon has realized something… that he has found the missing piece of the puzzle in his life, the one that completes him and gives him such an appreciation for life, and for others.
And, boy, those others sure do appreciate him. Call it, the handyman special.