A single act of kindness can change a life. These generous Redditors spared a moment to discuss the most selfless act they have ever performed. What is the price of charity? What difference does it make? Open up to these heartwarming stories about the nicest things ever done for someone else.
1. Not Letting You Log off Just Yet
An acquaintance talked about suicidal thoughts over several weeks online. One day he said, “Goodbye forever,” and left all groups. I found his address and sent an ambulance there. He’s feeling better now and thanked me a few days afterward.
2. A Hammer in Want of a Hero
Former Boy Scout here. I worked a summer camp in Missouri one summer. One week, we had a troop of mentally disabled guys stay at the camp. They were all older than standard Boy Scouts. One I took a liking to. A big dude who you would be frightened to death to cross on a dark street. But mentally, he was a five-year-old. He had zero confidence.
I wanted to work on that. So, I guide him all week but make sure he does as much on his own as humanly possible. We get to woodworking day and I help him construct as much as he feels he can. He just doesn’t want to use the hammer to sink the nails. I do a few but notice every single thing he does, he does better than he feels, and I decide I’m going to have him do it, whatever the cost.
I give him the hammer. He declines. I tell him I believe in him. He declines. I say, “Tell you what… I’ll hold the nail for you, I trust you that much. I know you won’t hurt me.” He took the hammer. I hold the nail. I bit down hard expecting a broken finger. WHACK. That nail went down like it was made of butter. He didn’t even pinch my finger as the head of the nail went down.
He hit it PERFECTLY. He saw it and dropped the hammer and started wringing his hands and tried to be excited without “making a scene.” My heart was so full for him. I felt amazing for taking that risk. That was over 20 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it. I now have two young daughters who I put my physical self on the line for regularly.
Sometimes it works out. Sometimes I gain new scars. But I know being the someone who trusts you no matter what makes any physical pain not even a consideration.
3. Even Parents Need Temps
I knew someone at school who was raised by a single parent. Said parent develops cancer and my friend, who had been obviously depending on her, became utterly depressed. Couldn’t cook meals, finish schoolwork, do sports, and most of his time was dedicated to his sick parent. I cooked/bought meals for him, helped him catch up all his missed classes, organized stuff to get him outside, etc. he’s doing better now, so is his mum, although we don’t really talk anymore. Still, it felt worthwhile.
4. No Child Should Go Hungry
When I was 13, I was going to have lunch at the school snack bar, and this 10-year-old kid shows up and is talking with his friend about not having money for lunch, so I bought him lunch while I had a water bottle (with what I had left). Three months later he finds me at school randomly around the place and thanks me. Felt nice.
5. The Shirt off His Back…Can Be Replaced
I had a patient who was an older gentleman who fell and hurt his arm. The patient was crying at the scene because we had to cut the sleeve off of his shirt to get to his arm, and he stated that he couldn’t afford to replace the shirt. Came back to work two days later and my crew and I went to Wal Mart, bought him some new shirts, and went back to his house to deliver them. He was so surprised and so happy. And his X-rays were negative on his arm, which was even better.
6. Bon Appetit
I met a homeless dude who said he was hungry. Instead of giving him money and doing who knows what with it, I drove back to work to the restaurant I work at and got him some food and found him 30 minutes later. When I pulled away, he was already halfway through one part of the food. Sometimes doing good really does pay.
7. E-Charity Comes From the Strangest Places
A friend I went to high school with someone who is now an elementary school teacher at a school without a lot of money. She did one of those “GoFundMe but for teachers” things, I can’t remember the site exactly or what the project was—something tech-related. She posted it on Facebook, and there was a decent amount of sharing and stuff, but outside of a few $25-$50 donations, there wasn’t a lot of actual activity.
A month or two goes by and I check up on it again, it’s only like halfway to the goal with a few weeks to spare. I finished it out and paid for the rest of it, I want to say it was $300 or something like that. Never told anyone I know about it, left it anonymous on the donation too. This is actually the first time I’ve mentioned it to anyone at all. Just felt good.
8. It’s a Bleeding Shame We Don’t Step up
I (riding on my bike) saw a man lying on his back in the middle of an adjacent sidewalk. While it’s fairly common around here to find homeless people passed out in doorways and whatnot, and therefore relatively easy to ignore, this guy was different. Nicely dressed, clean, not obviously homeless, and really, really still. Nobody was stopping.
It was in broad daylight. I got off my bike and checked on him—his eyes were rolled back in his head, then would randomly roll around, his pulse was weak and slow, he was breathing, but very slowly and shallowly. Once I stopped people started getting interested, but when I asked someone to call 9-1-1, everyone took off.
I called them myself, and they wanted me to do CPR. I only had one functioning arm, so I again asked for help. All the rubberneckers again disappeared. Fortunately, an ambulance arrived quickly. I still don’t know what happened to him, but I hope he was okay. I also called 9-1-1 for a guy that was obviously homeless, and drunk, at night in a mostly deserted area, because he was passed out face down on a sidewalk with a nearly empty bottle of bourbon in his hand, and a growing puddle of blood stemming from where he slammed his head when he fell down.
I would rather risk some personal safety than wonder if another human bled out because I didn’t want to be bothered. Yes, I understand not stopping to help a guy in a van on the side of a deserted road in the middle of the night, or another dozen other scenarios. Get somewhere safe and call the police! But I’m baffled as to how people can just flow around a person in need in broad daylight in a well-populated area.
9. A Friend Can Save a Life
Took the time to listen. There was this girl who was a grade below me. She didn’t have a lot of friends. Seemed to come from a strict family. We went to a small school, so it’s hard not to at least know a face. On a school trip, we got to talking. Her details are not important. I had been through some stuff. Small school. Small community.
My stuff was known. I assume that’s why she opened up to me. I ran into her several years later. She said I saved her life with that conversation. She’d been thinking about suicide. Now she was thriving in college. I haven’t forgotten that lesson.
10. My Dinner With the Less Fortunate
I live in a city. So usually, I just ignore all the beggars asking for money because it’s so common. But one day I decided to head to a Popeye’s for lunch. I saw a kid walking on the sidewalk on my way in, maybe 16 or 17. Long, unkempt hair. Shirt with holes. Shoes with the soles that are coming detached or had no sole at all.
And this was in the middle of summer where it’s 90+ on a daily basis. And he had some really severe sunburns. This was a kid who looked like he was really in distress. I got in line and ordered food. Decided to eat at the restaurant that day when I usually just get it to go. About 10 minutes later, the kid walked in and asked the lady at the register for water.
She was quite snobby and said no without a second thought. So, the kid’s eyes filled up, and he walked away without putting up a fight. He sat in a booth and looked like he was just trying to get relief from the heat. I hung up my phone, walked over to him and gave him $10 and said, “Head up to the counter and pick out anything on the menu.”
He wiped his tears away, his eyes lit up in genuine disbelief. He kept asking if I was sure. I insisted. So, he went up and just ordered the bare minimum, 1 piece of chicken, 1 side, and water. He came back with roughly $5 in change and wanted to give it back. I insisted he kept it and invited him to sit down and have a meal with me.
He was so polite and had a great heart. Just one of the people you meet with a gentle soul. We had some small talk. and the whole time he just kept thanking me for the food and for being generous. Afterward, I ordered him a small dessert and told him to keep the change from earlier. And got him water to go. He thanked me, shook my hand, and I was on my way.
I got back to my car and just broke down for a few minutes. I don’t know what ever happened to him. I don’t know where he ended up. I don’t know if he was just taking advantage of me or not. I’ll never know anything about his situation for sure. But it really opened my eyes to the desperate need that people are in. In our normal hustle and bustle of the day, there are people just literally struggling to survive.
Really just put my whole life and situation in perspective. I don’t know if that kid remembers me or that encounter, but I’ll remember him for the rest of my life.
11. A Life, Rewinded
My boyfriend never thought his birthdays were a special thing. For his birthday, I contacted all of his friends (weeks in advance) and asked them to send a short video of them wishing him a happy birthday as some of them are abroad. I then made a compilation video of these as well as pictures of him growing up just to show him how special he is to everyone around him, especially me, and how much he has impacted my life and so many others in such a positive way.
I showed him this after I took him on a limousine ride to the Shard in London and gifted him a star in our names at the top of the building. He’s done so much for me; I wanted his day to be just as special as he makes every day for me.
12. Take My Breath Away With Your Charity
Once I was running at a cross-country competition, and I happened to fall into pace with a girl I’d never met before from another school. We chatted a bit, just the average stuff, and she seemed nice. I soon noticed that she was occasionally taking a puff from an inhaler. When we were about two-thirds of the way around the mile-long track, she tried to take a puff, but it had run out.
Soon enough she was having a full-on asthma attack, and I didn’t really know what to do, but I knew it was quite serious. I told her she should stop, and go to the medical tent, but she refused to. I tried to persuade her, and she was obviously in a lot of pain. I even offered to give her a piggyback, but she said we’d get disqualified, which I didn’t see as the biggest issue right then.
We were almost at the end by then, so I figured the kindest thing would just be to give up on getting in at a good place and encourage her to the end as she wasn’t giving up. I gave her my arm, and half carried her to the finish line. I let her finish the place before me because she had worked a lot harder on that race than anyone else. I haven’t seen her since, and I can’t even remember her name, but I hope she’s doing well.
13. Guidance Gets Graphic
An old buddy of mine was having trouble with his graphic design homework, and I was a year ahead of him in university. So, he comes to me asking for help because he knows he isn’t that good. I proceed to go to his room and sit there for a solid six hours helping him understand fundamentals, learn hotkeys, and answer any of his questions.
The next day he says he is now passing, and his teacher is proud of how much he has improved. He gives me a burrito and we call it even.
14. The Surviving Benefactor
I am a 9/11 survivor. I was in the concourse when first plane hit. Long story very short, I was carried out by a police officer and put in an ambulance. As the ambulance was pulling away, the first tower goes down. The cop’s body was found four months later. His two kids went to college on me. I did it anonymously. Not all us Wall Street guys are jerks.
15. Behind Every Pay Boost Is a Boost from a Buddy
I persuaded my boss to give my autistic colleague a raise because she deserved it and would never go to ask herself. I work for a company that sells steel parts, and we had a client that required every purchase of a particular steel grade to be hardness tested in a very tedious and antiquated way. It was a repetitive job, and the colleague I’m referring to was hired for it because of her autism.
The company got subsidized to employ her, and she liked the routine of the job. We work with a small team in the warehouse, which is in another city than the sales office (and manager/CEO) is located. It’s a relatively small company and we don’t have any scheduled HR talks or whatever. So, if you don’t make an appointment with the manager our wage or work is just never discussed.
That’s why I took the initiative to negotiate (without her knowing) to get her a pay raise. I had a very good relationship with her; we had become good friends. Due to the pleasant atmosphere in our team, she had also blossomed into a much more all-round worker than what she was initially hired for. She’s just a smart and kindhearted woman with a lot of humor but very unconfrontational and socially anxious due to her autism.
Bad experiences with people exploiting her in her previous jobs had made this worse throughout the years. In our team, she was fully accepted. She worked hard and efficiently without ever complaining. So, it was right for her to get a raise and she would have never gotten it spontaneously. I only did what I thought was right.
When I told her she got a raise, she was super happy, in tears. We are still friends and see each other, even though she is retired now. Yesterday I had lunch at her house, which we do every couple of months. And she told me more than once how happy she is that the last job of her career was such a positive experience.
16. Your Trash Is My Responsibility
I was walking down the street yesterday and someone’s garbage can was flipped over because it was windy, so I picked it all up for them. There was quite a bit of trash laid out over their lawn, and I assume they weren’t home. It’s probably not the nicest thing I’ve done, but it’s the one that came to mind first due to how recent it was.
17. We Should All Be Each Other’s Food Bank
This one sticks out. I was at a gas station roughly 11 pm on a weeknight. The young girl in front of me has the counter filled with junk food and soda. Basically, the stuff to keep you going on a long night. Anyway, her card was declined, and she seemed very upset. Keep in mind, while upset, she was never rude or anything. Just annoyed.
I walk to my car with my stuff after I paid, while she sorted out her card issue. I then notice the only other car in the station is filled to the brim with clothes/belongings. It then clicks in my head this girl is down on luck. I walk back in the store and bump into her at the door. I tell her if she wants, I’ll gladly buy all the things for her and anything else she needs.
She gave me this odd look and agreed. I’m probably 24 years old at the time. After helping her carry the stuff to her car she looked at me with the saddest face and asked, “Why did you do that?” I smiled at her and said. “You were in the store buying all the foods I would be buying in a similar situation, so I figured you were normal. Now if you were buying the bananas and old fruit, I would have been more skeptical.” We had a short laugh about it, and we went our separate ways. Always wondered how things turned out for her.
18. Build Your Own Identity
I had a student a number of years ago whose mom had died when she was little, and her dad had abandoned her and scooted over to Europe. She was being raised by her sister, who was two years older than her. She didn’t have any copies of any of her official documentation, like her birth certificate or social security number. I had her when she was 15, and we bonded well.
I knew her situation and helped her and her sister out (rides to work, making sure there was protein and vegetables in the fridge, stuff like that.) Eventually, college time rolls around, and she kind of nervously came to me and said she needed help getting her paperwork in order so she could take her driver’s test and start applying to schools.
Let me tell you, it’s a nightmare to try to get paperwork from NYC (she was born in a hospital there but couldn’t remember which one) without a parent in the picture. It took us the better part of six months to get it, which involved several failed attempts, a newspaper story, and the involvement of our congresswoman’s office.
Eventually, though, from all the press, she got her paperwork AND a woman’s league adopted her and hooked her up with a scholarship. Good stuff.
19. Make Use of Every Color
I’ve bought both groceries and school supplies for several families in the area that obviously needed the help but didn’t’ have the ability to ask, or were just unable to. One that sticks out in my head the most was a young woman who was trying to buy both food and school supplies during a tax holiday we have here in Alabama.
She was in front of me at Walmart, and just flat out couldn’t cover all that she needed, so she started putting stuff back. Her daughter crying over crayons was what broke me. Little girl wanted the big box, and her mom was putting it back. I said excuse me, walked past her and put my card in the reader. No kid should ever have to cry over the big box of crayons.
20. Everyone Deserves Kindness
After this girl in third or fourth grade had bullied me for months, I found her crying one day all the way in the back of the bus. I asked her what was wrong, and she refused to tell me. I spoke to her friends and they said she wouldn’t tell them either. I went and sat down with her and managed to get her to tell me what was wrong.
It turned out her father had been assaulting her, and he had just been sentenced to prison. I sat there the rest of the bus ride and talked to her about it and helped her calm down a bit. I know that must have extremely traumatic and I hope her life is better.
21. No Going Back From This
I talked to a friend who wanted to kill himself. His family was trash and didn’t even try to prevent it. Some of his other friends condoned it and one even tried to help. Apparently, I was only person who told him that it was a mistake. Eventually, he got through his troubles, graduated from college shortly after, and now lives with his amazing fiancée. It can get better, folks. I can think of very few situations where suicide is the answer.
22. Money Won’t Solve Everything, But It’s a Start
After spending much of my 20s asking my Dad for financial help, I was finally able to return the favor. Dad hit hard times and while I wasn’t in great shape either, I paid his mortgage for the month. Another time, I reconnected with my high school best friend, and he wasn’t doing too well. He was getting a divorce and had lost his job.
He didn’t ask, but I sent him $100 as a gift to help him power through. Maybe I got played, but he wasn’t the type before, so I doubt it. I don’t have many friends, and the ones I do have tend to have the kind of problems I can’t physically do anything about. But I help when I can. I don’t believe in saying no when someone needs help, I can afford to give. I’m no saint either, but at least I know I’m not a total jerk.
23. Pay It (Re: My Tuition) Forward
I helped a waitress at a restaurant I frequent. After a few months of patronage, I knew most of the staff and was on a first name basis with them. I learned that she was working six days per week, eight to ten hours per day, and going to school full time (five days per week, six hours per day), plus she traveled by bus between two and three hours per day.
A quick bit of mental math…on a bad day she could spend 19 hours with her obligations, not counting bathing, eating, or homework! And after she paid for her tuition, she only had 10% of her paycheck left over. As I have no family nor children of my own, I decided to pay for her university. She has since quit her job and is focusing on her studies.
She regularly sends me updates about her classes and I’m happy to report she’s getting straight As as a psychology major.
24. What the Doctor Ordered, Given by Me
I switched from one type of insulin to another. After switching, I had about 30 vials of Novolog left over that I didn’t need. We had a guy come out and do electrical work on our house and saw that he wore an insulin pump. I asked him what kind of insulin he used. He said Novolog. I asked him if he wanted my leftover, non-expired, still sealed vials.
He said sure. I imagine he was thinking that it was going to be only a few. I loaded them all up into a Walmart bag and gave them to him. I don’t know if he had to pay out of pocket or anything for his, but even if he did, the total cost to him for it could have well exceeded $1,500 in just co-pays alone. He was nearly in tears when I told him to keep it all.
25. A Job Well Done (and Hopefully Got)
I saw an old man riding his bike while trying to hold a large bucket and felt obligated to ask if he needs a ride. He said yes. We loaded his stuff up and off we went. He said he was heading to Dollar General. I said no problem, anywhere else you need to go? He was going to ride his bike 15 miles to the Human Resources office to get his food stamps.
I said I got you man. Asked him his favorite music. I put on “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” He just sat there eating his chips from Dollar General and bobbing his head to the music. On the way back we got some McDonald’s. He said it was the best day of his life. It was the best day of mine.
26. No Good on an Empty Stomach
In high school, I worked at a grocery store next door to a Subway. It’s where I would eat during my lunch everyday cause I knew the people who worked there, and they were really nice—I’d occasionally get a free cookie or chips for no reason—and the places were partnered so we got a discount. We also got punch cards that said every sixth or seventh sandwich was free.
I had a free sandwich that day I was looking forward to. However, I overheard a coworker I didn’t know yet (we were both 17) talking to another coworker (the “store mom” who everyone loved and knew) about how hungry she was. Apparently, her family was really poor, and she hasn’t been paid yet so she wasn’t going to get to eat today.
I waited till the girl went to go do something in the back and gave my free meal card to the “store mom” and told her to say a customer left this or something and give it to the girl so she wouldn’t be embarrassed. She did and the girl cried and then got a FAT sandwich. It apparently made her whole week. I never tell this story ‘cause it makes me sound like I’m stroking my own ego.
27. Who Needs a Hug?
There was an elderly woman with Down’s Syndrome in the same hospital room as my grandmother after she had fallen and broken her pelvis bone. This woman couldn’t speak English that well, and she was very old and sick. She kept complaining that her leg was hurting, and would repeat the same sentence over and over and then begin to whimper.
It looked as if she was going to cry, so I went over to her and gave her a hug. A huge smile spread across her face, and then I drew her a picture of a dog. For a few moments, she forgot about all of her pain and loneliness. Brought my mom to tears.
28. Not Being Paid to Cover the Difference, But He did Anyways
I used to work in the visitors’ clubhouse for a single-A baseball team. I’d also help do things on the home side, and during the game, if I got what I needed to get done, I could watch a few innings. All that is to say I didn’t spend all my time in the visitor’s locker room. After the game was over, one of the visiting players came up and told me he was missing money from his wallet, something like $150.
There’s very limited access to the clubhouse. Besides me and like one or two other guys, it’d only be members of their team. I didn’t want to think any of his teammates did it, and I didn’t want to chance wrongly accusing any of my clubhouse coworkers. I ended up just giving him $150 of my own money (the job paid terribly but I got $45 a night for doing the laundry, so I had cash on me). I wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck or anything, but still.
29. Your Space Is Myspace and Your Life
I met a girl on Myspace (this was back in the day) when I was just randomly messaging people that looked interesting. Over the course of three days, I realized she was very suicidal. She had a plan of when and how she would kill herself (that evening) and the method was lethal. I worked as a counselor at the time, so I knew this was incredibly serious.
She had written to me earlier in the day about her plan. When I saw the messages a few hours later and responded, she did not respond, and I freaked out. All I knew was her name and the city she lived in, so I called the police there and they were able to track her through her IP address. While all of this was playing out, it was the longest two hours of my life.
They got to her house in time, and she was taken to a psychiatric hospital. The police called me to tell me that she was okay, and later on, her mom called me crying and thanking me. The girl called me after she got out of the hospital and thanked me. She asked me why I cared so much to go through all that to keep her from committing suicide and I was taken aback.
I told her she was a person and even though I didn’t know her very well, I certainly didn’t want her to die and I cared about her. We’ve hung out a few times and we’re still friends on social media. Her life has had ups and downs, but man, I’m so glad she’s alive to experience it all. I have no doubt she would be dead if I hadn’t been randomly messaging people on Myspace.
For anyone that does not know regarding suicide: When the person has a timeline of when they want to do it, it’s serious. When they have a plan of how they would do it and the plan is feasible, it’s serious. When the method they are selecting is lethal, it’s serious. They need professional help if they are at those points and having all three means they need intervention asap.
30. Justice—Like Charity—Is Blind
This is about six steps below nice and falls under being a decent freaking human being. I was driving down a long-ish hill in an urban area a few years ago. No stop signs or signals. There was a crosswalk in the middle of the hill and as I approached, I saw a blind person with a white cane just standing there, I assume waiting to cross.
Cars were just blowing by. I slowed, stopped in front of the crosswalk (edit: in the middle of the darn street) put the car in park/pulled emergency brake, got out, left my damn car door open, and walked over to the person and asked them if I could escort them across the street. And I did. I was SO PISSED at everyone who did nothing while that poor person stood there, just waiting for someone to be decent.
31. A Little for Me Can Go a Long Way for You
When my father passed 20 years ago, he left me a little money from a life insurance policy. My best friend at the time had three young children, and although both she and her husband were working hard, they were struggling. She was waitressing at the time the hours her husband was off work and on weekends at several different restaurants.
For Christmas, I sent her $1,000 cash and signed the note from an anonymous customer from the restaurant. She used the money to buy glasses for her and all three of her children, bills, and food. I was there when the package got delivered by some random accident and totally played dumb. She SOBBED. She was so grateful.
She will NEVER know it was me. I will NEVER tell her. One of her other friends actually stepped forward and took credit for sending her the money and I STILL kept my mouth shut.
32. A Fresh Start Begins With a Sponge
A friend I knew from an internet message board had her kids removed from her house due to issues with cleanliness. She still had custody, but they had to live at a hotel (which she could ill afford) until the house was judged fit. She was getting help from a social worker on other issues, but the cleaning was overwhelming.
She was stressed and panicked and posted about it. She lived about 45 minutes from me. A friend and I went up to her house with all the cleaning supplies we could gather, and some gloves, and left our judgment behind. We just dug in and tackled it.
33. Sisters Should Stick Together, Regardless of Seating Plan
I switched seats on a plane with a little girl who wanted to sit next to her sisters. The woman in that row wouldn’t switch seats because it wasn’t an aisle seat (it was a window seat). Rather than ruin that girl’s flight, I switched with the lady who wouldn’t move and took the girl’s seat so she could sit beside her sisters.
34. A Friendly Face on the Way to Shelter
The one rule we all follow in NYC is to keep your eyes down on the subway. No eye-contact. But one evening on my commute home, I saw a young woman with a small child and a large suitcase on the L train. She kept glancing around nervously. When she got up to leave at the First Ave. stop, she lugged the suitcase and kid on to the platform.
I knew that station didn’t have an elevator, and rather steep stairs. It wasn’t my stop, but I hopped off. I leaned down to pretend to tie my shoe and kept my eye on them. I didn’t want to freak her out. She got to the stairs and looked around. I pretended like I’d only just noticed her predicament as I walked up. I noticed she had a bruise on her face.
I offered to help, and she let me carry her suitcase up the stairs. She thanked me, and I started to leave. But something made me pause and turn around. I asked her if she needed any help getting to her destination. She nodded. I didn’t ask her any questions as I walked with her and the kid to an apartment nearby. We didn’t talk. I think she maybe said 10 words to me.
I didn’t need to know her story. I left, with a small “have a nice night.” I walked directly into a bar on the corner, ordered a drink, and cried quietly to myself for about five minutes.
35. Did You Forget Something?
After rehab, a woman my age (young adult) and I took the shuttle to the airport together. They dropped us off at the same place and I was helping her with luggage and boxes probably more than I should have, but I had three hours to kill and could use something to do. When she had to pay to FedEx an overweight box to home, she went white and realized she left her purse on the shuttle provided by the rehab.
It had her phone and wallet and everything she needed. She was panicking really hard, so I was able to kind of keep cool and start problem solving. We used my phone and I stayed nearby, and we called everywhere we could (for some reason nobody was answering our calls, despite having given us all these numbers for post-release support).
We got in touch with the shuttle, who reluctantly circled around to drop her purse off. We had a smoke and I saw her off. I thought she was really cute too, but I also didn’t dare ask to keep in touch or for a number. It could be a cool meeting story but we both just left rehab and she was still flustered so I just said take care and left.
She would have been okay without me, but I’m sure it helped that I was a familiar face and had some phone numbers with me instead of just asking a stranger, calling her friends to do it and not knowing if the purse would show up or not.
36. Kill Him With Kindness
I was sitting on a bench on the football field all alone. It wasn’t even a game on no-one around. No wonder, it was still 6 am. A random older guy came to me while he was walking his dogs. He was swearing and shouting at me that I have nothing to do there, even that it was a public place. He yelled that I just leave garbage around while showing me the garbage on the ground.
Of course, I didn’t do anything like that, I was just harmlessly sitting there minding my own business. He kicked me out of there and there left. I was angry because he kicked me out of public place, but also felt sorry because the field was quite big and there was a lot of garbage. When I made sure he wasn’t around I sneaked there and cleaned the whole place while he was gone. I wasn’t there from that day. I hope he was happy that he didn’t have to deal with that garbage himself.
37. Everyone Should Have Friends With Benefits
I knew this girl and had been seeing her casually when her sister died suddenly from an aneurysm. This girl and I never hung out outside of parties and hooking up from time to time, but when I found out her sister died, I reached out to her and asked if I could do anything for her. She wanted to come to my farm and shoot guns (this was about three days after her sister died).
I brought out a bunch of stuff for her to shoot and a baseball bat and a pretty big old tube TV for her to smash. I’ll never forget watching her tiny 100 lb. frame sobbing and swinging at that tv with a baseball bat until she collapsed in the grass. I pulled a blanket over her, and she laid her head in my lap and cried for what seemed like hours.
We didn’t really talk during any of it and I kind of just facilitated what she wanted to do. Five years later, when my older brother died, all I wanted in the world was to have someone’s lap to lay my head on and for everyone to shut up and let me be still. It was then that I realized how special what I did for her was.
I ran into her last year at a bar when I was visiting my hometown, and she broke down and told me how much what I did meant to her, and we ended up crying together on the bench outside the bar and just sat there with her head on my shoulder being still together. It meant the world to me that night because hardly anyone understands the importance of just being there, with nothing to say.
38. The Families You Choose
I have a chronic illness that landed me in the hospital one time. I shared a room with an elderly woman who had rheumatoid arthritis and her fingers, hands, legs, etc. were all deformed such that she couldn’t physically move properly. Throughout the stay, I noticed that she was very poor and didn’t have many people visiting her, and her son refused to visit her as well.
She soon got moved to a rehabilitation center. After I got better, I looked her up and visited her at the center. We developed a friendship, and I kept visiting her. I would buy her new and warm clothes for winter and also give her a bit of money to buy some better food for her and her bedridden husband. Sometimes I would wheel her downstairs in her wheelchair so she could catch some fresh air. I’m now her goddaughter, and she treats me like the daughter she never had. I only wish to give this lady a happier life.
39. Gone Baby Almost Gone
My daughter and I were at the mall when I saw a very young boy, think 18-24 months old, trailing behind a group of people. They seemed unaware of his presence, but he was intensely focused on them and trying desperately to catch up with them. I found it unusual that they weren’t turning to check on him at least. (I assumed one of them was his mom.)
Finally, they pulled far enough ahead of him he recognized he wouldn’t be able to catch up and he stopped walking and started crying. The “Mom” in me kicked in. I held out my arms in the universal “let me pick you up” gesture and he immediately raised his arms to allow me to pick him up. I did so and power walked as fast as I could to catch up with the group he was following.
When I got them to stop, I was shocked to find out he wasn’t theirs! I’m thinking, oh crud?!? Who does this baby belong to?!? Then a lady at the back of the group recognized him and said she knew his Mom, but she had no idea they were at the mall that day. We decided to take him back the direction we all came from and hope for the best.
About halfway back through the mall, we see mall security with a frantic and distressed woman speaking rapidly in a foreign language. Her approximately 12-year-old daughter looking pale and scared nearby. I knew immediately this was the boy’s mom. I walked up to her, she looked at me confused, then saw her son in my arms.
I’ll never forget the look of relief on her face as I handed him to her. She hugged him tightly, crying, kissing him, yelling at her daughter. My guess is big sister was supposed to be watching him and didn’t pay close enough attention. I gave mom a hug. Waved at security and left. Hopefully, big sister and mom pay closer attention in the future. That could have ended up way worse.
40. Shouldn’t Be Alone for This
Once I found a girl curled into a ball in the subway stairs. She had been having coffee with her friend. In the time she had reached the station, she got a call that her friend had been hit by a car and died. She was in shock. I stayed with her for half an hour, simply being there so she wasn’t alone, until she recovered enough to go on her way. We’ve never met again, of course. This is a huge city.
41. Pre-Show Preparation
Not me, but my basketball coach gets to school two hours early to welcome in a homeless student, get him a change of athletic clothes, and lets him shower in the locker room. He also buys him breakfast and lunch every day. Because of my coach, no one knows this student is homeless, and he doesn’t have to be embarrassed about looking dirty or smelling bad.
42. Too Young to Be a Pancake
This happened about 10 years ago. I had an early childhood education class in college that involved observing/interacting with preschoolers. The college has a daycare for locals and teachers. One day, we all decided to take the kids to a nearby park. This park was pretty secure but there was a very busy road right next to it, and there were gaps in the fences.
One kid’s mom decided to come early to pick up her son. She parked on the other side of the street and was waiting to cross. The kid saw her and basically immediately started running and climbed through the fence and was going into the street. I noticed and ran as fast as I have ever in my life, leaped over the fence (it was only about three feet tall) and grabbed the boy literally a split second before a huge flatbed truck zoomed passed going at least 65+ mph.
I looked up and saw the mom and tears were pouring from her eyes and she was screaming because from her perspective all she could see would definitely give the impression her son was hit. So, she runs over and I just hand her the boy and she’s in total panic and terror. The instructor gets over and tells me thank you and says, “We are never coming to this park ever again,” and she holds the mom as she’s crying. I just stand there in shock. She took the kid home. We all walked the kids back to class.
43. Can’t Put a Price on Education
On September 14th, 1986, my dad dropped me off at boarding school and gave me a five-dollar bill. I never heard from him again. He never paid my tuition bill. So, from the age of 14, I took every job I could get and worked my way through. At $4 an hour, I didn’t even come close to paying off my entire bill, but the school let me stick around because I was a model student in and out of the classroom.
We get to graduation. I opened my little diploma thing expecting to see a bill in five figures. Instead there was a note: “Congratulations on your graduation. A group of us who believe in you and love you have taken care of your bill. We are proud to present you with your diploma.” I later found out that one of my friend’s dad, a fairly well-off dentist, went fundraising among his golf buddies because he didn’t want to see me enter life at 18 under crushing debt.
44. License to Give Thanks
On a Monday afternoon, I came home from work to find a letter in the mail. It was addressed by hand and the return address wasn’t familiar. I thought to myself “this can’t be good!” I opened the envelope to find my driver’s license and a note. I was unaware that I had even been missing my driver’s license. Apparently, on the prior Saturday, I had managed to drop it from my wallet somehow.
This nice person found it on the sidewalk, went home, wrote her note, addressed an envelope to me, and put a stamp on it, then deposited it into a mailbox in time for the Saturday pickup. By Monday, it was already back safely in my hands before I had even realized that it was missing.