It has been said that “the more love you give away, the more love you will receive”. Whether or not this is the impetus for doing a good deed, most people wouldn’t dare take a chance of doing something that would result in bad karma. These Redditors opted to be kind and help their fellow human beings, resulting in not just good karma but good vibes all around.
1. Coffee Karma
I used to go to a drive-through coffee shop on my way to work every morning. While I was waiting to order, I saw a dude in the car behind me with his kid, and they looked like they were talking. Something bad must have happened because the dad sadly shook his head and the kid, who was probably around nine or 10, drooped his head. I thought maybe the dad didn’t have enough to get his kid a little hot chocolate or something.
So, I ordered, and when I got to the window, I told them I wanted to pay for the guy’s stuff behind me and to add a hot chocolate to their order. That's when I found out a heartbreaking detail. I learned that all that was on their order was a small hot chocolate. I then assumed that the dude was just there to get his kid something, knowing he couldn't get anything for himself, and the kid was sad about it.
Therefore, I told them to add a large black coffee and upsize the hot chocolate. They did, and I drove off. The next day when I got my coffee, the guy who worked there reached out of the window like he wanted to shake my hand. I gave him a weird look, and he told me how the dad teared up when they gave him the coffee and hot chocolate and told him that it was paid for.
The dude gave them the money he had and said to pay for the person behind him if it would cover it. The coffee shop guy said it went on for 22 cars before one poor girl didn't have enough cash to pay for the four large drinks the person behind her had ordered. He said it was the coolest display of humanity he'd seen in a while and wanted to shake my hand. So, he did, and he gave me my coffee for free that day. I consider that pretty good karma.
2. Pet Peeve
I was waiting in line to pay at the vet, and the guy in front of me was $25 short. He said he would be able to pay them a few days later, on Friday. The receptionist said it was their policy that they were not supposed to let the pet go without full payment. This meant he would have to be charged extra for them to keep the pet overnight, and the pet would have to be away from home for three more days.
He went into one of the exam rooms to talk to the vet about his cat. I told the receptionist to put the rest of his bill on mine. Two days later, I got two cards—one from the vet thanking me for being kind to fellow customers and the other from the guy who was short on cash. I felt amazing for the rest of the week. It was the best $25 I've ever spent.
3. Stop The Bus!
I lived in Australia, and it was the middle of summer, about 43°C (109°F) in the shade. When I was leaving the shops, I noticed an 80-year-old man running for the bus, but the bus driver didn't see him. He was swearing and angry. So I stopped and asked where he was heading. He was going in the opposite direction than me, but I gave him a lift home and even a cold drink as I had just bought a six-pack.
4. Caught In The Middle
I was flying Southwest Airlines back from a family trip. If you haven't flown with them before, there are no assigned seats. Basically, you line up by a number on your ticket prior to boarding and pick whatever seat you want once onboard. When I got on the plane, I saw a man waving at me. He was a larger gentleman who was sitting in the aisle seat of his row, and another man was sitting in the window seat. The middle was empty.
When the line moved up, and I had reached his row, he asked if I would please sit in the middle seat. I was confused by this, but he quickly explained that he only flies Southwest, and once onboard, he looks for the smallest person possible to sit next to him in the hopes that it won't be uncomfortable for anyone. I'm not exactly "small", but I'm a girl and somewhat petite.
I figured what the heck and sat down. We sat comfortably during the whole flight, with him placing his hands on his stomach so as not to intrude on my space, even though I told him I was fine. We talked and joked the whole time, and it was one of the best flights I've ever had.
5. Everything Came Up Roses
I grew roses and made a bouquet of about fifteen for my then-girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. I was sitting on the bus across from this girl who was about three years younger than me. I sat down, put the vase of roses on the seat next to me, and prepared to send my girlfriend a text message. Then, I made gut-wrenching discovery. I heard someone bawling their eyes out.
The girl across from me had seen the flowers and—I'm guessing—had broken up with her boyfriend a few days prior and just started crying. When my stop came, I gathered four roses from my bouquet and said, "Look, these were for my girlfriend, but you look like you could use a few. Happy Valentine's Day", and handed her four roses. The anonymous girl grinned from ear to ear and let out a sheepish, "Thank you". I smiled back, turned around, and got off the bus.
6. Sailin’ Away
My friend and I were walking along the beach when we saw a random row boat adrift. We waded out and, with makeshift oars, sailed it back to the nearest boathouse, where they had a record of the owner. We called him up and told him, to which he told us to wait where we were. He came down and gave us both £50 ($60). How's that for good karma?
7. Two-Fur-One Deal
A few years ago, I was out walking my dog in the neighborhood park at dusk. There was a little creek that was heavily wooded and overgrown. My dog perked her ears up at something toward the creek, and I saw a furry blur. On instinct, I called out, "Doggy! Here, doggy!" Not one, but two big furry fluffy dogs came flying out of the underbrush and started happily greeting us. They both had collars on, but I only had one leash, and it was on my own dog.
I knew my dog was friendly, so I coaxed one of the two loose dogs close to me and grabbed his collar. The other one wouldn't let me grab him, but didn't want to be left behind. I wound up penning them in the empty fenced tennis court, so they wouldn’t run off and called the number on the friendly one's collar. A woman answered, all suspicious.
I asked, "Do you own dogs? Two dogs?" She replied, "Yessss?" I said, "Well, apparently, they like the park and decided to come visit on their own". She yelled, "Son-of-a—again?! We just fixed that fence. I'll be right down". I waited until she showed up with her kids, and she was so thankful. She apologized for seeming angry on the phone.
She was mad at the dogs for escaping again but so thankful that someone caught them and called her. But then good karma came back around for us. It repaid us when our own dog escaped from our yard when I was on a business trip. My husband left him in the backyard, fell asleep on the sofa, and woke up to our neighbor across the street banging on the door with our dog in hand. He had spotted our dog running back and forth across the very busy road by our house and coaxed him over with sausages.
8. Returning The Favor
I was traveling home and stopped at a gas station. When I went to pay, there was a very young couple in front of me talking. I couldn’t help but overhear them discussing the fact that they had $20 between them, which they weren’t sure would get them home, and they didn't have enough money to buy anything else. I thought to myself that they had a long trip in front of them.
When they got to the clerk, I reached over and handed the clerk my credit card and told him to fill their car with gas. The couple turned and looked at me, and then she started to cry. I told them to go get some sandwiches and drinks and that I would pay for them also. They thanked me a lot—too much. I said that if they ever got the chance and were able, to do the same for someone else. Someone had done the same for me fifteen years earlier and really saved my bacon, allowing me to get home at Christmas time.
9. An Ounce Of Prevention
I was at a bar with a friend one night when I noticed one of the particularly sloshed girls leaving. One of the shady guys who'd been sitting by himself the whole night, watching the women, got up and followed her out. I told my friend what I noticed, so we walked outside to make sure nothing was up. The guy asked her if she needed a ride home, so before she could reply, we walked over to them.
My friend asked if either one of them had a smoke he could bum. The girl handed him one, and we stayed there a bit to chat with her. The creepy dude glared at us a bit but finally gave up and went back inside. We called her a cab. I was glad to know we very likely prevented something.
10. Spare Parts
A couple of years ago, I had a Mustang, and one of the things that I did was replace my factory headlights with new ones from eBay. I was a student at the time and had noticed another Mustang—same color and all—frequently parked on the deck near me. One day, I saw that someone had broken out his headlight. So, I went home, grabbed my original one, bagged it up, and left it at his car door. The next day he/she put it on. It felt good.
11. This Deed Was A Homerun
I worked at the ticket window of a minor-league baseball team. Every Tuesday, there was a deal of two tickets for $9. Regularly, they were $9.99 apiece. We were told very seriously not to offer the discount to anyone unless they asked for it. About halfway through my shift on a game day, a family of six came up. There were four kids, and it was clear that they were low-income.
They asked for six "of the cheapest tickets" we had, which were $6 apiece. Things didn't look good when I gave them their total, and they were a few bucks short. The parents turned around and told the kids that they couldn't go to the game. The kids were devastated, so I said, "What was that?" The parents looked confused, but I continued, "Yeah, of course. We do have two for $9 tickets tonight, offered by Whole Foods. I'm so glad you asked. Let me just ring you up".
I got them seats that were way better than the ones they were going to buy for about $10 less. The parents were grateful, and the kids were so happy. The dad came up to me afterward and thanked me personally. It felt great.
12. Good Mood Food
It was pouring rain one afternoon, and I was in Arby's drive-thru. The speaker box for taking orders was broken, so they had one employee stand by it and relay the orders to the kitchen via walkie-talkie. The poor guy didn't have an umbrella, so when I drove up, I gave him mine. Then, unsuspectingly, when I went to the window to pay for my food, they didn't charge me. Good karma begets good karma.
13. Feeding The Hungry
I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Since it was a college program, I had a bunch of friends there as well. The night before we left, we all had to clean out our apartments. While cleaning out our refrigerators and pantries, we realized we had purchased more food than we could possibly eat. Not wanting to waste it, we all bagged up our leftovers and took them to the homeless crowd that often gathered outside the Santo Spirito church. It felt great to give them probably a week's worth of food. A few tears were shed as they kept saying, "Grazie Mille".
14. The Start Of Something Good
One day, driving home, I was waiting at the intersection for the light that went straight into my apartment complex. It was rush hour, and I was watching the passing traffic. I noticed a car moving super slow with the indicator on for the next turn. People were honking, and then I noticed there was a guy pushing his pickup truck that had broken down from the driver’s side window.
I immediately put my car into park and flew out to go help him. I'm a slender girl, and at the time, I was 16 and was wearing flats and a floral skirt. I ran over and started to push from the passenger side window. Suddenly, the people from the cars behind mine jumped out, and some big guys from the nearby Taco Bell ran out to come and help too. I couldn't help but wonder if anyone else would have done anything if I hadn't. It still makes me happy thinking about that good deed.
15. Stop And See The Light
It was mid-afternoon. There wasn’t heavy traffic, but there were enough people out and around. As I pulled up to the left turn lane behind someone at a red light, I noticed in the middle lane there was a guy getting out of a beaten-up older pickup filled with junk in the back, getting ready to push when the light turned green. There was someone in the driver's seat, but it looked like he was going to be struggling.
I looked around, and several people looked like they were considering helping. I'm an older white guy and drove an expensive-ish-looking convertible. This was in a not-so-great section of town with a heavy minority population. The top was down because the weather was great. There was nobody behind me, and I was in a good mood with no deadlines.
So, I hit the flashers, ran up, and started pushing as the light turned green. The guy did a double take as this yuppie-looking dude in a convertible just ran up to help, but I said, "Let's do this". He grumbled something about his sister running out of gas and nodded toward the gas station on the other side of the intersection. Every other car just drove around us, and nobody else got out.
I'm not a big volunteer person, but it reminded me why it feels so good to help people when you can.
16. Taking A Bite Out Of The Big Apple
I was in New York City for the day to get my visa, so I could move to Spain the following semester. I ended up having time to waste in Manhattan, so I walked to a couple of landmarks. While checking out St. Bart's, I struck up a conversation with a sickly homeless Cuban man who didn't speak English. Since it was around noon, I offered to continue the conversation over lunch.
There he told me about having to flee Cuba during the 80s because he was gay. Then he told me about finding out a couple of years prior that he was HIV positive. Since then, he lost his job and home. He started rooting through his bag, showing the multitude of medications he took. He touched on how his family had disowned him as well.
As a result, he ended up spending his life begging on the streets in a country where he didn't speak the language well, was exiled from his home, and was told by his family that he wasn't welcome. After he had told me his story and eaten as much as he could, I bought him some fruit, drinks, and other food that wouldn't go bad for a while. Then, I took him to buy his AIDS medication.
I eventually walked him back to St. Bart's since it was on the way to my bus stop, and he started sobbing, saying that most people had ignored him for the past couple of days. We exchanged smiles, and then I got back onto my bus and left New York.
17. Weekend Getaway
When I was in college, I went down my stairs and saw a dog with no leash or owner in sight. I sat down on the stairs and put my hand out. The dog came right over and was very nice. I thought the owner might live nearby, and his dog got out. I went upstairs and got a makeshift leash, got the dog some lunch meat and a bowl of water, and noticed he had a mud-covered tag.
It was Friday at 4:55 PM, and the city office was closing. Since I knew it belonged to someone, I took the dog in for the weekend until I could call on Monday. I bought some food, a leash, and a toy for the dog. I called on Monday and found the owner. He had been missing his dog for three weeks. He cried, and so did I. He tried to give me $100 and said that was all he could afford, but I gave it back. The dog was very sweet, well-behaved, and never barked.
18. Soft-Pedaling The Situation
One day, I was coming home from work on the bus, and a grungy, scary-looking dude came on the bus with his bike. He was older, seemingly homeless, with a ratty gray beard and tattered clothing. He sat down and held his bike, cursing and hitting it and looking around at people and telling them off. He definitely seemed unbalanced, and everybody was just ignoring him, moving away, etc.
I watched him a little and realized that he seemed unable to communicate what was going on with him to any of us. He kept yelling and swearing, creeping people out by ranting at them with nonsensical sentences, etc. I noticed he kept hitting his bike, and I looked down to see the chain had fallen off. I stood up and walked toward him, and started to bend down in front of the bike.
He almost lost his marbles, so I put my hands up and tried to show him I was trying to help. I took the chain and put it back on the bike, then lifted the one wheel up and showed him it was fixed. He leapt out of his seat, kissed my hand, and started hugging his bike and staring off with a big smile on his face. The entire mood on the bus changed. Everyone relaxed, he stopped freaking out, and at the next stop, he got off and went on his way.
19. Filled Up With Gratitude
I don't get the opportunity to do nice things for strangers a lot, but one time I was filling up at the gas station and this lady came up to me. Her baby was in the car behind me. She said, "I'm very sorry, but I'm trying to get home, and I'm out of gas. Could you spare a couple of bucks so I can get home?" I went into my wallet, and all I had was a couple of ones and a twenty. I went ahead and gave her the whole thing. She was so appreciative she started to cry. I just told her, "I have kids, too. I know how stressed I would be if I couldn't get home".
20. A Wrong Number Made Things Right
Several years ago, I got a call from an unknown number. The area code was the same as mine, so it was nothing unusual. My phone number was pretty dang close to a local pizza place's number, so it wasn't unusual to get calls for them. Normally, I'd answer and tell them they dialed a zero where they needed an eight, so I answered the call.
It sounded kind of like a guy I knew. The line had static and was cutting out, but I heard him say he was out of gas and needed to know if I could come and get him some gas. This guy was a friend of a friend. I knew him, but not that well. I felt bad that he had run out of gas, so I said I would go to help him. He told me where he was, and it was right down the road, a few miles from my house.
I knew the area well, so I headed out with a gas can in the back of my Jeep. I got there and saw a vehicle I'd never seen before. Two guys got out as I was coming down the road. As I got closer, I realized I had no idea who either of them was. I was tempted to just keep going by, but I had slowed down as I approached, so I felt compelled to stop.
We started to make small talk about them running out of gas and finally came to realize the guy called my number because he thought it was his brother-in-law's number. I ended up taking them for gas, and he bought me a sixer for it.
21. School Boy’s Santa
About eight years ago, around the holidays, my dad went to the principal at my little brother's elementary school and asked if there was a student whose family could use a little help with presents and whatnot. He didn't want any names, just a description of the family and some ideas on what the kids might like to have.
The principal told my father about a single mother whose ex-husband had left her family in pretty bad shape. She had two young children, a boy and a girl. So, our first stop was Toys"R"Us, where we got the kids all sorts of amazing stuff—Hot Wheels, Barbies, shiny bicycles, etc. It was especially fun for me, as I was in high school and was given a free pass to load a cart with all the toys I wished were available during my younger days.
Then, we picked up some items for the mom—bath salts, fuzzy slippers, basically stuff to help take her mind off things every now and then. We topped it all off with gift cards to Walmart and the local grocery store so she could add some personal touches and/or acquire some of the more basic household items they might need.
When we took everything up to the school, the principal shook my father's hand with tears in his eyes and said he'd never seen anything so kind in all his years there. My dad, ever the tough guy, played it cool and said he was happy to help. We snuck away before school let out, and the principal asked the mother to come in for a quick meeting when she arrived to pick up her kids.
I wish I still had access to the amazing letter she left behind. It was an onion cutter if there ever was one. The next year, my dad returned and made the same request. The principal handed him descriptions of three families in need and said my dad could choose. There was a family with a father/husband stationed in Iraq, another single mother, and a family headed by a patriarch who'd recently lost his job.
My father smiled and said, "Thanks, we'll take all three". My father still plays Anonymous Santa every year and always asks us not to say anything so the families don't somehow hear about it through the grapevine. He's not wealthy, religious, or looking for anything in return. He's just plain awesome.
22. Open And Shut Case
There was a man who lived somewhere near me, who had one leg, so he went everywhere on crutches. I would always see him picking up litter on the way to school. A few months ago, I was buying a birthday card for someone. He walked up outside the door and started trying to open it. It was obviously proving very difficult for him, and when he did get it open, he had to hobble through with the door scraping against him.
But that wasn't even the worst part. What really hurt was all the other people in the shop who just stood and watched him struggle. So, I stepped forward and held it open for him. He looked at me and smiled, and said, “Thank you”. We left the shop at the same time, so I held the door open for him again. Outside, he told me how few people actually helped him like that. I guess holding the door open for someone isn't that much of a big thing, but I felt so happy for the rest of the day. I think that feeling was my good karma.
23. Towing The Line
I was walking around my neighborhood, and an old lady came up to me and asked if there were any pay phones around. Apparently, she had gotten lost on the road. She was driving around looking for a gas station to get some directions but hit a curb, and one of her tires blew out. She was trying to call for a tow, but instead, I put her spare tire on in place of her damaged one and gave her directions to get her going again. She asked for my number or address so she could send me some money or a gift as a thank you, but I declined and sent her off.
24. Lending A Helping Hand
There was a guy in my dorm who was confined to a wheelchair. He couldn't use his hands and steered the motorized chair with his mouth. I didn't drink at the time and stayed in one Friday night while everyone else went out to the bars. Some jerks on the floor decided to take the guy in the wheelchair out drinking, and after they got trashed, they abandoned him downtown.
He made it back to the dorm and started ramming his chair into my door. There was no one else in the dorm, and he saw my light on. I could barely understand him, but I got that he needed to pee really badly and be put in bed for the night. I don't know why there was no one there to care for him that night, but I couldn't just leave him there.
I got him out of his chair, placed him in his bed, and took his shirt and jeans off. Then, he told me that there was a bottle hanging on his hospital-style bed that he could pee in, but I had to help him do that. So, I scooped him into the bottle, and he relieved himself. I emptied the bottle, rinsed it out, and turned to say goodnight. He was just lying there with a big smile on his face. It was probably the nicest thing I've done for a person I don't know.
25. Meter Made
When I got out of my last final in college, I noticed a row of six cars that had expired meters right outside the test building. I knew I had passed the test and I would finally get my degree, but these people were still taking the exam with 20–30 minutes to go. I went and got change and made sure that all six cars had 30 minutes on them, which was past the end of the test and then some. I got on my bike and rode away feeling like a million bucks.
26. Makin’ It Great Again
My roommates and I ordered some pizza from Pizza Hut. The delivery guy arrived, and we got the pizza and ate it. About ten minutes later, we heard a car with a loud exhaust revving in front of the house. We looked outside, and the pizza guy's car had its hood open halfway in the driveway, and he had called his co-worker to come to help him.
I walked outside to see what was up, and the car wouldn’t go anywhere. The guy said the transmission was toast. I tried to check the fluid, but it only had a filler cap, no dipstick. He told me to get in and try to move it. I took off the parking brake, and the car moved forward. I put it into reverse, and the car again moved forward.
I put it into park, and the car still rolled forward. At that point, I said, "Ah ha! I see what the problem is. The cable on your shifter is broken". I looked in the engine bay, and sure enough, the shifter cable end was old and worn and fell off the shift lever. A couple of zip ties later, and he was good to go. He was like, "This is my lucky day!" I said, "Yeah, you just so happened to break down in front of an auto mechanic’s house".
His friend then said, "Did they tip you? Because you better tip him back!" I laughed and said, "Don't you dare. Just get yourself a new shift cable put in". Then his friend said, "Ya know, I've been working for Pizza Hut for eight years, and nobody has ever done anything like this. I thought you were coming out to tell us to get off your lawn".
27. Along For The Ride
I was going to an anime convention for the break, and I saw this girl who looked panicked. So, I asked her, “What's the problem?" She said her bus pass had no money on it, and she needed to get home. I said, “Can't you call your mom?" She told me her cell phone conked out, so I told her she could use mine. She tried to call five times, but there was no answer.
I looked around for the authorities, then told her to follow me. I took her to the train, and she said, “Thank you, but how will I get out?" So, I rode the train with her, then tapped my card to let her out. Before she left, I heard my cell phone ring. It was her mom, so I told her to wait. Five minutes later, she said her mom was going to get here from there, so I told her goodbye. I got a kiss on the cheek, then left to go to the convention.
28. An Accidental Encounter
I was driving cross country once, heading to Sacramento. In Utah, I witnessed an accident happen on the highway in front of me. The driver, an elderly woman, fell asleep and crashed into the median gully. She flipped five or six times before coming to rest upside down. I stopped and helped her out of the vehicle and waited with her for the authorities.
I stayed to make a statement and to make sure the EMTs checked her out as okay. I found out that she was traveling to San Francisco to be with her daughter, who was dying of cancer. I stayed with her until she got her car towed and such, then gave her a free ride across three states and dropped her off at her San Francisco destination. It probably cost me a day of travel time, but it didn't matter. She had the short end of the stick, and I was in a position to help.
29. Happy Landings
I had just moved out of the house after high school and was living about six hours from home by myself. I had bought a skateboard hoping to pick up the old habit again and to pass the time since I didn't have a TV or internet yet. What ended up happening was that I was working too much and had a girlfriend who kept me occupied, so I didn't have time to skate.
The skateboard sat in my trunk for a few weeks. As I was driving down the road one day, I saw a kid with an old busted skateboard walking. I pulled over and walked towards him. Understandably, he was freaked out, probably thinking, "What is this dude doing, and why is he going toward the trunk?" I told him to chill, then opened my trunk and handed him my board.
He didn't believe me at first, but he took it and told me it was the exact board and trucks he had been riding. The only things different were the wheels and the fact that it was brand new and not busted like the board in his hands. It was a pretty awesome coincidence. He asked why I gave it to him, and I told him it was just because—I didn't have a reason. I got back in my car and drove to work. It was awesome seeing that kid ride around town for the next year or so.
30. A Kind Reminder
When I was in Grade 6, there was a boy in the same year level who always hung out by himself. He was a little strange, and nobody wanted to hang with him; I remember him well. He had terrible eczema all over his body and would always be scratching. Quite a few times, he would be teased and made fun of by the other kids. I talked to him, but not often.
One day I saw him playing by himself. I just felt so sad that no one would even talk to him. So, I stood up in front of my class of 40 and told them about him, how he played by himself and looked alone. I asked them all to please remember that he was there, that he was someone, and that we needed to treat him like we do our friends.
I asked them to just do a simple thing like talk to him or invite him to play games and acknowledge he was there. I can't quite remember my speech, but it made some people tear up. From that day, he was invited to play and was treated like a human being. The change in him was great; he was a lot happier. Thirteen years later, I am still good friends with him and see him regularly. Good karma all around.
31. Big Box Boost
A guy walked up to me in a Walmart parking lot and was mumbling something. I realized that he was saying he had just gotten out of prison and needed money to get to his sister's or something. It seemed pretty clear that he was ashamed of having to ask people for money. I had a $20 bill in my pocket and gave it to him. He started crying and hugged me. That was probably the first time I really felt like I made some difference in someone's life.
32. Taking Charge
During my junior year of college, I was in a super boring religion class when a classmate seized on the floor. I had never talked to the guy, but when he fell and started convulsing, the rest of the class just stood and stared, along with the professor. I jumped up, ran over to the guy, and moved all the tables and chairs away so he wouldn't bump into anything.
I felt like Superwoman. I pointed to one guy and told him to call for help. I pointed to another guy and told him to go find a tablecloth, coat, or something that we could use as padding or bedding after our classmate was done convulsing. The seizure lasted about a minute, and then he was just passed out but breathing. I went through his backpack and got his wallet with his ID ready for the EMTs.
I also got his cell phone so we could go through the contacts list for the family. The professor called his wife. The worst part was his wife was already at the hospital because she had given birth to their son the day before. Two weeks later, the guy was back in class like nothing had happened. I always kept a close eye on him after that.
33. Finally Free
A lady with MS was trapped in the trailer that belonged to people I used to buy weed from. She just appeared one day. I didn't ask questions, as I wasn't close to these people, I just bought weed from them. One day, I knocked on their door, and no one answered, but I heard, "Come in" from a small voice. So, I proceeded. There, on a mattress in the middle of the floor, was the lady with MS.
It was summer, and there was no air conditioning, so she was sweating and begging me for water. "OF COURSE", I told her, quickly going through these peoples' cabinets for a glass. I wasn't even scared they would come home. I was livid and hoping they would walk in. So, I helped her drink it and asked, "Why are you here?" She told me her family was paying them to "watch" her.
She was referred to these lowlives by a "friend of a friend of a friend". I told her that I would call her family and let them know that this wasn’t going to work, and she gave me their number. I went home, gave them a ring, and they told me they'd been putting money into a bank account for the past six months and that the people had been telling them they were on the beach and they took the lady for daily walks.
They thought it was odd that they never got to talk to her but didn't think it was anything bad. Naturally, they were mad. I told them the trailer number and told them they could call me when they're in town, and I'd take them to the place, but I wouldn’t go in. They booked a flight immediately. I went back over the next day, and the trashy dealers were home.
I was scared that they knew and would foil the plans by moving her, but thankfully, I was still under the radar. The lady and I were making eye contact every second we weren’t being watched. Finally, they all went outside, and I pretended that the woman had asked me for water. I leaned down with the fresh cup of water and whispered to her, "You're going home. Your family will be here later this evening".
She couldn't speak. She was just shaking her head and crying while reaching for my hands. I took them. Honestly, I wanted to cry, too, but I told her to try and hold it in, so we didn't look suspicious. Her family came and went, not needing me to show them to the place. I don't think of it as some heroic act; it's what nearly anyone would do.
34. A Cup Of Kindness Changed Everything
I used to work at Starbucks. It was a pretty decent job, other than the fairly regular obnoxious customers who think the world of themselves. Regardless, I got paid, so it was alright. One day, this old lady came in. I had never seen her before, but she seemed a little down in the dumps. This was not my typical "I'll be paying with my daddy's credit card" customer, so I was a little more inclined to see what was going on.
I asked her how her day was going, and she told me she was fine and ordered a cup of coffee. I could tell she most definitely was not okay and that something was definitely off. I quietly asked her if she was sure she was doing alright. She looked up at me from her purse with tears in her eyes and, voice quivering, said, "No, son, I'm not. My husband is dying, and I'm trying to learn how to live without him".
I came to learn her husband did everything for her. He kept up the house, pumped the gas, etc., and now he was losing his life. My heart just broke right there. I poured her a cup of coffee and handed it to her. She went to reach into her wallet, but I told her it was on the house. This woman looked at me and burst into tears. The store was virtually empty at that point, so we had some more time with her.
My manager gave her a hug, and the woman told me it was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for her. I just gave her a cup of coffee. It cost me nothing; I just didn't charge it. But the story didn’t end there. Later that day, I got a call from the afternoon shift manager. She had just got a phone call from a 20-something-year-old girl who asked about me.
The girl said that her grandma—the woman I had served that morning—had come and told her about our exchange. This girl was singing our praises big time, saying we changed this lady's entire perspective on the situation. I was absolutely floored and got a little choked up. Then, three weeks later, I was working on a Sunday morning.
It was right between two rushes, and this giant group came in. Big groups are always a pain to serve, but I put a smile on and got ready to take care of everyone. An older lady came up to me and grabbed my hand. She asked me if I remembered who she was—it was the lady from three weeks before. I asked her about her husband, and she responded, "Well, that's what I'm here about, son.
“I have two things to share with you this morning. First, I want you to know that my husband passed. His funeral was yesterday, and the whole family came into town for the service. The second thing I want to share with you is this. I want you to know that I shared the story of what you did for me with that cup of coffee. You may not know this, but that cup of coffee gave me an entirely new perspective on my husband's life.
“I wanted to thank you for that. Son, I want to introduce you to my family. They have something they want to say to you". She turned around and gestured to the group. One by one, they came up to me, shook my hand, and thanked me for what I did. At that point, everyone was teary-eyed. It was the strangest thing. A cup of coffee changed everything and, in the process, allowed me to celebrate the life of a stranger I never knew with his loved ones.
35. Giving A Stranger A Chance
One day, I was taking the bus to where my car was parked in a suburb outside DC. I overheard a man at the front of the bus asking the bus driver how long the trip was to an intersection right near my house. He explained that he had an interview in 10 minutes at the Safeway right there. I knew from taking this bus route there was no way he was going to make it in time.
I also knew that I would likely make it to that area just in time from where my car was parked. The man became increasingly anxious and upset at the potential of being late for his interview. As a small, white female, I knew that people would probably think I was absolutely crazy if I offered this large African American male a ride, but I did it anyway.
I explained that my car was at the next stop and I would be going right by there and that I thought I could get him there on time. He accepted. When we got in the car, he explained how he had taken three buses to get there—over two hours—and had been applying for jobs for over six months. We made it to the Safeway just in time. He thanked me and asked what he could do. I just told him to pass it on. I never found out whether he got the job, but I'm sure glad he at least had the chance. Everyone deserves that.
36. A Little Lawn Went A Long Way
I grew up next to a retired elderly couple who were the nicest people you could ever meet. The husband, Gary, was a retired Vietnam Vet and a really solid guy. He taught me how to golf when I was growing up because my father was deployed a lot, so I considered him to be family. About four years ago, he got the worst news. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and was given nine months to live.
He had a bunch of family living in the area, and at first, they were always over helping with yard work and home repairs, but that tapered off as time went on. After a while, his oldest son, Jeff, was the only guy still regularly coming over, despite the fact that he worked two jobs and lived an hour and a half away. I ended up telling Jeff that I could take care of the lawn and leaves and such.
He tried to pay me, but I explained to him that I considered his dad to be a second father to me and would not accept any money. He broke down crying, making me cry too, and gave me a hug. Gary was given nine months to live when diagnosed, but after four years, he was still going strong. He's been through several rounds of chemo but decided that he'd rather go peacefully and refused further treatment.
37. Rescued Rider
When I was 12, I was skiing through the trees once in one of those side paths that go off of the ski runs that are barely wide enough for one person. I was skiing along one, far from the main trail, when I turned a corner and saw this eight-year-old kid stuck in a tree well. I stopped, helped him out—which took 20 minutes or so—got him out of his skis, and took him back to the main area. From what I overheard, he'd been there for over an hour.
38. One For The Road
My girlfriend and I were on a trip to Oregon, scouting for a place to move to. At a rest stop on the interstate, we saw a guy who was messing with his car. I went over and asked if he needed help, and I thought it was just hot from a water leak. His story was that he got screwed over in California by a now ex-girlfriend cheating on him and was trying to get to Spokane, WA, to get to his parent’s place.
He was out of gas, out of money, and hadn't been eating much because he had been spending all he had on gas. Meanwhile, we had a styrofoam cooler with bread, meat, cheese, mustard, etc., that we had set up to save money versus hitting drive-thrus or restaurants. We gave him the whole thing, drove down to the next exit to fill a jug with gas for him, and gave him a few hundred dollars to hopefully cover getting home.
39. This Dog Had Its Day
One particularly cold night, I wanted to buy some groceries. As I was walking into a store in my neighborhood, my eyes caught a homeless man begging passersby for money. I've worked in downtown Los Angeles, so I have seen many homeless people out and about. I usually didn’t acknowledge them and would casually walk by without making eye contact.
I had become desensitized to their appeals for loose change. However, on that night, something caught my attention. It wasn't the beggar holding out the empty McDonald's cup in his right hand, but rather the companion who was by his side—his dog. It was half German Shepherd, half wolf, half I-dunno-what, and it was huge. On its hind legs, it probably could tower over me by a good two feet.
But underneath that heavy fur, I could tell it was skinny as a rail and probably hadn't eaten a full meal in days. While its master continued pestering others, the dog looked right at me. Its ears were pulled back in despondency. When our eyes made contact, I nearly broke. It took me half an hour to finish my grocery shopping.
I rushed through the aisles, hoping that the beggar and his dog would still be there when I exited. I paid the cashier and quickly pushed my cart outside, not even making sure she gave me the right change. They were still outside, so I approached them and said, "Excuse me, Sir". He stood, as did his pet. "Good evening," he replied.
I said, "This is for you", and I gave him whatever change the cashier had given me. He said, "Thank you, sir, and God bless you". Then, I reached into my cart, handed him a plastic grocery bag, and said, "And this is for your dog". Surprised, the homeless man took the bag and browsed its contents. There were two cans of dog food, a can opener, a bag of doggy biscuits, and a new bright red collar.
The homeless man looked at me; his swelling eyes said everything I needed to know. He said, "Oh my God. Thank you, Sir. Thank you so much!" The dog seemed to understand too. It gave me the same grateful look as its master, supplemented by the wide-swinging wag of its tail.
40. Pay It Forward
I stopped a girl who was driving down the shoulder of the road on a flat tire. She was at least a mile from a service station and was going to break her wheel if she kept going. I started changing her tire when her dad showed up. He was dressed in some business attire, and the company I worked for had no dress code, so I told him to just sit back and that I would have it done in just a minute.
The whole time, he was trying to help and wanted to buy me breakfast or Starbucks or something, but I wouldn't let him. When it was all said and done, he made one last attempt to compensate me. He said, "It'd really make me feel a lot better if you'd let me give you $20 for your time or something". I replied, "Not a chance. I'll tell you what, though. You now owe me a favor, and the way you pay it back to me, is that you help the next person you come across that needs help. Do that, and we're square". I felt like a boss the rest of the day.
41. Big Tipper
I was about five months pregnant and working at Waffle House in Texas while my husband was looking for work in California. I was working the second shift. One night, close to the end of my shift with only three coworkers and one regular customer in the restaurant, a single gentleman came in and sat at the bar. He ordered a cup of coffee.
He called me over a couple of times and asked me about my husband, when I was due, what we were having, etc. Before he left, he told me he wanted to give me something, and he wanted me to think of it as a blessing. He then proceeded to hand me a folded envelope. I put it in my apron, as I didn't think it would be polite to open it in front of him, thanked him, and he left.
I walked over to my co-workers and told them what had happened. I pulled the envelope out and pulled out a fairly thick stack of money. On top was a $20 bill. My co-worker noticed that the bill on the bottom was a $100 bill. I counted the money, and it ended up being $2,040. To this day, I don't know who this man was, but he restored my faith in humanity.
42. A Win-Win Situation
When I was about 22, I went to an industry party for my company at a bowling alley. They handed out two raffle tickets to each person as we walked through the door. During the festivities, I drank myself silly and just had a great time. When the raffle time came, everyone was standing around pretty silent, patiently eyeing their tickets.
It got down to the last two prizes, and surprisingly enough, my ticket was called. I won a pretty cool little Kodak camera, and I was really excited since I wanted to buy myself one soon anyway. I stumbled back to my seat excitedly and volunteered my last ticket to whoever wanted it. A young couple threw their hands up, and I gave it to them.
Lo and behold, the next number called was for that ticket. The prize was for two round-trip tickets anywhere in the US, and they immediately tried to give it back to me to claim. Being grateful for my camera, I told them to keep it and enjoy. When they got back from claiming the prize, they told me they had moved out to Los Angeles about five years prior and hadn't had the money to go back home to see their folks yet.
43. Keeping The Karma Going
I was driving down a busy road at night in the pouring rain when I realized all the cars in front of me were pulling over. I assumed there had been an accident, but it was actually an older man attempting to push his car off of the road and onto the shoulder. My girlfriend was with me, so I hopped out into the pouring rain and had her wait in the car while I helped the man.
It turns out he was out of gas. I took him to the store and bought him a gas can, and got him some gas. We drove him back to his car, and he gave me the biggest hug and told me, "God bless". From then on, I made it a point to stop for stranded motorists. It's just good karma.
44. The Promise
When I was a kid, my father and I were standing in line. The lady in front of us with her children next to her seemed to be a single mom. She was not sure what to do, as she was missing around $60 in order to pay for her food shopping. My father walked up to the cashier and paid for it. We were not rich but were comfortable enough that we were still able to pay the bills that month.
The lady was extremely thankful, asked for his name, and promised she would pay him back one day. Two years later, my father got a call from this lady who said she was outside the house. She told him she was able to make more money and was now able to pay it back. I’ll never forget it.
45. Parlez-Vous Français?
I was at a supermarket in Venice where a very elderly French couple was shopping for cheese. They seemed nice but there was one problem: they spoke only French, while the store staff seemed to speak only Italian or English. Hence, they weren’t able to help the couple find most of what they were looking for. I noticed that they had issues with mobility and moving their cart around.
I cobbled together the little French I knew to find out what they needed and brought them their items. I was suddenly very glad that my French lessons included large chapters on supermarket vocabulary. The couple was really happy, profusely grateful, and appreciative, and helping them ended up making my day too.
46. Saved By A Stranger
I was in a car rental place at the LAX airport. They were running way behind. There were about 20 people waiting for cars, and they had none. They were just renting cars as they became available. There was a young woman with three young children under the age of about seven. She was last in line and was going to have to spend hours at the car rental place with those crying kids. I was next in line, so I let her have my spot and took hers. I waited hours for what would have been her car. "Saved by a stranger", was her reaction as she thanked me.
47. A Meal In Itself
I work at an RSA—a club where Veterans and old folks come to hang out, line dance, and drink cheap brew. Every Sunday, we had a regular come in just before closing. Usually, he'd buy something cheap for himself; on the odd occasion, he'd buy something more expensive. I was working on Mother's Day, and after a busy lunchtime, we were all ready to close with only half an hour or so to go.
In came the usual man, except this time, he was with his wife and two kids. They weren't dressed the smartest, and they all looked at the menu with that sort of "this is expensive" look on their faces. We watched them argue over what they were going to eat before they moved up to the counter and ordered one kid’s crumbed fish.
That was all—on Mother's Day—for the four of them. And it got worse. The man paid in small change, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for him as they took a seat at a nearby table. I walked into the kitchen as the chef was preparing their order. I saw some extra roast beef and some chicken that were half-cooked. I dropped them into the deep fryer and told the chef I’d get rid of them for him.
I plated up the two pieces of chicken and the roast, along with their kid’s fish, and took them down to their table. I didn't want to embarrass them in any way, so I just said, "Here's some extras, and we're about to close, so I don't know if you guys want them or not". The mother said thank you, and the dad looked at me with the most grateful look on his face.
48. Looking At My Youth
I was at the bargain store picking up some snacks while I was doing laundry at the laundromat next door. As I was in line, I noticed a kid in front of me about 11 years old with a few items—an airsoft gun, airsoft BBs, a cap gun, and some caps. He asked the lady how much each was, and if he couldn't afford the airsoft, he would take the cap one.
When she told him he was about $3 short for the airsoft and ammo, he started tearing up and took the cap one. But that's not even the worst part. I saw him walk outside and hand the stuff to his little brother, and he said, "Sorry, Nick, we just didn't have enough". The little brother, who was about eight, started crying.
The little boy said, "But we've been saving for two weeks. James is going to make fun of us again".
So, I purchased two airsofts and three sets of pellets each. I walked out, looked at the kid, and said, "Hey man, you left your stuff inside", and handed him the bag. Upon looking inside, both kids started crying harder and had the biggest looks of disbelief on their faces. They hugged me and asked why I would do that for them.
I got a little tear in my eye and told them that they reminded me of myself and my younger brother at their ages and that they should nail James once for me. They said they would and that James was a jerk. He had apparently been taunting them and pelting them with his airsoft for a few weeks.
49. Last Train To Lowell
Late one Sunday night, I was on my way back from my hometown to my school on a commuter rail. It was the last train going out. Across from me, a cute Saudi girl who barely spoke any English sat down. We didn't talk for most of the trip until, at one point, she got my attention and asked when the train would reach Lowell.
We weren't on the Lowell train, and there was no way she'd be able to get back to Lowell on a train until the next morning. So, I called a couple of my friends to get a hold of the number for a taxi company. We finally got to my stop. I got her into the taxi and paid for whatever she couldn't cover.
50. Done In By A Good Deed
Back before cell phones, I stopped to help a woman who had broken down on my road, which was next to I-64 in Midway. She was on her way to Louisville, which was another hour away. I gave her and her two little kids a ride to my house, thinking that my dad would know what to do. However, he had left a note saying he was going somewhere and wouldn't be back until the next day.
She called everyone she knew, but the people either didn't answer their phones or they told her they couldn't come to help her. I didn't want to take them back up to the side of the highway and drop them off, so I did the unthinkable. I told her to borrow my car and get the kids on to Louisville. My car was a 16-year-old country boy's ticket to the world back then, but I just felt a connection to her.
She promised to return the next day with her mechanic cousin to get her van and return my car. By the time I realized she wasn't coming back, her van had been moved. The only thing I could tell my parents and the sheriff was that she was a skinny lady about 25–35 years old with two kids around 1–3 years old. We never heard from her again.
My dad bought me another car a few months later, but it wasn't as nice as the one they'd bought for my 16th birthday. He said, "Let this be a lesson to you". For some reason, I couldn’t be mad at that lady. She seemed so nice. I'm sure she had a good reason for not being able to bring the car back.