I try to do the right thing – bless people, make their day somehow, do something kind that means something. Sometimes I succeed, often I let it the opportunity slip by.

Sometimes what may seem like a little kindness can change someone else’s world completely. These 22 stories show how a generous heart can make a big difference.

1. For getting by

When I got divorced at 23, I made less than 19k/year and had quite a bit of marital debt because my ex is a jerk and liked to spend money on credit cards. I was paycheck to paycheck and, at times, had to cut back on my groceries because I had to be able to put gas in my car to get to work.

I had awful roommates who would steal my food (what very little I did have). We were waiting on our tax return (ex and I) and it had taken longer because he screwed up with something. I had no money and needed both gas and groceries and had to make a couple of payments. I was hungry and tired.

I vented my frustration to a friend online. At this point, she and I had never met, but we talked a lot. We’d been friends for months at that point. After I logged off of chat, I got a notification from PayPal that I had been sent money. She sent me a couple hundred dollars so I could get by. I was only to pay her back when I got my tax return. We’d never even met face-to-face! I’ll never forget that kindness. We’ve been friends close to 10 years now and we finally met face-to-face this past October!

2. True friends

When our oldest son (11) was killed by a drunk driver, our friends left their lives behind (100s of miles away) and came to live by us.

They lived here for years until I was able to function on my own.

I love you.

3. Started from the bottom

When I was homeless and living in my car with my son and our dog, my alternator blew out during a heat wave. On weekends, I would drive out to truck stops to park so I could sleep for the whole weekend without being bothered. I worked third shift and resting during the day was hard. Anyway, we were stuck at a truck stop without the money to fix the car and no transportation back to the city we were hunkered down in. I was going to lose my job if I didn’t get back into town, which was an hour away. Not only that, but temps were over 100 degrees. Without air conditioning or a place to cool off, it was getting dangerous for my family especially the dog.

After two days stranded like this, someone who wishes to remain anonymous but was basically a co-worker of a family member, shows up out of nowhere, hands us twenty bucks for lunch and says the tow truck is coming. They paid for the repairs and gave me another forty for gas.

I’d never met them before that day. They are the most generous person I’ve ever met. I’ve had people do wonderful things for me, but this was life saving.

As a P.S., we’re no longer homeless.

4. Dressing Up

My sophomore year of high school. My class was doing a presentation at the middle school for a special event promoting health. Kids spent the whole day doing outside activities. Well, anyway, my class did a presentation on making healthier eating choices, how much sugar is in soda etc…. We had to dress up for the event in really nice business attire.

I never really had and nice dress up clothes and this was around the time my stepfather quit working due to his sickness and my mom was the only one working so we couldn’t really afford it.

I told my teacher I didn’t have anything like that to wear and if it was okay that I wore blue jeans and a nice button up.

The next day she pulled me aside from class and handed me a bag of really nice dress clothes including dress shoes telling me to try them on. They all fit and I still have the dress clothes to this day. To her, it was probably nothing, just helping a student but to me it was one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

5. Out of their way

My landlord gave my wife and I our security and last month’s rent back when we bought a house as well as a little extra and told us we’d need it for the new place. The security was expected, everything else was not.

6. Over and above

My mortgage holder owner financed my home, adjusted my payment schedule to fit when my Social Security hits and did not charge me interest on my note. Just principle. This is unheard of and enables me to survive now that I’m retired.

7. Free

When we found out my husband had cancer, I was in the middle of expensive dental work. My dentist canceled the bill and finished it free of charge.

8. A/C

When my husband was sick and going through chemo our air conditioner died just at the start of summer. Aside from the mounting medical bills, we had just put in a new furnace a few months before which we were paying off and the company would not give us more financing for a new unit. Unbeknownst to me, my coworkers did a collection and bought us a new air conditioning unit. To top it off, one of my coworker’s husbands installed the whole unit and got it working so that my husband never had to endure a hot sticky day while he was sick.

9. Home away from home

I wanted to live abroad for a year. The most wonderful family took me in, gave me a place to sleep and eat, they took me on trips everywhere around the country. They gave me a home away from home. And the only reason they did this was because they wanted to get to know me and my culture. They weren’t given any compensation for it. I am so thankful to have met such wonderful people.

10. Hugs are good payment

At a recent comic convention I was dressed as Robin and wanting to get a photo op with Nathan Fillion in my costume, when my mask broke in half coming out of my bag. I went to this “cosplay repair” booth at the convention and everything they tried was not working from super to hot glue. They told me to take a walk and come back. To my surprise one of the guys from the booth actually found me as I was walking. We went back and they had fixed my mask with Worbla which is a material they use in movie costumes. I can’t imagine how expensive that must have been and all they asked for was some change in their tip jar. I obliged and also gave each of them a hug.

11. I couldn’t imagine

I had only been back in the States a few months, just got my kids back, having left my two very young daughters because I had to spend a year in Korea, and I was going through a very nasty divorce.

My unit was told that we had to deploy a small contingent overseas, and my name was put on the list. I wasn’t too happy about it, but didn’t complain because that was part of the job being in the Army.

Right before we deployed, I was told that my NCOIC had volunteered to go in my place. He was single and he saw what I was going through at that time, and said it would be easier for him to go instead.

Imagine that – someone deploying in your place out of the kindness of his heart.