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.
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.
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.
12. Paid in full
When I had unexpected medical bills it made me 1100 short for my rent. The owner of the company I worked for advanced me $600 and flat out gave me 500.
13. A trip abroad
My university friends and I always dreamed to go to Europe to celebrate our graduation (there were 4 of us). When we graduated, as students often are, we were broke. Except for this one friend. He came to us very happy asking when we were going to Europe, his parents already had given him the money to go. We congratulated him and asked for postcards from the trip (back in the 90’s). A few weeks later, my birthday came. He told me that he had my bday gift on him. Since I didn’t see a box I jokingly said “a plane ticket!”. And for real, he exchanged his ticket to Europe for four less expensive (but still, we are in another country) incredible, tickets to go to Los Angeles, entries to Disneyland and Universal studios included! 21 years later, we are still friends and amazed of what a wonderful person he is. My brother for real.
14. More than a babysitter
When I was diagnosed with cancer my children’s babysitter kept them day and night through both my surgeries and hospital stays, at no cost. I did not ask her she simply offered so my husband and mom could focus on my well being. While going through radiation therapy afterwards she quite often would refuse my money for a weeks worth of childcare. I could never have gotten through it as well as I did without her. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer a year later I immediately volunteered to take a week off and care for her ailing husband so her family could take care of her. She wasn’t simply a babysitter, she was family and we all loved her. She was our grandma, filled with unconditional love.
I had gone back to school to change my career, but was having a hard time coming up with tuition, since both my sons were also in college.
One morning I went out to my car to find an envelope full of money with a note saying it was for my education. It was exactly the amount I needed! I don’t know who put it there, but I have tried to pay it forward as many times as possible.
16. Pretty sweet
My university re-admitted me despite my having been dismissed for a 1.3 GPA. The university has an “academic amnesty” program that is giving me a second chance to finish my degree. I could not be more grateful.
17. New City, No Money
When I first moved to Houston at age 19, I got lost and ran out of gas before I could get back to my apartment on the other side of town. To boot, I forgot my wallet at home. I’m not sure if anybody’s familiar with Houston TX but unlike most of the rural parts of the state where people are generally more friendly and kind hearted, Houston is kind of the exact opposite. It can be a pretty dog-eat-dog kind of a city. To my surprise, I related my problem to a random lady at a gas station and she said, “hey if you need, you need.” She was the first person I asked and she helped me out no questions asked. I have never forgotten her. I have since paid it forward but I’ll never forget how scary that was, being lost, with no money, in a huge city with zero experience of city life. Whoever that lady was, thank you!!
18. Pay it forward, auto style
My car died and I needed a new one immediately. I was low on funds but not broke. When my friend heard about my situation, he gave me his car. Later one of my friends was in a similar situation. I passed the car to him.
19. Take it all
The morning after pretty much the entire city lost power to a terrifying winter storm, I took my infant son to the grocery store. We needed to get meals that could be made completely in the toaster oven, since that was the only thing we could run from our generator. Our weather is generally mild so everyone was pretty shaken up.
Luckily the grocery store had backup power. Due to the stress I forgot my debit card at home. I had some cash, but not enough for everything I’d picked up. A lot of it was unnecessary because I was shopping hungry, so I was having the cashier sort out the stuff we needed the most and doing the math. All of a sudden a man walks over, hands the cashier three 20’s, and walks away without a word.
20. Rent free
My best friend’s parents and my boyfriend’s parents both let me live with them rent free after my dad died just after I had turned 18 and I was attending college classes. The first couple of years was with my friend’s parents and these last two years have been with my boyfriend’s parents. Both occasions were when neither my friend or boyfriend were living at home. Truly the greatest people that I’m not even related to by blood.
21. Thats an amazing friend
My friend lent me several thousand dollars when I lost my job so the bank wouldn’t take my house.
I’m trying to repay her at the moment but it’s hard, and she’s very understanding. I love her more than she’ll ever know.
22. Good guy Landlord
My wife and I had our first and only apartment a few years back. I lost my job in October and haven’t had a good track record when it comes to work, I didn’t find employment for 4 or 5 months after that looking everywhere. Anyway our landlords let us out of our lease 2 and a half months early with no payments required and they only kept out 200$ security deposit. They also offered to let us back when we had stable employment with no questions asked or issues at all.
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