I sincerely hope that the stories you’re about to read will not only make you appreciate the times that a stranger has helped you out but will also encourage you to lend a helping hand next time you see someone who needs some assistance.
Do you think you’re up for that? I thought you’d say YES!
Here are some heartwarming stories from AskReddit users who got big helping hands from total strangers.
1. Snowed in.
“In college, living in a house by myself, got nearly 2 feet of snow. Had 2 days of classes cancelled, but needed to go in by the 3rd day.
Had no choice but to shovel the long driveway by hand. Started by the road (state highway so busy and edge piled high with salt-crusted snow/frozen slush). Someone driving a pickup with a snow plow was about to drive by but stopped and said “that looks like hard work, let me.”
He plowed the whole driveway, for free! Was done in less than 3 minutes, would have taken me all day!”
2. Making new friends.
“I was at a party and was sitting off by myself. I didn’t really know anyone and I have a really hard time talking to new people. This other girl comes up and starts a conversation with me and introduces me to her group of friends.
We are all still friends. I have trust issues and don’t make friends with people my age easily, so what this girl did helped boost my confidence and self-esteem ENORMOUSLY. I didn’t really have any friends before this except for one or two.”
3. All the small things.
“When I was probably around 10 or 11, I went into a coffee shop by myself (mom was outside with the dog) to get orange juice. They had freshly made orange juice at that particular place, so it was in bottles which the person working the counter would pour into a to go cup for whoever ordered it.
When the girl working there was pouring my juice, what was left in the bottle just perfectly filled he cup, leaving the bottle empty. I don’t know if this was a real policy or not, but she said “Oh, looks like the bottle ran out, so I’d better just give this to you for free! Have a nice day!”
I was super flustered because I was already anxious for having to order for myself so I just said thanks and ran out to my mom (she made me go back in to tip her haha). I don’t know why, but it still sticks in *my* mind after all these years, and she probably forgot about it by the next week.
I guess that’s the thing with doing small things for people; there’s no reason not to because it could affect them positively for a long time, and you won’t even think much of it.”
4. The long walk.
“In 2014 I walked from my home in the Netherlands to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, almost 2,000 miles.
Time and again I have been struck by the kindness of people. From people who, when I asked them to fill my water bottle, added some ice cubes “because it’s so warm”, to people who invited me in for a beer or a glass of wine in the shadow before continuing. Or even people who approached me in the street to ask if I had a place to sleep for the night, and invited me into their homes if I didn’t.
Or mayors of small villages who opened up the sporting facilities so I could shower and sleep there. Or people who let me set up my tent in their garden. I can go on for hours.
If the news media are trying to make you believe that the world is a bad or dangerous place, there is really nothing better to regain your confidence in humanity than to take your backpack and go on a long walk for a few months (I took 5 months; best adventure in my life so far).
Most individuals are okay; it’s when they organize themselves into groups that you have to be careful.”
5. These are for you.
“Once when I was crying on the side walk and a complete stranger gave me a bouquet of lilacs I calmed down immediately.”
6. Helping hands.
“When I was a teenager, I was on my way to my dad’s house and had to drive through the country to get there.
I was low on gas and I figured I could make it there in time to hit my dad up for some gas cash. I guessed wrong and my car died. So there I was, a teenaged girl, stuck on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, and it was getting dark. BTW this was in the 1980s, so no cell phones yet. I was really stranded.
A family pulled up and asked me what the problem was, and I explained. They lived on a nearby farm, and they had a fuel pump for their farm equipment. They brought enough gas in a gas can to get my car started, and then they insisted that I come over to their place to top off the tank.
They seemed genuinely embarrassed when I thanked them profusely, saying, “Ain’t nothing, that’s just the way folks are around here.””
7. You’ll always remember.
“I was about 8 and had my first phone (no cell service or anything just games and pics) and I went to Walmart. I had to go to the restroom so I put my phone in the cart and told my dad it was there.
He forgot and went to the restroom as well, and when i got back my phone was gone. We went to the management and they said that they haven’t seen it. By this time i was crying and we needed to leave. As I was leaving an older lady came in and was holding my phone.
She said that she had found it in the parking lot and she had guessed that someone dropped it so she would take it to lost and found. Well we said what happened and we realized that someone had tried to get into it and I guess they couldn’t so they just left it in the parking lot.
We tried to repay the lady but she said that she would have done the same thing for her grandchildren if she had any. I never saw the lady again but I will always remember her kindness.”
8. It’s on her.
“My cousin and I were at a trampoline park and he wanted to get some candy but none of us had any money.
The lady behind us paid for it. It’s random acts of kindness like this that make me smile.”
9. A very kind lady.
“There was a big storm while we were on a road trip and we stopped at a gas station to get food, and wait out the storm a while. We had made ourselves some cup o noodles but we couldn’t find forks.
Luckily this kind lady called Keisha, helped us and asked some Starbucks employee to get “us two babies” some forks. She was really nice, and I wont forget Miss. Keisha.
We could’ve just gotten over our social anxiety and just asked for forks our selves but I’m real grateful we didn’t have to.”
10. Pass it on.
“Last week I was coming home from a funeral for my 21 year old nephew. I was just numb. I decided to stop at the store and get something to eat later. I parked, ran inside and spent about 45 minutes looking and trying to shake the day away.
I went to pay for my item and found my wallet was not in my pocket! I left the item I was going to buy and ran out to my car, utterly freaking out wondering where/what my wallet, with everything in it, had gone. As I got to my car I saw the door was open and things were laying all over the ground. My heart sank. I’d been broken into. Did I leave the door unlocked?
As I got a few steps closer I saw a tall, skinny man standing there. Then I got scared. I was far away from the store and no one was around. The man called to me and asked if this was my car and I said yes? He explained that he’d been in his car, opposite me, when I had left and when I closed my car door the seat belt had gotten in the way of the door closing, and it didn’t close.
He’d gotten out to close it for me and then saw my wallet had fallen on the ground, and he saw a credit card laying there. He had stood there this whole time guarding it, making sure no one took anything and he was careful not to touch anything. He had just waited for me to come back. To say I was stunned and incredulous is an understatement.
45 minutes this man had just stood there, for me, a stranger. Everything I had was there for the taking and if he wasn’t such an angel he could have had and trashed my whole life as my driver’s license, some money, credit cards, my ATM card were all there.
I thanked him 100 times and he kept smiling, like it was nothing. I told him he was my angel and he said, “just pass it on”.”
11. Good Samaritans.
“I was 11 or 12 years old, and me and my family were going camping, but we wrecked on the interstate. The car flipped twice and landed on its side, and the camper was strewn all over the interstate.
A bunch of cars pulled over and people began lining up to help us get out of the car. They knew they couldn’t wait for the professionals to get us out of our car because they were afraid it would roll down the hill with us inside.
We climbed through the side window one by one (there were ten of us, me and my parents and my seven siblings) and they lifted us down to the ground. We were all in shock, but these complete strangers were just holding us and hugging us and telling us it would be ok.
They stayed until the ambulances arrived. It was probably one of the most comforting things I’ve ever experienced.”
12. A difficult time.
“I was going through a very difficult time because of life events. All of my friends turned away from me when I needed help the most. Someone referred me to a Church that might be able to help with food.
I broke down crying while telling the Pastor my situation. He excused himself and said he would be right back. He returned a few minutes later with several bags of food. All these years later, I still remember his kindness.”
13. A tragedy.
“We had a house fire. We all got out safely, but lost basically everything we owned.
My employer was a dress shop, and when they heard, they provided me with a whole new wardrobe from the shop. The Red Cross also helped my family to get clothing and other things that we needed.”
14. The race.
“I was running a 5k race by myself when I was 10. It was really cold and the road I was running on was covered with cracks.
There were a lot of people that were a lot older than me and I was scared and alone. I started the race fine but when I got near the finish, there was a part on the road that had a huge hole. I didn’t see the hole and I fell.
I was by myself and I was now hurt. but then a bunch of the other runners stopped and helped me up and made sure I was ok. They asked if I had someone with me and I said no so they ran with me to the finish.
My leg was bleeding a bit so they stayed with me until I got my leg wrapped up and I found my family. I won’t forget those 2 women and 3 men that helped me.”
15. Lost at Disney.
“Once, I was lost in Disney World because I was staring at some toys in a shop, and my parents kept walking. As soon as I noticed I was lost, an elderly couple came by.
I asked them if they had seen my parents. They said no, but they spent the rest of the afternoon helping me try to find my parents, even though that was their last day in Disney.
And to top it all off, once we found my parents, they bought me the toy I was staring at when my parents accidentally left without me.”
16. Pitching in.
“I have had complete strangers from the internet contribute toward my beloved dog’s surgery costs.
We aren’t out of the woods yet, but the kindness of those strangers will stay with me forever.”
17. You helped out!
“When I was like 7, I went to Utah for the first time while it was snowing! (I live in the dry desert so we don’t ever get snow) so me and my cousins went and thought that it was so “bad” to go and dust the snow off peoples cars.
So when we were in the middle of doing so, the garage opened. We all scattered and hid. The guy was equipped with something you would use to take the snow off a car.
But his job was already done, for we had done it for him. He saw our little heads poking out and we thought we were in trouble. However the guy said “hey! You saved me from being late to work!” And he gave us candy 😄”
18. At the museum.
“Many years ago the Seattle Art Museum had a showing of Impressionist paintings from the Louvre. It was attracting massive crowds.
On the last day of the exhibit, I got there very early only to find the line already going around the block. After two hours, we were told that it would still be about four hours before we made it to the front of the line but that if anyone bought a season’s pass to the museum, they could go in right away.
The woman behind me (a stranger) decided to buy the pass, so she left the line and went in. I didn’t have the money for a season pass and was debating whether or not I wanted to wait another four hours or just go home. Then I noticed the woman walking back down the line, looking intently at everyone she passed.
She noticed me and said that she bought season passes for her and her boyfriend but he was out of town. So she gave me his ticket for the day and then she headed back into the museum before I could even thank her. It was so cool to be able to leave the line and walk right into the showing when I was expecting a four hour wait!”
19. I still weep…
“After getting away from an abusive relationship, I went to a local Catholic Charity to ask for clothing suitable to a job interview. I was encouraged to accept as much clothing as I wished so I would have enough for at least a week’s work.
As I chose the items, the woman left the room. When she came back she was carrying 4 bags of food for my son and I. That was 20 years ago and I still weep when remembering her kindness. I got the job. My son and I got back on our feet.”
20. Two nice people!
“I was at a Wal-Mart and I was in the check out line and I dropped something and I didn’t have a cart at all so I used my arms to carry everything.
This person comes and takes my stuff out of my arms and puts it on the conveyor belt and I didn’t have enough money on me so the person in the next lane over gave me a dollar to pay for my things.”
21. A good deed.
“When I was little, some older kids were bullying me.
A stranger stopped and explained why it’s not right to do that and said that it probably means that they have some trouble in their homes or something like that.
So they got embarrassed and stopped. I was and still am thankful for that.”
22. It’s on me.
“Someone paid for my food at McDonalds.
We also did it for the people behind us and the chain according to the cashier, went on for the whole day. That’s what one act of kindness can do.
Be kind today.”
23. This is awesome.
“It was last week when I voted early at FAMU in Florida. I’m in a walker after hip surgery. I asked the young man at the ballot box drop off station, while in my car, where handicapped parking was since I’d come to vote in person. He pointed down the road.
When I got to the lot it turned out it was on a steep hill. I got out of my car but decided there was no way I could get up the hill and down the road a block On my own and I was preparing to leave, massively disappointed, when there he came, having found someone else to take care of his station,, to help me.
It took me an hour to vote even though there was no line, and he was at my side the whole way. It was an awesome achievement for me. And it was only possible because of his spirit.”
24. Summer camp.
“I was ten years old, and I was at a summer camp.
For some background, at home I was being abused by an uncaring father who’s favorite thing to tell me was how stupid I was, how greedy, and what a bad person. A friend of mine was joking around and told me that I was stupid, which eventually triggered me into a panic attack. I was hyperventilating and crying in the middle of a large group, but one camp leader noticed.
She pulled me away from the crowd, had me take a walk with her to find a bench. She didn’t even know my name, but she pulled me in her lap and hugged me tight, rocking me and wiping my tears away when I finished. Every time my mind falls to the words of my ex-father, I instead turn my mind to her.
I will never forget that day, and looking back on it from a much better place and mental wellness view, it still makes me smile.”
25. Very wholesome.
“I was an older college student (in my 40’s) and didn’t have a lot of money. I was in the snack bar and wanted a bottled drink. I got it out of the cooler, counted my money, decided I didn’t have enough, and put it back.
Some younger college students saw me and insisted on paying for it. I told them they didn’t have to do that, but they wanted to. That was so nice of them. I have paid it forward several times since then.”
26. Support system.
“I was living in a new city & just made a great group of friends. Shortly thereafter my dad got sick & passed away. These women who were complete strangers 6 months earlier, all reached out to me & shared their experiences and support.
I was in my 30′ & felt like the only person in the world without a dad. 4 of my new friends also had lost their dads & knew just what to say so I didn’t feel so devastatingly alone. It truly was my life raft that kept me above water.”
Now we want to hear from you.
In the comments, tell us your own stories of receiving help from total strangers.
Please and thank you!