December 13, 2022 | Gurmangeet Baath

Rare Moments Of (Extra)Ordinary Kindness

We all feel that the world could do with a little more kindness. It seems even worse at present. While things may be truly terrible, a little kindness goes a long way—and kindness is certainly not missing. It’s merely that these good Samaritans do their acts quietly and, truly, without any expectations. Who says goodness has bid adieu to the world? These heartwarming stories brought a tear to our eyes.

1. Kindness Begins At Home

I was extremely stressed and took a mental health day, planning on going to mom's and crying myself to sleep. We ended up going to the mall, and even though money was really tight for her, she wanted to buy me lunch. She realized that she had lost a newer $50 bill while we were walking around. She was clearly devastated—but I knew just what to do.

I traded my smaller bills to a cashier for a newer $50, folded it like she would, and tossed it under the seat of her car. The next day she called me, almost crying because she was excited to find it and said that without it, groceries would've been pretty tight that week. Taking me out that day prevented me from having a full breakdown. I think $50 was a small price to pay for what she did for me that day.

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2. A Shot Of Sugar-proof Kindness

I bought insulin for the child of a lady in front of me at the pharmacy. The woman—a single mom—was in tears and didn’t have the $200 to pay for that month. I gave her my number and told her to call me within the next few days. That was a few years ago. She now manages the office at my practice, makes enough money for anything she needs or wants, has excellent insurance for herself and her son, and is one of my closest friends. Be kind—it can literally change lives!

Goodness of your heartShutterstock

3. On The Wings Of An Angel

I lost my mom earlier this year and am still working through the grief. The first week that I came back my co-workers gave me a check for several hundred dollars as a kind gesture. I was truly overwhelmed by the generosity—I still am. The following week, I came into the break room to find one of the techs with a lost look on her face.

She had just gotten a phone call that her brother had suddenly passed the night before. She had moved to our city just a year prior and didn’t have any family close by. As I held her and listened to her cry. I booked her a flight home. It was several hundred dollars, as she is from a small town and the flight was for later that day.

I told her to go be with family and let me know when she was ready to come back. I had no doubt that is exactly what my mom would have wanted me to do.

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4. Like A Hug

There's a semi-secluded bus stop beside a store I used to work at, and a homeless guy started sleeping there on the bench halfway between the stop and the parking lot one winter. One day I got to work 15 minutes early and saw him sleeping, wearing just a flannel and jeans. So, I ran into the store, bought a blanket, and covered him up with it.

He never woke up while I did this so he didn't know it was me. Every time I saw him sitting on the bench after that, he had the blanket wrapped around him.

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5. Precious Things

A lady was fleeing an abusive marriage without much more than her kids and the clothes on her back. Word went out within a whisper network requesting a few essentials she needed. I packed up several things from the request list and also one thing that wasn't requested. I make jewelry as a hobby. I put a pair of handmade earrings into a gift bag: silver and pearls.

I also added a handwritten note that every woman deserves something beautiful and sent good wishes her way.

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6. A Slippery Slope

When I was 19, I needed blood work done and it was super icy outside. I just finished and was getting ready to leave when two elderly ladies came in. They commented on how slippery it was and asked if the clinic had anyone to help them walk back to their car. They were told no, so I sat back down and waited. Half an hour later they went in and the receptionist told me I could leave, I was done.

I told her "I know" and sat there. When the ladies came out, they looked a little scared to walk outside, so I stood up and said I heard them ask for help and I would help them to their car. I walked the ladies one at a time, letting them hold me for support as I shuffled us to their car. Then, after they were both safely inside, I scraped the ice off their car so they could leave.

They offered me money, but I refused and just wished them safe travels. After they left, I went to my own car, where I proceeded to fall on my bottom five times.

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7. Snowballing Kindness

I am a funeral director/embalmer. I met with a young couple to make arrangements for their daughter who was stillborn mere days before Christmas—their first pregnancy after years of trying. When I stepped out of the conference room to write up the contract, I heard them discussing how they were going to afford the medical bills from labor/delivery as well as their daughter’s funeral arrangements.

I cried in my office thinking about how they had suddenly been plunged into debt for the birth of their daughter who they were never even able to take home. I'm tearing up just remember it right now. When they gave me four credit cards to pay the balance with, I just didn’t run them and told them I was unable to print their receipts because our card reader was out of ink.

I instead generated a statement showing their “payments” and a $0.00 balance. That same day, I received a check in the mail from another client that they had written erroneously, resulting in an overpay on their balance. When I called the client to ask how she would like to be reimbursed, she declined and instead asked me to apply the extra money to someone’s bill who needed help with payment.

Because the aforementioned parents had dejectedly opted for the free plastic container to house her cremated remains, I decided to use that money from my other client to order an urn for that sweet baby girl. But the kindness didn't stop there. Then, the distributor noticed that the date of birth and date of death were the same day upon my urn order/engraving request submission.

They emailed me an updated packing slip to include a matching memento box—free of charge. Upon arrival, I placed the baby girl’s hospital anklet, her little hat, laminated cards with her hand/footprints, and some wildflower seeds they could plant in her memory inside of the memento box. It felt like a small thing, but it was the least I could do.

I drove the urn and memento box to the parents’ apartment on Christmas Eve so their daughter could be “home” in time for Christmas. I will never forget the halfway disassembled crib, the unopened boxes from their family members’ gifts for the baby, and the mother’s confused facial expression and her trembling hands while she was opening the memento box.

After she had a good cry on my shoulder, I made sure she knew that my other client’s overpayment and generosity made this happen. I asked if it was okay with her that I let my client know what her money was used for and she agreed without hesitation. I will never forget the generosity of my client despite grief/financials stereotypically bringing out the worst in people.

I will never forget that urn company’s benevolence in providing that memento box free of charge and the extra effort on their part to have everything engraved, shipped, and delivered before Christmas. A few days later, I received two handwritten thank you cards in the mail from the parents. One was for me for my emotional support and because they noticed, upon reviewing their statements, that their cards hadn’t been charged.

The other was to my client for her selflessness, with the request that it be forwarded to her. It was truly a snowball effect of kindness that I very rarely experience in my industry. It restored a lot of my faith in humanity—faith that has been slowly chipped away over the years because of the tragedy and chaos my job immerses me in. This snowball effect gave me the faith and strength I desperately needed to continue on my path.

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8. A Learning Moment

In high school, drama was the last class of the day, and one time we had a substitute teacher. For some reason, almost every single kid in that class decided they could be mean because of this. Her only attempt to calm the class was to quietly ask us to "please stop". Of course, no one cared. No one, but I. I spent the class doing the work she had tried to assign, and then I wrote her an encouraging letter.

I told her that she was doing her best, that kids could be mean, and not to let it affect her. I offered words of advice, comfort, and optimism. I decided not to sign my name, and instead signed it "just another kid trying to figure themselves out". I slipped it onto her desk with my work when the bell rang, and she wasn't looking.

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9. Taking The Blame

Many years ago, I was a cashier at a grocery store. A lady came in and had about $80 in groceries, started to pay, and realized she had left her wallet at home. She left to get it, and I went ahead and completed the sale as if she had paid. I put her cart of groceries to the side and told another employee what happened and told him she would be right back.

Shortly after that, we got very busy and I was focused on getting customers through the line. When the lady returned, I looked over, and my heart sank: The cart was gone. It turned out that the employee I had talked to earlier had taken the stuff out with another order, basically gave them away with someone else's order. This employee was disabled, physically and intellectually.

So, the next morning when the boss noticed my $80 void, I explained what had happened but did not blame the other employee. My boss fired me, saying I was either careless or a lying thief. I didn't have the heart to put the blame on the other guy, so I took the blame and left. I knew I would have an easier time finding a job than he would.

Goodness in your heartShutterstock

10. Music To My Soul

One weekend when I was in my teens, I was wandering around outside, daydreaming as bored teenagers with no close friends tend to do. In the vicinity of an old one-room schoolhouse, I found a plastic jar that said "OPEN ME" on the lid, and I did so. The jar was filled with dry black-eyed peas, plus, buried within, a small illustrated flier that said, "Goodbye, Earl!"

It was a certificate from a local country music station redeemable for free tickets to a Dixie Chicks concert. I found out the next day from a classmate that it was part of a contest in which the station gave out daily clues during airtime as to the jar's location, so listeners could search for it. I had stumbled across it entirely by coincidence.

I had no interest in country music, but I knew that a girl in one of my classes was a Dixie Chicks fanatic, though I had never spoken with her. A couple of days after finding it, toward the end of class, I left the certificate on the floor by her desk where she would find it. Her look of sheer, incredulous joy and the way she rushed to catch up with one of her friends to show her the tickets was the highlight of my day.

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11. Something Fishy

A lot of homeless people in Lahaina, Maui, get by on fishing. One night, while leaving a restaurant, my girlfriend and I saw an elderly man sleeping near the Old Banyan tree. She pointed out that the fishing pole next to him had been snapped multiple times, with splintered ends and everything. Knowing that fishing pole was how he'd kept himself fed and seeing his livelihood compromised like that really bothered us.

So, my girlfriend and I got in my car and drove to the only Walmart on the island in Kahului. We bought a new fishing pole and gear and drove back to Lahaina. Fearing that the authorities might suspect him of stealing this new gear, my girlfriend wrote a note on the receipt saying, "Hold on to this," and left it in the tackle box. When we got back to the Banyan tree, I set the gear down next to the old man.

The next day, we saw him fishing with the new pole on Front Street. Please remember to practice Aloha.

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12. Lucky Coin(s)

Growing up as the oldest daughter by seven years left my relationship with my younger siblings a bit distant. There just wasn't much to relate to, and, honestly, I just always found younger kids annoying so I wasn't a very good sister to them. But when I was around 14-15, my siblings came up to me to excitedly show me a couple shiny coins they had found.

The youngest, my sister, kept talking about how rich she was with one of those ear-to-ear grins kids get when they’re excited about something. It was really refreshing to see my siblings so happy, and it was honestly adorable. Since then whenever I had spare change, I'd "drop" it somewhere around the house I knew they'd notice and just let them find it.

They got so happy every time they found a coin. Now I'm 19, my siblings are 12 and 8, and I still, occasionally, sneak a dollar into their laundry or something, and we're a lot closer now. I have considered telling them since I'm moving out really soon, but I think this'll just stay a secret. At this point telling them will just ruin the magic.

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13. Been There

In seventh grade, we had a new transfer student to my school, Doug. In our class of 20 people, Doug was the oddball out. Unathletic, not too bright, and a little strange. One day in gym class we were playing kickball. Doug was up to kick, and I was the pitcher. I rolled the ball, and Doug barely tapped it forward. I kid you not, Doug didn't know where first base was, which was common knowledge for a kid in my area.

He stood there and watched the ball slowly roll to me. I picked it up and stepped forward, cocking the ball back. Then I remembered that I was Doug last year: a newly transferred student who just needed a chance. Standing next to Doug, I threw the ball past him, pointed to first base, and said, "Go..." Doug, eventually, figured it out and even made it to third with everyone going nuts.

After gym class, my gym teacher, Mr. Boss, pulled me aside and said that was a nice thing to do, which made me pretty happy. I don’t know why I did it. Maybe for validation, maybe because I saw Doug in me. But I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

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14. Sweetly Kind

Whenever I see a cashier having a tough day, I always look at the candy selection—if there is one—and look stumped as to what to get. I ask them, "I can't decide. What's your favorite?" I buy whatever they say, then hand it to them after the sale and tell them they're doing a great job and to have a great day. It perks them up every single time. It's my little thing.

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15. An Extra Push

Back when quarantine and such things first started, I was headed back from the store and came across a broken-down car. He had almost made it into the CVS parking lot, but the car gave up just outside of it. I pulled into the parking lot and asked if he wanted a push out of the road. He did. I pushed the car, and got it halfway up the little incline going into the parking lot.

I couldn't get it any further by myself, but it was out of the street. I asked him what happened, and he told me he had run out of gas. I asked if he had a gas can, and he pulled out a small gas can. I offered to run it down to the gas station and bring it back. On the way back from filling it up, I began to think to myself that this little bit of gas wouldn't get him very far.

As I had just gotten paid and had just pulled some cash from the bank, I figured he could use a little help. When I got back to the guy, I gave him the full gas can as well as $40 and told him, "I'm not sure how far you need to go, but that little bit of gas isn’t gonna get you very far. I hope this helps you out some". He just looked at the money and back at me, like I'd given him the keys to a new house or something.

He started telling me, "I get paid tomorrow, I can give you my address and I will pay you back," but I insisted I didn’t want anything in return. He looked like he was on the verge of tears. He explained how he had just gotten out of lockup a few months before and was trying really hard to stay on the right path. He was working an honest job and everything, but it was hard.

He told me he would take my kindness as a sign that he was on the right path and thanked me several times. Had I known how much it meant to him, I would've given him more. I hope he’s doing well.

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16. The Waiting Room

I was waiting to see my doctor. I saw an elderly man with a walker talking to a driver service for seniors/handicapped people about getting a ride home. Apparently, there was a mix-up and they couldn't get a driver there. My doctor called me in and when I came out, the elderly man was still there talking to the driver service. I told the guy if he trusts me then I'll take him home.

He responded, "But I haven't seen the doctor yet". I told him I'd wait. He looked like he was going to cry. He was actually a really nice man and it was a pleasant ride.

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17. Caring And Chairing

My mum had saved forever to buy herself her dream dining table and chairs. They were very expensive but she had a picture on the fridge, saved for a year, and knew she’d have them forever. I visited one day when she wasn’t home and noticed the dogs had gotten in and absolutely destroyed one chair—they were still untrained puppies and had ripped off all the material, buttons, etc.

I popped it in my car, threw it out, found a place an hour away with the same chair, and bought it for $300. She doesn’t know because she would’ve a) been shattered but found a way to fix it as best as possible, which honestly would’ve been impossible. And b) refused for me to replace something at that cost. I’m just glad it was me who saw it first. She’s happy and always comments on how nice her table is and how she will have it forever

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18. Special Hearts

In high school, we had this thing called "Lollies for love" and you could send lollipops to people in the school for Valentine's Day. You would fill out slips and put them in jars according to students' homeroom. I noticed there were no slips in the special ed class's jar. So, I went home and asked my mom to do extra chores for a little allowance and bought everyone in the class 2 lollipops anonymously.

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19. Family Comes Through

I have an ongoing silent feud with one branch of my family, and we haven't spoken or really seen each other in over 10 years. I've pretty much written them off, and I don't really care if we live out the rest of our lives without patching things up. However, last week, some of my other relatives started a GoFundMe for one of my aunts in that branch.

She has Stage IV cervical cancer and wants to leave the hospital to breathe her last at home surrounded by her loved ones, but the hospital won't release her until her medical bills are paid in full. Feud or no feud, I knew what I had to do. I haven't told my dad or anyone else in the family, but I anonymously donated my last paycheck plus the money I had been saving for my upcoming birthday trip.

I don't really consider it out of the goodness of my heart, though. It's just that the thought of an elderly, terminally ill person passing on alone somewhere that isn't home eats away at me so much that I physically couldn't sit by and do nothing.

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20. Virtual Reality, Real Kindness

I'm a member of a Sims group on Facebook where people talk about the game, expansion packs etc. I noticed a comment by a teenager who said her favorite pack would be Pets but she couldn’t afford it. I went onto her page and saw that she really loved horses. I could also tell from her pictures that her mum was disabled and money looked tight. I was fortunate enough when I was her age to always get the packs on the release dates and I used The Sims as a wind-down from revising and school.

I thought that this girl needed the escapism way more than I ever did so I bought every expansion pack, messaged her the activation codes, a link to a YouTube video on how to use them, and a short message saying that I hoped she enjoyed playing and to keep smiling. I really do wish her the very best.

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21. Food For Thought

My mom was sitting with me at a Costco food court where we were getting something to eat. While we were there, she saw a family with children who were hungry and crying. My mom got up, split our whole pizza, and gave it to the family with the kids. The gesture was entirely unexpected. I was so astonished that my mom did that out of nowhere.

Goodness in your heartWikimedia.Commons

22. Making Way

When I worked retail at a Walgreens in Denver, there was this little old lady, Maggie, who would come in every Monday and Friday to go grocery shopping. She couldn’t walk very well, so I would try to always help her with her cart and ring her up so she didn’t have to wait in line. One time, in passing, she mentioned she lived only one or two houses down from the store and told me her address.

Said she really only ever left her house to walk over and get her groceries. During the two years that I worked there, whenever it snowed on either Mondays or Wednesdays, I always got up super early to go and shovel and sprinkle salt on her steps and the sidewalk to the Walgreens so she could safely make it for groceries.

Goodness in your heartWikimedia.Commons

23. Warming Up

My brother is a substance user and has been homeless for 15 years. In November, he wound up in a coma with severe blood toxicity and ultimately lost both of his legs to frostbite. It broke my heart because apparently frostbite is extremely common in the homeless community and that is how a lot of those you see in wheelchairs lost their limbs.

So, I put together 10 winter kits each with new socks, a beanie and gloves, a face mask, rain poncho, emergency blanket, water bottles, some food, chapstick, and many hand/feet warmers. I kept them in my car and handed them out whenever I saw someone in need.

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24. Birthday Surprise

I was in my art class in high school and there was a girl who I didn't really know a few grades younger. I could tell she didn't have many friends but was really sweet. She was talking to me one day and told me her birthday was soon and that she was so excited. I decided to send her those balloons and things you can get through the student store, on her birthday.

Though she didn't know me very well so I didn't sign my name. It just so happened that the student store worker brought them in during our art class. I got to see her reaction, and it warmed my heart. She lit up and kept telling us it had to have been her mom or her best friend who did it, and how she couldn't believe that someone got her something and she wouldn't stop smiling the whole rest of class.

I never told her it was me. I was just happy she felt special. That was a pretty good day.

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25. Tipping Point

A guy was working the counter at a Pizza Hut and the line was huge. Customers were being mean and he looked stressed. I was 22 and doing excellent for myself at the time. I just handed him the $700 and told him to keep the change with my order. After I gave it to him, he cried and said he had a newborn baby and was stressed out over money. Doing this for him felt pretty good.

Goodness in your heart

26. Never Too Tired

When I was a teenager, probably about 16 or 17, I stopped at a gas station for gas. There was a middle-aged woman with four kids sitting next to a car. She was crying on the phone about her car having a flat tire and no one to help her. I happened to have a floor jack and crowbar in my trunk. I grabbed both, walked over, and asked her if she had a spare tire.

The woman stopped and looked at me, hung up the phone, and just stared at me understandably bewildered. I was a 45 kgs (100 lbs.) teenage girl. I assured her I knew what I was doing. She did, in fact, have a spare. So, I changed her tire in about five minutes. The woman tried to hand me $10 but I just shook my head and said I hoped someone else would help out my mother in the same situation.

The lady started crying again and hugged me. I have never been so grateful for my uncle who showed me how to tinker and work on cars.

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27. An Act Of God

I come from a small village in Bihar, India. Things were so difficult back then that people were dying of hunger. For us in the village, we were not neighbors. Everyone was like family and addressed as such. I had a grandmother like that who used to live in a small hut. She was childless and almost forgotten by everyone. Every day I would filch fruits from other people's gardens and trees, and keep a little food that I'd get at home in her backyard.

The next day the plates would be clean and empty, waiting for another portion. And so it went. It was the best thing that I'd do in my day; nothing has made me so happy. She used to think that God was doing this, taking care of her when she didn't have anyone. Maybe God was indeed doing that.

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28. Kitten Rescue

I saved a kitten who was trapped in a dumpster outside of a collision repair shop where I worked. I lowered a bumper into the dumpster so it could crawl out. I sort of felt like the dude at the end of Life of Pi. There was no thank you or recognition. The little dude just sort of ran off and I never told anyone about it.

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29. Pusheen It Along

I was at a Hot Topic once, buying a Pusheen for a friend. When I brought it up to the counter the cashier gasped with glee. He told me how they were on sale three for two, and he was going to get one for his best friend but couldn't afford it. So, I bought the sale three and gave him two for him and his bestie. Besides helping the homeless and being kind to humans in general, that was one of my favorite times. I love seeing people happy.

Goodness in your heartShutterstock

30. A Stroke Of Luck

I worked in a casino where we had a choice of taking money off the ground and logging it in and doing the paperwork for it, or “finding the guest we think dropped it". This dude wasn’t a regular and was only playing with maybe $40 total on 1 cent bets. He wasn’t even in the area of the bill but I approached him and said, “Sir, I think you dropped something over here".

He adamantly refused it. We walked to the bill and he still insisted it wasn’t his, not knowing what I was trying to do. I kept telling him, “No, I definitely saw you drop this". After a few minutes of back and forth and assuring him, he wouldn’t be in trouble, he picked it up and broke it into 20s, keeping $80 and putting $20 in the slot machine. Then a miracle happened.

With the same bet of 1 cent, he hit a jackpot of $12,000. It turns out, this poor man’s car had completely broken down a mile away from the casino and didn’t have enough to pay for a tow truck or a hotel room so he decided to test his luck with the only cash he had left on him. He took the entire jackpot in cash, and got the cheapest hotel room at the casino for $150.

Then he said to me, “That useless piece of junk can stay on the side of the road. I’m calling that tow truck company and telling them off for not trusting that I would pay them once they towed me to my destination. Now I’m gonna offer to buy their useless rig".

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31. A Furry Friend

Once, I bought some traditional Mexican sweet bread and some chocolate milk to enjoy by myself in a park. While I am there, this doggo comes along and looks hurt so I share a piece of bread. I decide to find a can and a tap so she can drink too. Three seconds later I turn around and see she ate all my bread. I laugh. I pretend to be mad, but I still laugh.

Some guys collecting big no. 10 cans pass by and I buy one of them for 10 pesos and since there's a tap in the park, I walk over there in the 100-degree heat to clean some of the jalapeño residue in the can. Once it's filled with water, I come back and leave the can with water for doggo to drink. She’s already left at this point, but I reason that other puppers can drink from it too.

Since she ate all my bread, I finish my chocolate milk and smile to myself and think that I don't even like sweet bread that much.

Goodness in your heartFlickr

32. Partners-In-Accident

When I was still in elementary school, my best friend and I were on our way back to our babysitter’s house from softball practice. She had to wee really urgently, so we decided to try to make it to my house instead since it was closer. I was trying to get the hidden key to let us in, but by the time I got it she had already wet her pants.

She was understandably upset and freaking out, so I decided to grab the hose and spray my pants so she wouldn’t be the only one with wet pants. I said that now we could just tell everyone we ran through sprinklers on the way back and could change when we get there. She sprayed herself off a little, too, to make it look more even. Nobody questioned it and the crisis was averted.

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33. Guiding Home

I was hot and bothered, very depressed, and just having a bad day in general. I was walking through the park on my way home and, in the distance, I saw a little white dog. As I got closer, I noticed that it wasn't with anybody and was very dirty and thin, shaking all over. I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I wouldn't have normally stopped to help it.

But as I stood there looking over my shoulder and then down at the dog, it kept trying to keep eye contact. I stared down into its eyes, and they were just so innocent and were just telling me that all it wanted to do was go home or find someone to take care of it. Just looking at it made me lose all the sadness, hate, and depression.

All I wanted at that time was to help this poor creature find its way home. Luckily, it had a collar on with an address. I formed a makeshift leash out of a shoelace and led it towards its home—it was only a local house. It must have been about two to three miles from where I live. I went and knocked on the door. A man who looked to be in his early thirties opened it. He looked at me, then at the dog, and went pale as a ghost.

To cut a long story short, this dog had been missing for three months. It was his daughter’s dog. As we were talking, the dog started barking at something. I noticed that a small girl had crept up behind the man and was crying. The man said to her, "This young'n has found your dog m'dear. What do you say?" She petted the dog, then burst out the door and just started hugging my leg.

It was a very sweet scene. I'm not that soppy but the only word I could say was "aww". It turns out the man had put a £500 reward on the dog just a week after it went missing. I'm not going to lie, I did think about taking the money, but then I realized that I couldn't. After all, this dog had cheered me up when I was down.

It felt like helping the dog was a repayment of that act. I could see that it was a nice dog, with loving owners and, from what I sensed, a good home. I couldn't have taken a penny of that money after all of this.

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34. Being Human

I was walking into my doctor’s once and noticed a taxi was waiting outside. I walked in and saw a man, who clearly did not have all of his mental faculties, struggling to walk towards the door with no one helping him. There was a room full of people who were waiting and also trying to seem as if they hadn't noticed him. He was limping and muttering to himself. He had his wallet in his hand and his trousers were falling down.

I couldn't believe no one was doing anything. I walked up to him and asked if he needed help. He nodded. So, I pulled his trousers up, put my arm around him, and helped him to the taxi. My now-wife saw what I did but I didn't tell anyone because it's just being human to help someone.

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35. Deliciously Kind

When COVID first started and restaurants were closed here, our favorite local place that we’ve been going to for years was really struggling. My spouse went in to pick up takeout and the owner nearly burst into tears because he didn’t have cash flow to pay rent, make payroll, etc. The next day we went in and bought a large amount of gift cards in $25 denominations.

We made sure that it was enough to cover his rent for the next month. We held on to the gift cards for a bit and then gave them away to hospitals and nursing homes to give to their staff and other frontline workers. A year later, the restaurant is still open and doing well, and we are so happy that we were able to help a friend during a dark time.

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36. Bugged By Pain

I'm one of those people who moves worms off hot pavements into cool dirt and fishes out bugs that are drowning in puddles. It’s just something that I would like done for me if I was ever in that situation. I'm not sure if invertebrates like worms can understand terror and pain, but I'd rather them not have to suffer if there’s something I can do about it.

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37. A Job Well Done

When me and my 8th-grade class took a trip to Washington D.C, I left a note for the hotel and their staff for making room for our trip and thanking them for being so courteous. I don't exactly remember what it said, but I know a couple days later after coming back there was a call over the intercom saying someone at the hotel wanted to call and say thanks for the letter.

I never did get my student of the week sticker but knowing that they not only got the letter but liked it enough to reach out made the entire school life worth it.

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38. Wishing On A Website

I went to the website which specializes in providing foster kids with things that they would not ordinarily get. An 11-year-old was asking for a bike for his birthday, but his foster family couldn't afford to buy him one. So, I decided to help out. For less than $200 I paid for the kid's new bike for his birthday.

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39. Need Vs. Want

One time my whole neighborhood had a garage sale. I was maybe 10 at the time. A couple came late in the day, didn’t speak great English, and were looking at a plate and a couple pieces of ordinary cutlery. They asked how much they would cost, seemed to decide what they actually needed, and maybe tried to buy one or two essentials.

My dad gave them everything they needed from the lawn for free. As a child, I didn’t understand why. I asked him and he told me, “They need that more than I need a couple of extra dollars". They were extremely grateful as my dad loaded up a large box with things that I assumed every home would already have. He also added a couple extras just because.

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40. A Graduation Present

When I was graduating elementary school, our class got to vote on who we wanted as Valedictorian at our graduation ceremony. My friend had been talking all year about how badly she wanted to get this title, and it meant a lot to her. I, on the other hand, get extreme anxiety when public speaking so the thought of me doing it never really crossed my mind.

Lo and behold, the day after our class and teachers voted, my teacher pulled me aside and said, “Congrats! You’re our Valedictorian!” I looked at him and said, “Give it to ___. This means more to her than it will ever mean to me". He was completely astonished. He told me nobody in his nearly 30 years of teaching had ever turned it down.

My friend got told that she won, and I think to this day, nine years later, it is her biggest accomplishment. She would always talk about it, put it on her resume, got fancy gifts from family for the title, etc. I never let her know.

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41. A Charged Situation

During my last night in Thailand on a trip, I was buying some items at the central market found in Chiang Mai. I came across two young Spanish ladies being harassed by several men, including a member of law enforcement. Unfortunately, these two ladies had left their hotel without charging their phones so they couldn't get an Uber back to their hotel.

Desperate, one of them decided to walk off with a phone charger for her phone. Chaos ensued. Stealing was a big deal in Thailand, especially if you’re a tourist. I noticed what was happening, as the officer was berating them. Luckily, I knew Spanish and enough Thai to translate between all parties involved. Taking the officer’s permission, I paid $30 for the cell phone charger so that the two young ladies could move along.

As soon as things calmed down, the lady that had walked off with the cell phone charger asked me to follow her to a nearby ATM so she could pay me back. She gave me an extra $50 as a way to thank me. I stayed with the both of them until their Uber arrived and felt great because it allowed me to buy more items for my family.

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42. In Thick Soup

I had a friend working at a soup kitchen, which was a home for the homeless overnight or long-term. We had breakfast for everyone in the morning around 7am and at 8am we let in the public. Sadly, some groups of people rushed in and grabbed everything not nailed down including trays and stuff just rushed out. Then we had the actual homeless people.

I never told my employers or friends or anyone at the work, but in order to make sure the elderly homeless and others could eat, I began giving them instructions to show up at 6:30am if they could, which all did. I'd let them in, leave the raiders outside, sometimes screaming, but I didn’t care. If I knew they were trouble, they waited for their free meal. It worked out fine, and it’s hopefully still in use by the one person I let in on this.

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43. You Have Got Mail

Some years ago, in late November, I was on my way to the post office. As I was walking on the sidewalk, about to go in I heard a voice saying, "Young man…Young man". I looked over, and it was a lady in her car motioning for me to come over. She asked me if I could take a piece of mail in for her and gave me $9 and some change.

It was a small package and she was sending it from the USA to, I think, the Netherlands. She was on oxygen, so I knew it was extra work to get out. So, I waited in line and got to the clerk who asked how I wanted it shipped. I asked what they figured would be best to make sure the package arrives safe in time for Christmas. They told me it'd be $24.

I paid for it, since the lady had not given that much to me. It was not a big deal to me. I went back outside, gave her the info for tracking the package, and told her how she could also check in on it by calling the post office. Then I handed her back her money, which confused her. I said I had covered it. She strongly insisted that I must take the money.

I just told her that my parents would be disappointed if I took the money. I said if she really wanted to give the money, she should do something nice for someone else if she could. She started tearing up and thanked me a bunch. After about four months passed, I received a letter in the mail from someone I didn’t know. I opened it and it turned out to be from the lady.

She went on to tell me how much it meant to her to have that kindness shown to her and that she went on to pay it forward by buying flowers for one of her friends before she passed on. I never told anyone, because it is just a simple act of kindness, but it actually gets me very emotional whenever I think about it.

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44. Gratitude

I hand write letters on cards for people, detailing reasons I was thankful or glad they were in my life, or positive impacts they’ve had. I started in December after I finally got a job with enough pay to afford it. Each is 3-4 paragraphs long. I can only do one or two a week because the arthritis in my hand hurts too bad.

I’ve still got more to write. But I also just might keep going. I split “Christmas cards” into one or two a month because I can’t write them otherwise. I don’t know if it really counts because it feels selfish, but people seem to really like them. And bonus points I feel more satisfied in life because I have all of these reminders about how many wonderful people I’m blessed to have in my life.

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45. Stumbling Block

I was walking home from the bar in college a little earlier than usual one night. Usually, I’d walk back with people but was alone this time. Along the way is an old stone wall made of big cinder blocks. Some plastered person had thrown 2-3 of these blocks onto the road. A car would probably not see them until either popping a tire or doing serious damage to their undercarriage.

So, I took a few minutes and lifted the blocks out of the road, and did my best to fix up the wall. No one saw me do it and no one drove by while I was doing it but it still felt good to go home having made the world ever so slightly better than it was.

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46. A Green Thumb

If I am walking a trail and I see that a tree or a sapling is damaged, I do my best to either mend its injury or remove the broken part to let the tree grow unencumbered. It is rewarding to come back after a year or two to see the sapling that you helped at some point had taken good roots, refused to wither, and is still there.

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47. Bagged It

I used to work part-time as a garbage man. As I went through my route, every now and then I would find luggage cases like suitcases, trunks, duffel bags, etc. I would save them, clean them up and drop them off at local foster homes. That way when the kids moved around, they wouldn't have to throw their stuff into garbage bags to carry it with them.

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48. From The Heart

I was working at a restaurant and the kitchen manager started clutching his chest and going to the ground. Nobody was watching or doing anything. I was very young at the time but still checked on him. He brushed me off. Then, at the end of the night, he was sitting in the office, and I told him that he should go to the hospital.

He didn’t think that was necessary. I asked him if he had kids. He did. I told him that my father passed on when I was young. So, I told him to go to the hospital for his kids. The worst-case scenario would be that it was nothing, and he went to the hospital for his kids for nothing, but he could know he checked on himself for his kids.

During my next shift at work, another manager said that the other manager was not coming in because he quit the job and wouldn’t be returning. It seems that he went to the hospital. There they told him that he had had a heart attack. He quit the next day. I was glad that my 24-year-old self managed to convince him to go to the doctor.

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49. Fiery Angel

My mother saved a baby from a burning car once. At the time, I am ten, falling asleep, when suddenly I hear a horrible crash. The car in front of us veered off the highway, hit the ditch hard, and spun out. Our car and a truck were the only other ones on the road. The truck stopped, my mum stopped the car, and almost immediately, the other car somehow catches fire.

The truck driver gets out and looks like he might start calling for help, but my mum shoves her bag towards me, tells me to call for help, then jumps out of the car and heads for the wreck. There’s no hesitation, I can hear her muffled voice call out to the truck driver and he runs after my mum. As I’m calling 9-1-1, I’m watching my mum yank open the backdoor and climb inside the burning vehicle.

Then…nothing. It’s dark, it’s raining a bit, and the vehicle is putting out curls of smoke. There’s a fire on the other side. The truck driver gets the woman out quickly. She’s unconscious, and he drags her out onto the grass and moves her up onto the side of the road. My mum must have been wrestling with the baby seat though, and by the time she finally manages to get out, the fire has spread to the back.

The baby is clinging to her and crying. My memories are fuzzy because it happened a decade ago, but I think he was about a year old. My mum gets him up the ditch and the car…kind of explodes. It’s not a huge explosion, but all of a sudden, the fire isn’t contained to that one spot—it’s everywhere. The whole car is on fire.

If my mum had been ten more seconds late, she would have been caught in it. She was covered in soot when she got in our car. We were staying with my aunt and uncle at the time, and I remember when we got there, she just acted like nothing happened. She never spoke about it. It baffles me completely to this day. If anyone has infinity heaven-points, it’s my mum.

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50. Shelter In The Storm

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was volunteering at a local pizza shop to distribute slices to kids who otherwise couldn't get fed because the schools were closed. There was a woman with three kids who came by every few days to get slices. When I heard her story, I wanted to cry. It turns out the father had passed on unexpectedly right before the pandemic started.

They lost their house because of the slumlord they were renting from. The mother lost her job because she had no one to watch the kids. They were living in their minivan and things were bad for them. They were so nice and grateful, but ashamed when they'd come by to get slices that I genuinely felt for them. I had lost my job and got a pretty decent windfall of two months’ worth of unemployment and the CARES Act at once.

My landlord had a few properties open and is a close friend, so I got in touch with him and we worked out me paying their security deposit and the first 2 months of rent and he'd cover their utilities. I gave her his number and said he might be able to help and they moved in the next day. They've been there ever since and are doing extremely well now.

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51. Ringing It Up

My fiancé lost the ring that I made her and was super distraught about it when we couldn’t find it. I had handcrafted our rings myself. She was very sad since she loved hers. I worked from home during the pandemic so, every time she went to work, I worked on making a new ring. And in about 4-5 days I said I found it and handed her the one I made brand new. She still doesn’t know. I’d like to keep it that way as well. I don’t need her feeling terrible.

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