There always seems to be that one person who does something nice for us without expecting anything in return. Not only do they make our day, but they also remind us that there’s good remaining in the world. These nice strangers remind us that there's always good in the world.
#1 Forever Grateful
I was struggling through college, had maybe $30 in my account and really needed gas (I commuted 25 miles to campus every day). I pulled in and it was full, but a guy waved me down to pull in behind him. He said, “Hey, I bought more than I needed, so there’s about $10 of gas still on there.” I almost started crying because that got me almost four gallons of gas. It really helped me out in a bad time and I’m forever grateful.
#2 Dinner’s On Me
This one time, a completely random stranger bought myself and my ex dinner on Valentine’s Day. According to the waitress, she said that he was so happy to do it. I guess he was a widower and doing a kind thing was enough to keep him happy through tough times. I’m still grateful for his gesture. Thank you, stranger.
#3 Look in the Bag
I was homeless, thirsty and hungry. I walked into this fast-food place at 2:00 a.m. and sat my bag down. I was dirty and smelled horrible, but I asked him if he had anything I could buy for a dollar. He said that anything on the menu I wanted. I told him all I had was a dollar, but he said if I gave him the dollar he would cover the rest of the price.
I gave him the dollar and got a double cheeseburger, some fries and a large drink. When he gave me the order, I went to the table sat down. When I opened the bag, there was a 50 dollar bill inside of it with a note saying that he hoped it would help me. It also said that he hoped I’d be able to get back on my feet soon and wished me the best in life. It actually brought tears to my eyes.
#4 Christmas Present
About four years ago, my family and I were on a road trip to Florida. At the Mississippi/Alabama state line, we got out to take pictures at the sign, like families and tourists tend to do. We spent about five minutes there, exchanged some pleasantries with a father-son duo doing the same thing, then went on our way.
15 minutes later on the highway, we were just casually chatting in the car when we heard a honk coming behind us. I looked over and it was a massive, white truck. It was the father and son. The son was waving my phone! Apparently, I dropped it at the sign. We both quickly pull over and I got my phone back. What amazes me is that they caught up to us at all. We were going 70-80 and had a good head start on them. That means they were on a mission to get my phone back to me. The best part about it all? It was Christmas Day, so I'll always consider their kind actions as one of my favorite Christmas presents.
#5 Offering Condolences
Last year, we had to take our dog of 17 years to the vet to be put to sleep. It was a small office, so I’m sure our bawling was easily heard from our room as we sat with her in the final moments. As we were leaving, we had a nice conversation with a lady who happened to be picking up her dog. She offered her condolences and the vet said I could just come back tomorrow to pay our bill. I called the next day to find out how much I owed and found out that the nice lady had paid our bill for us. That is easily the nicest thing a stranger has done for me.
#6 Snickers-Eating Angel
It was 1993 and I was a broke college girl with bad tires on my car. I was driving on the interstate and had a blowout. No cell phone, no cash on hand and several miles away from help. So there I was, standing next to my car with no idea what to do. Suddenly, this big, junky car pulled over. A guy whose physical appearance matched his car perfectly got out and asked if I needed some help. I told him no. Well, he told me to pop my trunk anyway. I wanted him to go away because I was nervous but popped the trunk anyway.
The things I can’t help but remember were that his t-shirt was too short to cover his belly and he unwrapped a Snickers bar and proceeded to eat it one bite. He then pulled my spare tire and jack out of the trunk. He changed my tire in a matter of seconds, told me I was “good to go,” and drove away. No bravado. No introduction, no goodbye. I was stunned. This goes out to all the big, sloppy-looking, clunker-driving, Snickers bar-eating guardian angels out there. You are the real heroes.
#7 Memorable Act
I was 18 and living away from home for the first time (from the UK, moved to Canada). I couldn't afford much, so I'd walked two miles through the snow to buy bedding in a discount shop and was having a miserable day. The woman in front of me in the cashier queue put $50 on a store voucher card, handed it to me and walked away before I had a chance to react. In the middle of a tough day, it really made a difference. It was definitely the most memorable random act of kindness I've ever experienced.
#8 Cherished Set
I loved my grandmother's antique sugar and creamer set. I wanted one of my own when I got married but my grandmother was still using hers. So, I started my quest of searching for a similar set. Apparently, that particular plastic set was either not popular or not many survived because it was incredibly hard to find.
I finally just posted a description of what I was looking for on an antiquing forum because I couldn't even find an image of it. A lady responded with a photo of the set she had. I asked her if she would sell it and told her why I wanted it. She responded that she would consider selling it, so I sent her my address and asked for a return address or a link to pay.
There was no response but a couple of weeks later I got the set in the mail (with no return address) and a sweet letter wishing me good luck in my new marriage and new home. It also read that she hoped I would cherish the set she sent me. This complete stranger sent me this incredible gift. 13 years later and I’m still using that same set. I do cherish it very much!
#9 Helping Out
When I was homeless and living in my truck, my truck broke down. There was a guy who lived in a house across the street from where my truck broke down. He came out and helped me figure out that the alternator was fried, took me to the auto parts store paid for my new alternator. They said that it would be the next day before it would get in.
He offered to let me spend the night at his house with his family. I got a shower, a good meal and a place to sleep. The next day, he took me back to the auto parts store to pick up the alternator, helped me install it, and gave me a little bit of cash to send me on my way. He's a good dude and I hope everything's still going great for him.
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#10 Next in Line
About 20 years ago, I was flying standby to my hometown because my brother had passed away. I was fifth or sixth on the list. I was a mess but didn’t say why I was flying to anyone. When the first guy on the list got called, he went up to the gate agent and told her that I obviously needed to get on that flight before anyone else. She agreed and called me to get on the plane. I often think about this kind man and hope he’s been living the good life he deserves.
#11 Here’s a Bunny
I was the stranger in this situation. I'm an artist and whenever I see someone having a bad day, I draw them a little bunny. It doesn’t matter if I don't know them, they get bun regardless. High school girl? Bun. Single mom? Bun. College guy? Bun. There's only one sad person allowed around here and that's me.
#12 Extra Ticket
I work at a theater box office that has Broadway performances. Hamilton was premiering for the week and employees weren’t allowed to get tickets unless they paid for one. Even with the minor discount, it was expensive. As a college student, I couldn’t afford it at all and it was my dream to watch it. I was a huge Hamilton fan since it first began.
On the very last day of the show, a lady came up to my ticket window and asked, “Have you seen the show and do you know if it’s worth it?” “No, but I for sure know it’s worth it! It’s been sold out and very popular.” She then said, “Here. My daughter couldn’t come, you can have her ticket.” It was a 550$ ticket in the third row center of the theater. I was beyond blessed and won’t forget how kind that stranger was.
#13 Back From the Edge
I tried to jump off a bridge onto the motorway. I was caught by a passerby, a man in his 40s, who grabbed me, yanked me back and restrained me so that I couldn't go back. His female colleague was with him and she called the police. They then sat with me (he was still restraining me) and calmly chatted with me as though it was just another day, which calmed me down a bit.
Eventually, he was able to let me go, although he sat within grabbing distance until the police arrived. I was really, really nasty to them for saving me when I wanted to leave so badly. But, they didn't get angry with me at all. I never got their names, but I'm so incredibly grateful. I'm doing so much better now and wish I could thank them.
#14 Through the Parking Lot
My niece was losing her battle with an illness and my family was taking turns caring for her. She had a large dog and I had to buy dog food when I went shopping. The dog food she wanted came in 50 lb. bag. A clerk at the store got the bag down from the top shelf and put it in my cart. The cashier just reached over and rang it up. When I got to my car, I realized that I couldn't pick it up to put it in the car. This man came along on his way to the store, stopped to pick up the bag, put it in my trunk and never said a word. My thanks echoed through the parking lot.
#15 Angel on the Plane
I was on an airplane with my then-toddler daughter and infant son. It was a 12-hour, transatlantic flight. My daughter was a champion traveler but my son was not. I struggled to handle both kids, making sure she got what she needed and trying to calm down the crying baby. I was just plain tired and overwhelmed.
An angel, a kind lady tapped me on the shoulder and offered to walk my baby in the aisle so I could get my daughter settled and take a break. Normally, I wouldn't hand over my baby to a stranger, but it's hard to kidnap on a plane. She walked my son for hours. I got settled, rested, and calmed down. She brought back a happy, sleepy boy. He's now 16 and I still remember how grateful I was for her.
#16 Secret Santa
In high school, my class had Secret Santa. When the day came, my Secret Santa forgot to get me anything. He asked what I wanted so he could get me something over the winter break. I told him it was no big deal and not to bother. After the winter break, to my surprise, these two other students brought me a bag full of candy. It was probably the nicest thing someone has done for me.
#17 Polite and Considerate
A couple of months ago a really nice Dutch couple gave us a ride to the airport. I was with my mom, returning back home after dropping out of university. It was the period of time in February where there were extremely strong winds, which had caused the train lines to be stopped temporarily. Then we would have had to wait for buses, etc. If it wasn’t for them, we may have missed our flight. One thing that never fails to surprise me is how welcoming, polite and considerate the Dutch people are.
#18 Night Train
I’m an American female, riding the night train through Bulgaria to Istanbul. I was by myself and 20. The usher acted like there was a problem with my ticket (I had paid in full) and ordered me to get off the train at an empty, dark station in the middle of the woods. I didn’t want to go with him, but I didn’t speak the language and didn’t know what else to do.
I was used to obeying authority and most of the train just watched in silence. Out of nowhere, a complete stranger, a local, saw what was happening, and bribed the usher $100 not to take me into the woods. I eventually made it to my hostel safely. I might not be alive today because of this stranger. I’m forever grateful.
#19 Out of Nowhere
I had a flat tire in a very rural area and the car didn’t have a jack. It was raining and I knew I was in for a long wait. Then all of a sudden, this guy came running down the driveway with an umbrella and a jack. We changed the tire so fast and then he wished me well and ran back down the driveway. It was surreal.
#20 It’s Taken Care Of
I was on my way to work (about 40 miles away) and stopped at a gas station 10 minutes away from my house for $20 of fuel. I went to pay and discovered that my account was almost empty. A payment that shouldn't have been taken for another four days had been taken early. So I stepped out of line and called my parents to grab the $20 I had forgotten on my nightstand.
Before the call could even connect, this older gentleman came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "It's taken care of." He then just walked off before I could even respond. It took me a minute to register what he was even talking about. I never got that guy's name. I've never seen him around since. I have no idea who he is or anything and I doubt he knew me either.
#21 Kind Stranger
I was out with a few of my buddies one random night and we asked for a check. The waitress said it was already paid for. I asked by who and she said it was an older woman who didn’t want to be known. It seems like a small thing, but when somebody does something like that for you, knowing they can’t even get a thank you because they’re not there, it’s a reminder that things aren’t so bad.
#22 A Good Lesson
I was four or five when a kind man gave me some candy in the street. I was with my mom and I remember how happy both of us were. I don't remember what it was exactly, but it was something red and big enough to fill my palm. I was so happy. For reference, it was the post-war period in my country and my family was very poor. Never underestimate a little present you give to a child in need. That man taught me a good lesson.
#23 First-Class Ticket
This guy gave up his seat in first-class on a direct flight home when he heard me arguing with the guys at the United desk. It was my son's first birthday the next day and I had to be home for it. However, canceled my flight due to “technical problems with the plane.” I tried to rebook. I tried everything. But, nothing.
I said I'd do anything, a bunch of transfers, jump across airlines, even give them the last 300 bucks I had in my bank account if that'd help make it happen. They kept telling me no, even though the internet on my phone I was showing them was telling me there were seats and lots of other options. I just didn't have $2K to buy one of them.
#24 Presents on the Porch
My daughter was an inpatient in another state for mental health issues. My ex and I were alternating visits to see her. Her birthday was coming up and I wanted to get her something. I asked her what she might want and she said, “a copy of my favorite movie.” Things had a way of vanishing in her facility, so instead of buying a new copy, I explained my situation on Craigslist.
Someone replied and said they'd leave a used copy on my front porch. Not only did they leave that, but some other gifts for my daughter to help pass time while she was in the hospital. When I saw their generosity, all I could do was cry buckets of tears. No idea who they were, but I appreciate what they did and try to pay forward when I can in memory of what they did for my daughter.
#25 Lost and Found
When I was a child, I got lost in a mall. A stranger found me, stopped his shopping, and brought me up to security. The security then announced a lost child, and my parents found me. It wasn't the man's job to help me with finding my parents and right after he took me to the security, he just left. He didn't expect anything in return. I know this is a scenario that happens to many people, but this is my idea of getting help from a stranger.
#26 Side of the Road
I moved to Chicago from Texas in the fall of 1982. I had never lived where it snowed. It took me a couple of months to find a job downtown. One morning, as I pulled into the area where my job was and started looking for a place to park, I realized I had a flat tire. Now, I can change a tire, but I was dressed for work and there were about six inches of snow on the ground.
As I pulled to the side of the road and before I could even get out of my car, a guy came running from an open garage bay with a pneumatic jack. He told me he'd change my tire. In about ten minutes, he had my tire changed. I offered him $20, but he refused. It was the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for me.
#27 Ticket to Ride
One day, I had to get on the bus but didn’t realize that I had no money left on my card. I must have forgotten to top it off. I was pretty surprised and felt shame with the little failure sound that came from the ticket machine. Afterwards, a hero I didn’t deserve had used his ticket card for me without asking.
#28 Back to Shore
I flipped a kayak loaded with camping gear into water so cold I couldn't drop my bag or kick off my boots to swim. I lost all my motor skills. My friend, also on a kayak, got me to a log, but there was no way he could get me to the landing. He went to the landing to call the cops. Well, a stranger heard him and found his way to me through the woods. He then swam to me and dragged me back to shore. He didn't want anything, but I still went and bought him coffee. However, he disappeared by the time I got back.
#29 Away From Home
I ran away from home after a huge fight with both my parents. My brother was hitting and kicking me and the police picked me up. I sat in a holding cell and a very nice policewoman came to talk to me. I basically threw my entire life story on her while bawling my eyes out. She was very kind to me and helped me find a place to stay in a crisis ward for people with mental issues.
#30 Parting Ways
My cousin and I bought an old car from Craigslist and drove it home. Halfway back, it flopped out on the road and we couldn't figure out how to start it. This woman driving a pickup truck stopped by and helped us check. She believed it was the battery, so she took out the cable jumper, hooked into her pickup and started our car. We thanked her, she quietly nodded, and we parted our ways. Thank you, stranger.
#31 Cart of Food
I did some grocery shopping at Walmart to stock up for the next couple of weeks. After the cashier rang up the total, I realized I left my wallet at home. Nice. Not a big deal, I only live five minutes away. The cashier suspended my order so I could come back with my wallet. Before I could start walking away, the woman behind me offered to pay for everything in my cart, approximately $200 worth of food. Sometimes, the worst of times can bring out the best in people. I couldn't promise to pay her back, but I can promise to pay it forward.
#32 Peppa Pig Umbrella
I was stuck in the rain one day a few months back and had had to use my daughter’s Peppa Pig umbrella while I was waiting to go pick her up. A lady working in the card shop I popped to gave me one of their unsold umbrellas for free. She said it would only be thrown out anyway since they hadn't been selling. I was still very touched and it's not something I'll forget.
#33 Random Florida Guy
It wasn’t anything crazy, but me, my wife and son went to Disneyland for a week. We also went to some of the local beaches around Orlando. The weather was hot and very humid. We planned on renting an umbrella to block the demonic son Florida was offering, but they didn’t accept Apple Pay. I didn’t bring a wallet out of fear of it being stolen. The kind couple behind us paid for our umbrella without hesitation and didn’t want anything in return. Thanks, random Florida guy!
#34 Changing Tires
Back when I was about 19 years old, I had a flat tire. I was sort of stranded, but a kind stranger and his daughter were walking past me. The dad stopped to change my flat without any hesitation. They then went on their merry way. After that, I asked my dad to teach me and have helped people change their tire.
#35 Two Teenagers
Last year, I had the worst time of my life and had a big fight with my best and only friend. I decided it was enough and went to a local park, thinking about how to finally end my life. I sat on a bench and looked at the sky for some time while crying. Two teens tried talking to me. It was weird, but nice to talk to someone, so I did. Turns out, the two had a combined total of seven attempts on their lives. They stayed with me for about two or three hours, only leaving when they knew I was going home. One of them added me on Facebook later and I thanked her so much. I will ever forget about them.
#36 Those Are For You
I was working at 7/11 on Christmas Eve. An East Indian couple came in and started chatting. They didn’t celebrate Christmas, but I did. It came out that I was missing the evening. They left, then the lady came back in. She said she wanted to get her husband chocolate, but he wasn't a big sweets guy. What would I recommend for him? She bought king size versions of everything I said, then told me, “Merry Christmas from us. Those are for you,” and left. I never saw them again.
#37 Friendly Neighbor
My cat ran out in the road and got hit by a car. I was inconsolable and in a state of shock. My neighbor who lived across the road, who I'd never met, calmed me and helped me wrap up my cat. She dug a big hole for me, then left me alone to bury him. I was never able to thank her properly. It was over 15 years ago and I'm still grateful.
#38 Irish Smiles
I have crooked teeth courtesy of a toxic relationship many moons ago. I could have saved up to get them fixed, but the cost was incredible and there was always something more important to pay for than my teeth. The older I've gotten, I've just let it slide. I’m self-conscious around new people, but people who know me just accept me and my wonky teeth. I had a customer one day, a hard-as-nails true-blue Aussie tell me to smile more often as I have a lovely smile and squeezed my hand. Every single time he comes into my store he looks for "Irish smiles." I couldn’t love him more!
#39 My Mother’s Bicycle
When I was little, I was on the back of my mother’s bicycle and my foot got stuck between the wheel and got twisted. A lady heard me crying and ended up helping me and my mom. She helped me calm down, invited us to her house and got some ice for my foot. I have actually gotten my foot stuck between a bicycle wheel multiple times.
#40 Two Ladies
Many years ago, when my children were young, we ran out of gas on the highway. I thought I could make it to my mom's, she was five miles from where we ran out of gas. A car with two ladies in it pulled over and drove us to the nearest gas station. They put gas in my gas can and bought my kids some snacks, drove us back to my car, actually put the gas in my car and then gave me $20. We followed them back to that gas station and I filled up my car with gas. I had $4 bucks left over and offered it back, but they said to keep it. I was so grateful!
#41 Ensuring Safety
When I was in high school on my way home, some guy was hassling me and asking for money. He was mumbling nonsense and followed me part of the way home. A guy passing by stepped in and asked if I was alright. He told the other guy very calmly and politely to leave me alone, then walked me to the end of the street to make sure I was alright. I’ll always remember that because at the time I was terrified and had no idea what to do. I hope that guy is happy and healthy, he deserves it.
#42 Looking Out for Each Other
When I first started long haul trucking, money was very tight for a while. All of my money went to rent and food for the house, not for the truck. Normally, I would have packs of food or drinks in the truck or buy food from truck stops. This one trip, however, all I had was one pack of granola bars to last me two weeks.
I got to the terminal, ready to head out, worried about how I’d survive the next two weeks. I then got a knock on my truck door. This other driver was leaving the company and wanted to give me all his food and his cooler. It was enough food to last a whole month and he didn't ask for anything. Naturally, when I left the company a year later, I paid it forward to another driver.
#43 Replacing Anger
A lady who was really kind to me after we got into a fender-bender (it was my fault, my car was smashed and hers wasn’t scratched). She called me afterward to ask if I was alright. She could have been rightfully angry, and instead was so kind to me. It was a small act of kindness but really made a huge impression on me.
#44 Free Money, Kid
Back when I was in elementary school, my family had decided to go on a road trip to my grandmother's house during spring break. We drove for a few hours and decided to stop at a gas station to use the bathroom and get lunch. After we all went to the bathroom, I was in line and waiting for my food to come out.
As I was waiting, a teenager randomly came up to me, and said, "Here's some free money, kid.” He then just gave me a 20 dollar bill and left. It was the most random thing ever, but it also made me really happy. He was with some other teenagers who I assumed were his friends, so maybe it was a dare or something. Still though, it made me really happy.
#45 An Uncle to Me
After running to the police station for reasons you can probably guess. The chief of police (or whatever it's called) asked me about my life and I told him everything about my terrible childhood. The policeman said he would try everything he could to get my godfather out of prison. Two years later, he did and ever since he has kind of become an uncle to me.
#46 Waive the Fee
Back in 2009, I was going to visit my dad in a different state. I was absolutely broke at the time. When I was checking in, there was a fee I wasn’t expecting. The lady saw the fear and embarrassment in my eyes of not having 20 bucks and she just said, “Never mind” and smiled. I don’t know if she waived the fee or covered it herself, but I will never forget her kindness.
#47 Nicest Rude Guy
A guy stepped in front of me at PetSmart. I was sort of peeved at first, but then this guy tossed a piece of paper and kind of grumbled, "I won't use this. It'll work for you, though." The cashier looked and showed me a $40 store credit for the exact prescription dog food I was buying. He was easily the nicest rude guy ever.
#48 The Full Experience
I went to a Korn concert with my dad when I was younger. I grew up with the music and there are pictures of me as a baby literally wrapped in my dad’s old Korn shirt. My dad couldn’t afford great tickets but wanted me to see them in concert, so we had the cheapest ones available. My dad took me to the bathroom before the set was about to start, and two older guys were absolutely sloshed.
They came up and started talking to us. They traded us their floor seats so I could have the “full experience” and it was the best concert I had been to. We stayed towards the back so my dad could prop me on his shoulders and not block the view for people. It was amazing. Thanks, kind strangers. It’s still my favorite concert experience.
#49 New Backpack
I was hitchhiking across the US and my backpack was in pretty sorry shape. It was stitched back together in several places, and the plastic buckle was broken, so I had the straps tied around my waist. A couple picked me up in South Dakota and told me they needed to stop by a sports supply store. They asked my opinion on backpacks, I pointed out a good brand, and they proceeded to buy a super nice hiking pack. They waited until we got back to the car to let me know it was mine.
#50 Free Trips
I was arriving in Atlanta at the airport and needed to get a ticket for their train into town. As I was waiting in line to get a ticket from the kiosk, a very cool dude just handed me a ticket that had 10 trips on it. He said he wasn’t coming back anytime soon, so I could just have it. He wouldn't let me pay for it either. No one has ever been nice to me, so I was very confused.