People Share The Nicest Thing A Stranger Has Ever Done For Them
The world can be a pretty screwed up place. Between wars, climate change, and general hatred between human beings, it can sometimes be hard to see the light. But if you pay attention to the people around you—the ones you pass in the street and ride the bus with—you’ll realize that most of us are actually decent people trying to get through life and be kind to others.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a “pay it forward” moment, you already know that the simplest act of kindness can completely change your outlook on life—especially when you’re having a bad day. We all need a little love in our lives.
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 First Class Guy
After long delays, my flight was cancelled while I was standing in line at the gate to board it. The next day was my son’s first birthday. I needed to be home. I went to the United desk and they refused to help me in any way. Not only could I not get another flight that day, but nothing the next day either. Despite the fact I was internetting the hell out of my phone and showing them all sorts of flights, direct and connecting that would get me there they were refusing, and I just didn’t have money to go buy something else. I was starting to lose my cool.
A guy in line stepped out after hearing me. He told them he was some crazy status and asked to speak directly to the manager. Next thing I knew he was transferring his own ticket on a direct flight to me so I could get home to see my boy. I don’t even know what happened. I tried to thank him in every way I knew how and he refused to take anything from me, just told me he knew how it was when he was younger and would have wanted someone to do the same for him. I hugged the guy (probably against his will) and ran and made my (his) plane and was in a first-class seat home. Seriously, dude was an angel I’ll never forget.
#2 Flowers for You
I was in a deep depression some years back and I just decided to walk in the park. I had sat down for some minutes and a kid, who could not have been more than four years, came up to me and handed me three yellow sunflowers. This random act of kindness is one of the most memorable in my life.
#3 Birthday Cake for One
My birthday one year was really sucking. I decided to go buy myself a cake at the grocery store and get it decorated because it was my birthday and I wanted something nice. When the guy at the counter asked who it was for (in retrospect he meant what name to put on it) and I said it was for me, he was incredulous that I had to buy my own birthday cake. I just kind of shrugged and went out to finish shopping for groceries. He said my cake would need to be paid for at pick up.
When I came back to pay for and pick up my cake, a different person was at the register and she said my cake had been paid for. It was also decorated a bit more than I thought it should have been. I have not seen that guy working there since and in my head I’ve called him the cake fairy. It was a good cake. I still cried eating it because the entire day sucked, but it was a good cake.
#4 Snow Plow
Here in upstate NY we just got a foot of snow Saturday. Came out to snow blow my driveway and my driveway had already been plowed. It’s a long driveway. Anyway, whoever did it didn’t leave a note or anything, so I have no idea who did it. Thanks, stranger.
#5 Thanksgiving Angel
Thanksgiving day 2003. I was driving down to my parents on Long Island from Buffalo, a seven to eight-hour drive. As I’m about halfway, I get a blowout. The tire is just shredded. I managed to get the donut on and slowly got into the next town (most of New York state is just… farms and nothing.) I stopped at every store that would conceivably have a tire, but nothing was open. I stopped at a police station, they told me to get a hotel until tomorrow.
So I hop back into my car and try to make it to the next town, try there. That’s when my donut went flat. So I get out and start walking. It is 2003, I don’t have a cell phone, so I knock on the first house I can find, hoping they’d let me use their phone so I can call my parents. The lady who answered the door invited me in, let me use her phone, offered me food and then, to my complete shock, called her friend who owned a used car dealership, had them tow my car to the dealership and put on a new tire, free of charge. I went from completely missing Thanksgiving and having to spend the night in some terrible hotel outside Binghamton to being back on my way within two hours. I’ll never forget that lady.
#6 No Trunks
My bathing suit flew off one of those wave machine things on a cruise ship when I was young. Not down a bit, exposing some of my butt. Off. WHOOSH. Trying to stand, keep my boyhood covered and looking for my trunks in a tsunami was tricky. A towel hits me in the face. Thank you, kind stranger.
#7 Road Trip Savior
In 1990 I was 19 years old, driving cross county by myself and all I have is $63 and a Texaco card. I’m close to empty one night somewhere in Iowa and pull up to a Texaco station about five minutes after they closed. I was trying to only use my Texaco card and conserve what little cash I had. The person working the station wouldn’t open to give me gas so I decided that I’ll just put ALL my clothes on (it was December and about 11 degrees) and sleep in my car until they opened in the morning.
About 2 a.m. I hear a tap on the window and, “I’m going to have to ask you to step out of the car!” It was the sheriff. I explained what was going on, he ran my ID to make sure I didn’t have warrants or anything and then ominously states, “That’s not how we do things around here.” OMG, I was terrified. How do you do things around here? What’s going to happen to me?!? Apparently he was so upset that the guy at the gas station left me there. So he calls the owner of the gas station, makes him come down in the middle of the night and fill my gas tank *for free*.
Then the sheriff calls his wife, lets her know what’s going on and she tells him to bring me over to their place. Mrs. Sheriff proceeds to feed me, lets me take a shower and sleep there until the next morning. Then she feeds me again, packs me a lunch, gives me $20 in cash and sends me on my way. It was seriously one of the most wholesome things that has ever happened to me.
#8 School Bus Drop Off
When I was nine or 10 I missed the school bus. This big guy picked me up and ran towards the bus screaming to try to make the bus stop. It eventually did and he put me inside of it and then dipped, I couldn’t even say thanks. And I was a chubby one no less.
#9 First Home
I bought my condo at 27 from a guy I’ve never met. There were a lot of offers way over asking price in a competitive market, but I offered what I could. I had lost out on many places before over months of searching, being outbid by ridiculous cash offers I had no chance of beating.
I fell in love with this neighborhood and made two other failed offers here earlier, so I wrote him a letter just telling my story, how hard I’d tried to save everything I could to buy my first place and make a home and start really establishing myself. He ended up taking my offer over much higher bids because he bought this place decades ago when he was a struggling 27-year-old trying to establish himself and my letter resonated with him. He probably could have made another $40k, but he wanted to give me the opportunity he had. I’m forever grateful.
#10 Saved His Life
When I was around eight, I was crossing a street without much looking. As soon as I started crossing, a stranger pulled me back by my shirt. Of course, a car flew by the same moment. Thank you, stranger.
#11 Bad Driver, Good Neighbor
I fell asleep at the wheel and drove my car into a ditch right at the entrance of my street. Must’ve been 1 a.m.. This guy was outside on his porch in a white t-shirt, rain boots, and boxers having a smoke. He yells over to me if I need help. I say I do. He says give me a sec. He brings out his old Toyota 4 runner and hitches my car to it. Pulls my car out in no time. Never seen him again.
#12 Dropped Wallet
I dropped my wallet in a mall parking lot, some lady found it and mailed it back to me with a nice letter. All the money was still in it. I felt like a Dark Souls character who reversed hollowing at a bonfire.
#13 Wheelchair Help
In Paris, the Metro is not wheelchair-friendly. We got stuck once because the accessible station was closed and we were diverted elsewhere. Two guys walked up, picked up my MIL in her chair, carried her up a flight, through the turnstile, and down a flight to the platform. Quick as you please, and they wanted nothing more than thanks. I don’t think they even knew each other.
#14 Hidden Keys
My keys dropped out of my pocket on a bus stop and realized only 10 to 15 minutes after I boarded the bus. I took a bus back and found it covertly placed on a ledge right next to where I seated.
#15 $40 Meant a Lot
I was on the bus freaking out about how I was going to feed my fiance and I as I was the only person working a 100 percent commission job. A stranger heard me on the phone freaking out on the verge of tears and politely alerted me that I had “dropped” some money. It was 40 dollars and my fiance and I used every penny. I never got to thank them but I quit that job I think a week or so later and found something way more stable.
#16 The Little Things
I was struggling to carry all my books after I got off the bus. They didn’t fit in my bag since I already had four other textbooks in my bag. I couldn’t get on my bike so a lady ran out of her house and gave me a bag and I almost cried because that was the nicest thing a stranger has done for me.
#17 Lost Keys
I was out clubbing and dropped my house keys. The next day, I get a letter in my mailbox with a guy’s phone number. I text him and it turns out he found my keys in the club, recognized the building they belong to (student housing), came to the building and tried the keys on every single mailbox until he found the right one. Then gave them back to me. Nicest guy ever, glad he didn’t rob me instead.
#18 Paid Medication
Paid for my wife’s medicine when we were waiting in line at the pharmacy, my wife was really badly burned in a cooking accident, and that day the medicine was $75 for some lotions and pills. He paid for all of it, really took us by surprise.
#19 Front Row Seats
I was at a bar with my then-girlfriend. Seated next to us was an older gentleman who was alone and looking forlorn. After a time, he tapped my girlfriend on the shoulder and said, “I like the way you two talk to one another. Here’s what I’m going to do. I spent a fortune on these tickets for my wife. Unfortunately, she can’t go anymore, and I just don’t feel like going without her. So I’d like you two to have them. The only catch is that the concert starts in twenty minutes.”
He didn’t elaborate, nor would he accept payment. He asked only that we go, enjoy ourselves, and keep being good to each other. He paid his tab and left. And that’s how I got front row seats to Prince.
I’m a guy. One time this girl said she really liked my outfit. It made me feel insanely good. Ever since, I always compliment the women in my life, and the occasional stranger, on their style. Sometimes simple kindness makes a major impact.
#21 Snow Man
I was working a back to back (11 p.m. then back at 7 a.m.) so I didn’t get to shovel, came home and it was done. I did find out it was my older neighbor who owns his own plow/mechanics shop. He took the plow from his shop to come do it for me. A few years later finally got to repay him by shoveling his driveway after it snowed and iced out. Never have I appreciated a neighbor more in my life.
#22 Old Helping the Young
An old lady put away my shopping cart and asked if I was okay. I’m not yet 40 but at that time my gallbladder was inflamed and I was waiting for surgery. I felt like utter crap but needed to buy some food. I must have looked horrible. In fact, even after my surgery, my health got much better and I’m getting new things wrong with me and old ladies keep wanting to help me.
#23 Wedding Savior
I was a groomsman in a wedding and my flight got delayed, like really delayed. So bad that Delta brought out the “We are sorry” care packages and complimentary pizza. Towards the seventh hour, I started getting upset that the front desk wasn’t giving us answers. Well, when I was going off, some seven-foot-tall diesel looking guy saw me, got in line for the complimentary pizza and handed me the plate, I ate it and reflected on what a prick I must have been.
Later he found another flight and was kind enough to ask the front desk women to book two tickets instead of one. He gave me the other ticket. Apart from the nod I gave him once we got off the plane, I never saw that dude again or even learned his name. I made it to the wedding just in time.
#24 Paid Lunch
I’m currently not getting paid during the shutdown. Myself and two of my shipmates were at lunch in uniform and a woman paid for our lunch. Small act but in times like these, it is beyond appreciated.
#25 Car Accident
When I was 11, I was stupid enough to cross in front of a bus with only a cursory glance backwards and I missed the minivan that had just started to overtake the bus. I got hit by the left-hand corner and flung across the road, injuring my legs (my knee still hurts sometimes all this time later) and splitting my lower lip.
As I lay there, a lady who I had seen on the bus a few times, came over and helped me over to the curb, checked me over, made sure my parents were called, made sure an ambulance was called and generally looked after a scared tearful hurt little boy. She was wonderful and I still see her around to this day and she always gives me a big smile when I wave hello.
#26 Kindness with Mitts
Went up to snowboard in Park City, totally forgot my snowboarding mitts at home and was gonna board barehanded, cause I wasn’t about to drop $50 on a pair of gloves. This dad with three kids overhear my conversation and offers me to borrow his extra pair of gloves for the day. Mind you, this man has never seen me before, I could have walked away with the gloves and not say a word after the day.
He gave me his number (not the other way around) and just text him when he’s done so I can drop it off for him. Six hours later, I call this man up and he already left the mountain! I end up hiding the gloves behind a booth and send him a picture of where it’s at because he planned on coming back up the mountain again. Genuinely amazing man. Wish I could have left some cash or something for him but I didn’t have any on me.
#27 Free Chocolate
I was once feeling really down cause of school and just life in general. I stopped at a convenience store on the way home to pick up a bit of chocolate to make myself feel better. The guy at the register must have noticed how miserable I was looking because he let me have the chocolate bar for free. It was a really simple act of kindness, but it almost made me tear up in that convenience store and instantly improved a bad day.
#28 Car Kindness
My fuel pump died 100 miles from home. He helped me get my truck out of the road, then drove me to two auto parts stores to get what I needed to fix it. Stuck around to get additional tools needed along the way, and it was pouring. For my truck, I had to also drop a skid plate and drop my fuel tank.
#29 Pregnant with Twins
Going through the line at Aldi and I had a bunch of stuff for WIC. Cheese, milk, yogurt, cereal, and juice for my pregnant-with-twins girlfriend. I find out Aldi doesn’t participate in the WIC program and I’m broke otherwise. I apologize and ask if they could restock it for me and out of nowhere, this nice lady says she can cover it. I say wow thank you but not needed as I can go to WalMart down the road. She insists, tells me congratulations, and best wishes for the babies. She really restored a lot of my faith in humanity that day.
#30 Disneyland Directions
We got lost on our way to Paris Disneyland when I was a kid. My dad and mom don’t speak French. I speak a very little bit of French. (what you learn at school) I was maybe 13 at the time. I asked her for directions to Disneyland. She proceeded to drive ahead of us all the way to the intersection where the road signs show the way to Disneyland.
#31 Wise Man
Once, I was carrying my sobbing infant in the grocery store while waiting in line to check out. I was super overwhelmed (it was my first trip out after my son was born), and a kind older man said, “One day, you’re going to look back on this with happy memories and even miss these moments.” He then insisted that I cut in front of him in line and bought all of my groceries. Man, that made a huge impact on me. What a wonderful man.
Not quite a stranger but a person I had only met once. They let me crash at their place for a few days when I was surprise evicted by a crazy Airbnb host.
#33 Lots of Questions
I spent some time helping a customer that my co-workers seemed annoyed with/couldn’t be bothered with because she had so many questions. The lady left and about 30 minutes later she flagged me down in the parking lot as I was going out to break. I went to her car and she thanked me and handed me a bouquet of flowers she’d just gone and bought for me. Very sweet and very unexpected.
#34 Do You Work Out?
Someone complimented my Adidas jacket and asked if I work out. It made me feel ‘fit’ considering it was during my sedentary years.
#35 Keep Reading
When I was a kid we didn’t have a lot of money, so we often shopped at thrift stores. What I loved about that was that you could get 10 books for a dollar, so I would plant myself in front of the book section and make piles of which one I wanted to get and then decided after I’d gone through them all.
One day an older lady saw me sitting with my piles and asked if I liked to read. I told her I did and showed her a few of the books I found that I liked. She smiled and then pulled a dollar out of her purse, handed it to me and said, “Promise me that you’ll keep reading.” I was so happy and immediately stood up and said that I would. She smiled and walked away and I went back to my piles able to pick out an extra 10 books to take home.
It was just a small act of kindness for her, but for me having a random stranger encourage my love of reading and making me promise to never stop definitely had a lot to do with my continued love of reading. This was probably about 20 years or so ago, but I still think of her whenever I buy a new book.
#36 For You, Officer
My mum went for a blood pressure test as she found out she hasn’t been tested for a while so her doctor suggested just to make an appointment. This appointment was 8:30 a.m. I was with her as I work at the same place as her and it would be just a quick appointment in the mornings before work. Basically the nurse couldn’t get the machine to work so they had to do it the old fashion way and she noticed that mum had an irregular heartbeat. (Which made mum spiralling as that’s what her mum had and died of a heart attack) so this quick appointment turned into 12 hours in A&E (emergency room). Once she had been jabbed and tested she was allowed to go home (I was with her the whole time refused to leave her).
So as we where heading home mum wanted a coffee and we ordered and collected our drinks. An police officer walked in and ordered, my mum quickly went up to him and offered to pay for his coffee which confused the officer as he thought he had helped her or something and she just goes: “Nope just had a rough day and wanted to share some kindness” After the day my mum had and she still wanted to share kindness.
#37 Poor and Pregnant
I was dirt poor and pregnant. My husband wanted me to call a locksmith to have a key made for an abandoned car on our property on the off chance that we could get it up and running. The locksmith refused to charge me after making the key. In hindsight, maybe the locksmith didn’t want to leave a paper trail after making us a key for something that didn’t belong to us but at the time I accepted it as difficult to swallow charity.
#38 Paid For
Went into a coffee shop to buy my lunch, forgot my wallet. Ran back to the office and when I returned, a random woman bought my lunch for me. She was gone already, I was very taken back by this random act and strived to pass that on to another.
#39 Selfless Teen
My son was probably two or three and we went to the mall. My son liked looking at displays. Well there was a model train set in a case that you could put a $1 in and watch them go around for a while. I was pretty broke if I recall and never had cash on me regardless. He was content just looking at the display. A group of loud mall teens come through and go past. One of them comes back and puts a dollar in the machine and says, “I always liked watching trains too,” then hurries off back to his friends. My son lit up. I never would have expected that action from a stranger, let alone a teen with his friends in a mall.
#40 Returned Wallet
One day I drove around with my wallet on the roof of my car. After a few hours went and I finally realized my wallet is gone and I started driving on the route I was on to see if I can find it. I get a call from my mom saying some dude showed up to our house and dropped my wallet off.
#41 Airport Kindness
I helped a guy go through TSA at La Guard-ya in NYC. Around 2008ish. He’d never flown before, had no idea what he could take on the plane, how much, etc. Security told him he couldn’t use his plastic bags he has his stuff in. Anyway, what rattled me was the fact that he was shoving pairs of very new Nikes into a trash bin- I couldn’t fathom why, so I went to ask. He explained his situation, so I told him that if he held tight, I’d go through security, buy him a carryon so he could get his stuff through. He handed me a hundred and I gave him my crochet project bag to hold as insurance. I got him a suitcase, went back and gave him it and the change, and showed him how to go through, remove your belt and shoes, etc. He thanked me and we hugged, going our own ways.
My flight was delayed by 3 hours at the last minute and I was already exhausted. I used my purse as a pillow and covered up with my coat, and fell asleep against a wall. When I woke up, there was a fuzzy travel blanket, convertible neck pillow, eye mask, a bag of cookies, and a little plush dog with a note tucked in his collar. He stuck this gift between me and the wall and never woke me up. I ended up traveling for 11 more hours and that thoughtful little package saved my sanity. Random airport dude, I’m glad you got to keep your kicks, and I still have the puppy. I named him LG.
#42 Subway Guy
At Subway a few months ago some young guy, probably in his early 20s, bought our meals. We had ordered three full subs with drinks, easily a $30 tab, and he just randomly offered to pay.
#43 Free Gas
My mother and I were visiting Carlsbad Caverns, NM back in 2011 or so and the tank hit empty just as we got there. We didn’t worry as we saw a gas station right before the main entrance. However, we got done in the caverns and came out to find the gas station closed and not even taking credit cards. It’s the only one without going back to town, which we couldn’t make it to.
As we’re standing there trying to see if we had service and what to do, a young couple comes up and asks what’s wrong. We explain the situation and they suddenly offer to grab us some gas from town and bring it back as they were running back to town for something before continuing back on the same highway. They told us to go grab some food at a nearby cafe and they’ll find my car and leave the gas can for us.
We offered them money, but they didn’t want any saying it was just a couple bucks to fill my small can. So, we trust them and go grab food. As we’re coming out, there’s my gas can, full, sitting next to my car. I’m so thankful for that random lovely couple. I also now prepare better in regards to my gas tank.
#44 Two Dollar Coffee
I was in a drive-thru getting a coffee and the car in front of me covered my barely two-dollar cup of coffee. Nothing crazy, but it set the mood for the rest of the day and I think about it smile from time to time.