Say what you will about the Internet’s inherent power to divide us and fan the flames of negativity, but there’s at least one type of news story that literally everyone with a working human heart can appreciate: feel-good acts of kindness. Remember that fall night several years ago when a police officer bought a bare-footed homeless man a new pair of boots out of the kindness of his heart? Of course you do. We all saw it—courtesy of a camera-toting bystander—and the images went viral, inspiring people across the country and spreading some much-needed feelings of warmth and fuzziness.
Such noble acts aren’t rare. For proof, click on, because here we’ve compiled some of the most notable selfless acts from 2018 so far. These heartwarming stories are guaranteed to make you feel hopeful about our species, and may even inspire you to do good yourself. And remember: Science says that performing a random act of kindness for someone else is more than just a wonderful thing to do. It’s also good for your health. And for more inspiration, don’t miss these 33 Little Acts of Kindness You Can Do That Are Totally Free.
Kid uses “Make A Wish” on entire school
Javier Amos, 9, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and was granted a wish from the “Make A Wish Foundation,” the organization famous for connecting ill children with their favorite heroes.
Amos, however, decided to use his wish to ask for a pizza party—including zoo animals, bouncy castles, laser tag, and other games—for his entire school. The “Make A Wish” foundation did just that, coming to his elementary school in South Dakota for two hours one Friday as his thankful classmates cheered his kindness and proudly held signs with his name on it. And for ways you can put some kindness of your own into the world, consider donating to 17 Quirkiest Charities That Give Back in Creative Ways.
Stranger helps organize shipment of 3,000 cookies for deployed soldier
When Mark Chalifoux was accidentally included in a group text that featured one family planning to send care packages to a soldier, he wasn’t sure how to respond. Because the other members in the group failed to pick up his hints that he didn’t belong, he decided to do something drastic to let them know.
After setting up a GoFundMe and receiving numerous donations totaling over $1,400 from more than 100 donors, he ended up shipping out 40 pounds of cookies to the unknown soldier and his mates.
Community buys car for kid who walks three miles to work every day
After seeing his fellow Texas resident, 20-year-old Justin Corva, walking to work in the 95º Fahrenheit heat, Andy Mitchell decided to pull over and offer the young man a ride. From their conversation, he learned that Corva walks three miles to and from work every day because he couldn’t afford a car.
Motivated by the man’s dedication, Mitchell and other members of the community set up a donation box in a local restaurant and secured a deal from a local car dealer to purchase Corva a 2004 Toyota Camry complete with gas, insurance, and two years of oil changes. Fortunately for us, they caught the entire reveal—in which they surprise Corva with his new vehicle—on camera. And for ways to make the world a better place, be sure you’re keenly aware of these 33 Charitable Opportunities to Participate in This Holiday Season.
Neighbors celebrate second Halloween so that mom doesn’t break promise to her son
When blogger Laura Mazza had to travel for work the day before Halloween, she promised her young son that she would be back in time to go trick-or-treating. After a series of cancelled flights, she realized that wouldn’t be the case. Heartbroken, she asked in a local parents’ group whether or not anyone had left their decorations up and wouldn’t mind handing out candy to her and her son the day after the holiday. To her surprise, the response was phenomenal, with some neighbors even dressing up once again just to make her son’s day special. As she wrote on her Instagram afterwards, “they [her neighbors] taught me that in motherhood, you’re never alone, because other mothers will always have your back!”
Firemen chauffeur newlyweds to their party
While newlyweds Justin Stone and Maria Leonardi were taking pictures after tying the knot, their ride to the afterparty—a trolley parked outside—caught on fire. After the fire department was called, and the flames were put out, the crew realized that the newlyweds would be left without a lift to their reception. In response, they offered to drive the couple inside their fire truck. While neither bride nor groom had ever travelled by fire truck before, they graciously accepted—and the day was saved, again. And for measure that you can take to make the world a better place, Take the 30-Minute Challenge: Here’s What You Can Do to Help Those With Cancer.
4-year-old spends his allowance on feeding the homeless
When 4-year-old Austin Perine of Birmingham, Alabama, learned that there were people in the world who were both homeless and hungry, he decided to do something about it. Donning a cape and going by “President Austin,” he asked his parents to take all the money they would spend on his toys and instead buy chicken sandwiches for him to hand out to the homeless. As he did, he gave each recipient a piece of advice: “Don’t forget to show love.”
Server comes to kid’s surgery
While waiting on a family at the Olive Garden in which he works, Drew Lewis struck up a conversation with one of their kids. Like Drew, the child also wanted to grow up to be a police officer. After inquiring about the child’s unique T-shirt, which read #TommyStrong, Drew learned that his new friend would be undergoing brain surgery the following week. Because of their immediate bond, the child asked if Drew would come to the surgery to be there when he woke up. Going above and beyond the line of duty, Drew did—packing an extra “Police Academy” T-shirt for his young friend.
Man delivers food to his neighbors for free
James Chen, a 37-year-old marketing manager living in Yishun, a town in northern Singapore, often travels to far-off destinations to find exquisite food. One day, he realized that if he was going to take the time to queue up and purchase food, he might as well offer the same service to others, saving them time and allowing them to eat some of the most interesting food his area has to offer. After starting a WhatsApp group for the purpose, his order lists have grown to include more than 90 people.
After securing their orders, Mr. Chen delivers—participants live in his condominium complex, the Signature at Yishun, or in in the neighboring exec condo, The Criterion—the food to each member, no fee required. When asked why he does what he does, Mr. Chen was understated to say the least: “Since I am already in the queue,” he explained, “I might as well offer to buy food for my neighbors to save them the time of queuing up.”
Neighborhood celebrates Christmas early for dying neighbor
When 2-year-old Brody Allen was told he only had weeks to live due to a brain cancer diagnosis, his parents knew he would never make it to his favorite holiday—Christmas. So the couple decided to begin decorating their yard and home as if it was the Christmas season, giving Brody one last winter wonderland. Soon, however, their neighbors got in on the fun as well, and eventually the entire neighborhood was decorated as if it was Christmas—in September—for young Brody.
Bus driver packs extra lunches to give to the hungry
While a reporter was traveling in a bus driven by Dexter Quinn, Sr., a homeless man wandered up to the driver’s side window, asking for food. Quinn, without thinking, immediately handed the man a sandwich and water. Afterwards, the reporter asked what had made Quinn so willing to part with his lunch, only to be told that the bus driver packs eight lunches and waters a day just to hand out to those less fortunate.
Customers buy out doughnut shop every morning so owner can be with his wife
John and Stella Chhan have been running the Donut City doughnut shop in Seal Beach, California for almost thirty years. When one day Stella stopped appearing by John’s side behind the counter, customers learned that she was recovering from an aneurysm in a nursing home, where John would go to visit her once the store closed every day at 2:00 p.m.
Patrons, however, decided that simply wasn’t enough time for the lovely owners to be spending together each day, and, after posting on social media, started a phenomenon in which hungry diners line-up outside Donut City early in the morning, buying dozens of treats until the store sells out, allowing John to see his wife. And the plan has worked: this last Monday, for example, Donut City was sold out by 7:30 a.m.
Town does random acts of kindness in a father’s memory
Coming up on the one-year anniversary of his father’s death, Jack Nachtigal asked that in his memory community members perform random acts of kindness, posting them to social media with the hashtag #JerrysDayOfKindness. Soon, Jack’s account was flooded with hundreds of examples Sioux Falls residents doing things like picking up tabs for strangers, singing at nursery homes, or making donations, all in Jerry’s name. They plan to celebrate the day again next year, hoping to extend their reach even further.
Stranger helps mother on flight take care of two young children
When Jessica Rudeen boarded a plane with her three-year-old daughter and four-month-old son, she expected the usual eye-rolls from annoyed fellow passengers whenever the kids became unruly. What she didn’t expect was that her neighbor in the next seat, a man named Todd, would take it upon himself to entertain her daughter for the entire flight as Jessica fed her son and put him to sleep. Todd even shared a connecting flight with the family, and walked along with them to their next flight, telling Jessica that she reminded him of his wife, who once also experienced a similar act of kindness from a stranger on an airplane flight.
Image via Facebook
Family picks up trash in memory of deceased relative
When Garrett Sands passed in early 2018, his family and friends knew they wanted to keep his memory alive. Starting the Garrett Sands Kindness Project, they began to undertake community events in which they would do things—while wearing matching shirts—such as hand out flowers or pick up trash in his memory. The group continues to do projects in his name, welcoming those unfamiliar with Sands to join their efforts through the group’s Facebook page.
Neighbors respond to teen’s act of kindness with new car
After Rouses supermarket employee Jordan Taylor, 20, was caught on camera at work kindly interacting with a boy with autism, showing him how he did his job, video of the interaction went viral. In response, a local credit union in Baton Rouge responded to the young man’s empathy with a new car. In addition, they announced that a GoFundMe page set up for higher education had raised over $100,000, getting Taylor even closer to his goal of becoming a teacher.
Police officer shaves man
Cops don’t just give out tickets and respond to crime scenes. Case in point: Tony Carlson, a police officer in Florida, was caught on camera carefully shaving the face of a man to help the latter land a job. The ensuing video went viral for obvious reasons, restoring faith in both humanity and community policing.
Florists nationwide randomly hand out flowers
On October 24, 2018, as part of the “Petal It Forward,” initiative, florists in over 400 U.S. cities randomly handed out bouquets of flowers to local residents. Fortunate recipients were given two bouquets—one to keep, and another to give to a loved one, friend, or complete stranger.
CEO affirms worker’s decision to take mental health day
When Madalyn Parker, a web developer at Olark Live Chat, switched her out-of-office message to reflect the fact that she was focusing on her mental health, she didn’t expect the response she would get from her CEO, Ben Congleton. Replying to her message, Congleton said he wanted to “personally thank” her for reminding everyone of the importance of mental health, helping to “cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.” And if you find yourself needing a day or two now or then, here are 25 Genius Ways to Conquer Office Burnout.
Bus driver shelters oncoming riders from the elements
Everyone knows how frustrating it can be to commute in the rain. If only there were more people like bus captain Pang Yee Pau of Singapore’s SBS bus services, who was caught leaning out of the front door of his vehicle with an umbrella, sacrificing his own comfort—not to mention dryness—to make riders lives just a bit more pleasant as they boarded. While his deed was caught on camera and will be rewarded by the SBS bus service, perhaps the best reward would be to follow Pau’s example of going the extra mile and doing the deed that, while often neglected, makes others lives that much sweeter.
Students hand out coffee and doughnut holes to pedestrians
Sometimes the simplest acts can be the kindest. Earlier this year, three students from Vernon Christian School in British Columbia decided to roam their downtown streets early one morning, handing out coffee and doughnut holes to those who pass them by. Though the act was small, it’s surprising nature filled many with glee, with one recipient telling local news that, “At first I thought they were joking,” but after taking his first sip from the very real coffee, “I was super stoked.”
Town celebrates 12-year-old’s birthday
Sarah Donegan was all smiles when she was surprised by her entire neighborhood singing “Happy Birthday” on her lawn. The 12-year-old had been diagnosed with brain cancer and was home for a break from treatment when the surprise party was sprung upon her. With numerous donations and kind gestures from caring strangers, the experience moved Sarah to write a book about her own struggles and victories for other kids with cancer.
Students begin bringing in snacks for those without them
After a 7-year-old, Stryker Blake, began bringing in snacks for his fellow students at Lee County Primary who didn’t have any, his peers quickly picked up on his gesture, packing their own extra snacks. Eventually, the school had children and teachers in all grades bringing in snacks for others. There was one catch, however: each snack pack had an act of kindness—like “pick up three pieces of litter”—labelled on the front, which the recipient had to perform.
Fifth grader donates proceeds from sale of rabbit to fallen policeman’s family
After learning about the death of officer Brad Jimmerson in the line of duty, fifth-grader Skeet Adams decided he wanted to donate the proceeds of the sale of his show animal—a rabbit he had been raising for months for the very occasion—to Jimmerson’s family. After the head of the auction heard about Adams’ decision, he took the cap off the bidding process, leading to a price of almost $5,000 for the animal, all of which went to the family of the fallen officer.
High school girls return favor with breakfast for the homeless
After having their pre-prom dinner covered by two strangers who complimented the girls on their outfits, high school seniors Emily Hermanson and Savannah Cantrell decided they had to pass along their good fortune. The next morning, while breakfasting at Dunkin’ Donuts, the pair decided to share breakfast with those most in need. Exiting the establishment with arms full of doughnuts, coffee, and water, the two girls handed out meals—until it was time for school—to anyone who looked hungry.
Anonymous person pays for entire restaurant to honor fallen officers
After two local police were killed in Florence, South Carolina, an anonymous person took it upon themselves to pay for every meal in the Long Grain Cafe, a popular establishment in town. All they asked was that the restaurant’s servers hand cards to each diner asking them to “accept this random of act of kindness” on behalf of the fallen officers—including a picture of the deceased.
Man comforts stranger’s baby in waiting room
After a woman walked into a doctor’s office holding a baby—and was asked to fill out paperwork—an elderly man sitting nearby asked if she would like him to hold her child while she did so. She accepted his offer, and images snapped by a stranger of the man comforting the child as if it his own have gone viral, shared over 300,000 times.
Strangers give up concert tickets to young family
After traveling for hours to attend a Pentatonix concert with her young children, a mother was distressed to learn that their tickets were for the wrong event. Shedding tears, the group was asked by a stranger what was wrong—at which point they shared their story. In response, the stranger said the concert didn’t mean that much to her and her two friends, giving up the tickets to the children and their mother, making their day.
Tennessee woman performs acts of kindness in memory of shooting victims
Amanda Barnette of Church Hill, Tennessee, has been performing random acts of kindness—leaving baby wipes in baby changing areas, paying for diner’s meals, giving away free bus passes, stuff like that—to honor those killed in the Las Vegas and Florida shooting tragedies. At the site of each act, she leaves behind a sticker with a victim’s face on it—along with a brief message—hoping to keep their spirit alive through her generosity.
Reddit enthusiastically responds to retirement center’s postcard project
After a worker at the Adult Day Health Center posted on Reddit about her organization’s postcard project—in which they collect postcards from around the world to inject a little adventure into their elderly residents’ lives—Reddit responded with enthusiasm. Within days, she said, they had over 50 postcards from throughout the United States and beyond. The project continues to take place, she says, with residents “now excitedly wait[ing] to see the mail truck come by.”
Diners come back to tip their waiter after honest mistake
After a couple had their $100+ meal comped by a manager because the restaurant was out of tiramisu, the couple left, understandably, without leaving a tip. After all, there was no bill. The honest mistake, however, evidently weighed on their minds, as they returned days later with a note of apology and a tip for their grateful server. And for more stories that will warm your heart, here are 50 Fun Facts About the World That Will Put a Smile on Your Face.
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