You never really know how any action you take could impact someone else. Sometimes, it only takes just the smallest act of kindness to completely change someone’s life.

One of the things about acts of kindness is that the person who performs the act usually never finds out what happened to the person they helped.

And that’s okay because being kind isn’t about receiving accolades. It’s just about helping someone simply because you can.

That’s what makes these stories about random acts of kindness so great. You can really tell that there are lots of people out there who just like helping other people.

These 17 stories about random acts of kindness are heartwarming and sweet. You might even be inspired to perform your own act of kindness for someone you don’t even know.

17. Everyone pitched in.

I have this little bracelet that my dad gave my mom when they first started dating. Since my dad died before I was born, I have always cherished this bracelet.

Well, one day while working at a big financial institution this bracelet broke. I placed it into my desk drawer and forgot about it overnight. Turns out the janitors cleaned out all the drawers and accidentally threw my bracelet away.

When I arrived the next day, I panicked and looked through all the trash cans I could find until it was determined it must be in the dumpsters out back. My boss and several coworkers rolled up their sleeves and climbed into the dumpster to find it, mind you they are all in suits and dress shoes.

About an hour later they all championed into the building chanting ”we found it” covered in grime. I come from a rough background and I hadn’t ever felt this level of kindness before.

This changed me, and ever since I try to always go out of my way for others (especially for the seemingly small things)

16. It was horrible until it wasn’t.

I traveled by bus from Istanbul to Bucharest. It was a horrible journey. It was a climate-controlled modern coach, but everyone on board was smoking. To make matters worse, they were playing karaoke videos of horrible Turkish pop songs on the communal TV the whole way.

Moreover, the bus company was clearly involved in a smuggling operation to import heavily taxed items into the EU… evident by the fact that I shared my seat with a shit ton of boxes and bags, and once we passed customs in Bulgaria everyone literally celebrated with drinks that their purses and shoes and computers and shit didn’t get found.

The bus had a stop for dinner somewhere in the middle of Bulgaria at some real sh*thole roadside grill… the type of place where there’s no way in hell that they’d consider accepting Turkish Lira, and I obviously had no Bulgarian currency.

In spite of me not speaking any of the half dozen languages being spoken on the bus, an older Romanian woman saw my predicament, invited me to her table, and bought me dinner, in spite of us not being able to communicate with each other.

It went a really long way to lift my spirits, and I’ll never forget it.

15. Easy, peasy.

A random lady bought my chocolate bar and my soda after my card didn’t work because it was the wrong company and the register was glitching.

So I went out and she came after me and gave me my stuff. I was so surprised.

14. This has an amazing ending!

I had just ended a 3-year relationship in a city I knew nobody in, started a new job, and worked on my birthday. I had hit it off with the lady who trained me, and when the HR manager stopped by and wished me a happy birthday she seemed surprised I never mentioned it. I explained I was in a bad place mentally and just told her I didn’t feel like celebrating.

On her lunch break, she went out and got me a single fancy cupcake from the grocery store up the street. She barely knew me. I literally clutched that cupcake in the break room and sobbed.

Plot twist: her son ended up working with us a few months later. We dated got pregnant and I in return gave her a grandson.

13. Always look out for strangers.

I had just moved to a big city in 5th grade and I have had anxiety since I was in elementary.

I nearly had a panic attack but a girl just a few years older held my hand and helped me calm down. Now I always try to look out for strangers and friends and I try to be nice to everyone.

12. Flowers are healing.

My friend passed away from cancer a few years ago. I went for a walk after finding out the news, to clear my head, and to grieve with my own thoughts, basically. I was sat in a field when a woman and her young daughter walked past me.

The woman leaned down after seeing my tear stricken face, and said to me, “my daughter has picked me these flowers, but I think you may need them more than I do”, she smiled and walked away.

Those words meant a lot to me that day, and they still do. It may seem like nothing to others, but to me, it was a lot and meant the world. It still brings a tear to my eye.

11. Literally saves a life.

I was extremely depressed during my freshman year in college and I had planned to commit suicide. The morning of, I was having my “last breakfast” in one of the halls and a random guy walked by and asked to sit with me to keep each other company (it was extremely early and the dining hall was rather empty).

His random friendliness was what kept me from ending it that day with perfect timing

10. Something to have forever.

When I was a kid, I was upset because my cat had died. My mother took me on one of her shopping trips.

At one store, a lady asked me what was wrong, and I told her. She gifted me with a small ceramic figure that I still have.

9. Nurses are the best.

When I was 26, broke, living on my own, and developed a reaction to latex and non-latex condoms. Still don’t know why. Anyway, I decided to get the implant birth control and went to the family planning clinic.

I was filling out the forms where you input your salary and insurance info. I didn’t have insurance and once the medical assistant looked over my form, she realizes my income was $200/year over the limit where they provide full coverage assistance, meaning I wasn’t eligible for their financial assistance and was going to have to pay about $1000 our of pocket just for the birth control, not including an exam I needed.

She very quietly explained this to me and then in her normal voice said, “Oh let me get you a new form” (wink wink). She gave me a blank one so I could re-fill it out and list my income at what they considered to be the limit for assistance.

Because of this, I was able to get the physical exam I needed badly, including medication and a 3-year birth control implant for FREE.

I was living paycheck to paycheck, barely scraping by working full time and over time, wearing worn-out clothes and shoes with holes. That woman was a freaking lifesaver for me!

8. “I got you, buddy.”

I was about eight or nine and went to the convenience store down the road from me to buy some chocolate and slurpees for myself and my younger brother. I collected all the money I had to buy an assortment but when I went to the counter I came up short a few dollars.

I was choked and kind of embarrassed I was holding up the line but before I could choose what to leave behind an old man slapped a fiver beside me saying something like “I got you, little buddy.”

I was so thankful and have never forgotten about that man. I’ve done it a few times myself now, just because I remember that feeling so well.

7. An unexpected dinner invite.

I was a week in New York. Middle-aged tourist from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I like to travel the subway all the way till the end, just to get to know the city.

One day, I apparently ended up in a Spanish speaking neighborhood. While walking there, a woman bumped into me and started yelling at me in Spanish. Of course, I yelled back in Dutch.

This caught her to her surprise and we both started laughing. I noticed she did some grocery shopping and had some vegetables I had never seen before. So, I asked her about them (in English) and before I knew it, I was invited to dinner.

I accepted and insisted I buy the wine and beer. I had a great evening and met a large Spanish family. Best evening in New York. Even better than the 4th of July evening or the Yankees/Mets baseball game.

6. Ten cents made the difference.

I was about 6 or 7, and I had a dollar. I saw these bags of cotton candy for $.99, and I took it to a register, confident in buying something all on my own… and it cost $1.08 or something with tax

The man standing behind me gave me a dime and told me to remember it when someone else needs a little help. Well, I can’t remember his face, but I’ll never forget being taught kindness to strangers firsthand.

5. The best $4 meal.

Christmas Eve, stuck alone in a country waiting for a government office to open so I could get the magic stamp that made me officially legal. I had barely enough money for the stamp, the bus back “home” to the other foreign country I was staying in for work, and a cup of tea. That’s it.

The government office decided to take a 4-hour lunch break so I was nursing my 25¢ tea when the waiter brought me out a whole lunch. I was super stressed and in my crappy pidgin said “no money! no money!” And he said, “it’s Christmas!”.

It was probably $4 worth of food but I have thought about that guy ever since.

4. Ask for help when you need it.

I had just had my first baby and I went to pick up some shopping. My daughter needed feeding and had to have a medicated formula so I went to the cafe area of the supermarket and was juggling the crying baby, powdered milk, boiling water, cooled down water and I just couldn’t do it.

An older lady came over and asked if she could help at all. I remember being so incredibly grateful because I really, really needed help. I cried. I said yes, please.

She held the baby while I made the milk and then started to feed her the bottle so I could go grab some cake from the cafe as I hadn’t eaten all day.

Just something about that moment I’ll never forget. I learned from then that it is always okay to ask for help and there will always be people who want to help. It’s my go-to advice for new parents now.

3. That magnificent jerk.

I am now required to do my job from home (permanently), which meant disabling my gaming pc and setting up my work station at my only desk.

My agoraphobia has been triggered by the COVID crisis, and gaming is how I get a little zen. I am also disabled and my available activities are limited. This was causing depression and anxiety to spiral.

I reached out to my brother about an issue I was having with my internet connection and we caught up a bit. I told him about my lack of gaming and that I was planning on getting a Switch when the prices stopped being jacked up.

A little while later he sends me a message letting me know my new Switch should arrive by my birthday.

I love that magnificent jerk. He saved my sanity.

2. A gift right when it was needed.

When I was working at a vet hospital as an assistant, one day, when I was opening up (before any doctors were present) a woman was frantically knocking at the door with her cat.

He was pretty old and looked in rough shape, she was very concerned as he came home from being outside coughing and vomiting. He was stable so I made comfortable arrangements for him and reassured her until the doctor came. Her cat ended up being diagnosed with asthma and did well.

Every time she came in to get food or meds after that she was always very nice and friendly with me. I got to know her a bit, her and her husband have 3 elderly cats and run an insurance company together. We would chat whenever she came in.

One day we were chatting and she asked if I was excited for the upcoming Christmas holidays. I made a comment about how I wasn’t really because holidays are stressful with the added pressure of gift buying on top of paying rent etc but that I was looking forward to time off.

A few days later I was eating lunch in the break room, and my coworker dropped off a card. I asked who it was from, she wasn’t sure but said it was a client and she had asked the card be given to me. I rushed to the front to see if she was still there but she had left.

It was a card from the woman with a note about how she wished me happy holidays and appreciated me being there when she was stressed…and $300. I nearly cried. I never expected this kindness from an acquaintance and it came at a time when I was struggling financially, and really did help me out.

The next time I saw her thanked her profusely but insisted she take it back as we’re not supposed to accept “tips” but she refused and said it was a gift and she was happy to help.

I work elsewhere now and haven’t seen her in a few years but think of her often.

1. Sometimes you need a lift.

I was in a Wavepool and was trying to exit. I was not in any danger of drowning or anything but was getting kind of exhausted. Then a very kindly looking Sikh man lifted me out of the water and brought me to the ladder.

I never saw that man again but still fondly remember his kindness.

Those stories are all so sweet and amazing. It’s totally understandable if they made you a little teary-eyed!

Do you have a story about a random act of kindness that made a difference in your day or your life? Tell us the story in the comments! We could all use good vibes.