Acts of kindness can change everything. Whether it happens on a day when nothing else is working for you, or it happens when you’re doing okay and just need a boost, sometimes a stranger can change it all without even knowing it.
One of the best things about performing acts of kindness for strangers is that you get to help someone just for the joy of doing so.
If you like heartwarming stories, you will love these stories from 18 people who are sharing the act of kindness that changed everything for them.
After all, any day is a great day to read a bunch of heartwarming stories. Who knows? You might even be inspired to perform your own act of kindness for someone else today.
18. Mom Angels.
My son was 2, and I was at target getting him a last-minute Halloween costume for his daycare’s party. He threw an epic tantrum as we were leaving, laying on the floor in front of what was of course the only door open for some reason and my arms were full of bags.
It had been a really, really long day, and I was about to just cry. Three women swooped in and helped me carry my bags and the banshee that used to be my child to my car, talking all the while about how one day this will just be a funny story.
Another one contacted me on social media the same night to return the wallet I’d dropped in the parking lot. Mom Angels.
17. Random airport guy!
The first time I took a plane by myself I was in high school and flying back home to see extended family. My layover was at my least favorite airport ever, Atlanta. Because of various bulls**t, my connecting gate was changed at the last minute.
I managed to get on one of the trains that go to different concourses. It did not occur to me to grab on to something or brace myself before the train started moving.
Just as the train lurched forward a random guy grabbed my arm saving me from falling on my ass. I
thanked him and he just nodded. This was 11/12 years ago, and that random act of kindness has really stuck with me.
Thank you random dude, you made my very stressful day a lot better.
16. Pizza pizza.
I was about 11 or 12 I lived in an apartment building and a little ceasers opened up at the mall that was just a 2-minute walk. I remember a lady who worked there treated me as if I was her own son, always offering me free cookies and sometimes even free pizza, and then one day she just disappeared.
Never got her name or anything I’m 20 now and I still go to that little ceasers occasionally and am always reminded of that lady and how kind she was to me.
15. Helping out a kid.
As kids, my younger brother and I spent our summers at day camp. My brother was probably 5 years old and had a tendency to hold his pee all day until we got home. One day, our mom was running late on picking us up and he wet himself.
I remember being really embarrassed and unsure of what to do. Luckily, one of the camp monitors was quick to help and get it cleaned up so that no one noticed. He then lent my little brother an extra pair of his shorts to change into.
The monitor was a big guy so he took a shoelace out of his own shoe to tie his large basketball shorts around my brother’s tiny 5-year-old waist.
I still remember how nice and reassuring (even to me, the embarrassed older sister) he was that day.
14. An unexpected gift.
This one time I was waiting for a bus, and it started raining, and a random soldier just gave me his umbrella.
It’s not exactly donating a kidney or anything, but it was just really nice and unexpected and I’ll never forget it.
13. Children are honest.
I’ve always struggled with my appearance, but it peaked one day when I saw myself up close on video for the first time in about a year. I thought I looked awful, and I lost all self-confidence. (Extreme and a bit silly, I know.)
I stopped putting any effort into my appearance for a while and went outdoors only in sweatpants and t-shirts. Then, one day, my best friend had her birthday party.
I thought it’d be rude to her to show up looking like a slob, so for the first time in a while I curled my hair, put on a dress, and did my make-up.
As I was walking home I passed a couple and (presumably) their daughters, probably 4 and 6-7. As we passed each other I saw the younger girl staring at me, and then she exclaimed “wooow, look! Wasn’t she beautiful?”
I walked around a corner and actually cried a little. Children are so brutally honest, and knowing that somebody’s first reaction to me was “beautiful” was a type of encouragement I’ve never felt before.
That comment still sticks with me and I think about it when I start doubting my appearance again.
12. Still remembered 40 years later.
I was 17 and tried to kill myself by ODing. I was in a coma for four days, and when I woke at some point a nurse gave me a little back rub.
She was just there for me, and that loving gesture meant the world. I will be 61 this Friday.
11. A total stranger.
While backpacking around SEAsia I Was super hungover after going to a full moon party in Thailand (I’m pretty sure I was spiked at some point as was full-blown blackout for a few hours before my friends found me in our hostel).
Anyway, I was walking to get some water and trying to shake out the cobwebs and bumped into a guy we’d met in a bar the night before. I explained how much of a state I was in and was feeling super anxious after getting so cunted the night before.
He was going to meet up for breakfast with a girl he’d met the night before so said I could use his hotel room for the day. Just give me the spare key and said he’d meet me back at the bar that night. I nearly burst into tears right there on a crummy Thai street.
Was able to have the first warm shower in nearly a month, a soft bed to nap in, in a private room with air-con, and WiFi so was able to call my SO back home.
Honestly, it’s one of the nicest gestures I’ve ever had from someone who was pretty much a stranger at that point.
10. A simple note.
The summer after my ex-wife tried to kill me, I was on vacation with my family and my kids. My dad went with me to one of those old-time photo places, because I wanted some shots of me and the kids.
The photographer was cute and after the photos were taken, I flirted with her a bit and my dad jumped in, shut me down, and told me I had no need for another woman after what my ex did to me. He then proceeded to tell her, in detail, what I had survived. I immediately left with my kids and left my card on the counter.
I was too humiliated to go back to the photo place, but my mother went and picked them up.
The photographer had framed them without charge, and about a month later, when I was hanging them, I noticed something through the back of the frame. It was a sticky note on the back of the picture of just me, that said “We aren’t all bad. Keep your head up.”
It’s my favorite picture of me, despite the fact it’s a silly Victorian-style photo.
9. They never even spoke.
I was holidaying in Europe and extremely late for a train to the airport. My suitcase was almost my size and just as heavy, I was really struggling with it. My train was arriving and I was at the very top of a long flight of stairs, out of breath and exhausted. I put my suitcase down, paused and took a deep breath trying to gather myself a little before this trip down the stairs.
A man (maybe late 30s) had walked a few steps down the stairs, stopped, turned around, looked at me and then at my luggage and then kindly nodded his head at me.
He took a few steps up towards me, picked up my suitcase and slowly walked ahead of me. I followed. At the very bottom, he put it on the ground just as my train was arriving and kindly nodded his head at me once again. I thanked him.
What a lovely man, I’ll never forget it!
8. $200 made their holiday.
At the time we were poor (basically living off of mom’s student loans I believe) and we were prepared to not have Christmas until out of the blue my best friend’s mom gave us $200 so my mom could get us gifts.
7. It lasted for years.
As a young man, my social skills were… sub-optimal. That made for a lot of very lonely times in college- especially in the dead of winter in a rural, northern community.
Anyway, one day I met a really sweet girl who could see past my horrible flaws and insufficiencies. We got to talking, and discovered that we both wanted to catch a lecture that night, but neither of us had anyone to go with. We spontaneously decided to go together.
The speaker was really interesting, and afterward, we walked around in the snow, talking about a lot of things and nothing in particular. Although we lived on different sides of the campus, we agreed to meet for lunch the next day.
At the appointed time, she greeted me and handed me a brown paper bag. It contained a multi-colored, Dr. Who length, hand-knitted scarf.
The previous night, she’d noted how cold I was, and decided to spend her night making a gift for me. No agenda, romantic or otherwise. Just “here ya go, I hope you like it”. Awkward as I was, I didn’t even know how to begin to thank her.
That scarf became my trademark. I wore it for years.
6. A simple can of soda.
The day that my significant other passed away in ICU, I was sitting alone in the ICU waiting room at about 7:30 am after pulling an all-nighter out of worry. I’m sure I looked like a complete mess to the hospital staff and other visitors, my eyes puffy from crying and definitely looking a lot younger than 19 years old.
A woman I had never met or seen before passed by the ICU waiting room while glancing in, before coming back a few minutes later with a coke and giving it to me.
I’ll never forget her handing me the coke while looking like she was going to cry, and just telling me that I looked like I needed a little kindness in my life.
She left after that and I never saw her again, or even got her name, but I hope she’s doing well wherever she is.
5. Overwhelmed and okay.
I went to South Africa for my gap year after school, I had saved all year for a month’s trip and it was the first time I’d travelled alone. Culture shock/anxiety and the realisation of how far I’d come hit me and I ended up crying in the bathroom of Johannesburg airport.
A kind lady noticed me and asked me if I was okay. I sobbed and said I just couldn’t believe I was on the opposite side of the world from home and I’d worked so hard to get there I just felt overwhelmed and she gave me a hug and said some kind words I can’t fully remember but I felt much better after she’d been kind enough to check that I was okay <3
4. An extra second to be kind.
Newbie in the restaurant business and the owner walked over to me while I was making a sandwich. Very politely says to me” when I wrote that in the menu I envisioned this” , and showed me how to make it the right way.
What a nice way to say, you are f**king this up, do it this way.
3. A trustworthy stranger.
Was 10 years old. My dad told me stay where I was while he went to get his car. I was feeling petty so of course I followed him. We were pretty deep into the hood and eventually I lost sight of him as he was walking at a faster pace than me and I had stay a certain distance behind so he wouldn’t see me.
Thought I was so clever. Ugh.
Anyway, when I realized I was lost I started panicking. Eventually, I came across this pharmacy store and there was an old Asian man smoking outside.
I told him I was lost and I didn’t know where my dad was. He assured me everything was going to be ok, put me on his motorcycle, and took me to the police station.
Looking back I realized how stupid I was and how that could’ve been my death day if the dude was some weird child kidnapper. Definitely not the right move on my part but I am forever grateful for the stranger who helped me out.
2. Perfect timing.
My baby had passed away in utero a few days before, and I’d needed to have surgery to remove her. My husband was several states away caring for his sick father. I was just miserable, sore from surgery, my milk had come in, and overall emotional wreck.
Headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things, lost in thought in front of the produce cooler.
An older gentleman was stocking the cooler and we had made some small talk about the produce quality or something. As I started to walk away he wished me a happy Mother’s Day. He didn’t know about my daughter, but his words meant so much to me.
1. You’re the best, Mrs. Swan.
I grew up poor and when in elementary school we went to the Boston Museum of Science. At the end of the day everyone goes to the gift shop to buy a keepsake etc. I didn’t have any money.
My mom just sent me down with a bagged lunch. A teacher whom I had never had but knew my sister bought me a gyroscope. It was the coolest thing ever. Thanks Mrs. Swan!
Each of these stories just goes to show that you never know how an easy move on your part can change everything for someone else.
Sometimes, the best thing we can do for someone is to truly consider their needs and help meet them, even if we don’t even know that person.
Which of these stories is your favorite? There are so many that are so good! Let us know which one you love in the comments!