It’s impossible to know how much performing one random act of kindness can change things for someone else. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness, you probably already know this is true.

There’s something powerful that happens when one person helps another for no reason other than it’s the kind thing to do.

If you are looking for stories that will pick you up, or you just want to spend a few minutes reading heartwarming stories about strangers, you are in the right place.

These 16 stories prove that a random act of kindness can make a big difference in ways that are hard to fathom.

Be warned: some of these are so nice that you could end up a little teary! But it’ll be worth it.

16. 100% saved.

Prolly gonna get buried, but in 6th grade I had a couple sorta friend kinda 8th graders. These guys were bigger than me, and were big trouble makers. So one day they decided that they would prank me by taking me up to the 8th grade floor and basically show me to their friends and stuff.

Idk why they just thought it would be funny. So I was like, “nahhh let me go” but they kept pulling me up the stairs until this other 8th grader I didn’t know stepped in and said “hey guys he’s a 6th grader just stop” so yeah that dude 100% saved me from some ridicule.

I still haven’t forgotten.

15. Everyone needs it.

I think about this a lot. I was 17 and it was the day after St. Patrick’s day. I was the most hungover I had ever been and ever have been since, but I had to work. I got off my shift around 1 in the afternoon and I needed a coffee to stay alive.

So I go to a local coffee place that was in the same area, ordered an iced coffee and lamented living for a while. Once it was made, I realized I had forgotten my wallet at home. So I apologized profusely to the barista, and started walking back to my car.

He follows me into the parking lot with the iced coffee and hands it to me, and I ask “why?” through actual tears. And he just shrugged and said “it’s the day after St. Paddy’s, everyone needs an iced coffee.”

I still think about it a lot and I try to pay it forward whenever I can.

14. And come back.

I was at the airport saying goodbye to my family after spending three months with them (after not seeing them for 8 years) and going through security with tears pouring down my face, a runny nose and sobbing literally every two seconds with my heart breaking because I know I won’t get to see them for a long time when I feel a pat on my shoulder.

I turn around and this woman is looking at me, a bright smile on her face and just exuding happiness.She then tells me, in very broken English “No crying, travel is fun, a happy thing.We go see new places and come back!” Or at least something along those lines, and her kindness made the sadness go away for at least a few minutes.

To this day I cry a little when I remember it.

13. An unexpected gift.

My family took a cruise when I was 14. One of the stops was Cozumel, and we did an we excursion to the Mayan ruins of Tulum. My mom was taking pictures or whatever and I was just sitting down chilling on a cliff by some of the ruins.

A little girl and her mother were sitting nearby and the little girl started speaking to me in Spanish. I replied the best I could with my INCREDIBLY stilted first-year-of-high-school Spanish, and then she picked a little purple flower and gave it to me. It was the sweetest thing.

12. Now they’re all friends!

I was going through a bad break up a few weeks back. I went to my local Quiznos by myself and it was fairly empty. The manager and I’m assuming owner, of that branch, was there with just his wife. They were a sweet couple from Iran and talked with me a lot and when I told them the nature of things they offered me a free sandwich.

Fast forward 6 years and they’ve become a huge part of my friend group. He and his wife often invite us to dinner and we do the same with them.

11. The best kind of gift.

I once walked from West Hollywood to Burbank with one shoe after a night of partying. I waited at a bus stop and a sweet old Mexican lady gave me her hot chocolate and wrapped me in a scarf. She said nothing and just smiled when I said thank you.

Kindest thing anyone has ever randomly done.

10. This is a really incredible thing.

When I first moved to Portland last year, I was super broke, had just enough money to pay for my bills, and my clumsy self dropped my phone face down on the ground so it completely didn’t work. I could call people using voice recognition, but even that stopped working after a couple days.

I thought it was just an issue with the screen so I took it to the apple store for a screen replacement, and they told me it got water damaged on the inside somehow and I would need a whole new phone which was double the cost of a screen replacement and I totally could not afford it.

I spent the next half hour just bawling walking around downtown trying to figure something out. I was 19 at the time with no friends or family in the town, not to mention I had no idea where I was going cause I just moved.

I was so lost and I felt like such an idiot for breaking my phone and I didn’t want to have to borrow money from my family or friends for a new one cause everyone already doubted my idea to move on my own in the first place .

This lady stopped me and asked what was wrong cause I was clearly distraught, I told her in short what has just happened, not expecting anything to come of it but it was nice to have someone to talk to. She told me her husband had just upgraded his phone and they had a spare iPhone at the house, and to meet her at Starbucks the next day to give it to me.

She gave me her business card so I could email her, and she did in fact meet me at Starbucks and give me an old iPhone for completely free and I have never been more grateful, and I hope I can repay the favor to her or do something similar for someone else when I’m in a better position in my life.

I really don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t ran into her

9. Folding someone’s laundry.

I was very depressed and having a hard time just dealing with life. It was awful. One of my friends came over and I mentioned that giant pile of laundry in my living room WAS clean, but I just hadn’t had it in me to fold it.

She folded it for me while we talked. It’s something that’s stuck with me for seven years. There wasn’t any judgment or anything; she just folded my laundry.

8. Sometimes you’re a witness.

I was in line behind a kid who recently turned 18 and he decided to buy a scratch off for the first time ever. Upon leaving the store he came back in and said he won $5 from the scratch off.

I saw him walk outside with his first ever $5 won from gambling and he handed to a homeless man and they chatted for a minute. A moment of kindness I’ll never forget.

7. And it was their birthday!

As a kid I loved to go to Dodger games but my parents could only afford top deck seats so catching a foul ball was never going to happen. One night while leaving a game, a man walked up to me in the parking lot and said “Hey kid, want this ball?” put it in my hands and walked away.

I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say, but I think I eventually at least muttered “thanks.” He didn’t know that it was my birthday, and that was the first game-used ball this young baseball fan had ever received.

6. You never know.

In ninth grade I had just moved to the US and barely spoke english and was really really shy and awkward. A girl in my driver’s ed class sitting next me introduced herself and was super friendly and when she saw I was doing badly in quizzes she’d ask me what I didn’t understand and explained it to me in simpler terms.

She’d even draw draw a windshield and a seat belt or mime it so I could follow the class.

5. Mr. V is the best.

At the beginning of 6th grade Mr. V told me that he got to pick the kids for his class and I was the first kid the thought to get in his class. This act gave me the confidence to achieve more than I thought I was capable of achieving.

A simple few sentences and I am the first person in my family to graduate high school and the first to get a college degree. Thanks Mr. V.

BTW – 3 decades later i learned that he had the same meeting with many if not all of the disadvantaged kids in that class. I’m not disappointed that I wasn’t the only one.

Part of the reason I’m not disappointed is that I had a conversation with a guy 1 year behind me and he too was the first person in his family to graduate high school and get a college degree. Thanks Mr. V.

4. Have some sunshine.

I was having a really bad day on Spring, and was taking the tram from home to uni (the ride is around 40 min). It was raining, and I was just so down, I had been feeling worthless and lonely for a while, I barely got out of bed. The tram was full, there was no place to sit so I just stood near the window and looked outside. At one point I just turned my head and observed the other passengers.

This old man and woman, an adorable old married couple maybe in their 70s, were sitting not too far away and the older gentleman looked at me and gave me a nice and sincere smile. I smiled back tho will admit it was forced, I didn’t have the emotional or mental strength to smile, I just wanted to lay on the floor and sleep and disappear.

I guess he noticed I was down and whispered something to his wife. He then got up from his seat and came close to me and point he pulled out a dandelion from a bag and said: “Our daughter use to call them sunshine by the road, I want you to have some sunshine today”

I started to tear up, and then the lady came up to me and asked:

“Sweetie do you need a hug?”, I nodded. She asked if I would give her permission to hug me.

I broke down crying when she hugged me. I didn’t know how much I needed that hug.

I still have that dandelion, tho now dried and pressed and on my wall as a reminder what a simple act of kindness can do.

3. A surprising plant.

During lockdown my old cat had to be put to sleep. I live alone and don’t have many friends and he was my buddy. My coworkers got me a little plant and a card and left it on my porch.

It was an unexpected gesture that came at exactly the right moment when I was pretty sad. Sometimes I feel really alone and then little things people do remind me that I am part of something. Even if that something is work!

2. A simple “Hi.”

Throughout elementary school I was picked on by so many of my classmates, and I had few if any friends at the time. I remember being in 6th grade and we were headed out of our regular room to the computer lab, and the taunts became too much, and I broke down crying, as we were walking.

The prettiest girl in class noticed, and came over to ask why I was crying and helped me pull myself together. It was incredibly kind, and while we weren’t friends, it allowed me a moment to see a tiny bit of good in the world.

The really ironic part was that her twin brother was one of my worst tormentors.

Being bullied and picked on carried through to middle school, and I broke down in the middle of English class and the teacher extended some compassion as well. He sent me down to the counselor’s office, and I just so happened to see that same girl from elementary school walking out.

I said Hi, fully expecting her to ignore me or scoff at me… treat me poorly, and instead she gave me a friendly Hi. That was it. But it meant the world, when everyone else treated me so poorly.

1. Chocolate fixes a lot.

When I was in the 4th grade, I had forgotten to pack my lunch into my bag. As lunch time approached, I got hungrier and hungrier.

One of the teachers (my math teacher, who had was quite skinny and had long, brown hair) saw this, went to a store close to the school, and bought me the biggest slab of chocolate I had ever seen.

It wasn’t curing cancer or anything, but it’s something I’ll never forget.

Aren’t those stories the best? It’s so nice to know that there are so many people out there who love to do kind things for others.

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends, since kindness is for everyone.

Do you have a story about an act of kindness that changed your day, or even your life? Tell us about it in the comments!