Sometimes, the actions that we take impact others on a level that we can never fully comprehend or understand, or even know about. When you perform an act of kindness for someone else, the goal is to alleviate the suffering of that person.

You don’t always get to find out how that person’s story ended up, or if they even remember the act in the first place. And that’s okay because most people who give kindness freely don’t expect to ever get anything in return, including an explanation.

But people who have been on the receiving end of acts of kindness from strangers often remember the acts well into the future. You never know when one small act can make a huge difference to someone else.

These 15 stories of random acts of kindness will remind you that there are good people there and that people really do care about one another.

15. “This is New Orleans.”

I was visiting New Orleans for Mardi gras with a couple friends and we were very poorly prepared for how hungover and hungry we were going to be our first full day there.

We were standing in the freezing rain at 10 am to see the krewe of Zulu and had not eaten yet and were DYING of hunger with no food around. I looked over at a median where a large group of people were bbqing and our stomachs were rumbling so hard that my friends nominated me to go offer some money for a plate.

I walked over sheepishly and asked an older black woman if I could please buy some food for me and my friends, and she said “Honey, you and your friends can come and eat whatever you want for free, this is New Orleans” and she happily began walking us around showing us everything they had.

It was the best meal and the most needed kindness I had ever experienced and forever makes me love that city.

14. My house is your house.

I was living in the street when I was a teenager… I used to sneak into my friend’s backyard late at night and sleep in the toolshed. In the morning, I’d sneak out after everyone leaves for work…

One morning, I waited for all the cars to leave the driveway, then I opened the door and walked out, as I did, I looked up and saw my friend’s mom staring at me from the kitchen window…

She opened the backyard door, asked me to come over while tears were coming down… As I got close, she said “I know you since you are 6 years old, playing with my son.. you are like my son.. this is your house.

She let me stay until I got back on my feet… I will never forget that act of kindness.

13. Turning around a bad week.

I once was having a REALLY BAD WEEK. My money was tight, my depression was terrible, work was awful, i a as behind on bills, and I just wanted one thing to go right.

Well, even tho money was bad (I have a problem with stress eating, yes I’m working on it) and I was pretty much in tears as I walked up to an A&W. Just wanted a meal as I hadn’t eaten that day yet (this was evening).

Well I order and go to pay, and when I look for my wallet I realize it wasn’t on me. I nearly had a panic attack as I had not prepared for this interaction to go this way and was immensely embarrassed.

A girl behind be stepped up and put it on her bill. I remember trying to find the words to say thank you, because that was so nice and I was still incredibly overwhelmed.

I haven’t seen her since, but thank you. It was less than $10 but meant a lot to me that week, and still does. I wish I could pay you back somehow as a thank you.

12. You get what you need.

It was towards the end of my shift one night when I was still serving. I had been there maybe 12 hours or so at that point and was drained and exhausted. I had a super rude table that called over my manager before they left to basically just absolutely berate my appearance.

Basically just a tangent about how the green hair, piercings, tattoos were hideous and that I was ugly and even started to off about how I was fat. It was just cruelty for the sake of being cruel. Went into the freezer and had a good cry.

Decided to take one more table for the night afterwards maybe half an hour later. The second I greeted them one of them just immediately started gushing “Oh my god I LOVE your hair so much”

It honestly was exactly what I needed and I still smile when I think about it even though it’s been 3 years

11. An unexpected gift.

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 over 20 years ago, but I still think of her whenever I buy a new book.

10. It doesn’t take much.

I had to take my 2yo to hospital in the middle of the night and when we left to go home my exhaust? pipe had broken and was hanging on the ground.

My husband was home with our baby and while I was deciding what to do, the security guard crawled under the truck and tied the pipe up somehow so I could get home.

This was 30 years ago in High River Alberta so ya, I never forgot.

9. The answer is always yes.

When I was in the army, we did a military exercise that took place in the woods where we had to explore and observe enemy movement which lasted 4 days.

Days went like this wake-up, march for 6-7 hours do small assignments and build small outpost with 2 watch post, 2 man watching each night. on the 3rd night, I and another guy had the night shift.

You basically stair into utter blackness, you cant use light otherwise you expose your location. I was tired, fucking hungry, and cold. Then my other watch buddy Crawled from his post to mine 5-6 meter (yes with gear and all) and whisper: you want half of my mars bars?

that was 2008 October. and I still get a great feeling of gratitude and kindness when I think about it.

8. A life-saving teacher.

Was super depressed in high school, my teacher told me one day that although I rarely smile, when I do, he watched as the whole classroom stared at me and that my smile lights up the world… that little compliment is what saved me…

I was going to kill myself when I got home from school that day. My teacher literally saved my life.

7. Frown turned upside down!

I was having a TRULY AWFUL DAY. I went to get a warm drink and I went to pay and the girl at the cash was like “don’t worry about it! I got it for you!” with a really big smile.

I WAS SHOCKED. started crying, I thought it was so nice.

Also, in hindsight, looking at past interactions (as I went to that cafe often) I think she was flirting with me and my lack of bi-sexual awareness didn’t pick up on it. I still look back on it fondly though.

6. Pay it forward.

In college, at a party near my house, very drunk. I decided I’d get a burrito and return to said party. My favorite burrito place was just a few blocks away (Panchero’s on Grand River while it was open).

Get to burrito place, long line, anything for the burrito. Burrito is assembled, nightmare scenario, I need to pay but I don’t have my wallet. Guy behind me pays for my burrito and says “pay it forward”.

God bless you guy behind me. You are remembered.

5. Help has a way of finding you.

Years ago I was riding with a friend that was notorious for running out of gas, sure enough, we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere, it was dark and we were both very scared.

An older man and his wife stopped to help us, they were in a van and offered to take us to a gas station, we were terrified but not many choices so we got in the van.

They were such nice people and drove us to get gas and he even paid for the gas, brought us back to my friend’s car, and put the gas in her tank.

They wouldn’t accept any payment, he just said they had 3 daughters, and they hoped that someone would do the same for their girls if they broke down in the middle of nowhere.

4. A reminder for every day.

I was having a tough time in school, didn’t fit in all too well and just felt like a complete outsider in general. I still did my best being kind and helpful even though it felt like no one noticed or cared much.

A girl I didn’t know was walking close by after school and told me she always thought that I was very pretty, especially because I was always smiling and kind to others. I wrote it on a post-it and put it on my mirror as a reminder.

3. It stayed with them.

I was running late for the train. I sprinted from car (which was about 1km away) to the station.

Some lady chased me the whole way because I had dropped my keys. She kept pace with me, just to return my keys.

I always return items that I find, to lost and found or someone who may be able to assist, because I’ll never forget that small act of kindness that saved me a lot of hassle of changing my house keys, and getting new car keys

2. The simplest kindness.

I left work one day a few years ago and on my walk home I got a call my dad had passed. When I got to my apartment building, this girl I did not know (and never saw again) living in my building asked if I was okay.

I was in shock and don’t really remember the conversation but I told her my dad had just died and she gave me a huge hug.

It snapped me back into reality and made me feel like everything was somehow going to be okay. I wish I could thank her now, it was simple but very kind and what I needed at that moment.

1. Everyone did their part.

In 7th grade, I had a mental break down in my homeroom class. There was a nice girl who had to leave for tutoring and she walked me to the guidance counselor’s office while trying to comfort me and make me feel better.

While I was at the guidance counselor’s office, waiting for him to get there, there was another boy there who offered me some cereal to try to make me feel better. And lastly, my homeroom teacher stopped by to talk to me a little bit before she had to go to a meeting.

All three of those things made me feel a little better

Aren’t these stories the best? It just really goes to show that you never know how you might be helping someone even more than you realize.

Which story is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you share this with anyone who needs it.