At the beginning of the pandemic, I was volunteering at a local pizza shop to distribute slices to kids who otherwise couldn’t get fed because the schools were shutdown.
There was a woman with 3 kids that came by every few days to get slices. Turns out the father had died unexpectedly right before the pandemic started and they lost their house because of the slumlord they were renting from. The mother lost her job because she had no one to watch the kids. They were living in their minivan and things were bad for them.
They were so nice and grateful, but ashamed when they’d come by to get slices that I genuinely felt for them.
I had lost my job and got a pretty decent windfall of 2 months worth of unemployment and the CARES Act at once. My landlord had a few properties open and is a close friend, so I got in touch with him and we worked out me paying their security deposit and the first 2 months of rent and he’d cover their utilities.
I gave her his number and said he might be able to help and they moved in the next day. They’ve been there ever since and are doing extremely well now.
I was homeless at one point in my life, but didn’t have children. I couldn’t just stand idly by, especially because I had been given way more money than I even knew what to do with. With everything that was happening and uncertainty of what was coming, I figured that money needed to be used for good rather than my own selfish needs.
Whenever I see s cashier having a tough day, I always look at the candy selection, if there is one, and look stumped as to what to get. I ask them “I can’t decide. What’s your favorite?” I buy whatever they say, then hand it to them after the sale and tell them they’re doing a great job and to have a great day. It perks them up every single time.
It’s my little thing.
When I was in high school, there was a girl that never talked to anyone, was all alone, and I never once saw her speak for long periods of time, unless it was for projects or something, but that really isn’t the main thing. The first time we had the Valentines Day party, I noticed she seemed really down, because (I think) all the other girls where getting flowers and such from the boys (you could buy flowers and other stuff for someone if you wanted), so I kind of felt bad. I decided to buy her a flower, but anonymously. When she recueved the flower, she seemed…confused, but at least she smiled. The next year, same thing happend, every girl with flowers except for her, so I did the same, this time she once more seemed surprised, but not bad surprised, happy surprised. Next year I did the same, but this time I gave her a whole bouquet of flowers, she seemed overflowing with joy. People asked her who gave her those, and she said she didn’t know, but was happy. Maybe not the most interesting story here, but putting a smile on someone really made me feel happy.
When I was 19 I needed blood work done and it was super icey out. I just finished and was getting ready to leave when two elderly ladies came in. They commented on how slippery it was and if the clinic had anyone to help them walk back to their car.
They were told no, so I sat back down and waited. Half an hour later they went in and the receptionist told me I could leave, I was done. I told her “I know” and sat there.
When the ladies came out they looked a little scared to walk outside and I stood up and said I heard them ask for help and I would help them to their car.
I walked the ladies one at a time, letting them hold me for support as I shuffled us to their car. Then, after they were both safely inside, I scraped the ice off their car so they could leave.
They offered me money, but I refused and just wished them safe travels.
After they left I went to my own car, where I proceeded to fall on my butt fives times.
I was getting some breakfast one time after a late night out. I was sitting in the restaurant waiting for my food and this younger boy comes in – probably 13-14 or so and orders some food. By the way he was dressed and how he looked you could tell he was definitely living in rough times.
He ordered and when they told him the total he pulled some wadded up $1 bills from his pocket and some change – he ended up like 4-5$ short.
He had this defeated look on his face and apologized and turned to walk out. I stopped him, asked the cashier to re-ring up his order, added a large drink and an extra burrito to it, and paid for the whole thing. He tried to give me the money he had and when I refused he just stood there and slowly tears came over his eyes. I told him to stay strong and not give up because things will get better.
I walked out and barely made it to my car before I broke down too. I used to be that kid.
Waiting to see my doctor. I see an elderly man with a walker talking to a driver service for seniors/handicap people about getting him a ride home. Apparently there was a mix up and they couldn’t get a driver there. My doctor called me in and when I came out, the elderly man was still there talking to the driver service. I told the guy if he trusts me I’ll take him home. He responded “but I haven’t seen the doctor yet” I told him I’ll wait. Dude looked like he was going to cry.
He was actually a really nice man and it was a pleasant ride.
Bought insulin for the child of a lady in front of me at the pharmacy. The woman (single mom) was in tears & didn’t have the $200 copay for that month. I gave her my number & told her to call me within the next few days. That was a few years ago. She now manages the office at my practice, makes enough $ for anything she needs/wants, & is one of my closest friends. (And now she has excellent insurance for herself & her son!) Be kind—it can literally change lives!
Back when quarantine and stuff first started, I was headed back from the store and came across a broken down car. He had almost made it into the CVS parking lot, but the car gave out just outside of it. I pulled into the parking lot and asked if he wanted a push out of the road, he did. I pushed the car, and got it half way up the little incline going into the parking lot, but couldn’t get it any further by myself (he had a bad leg and couldnt help…plus he needed to be behind the wheel), but it was out of the street. I asked him what happened, and he told me he had run out of gas. Asked if he had a gas can, and he pulled out a small gas can, I offered to run it down to the gas station and bring it back. On the way back from gilling it up, I began to think to myself that this little bit of gas wouldn’t get him very far, and as I had just gotten paid and had just pulled some cash from the bank, figured he could use a little help.
When I got to the guy, I gave him the gas can as well as $40 and I told him, “I’m not sure how far you need to go, but that little bit of gas isnt gonna get you very far, I hope this helps you out some”. He just looked at the money and back at me, like I’d given him the keys to a new house or something. He started telling me, “I get paid tomorrow, I can give you my address and I will pay you back” but I insisted I didnt want anything in return. He looked like he was on the verge of tears. He explained how he had just gotten out of jail a few months before and was trying really hard to stay on the right path, working an honest job and everything, but that it was hard. He told me he would take my kindness as a sign that he was on the right path and thanked me several times. Had I known how much it meant to him, I would’ve given him more. I hope hes doing well
It’s not much, but whenever I see a work of art online, be it a painting/drawing, original music, a dance, creative writing, etc, I always try to leave a small compliment/acknowledgement of their work because I know how much courage it takes to post your creative work online.
I was extremely stressed and took a mental health day, planning on going to mom’s and crying myself to sleep. We ended up going to the mall, and even though money was really tight for her, she wanted to buy me lunch (we split the bill). She realized that she lost a newer $50 bill while walking around. She was devastated.
I traded my smaller bills to a cashier for a newer $50, folded it like she would, and tossed it under the seat of her car. The next day she called me, almost crying because she was excited to find it and said that without it, groceries would’ve been pretty tight that week.
Taking me out that day prevented me from having a full breakdown. I think $50 was a small price to pay for what she did for me that day.
A lot of homeless people in Lahaina (on the island of Maui) get by on fishing.
One night, while leaving a restaurant, my girlfriend and I saw an elderly man sleeping near the Old Banyan tree. She pointed out that the fishing pole next to him had been snapped multiple times, with splintered ends and everything (probably by some a-hole tourist).
Knowing that fishing pole was how he’d kept himself fed and seeing his livelihood compromised like that really bothered us. So my girlfriend and I got in my car and drove to the only Walmart on the island in Kahului (all the stores in Lahaina usually close by sundown).
We bought a new fishing pole and gear and drove back to Lahaina. Fearing the cops might suspect him of stealing this new gear, my girlfriend wrote a note on the receipt saying, “Hold on to this,” and left it in the tacklebox. When we got back to the Banyan tree, I set the gear down next to the old man.
The next day, we saw him fishing with the new pole on Front street.
Please remember to Practice Aloha.
The reason we know it was likely a tourist is because it was definitely not a local. Locals treat each other’s fishing gear as sacred. To intentionally damage or steal one is as taboo as a Texan stealing his neighbor’s propane-powered grill.
My fiancé lost the ring I made her and she was super distraught about it. I hand crafted our rings myself, (I metal work) they are interlocking one of a kind designed and made entirely by me. So she lost it and we couldn’t find it. She was so sad since she loved it, I worked from home during the pandemic so every time she went to work I started to make a new ring. And in about 4-5 days I said I found it and handed her the one I made brand new. She still doesn’t know. I’d like to keep it that way as well. I don’t need her feeling terrible.
I do IT work, usually small business and a lot of home repair. I have many wealthy clients and a few not so fortunate. It is not unusual for me to go to a home and it is obvious they are barely scraping by. So I either don’t charge those people, or make it a nominal fee. I also refurb the old PC’s and give them to people who have one that is not repairable.
My best fee ever was a basket of home grown creole tomatoes, damn those things are delicious.
My friend from college was struggling to get the money to pay for his cat’s surgery. We did everything we could to raise the money, I even asked my father to put this little donation box on his craftbeer bar, but we were still missing a few bucks. My friend doesn’t know it, but I added some really good money to the box before handling it to him and, omg, I still remember how grateful he was when he saw the money was more than enough… He also told me, after the surgery, that he never believed we could make it but he saw the dedication I put into it and believed in me
I lost my mom earlier this year and am still working through the grief. The first week a came back my coworkers had gave me a check for several hundred dollars as a kind gesture. I was truly overwhelmed by the generosity.
The following week I came into the break room to find one of the techs with a lost look on her face. She had just gotten a phone call that her brother had been murdered the night before. She had moved to our city just a year prior and didn’t have any family close by. As I held her and listened to her cry, I booked her a flight home. It was several hundred dollars as she is from a small town and the flight was for later that day. I told her to go be with family and let me know when she was ready to come back. I had no doubt that is exactly what my mom would have wanted me to do.
A lady was fleeing an abusive marriage without much more than her kids and the clothes on her back. Word went out within a whisper network requesting a few essentials she needed.
Packed up several things from the request list and also one thing that wasn’t requested. I make jewelry as a hobby. Put a pair of handmade earrings into a gift bag: silver and pearls. Added a handwritten note that every woman deserves something beautiful and sending good wishes her way.
I was in my art class in high school and there was a girl who I didn’t really know a few grades younger. I could tell she didn’t have many friends but was really sweet. She was talking to me one day and told me her birthday was soon and that she was so excited. I decided to send her those balloons and whatnot you can get through the student store on her birthday, though she didn’t know me very well so I didn’t sign my name. It just so happened that the student store worker brought them in during our art class and I got to see her reaction. She lit up and kept telling us it had to have been her mom or her best friend who did it, and how she couldn’t believe that someone got her something and she wouldn’t stop smiling the whole rest of class. I never told her it was me, I was just happy she felt special. That was a pretty good day.
I’ve never even told my husband this story.
I work night shift and one night before work, I stopped at the local Walmart to grab a few snacks etc. This young guy stops me in the parking lot and asks me for money. I said I was sorry I didn’t have any cash.
It was blistering cold outside. Where I live, in the winter the wind blows so hard and so cold you can get frostbite.
I got to the door of the Walmart and turned around and went and found him in the parking lot. I told him to follow me in and wait at the McDonalds inside. I went into the store, bought him long underwear, a thermal shirt, wool socks and gloves. I got back to him, gave him the stuff and bought him a meal at McDonald’s. He was so thankful for the warm clothes he started to cry. As I was leaving the McDonald’s, a lady put her hand on my arm and said “that was very nice of you. I watched everything you did.” I just nodded and walked away. Don’t need recognition for that. He needed something and I was in a position to help him, so I did.
Saw a homeless guy walking on the sidewalk in the middle of a 100 degree day and it was clear that his feet were severely burned. He was hobbling and his feet were clearly sunburned.
I had a brand new pair of shoes in my trunk so I pulled over and handed it to him. He literally cried and said that I would never understand what this meant to him.
It broke my heart.
I grew up with not a lot of money and definitely not in the best neighborhoods. My parents struggled with drug and alcohol abuse so we never had any money. I got myself through college and finally landed a pretty good job. I was visiting a friend of mine who still lived in the same neighborhood and saw there was a girl scout table out in front of a convenience store. Nobody was really buying the cookies. I had just gotten my first bonus from work and had a couple hundred bucks on me. After I left his place I went over and bought $500 worth of Girl Scout cookies. The little girls were so excited! Over the next few weeks I just randomly gave all those boxes of cookies away.
I went to the web site: onesimplewish.org which specializes in providing foster kids with things they wouldn’t ordinarily get. An 11 year old was asking for a bike for his birthday, but his foster family couldn’t afford to buy him one. For less than $200 I paid for the kid’s new bike.
I’m a member of a Sims group on FB where people talk about the game, expansion packs etc. I noticed a comment by a teenager who said her favourite pack would be Pets but she can’t afford it. I went onto her page and saw that she really loved horses. I could also tell from her pictures that her mum was disabled and money looked tight. I was fortunate enough when I was her age to always get the packs on the release dates and I used The Sims as a wind down from revising and school. I thought that this girl needed the escapism way more than I ever did so I bought every expansion pack, messaged her the activation codes, a link to a YouTube video on how to use them, and a short message saying I hope you enjoy playing and to keep smiling.
I really do wish her the very best.
There’s a semi-secluded bus stop beside a store I used to work at, and a homeless guy started sleeping there on the bench halfway between the stop and the parking lot one winter.
One day I got to work 15 mins early and saw him sleeping, wearing just a flannel and jeans. So I ram into the store, bought a blanket, and covered him up with it.
He never woke up so he didn’t know it was me. Every time I saw him sitting on the bench he had the blanket wrapped around him.
On winter weekdays when I go downtown to practice the organ, there’s usually a destitute man on the front steps of the locked church.
When I unlock the door, I invite him in out of the cold and let him sleep on a cushioned pew in the relative warmth of the building while I practice or teach organ lessons.
He’s always very appreciative of the relief from being outside and leaves with obvious appreciation when it’s time for me go.
My brother is a heroin addict and has been homeless for 15 years. In November he wound up in a coma with severe blood poisoning and ultimately lost both of his legs to frostbite. Broke my heart because apparently frostbite is extremely common in the homeless community and a lot of those you see in wheelchairs, that is how they lost their limbs. So I put together 10 winter kits each with new socks, a beanie and gloves, a face-mask, rain poncho, emergency blanket, water bottles, some food, chapstick and many hand/feet warmers. Kept them in my car and handed them out whenever I saw someone in need
This is a small act and probably a bit weird, but growing up as the oldest daughter by 7 years left my younger siblings and I’s relationship a bit distant. There just wasn’t much to relate to(my flavor of adhd also makes emoting really hard for me), and honestly I just always found younger kids annoying so I wasn’t a very good sister to them- to be honest I was just a bully. But when I was around 14-15, my siblings came up to me to show me a couple shiny coins they found- they seemed so excited about it. The youngest, my sister kept talking about how rich she was with one of those ear-to-ear grins kids get when their excited about something. It was really refreshing to see my siblings so happy, and it was honestly adorable. Since then whenever I had spare change I’d “drop” it somewhere I knew they’d notice around the house and just let them find it whenever. They got so happy every time they found one. Now I’m 19, (my siblings are 12 and 8), I still on occasion sneak a dollar into their laundry or something, and we’re a lot closer now. I have considered telling them since I’m moving out really soon, but I think this’ll just stay a secret. At this point telling them will just ruin the magic.
If I’m walking a trail and i see a tree or sapling is damaged i do my best to either mend its injury or remove the broken part to let the tree grow unencumbered. It’s rewarding to come back after a year or two to see the sapling you helped take good roots and refuse to wither
I saw this homeless man eating some pizza and after we talked a bit, I let him use my shower and offered to let him sleep on my couch for the night. He declined the couch, but his laughter in the shower made me really smile. I’ve never told anyone this.
The ex army old fella moved in next door around a year ago
We get along OK, eventually I found out he lives on pasta.. just pasta with nothing else because money
I like to make extra food and take over any leftovers fairly regularly
I usually take a beer over as well but I suspect he doesn’t drink these
It’s not a big thing but I think it helps out
I was cleaning out my car at one of the big stops where they have pull up parking with a vacuum hose on both sides. This car pulled in next to me trying to park in the space between the spots. Me being cynical I’m annoyed and grumbling in my head. Turns out it was this little old lady. For some people the soft spot is kids or animals but for me it’s old people. Anyway, I helped her get her parking sorted and ended up vacuuming her car out as well. In my eyes it looked pretty spotless already. My grandma treated her car the same way. By the end she was in tears when saying her thank yous. What took me all of 10 mins would have taken her much longer. Felt good.
I sneaked $50 into a woman’s purse upon overhearing her tell her child that they “couldn’t afford peanut butter.”
When I was around 12-13 I gave this homeless man a bottle of water and sandwich every day for 2 months. I was in a summer program and brought my own lunch, since they also gave us lunches I would give it to him
One weekend when I was in my teens, I was wandering around outside daydreaming as bored teenagers with no close friends tend to do. In the vicinity of an old one-room schoolhouse, I found a plastic jar that said “OPEN ME” on the lid, and I did so.
The jar was filled with dry black-eyed peas, plus, buried within, a small illustrated flier that said “Goodbye, Earl!”
It was a certificate from a local country music station redeemable for free tickets to a Dixie Chicks concert. I found out the next day from a classmate that it was part of a contest in which the station gave out daily clues during airtime as to the jar’s location, so listeners could search for it. I had stumbled across it entirely by coincidence.
I had no interest in country music, but I knew that a girl in one of my classes was a Dixie Chicks fanatic. A couple days after finding it, toward the end of class, I left the certificate on the floor by her desk where she would find it. (I had never spoken to this person, nor would I go on to – beyond the shared space of a classroom, our milieux did not intersect.) Her look of sheer, incredulous joy and the way she rushed to catch up with one of her friends to show her as the class filed out was the highlight of my day.
Nothing like the other ones.. But my mum had saved forever to buy herself her dream dining table and chairs. They were super expensive but she had a picture on the fridge, saved for a year and knew she’d have them forever.
I visited one day when she wasn’t home (my parents have no issue with us coming over without them there) and noticed the dogs had gotten in and absolutely destroyed one – they were still untrained puppies and had ripped off all the material, buttons, etc.. I popped it in my car, threw it out, found a place an hour away with the same chair and bought it ($300 chair so wasn’t cheap!).
She doesn’t know because she would’ve A) been shattered but found a way to fix it as best as possible, which honestly would’ve been impossible. And B) refused for me to replace something at that cost.
I’m just glad it was me who saw it first. She’s happy and always comments on how nice her table is and how she will have it forever, lol!
Saw a minivan lose control on a gravel road and roll into a slough. I u-turned back and went in to pull the driver out. It rolled onto its roof and was roughly half submerged upside downs. I had to go in through the back hatch to get the driver out.
Driving downtown on a Sunday afternoon a few years ago. A light up ahead turns green with some moderate traffic around me – such that my view of the disabled old lady using a walker standing in the middle of the street is obstructed by another car until it’s almost too late. I stomp the brakes and stop with maybe 20 feet to spare – but the guy behind me isn’t paying attention and rear-ends me. No one is hurt – but both cars have significant damage.
We wait for the cops to come and do a report for insurance purposes. While he’s at it – he takes the old disabled lady’s statement, along with ours, and quickly deduces this is all her fault. He hits her with a $100 fine for jay walking. The old lady starts crying because she clearly has nothing and can’t pay it – she’s living in some shelter nearby.
The cop leaves, and I’m exchanging info with the other driver, but the lady is beside herself. Not paying the ticket probably has no consequences for someone in her shoes, but still, she was nearly run over, and was traumatized by the whole affair. Plus, her life clearly just sucks. She’s old, disabled, destitute, and alone. And now she’s infused all of her unhappiness and anxiety into this dumb ticket she can’t hope to pay. She can’t stop crying – she going to pieces on a random sidewalk in Denver.
So I gave her $100 cash. Even though she cost me hours of time on a weekend, and caused several thousand in damage to my car. It was worth it just to see the look on her face. She clearly had not experienced any act of kindness in forever. Never told anyone about it until now – not even my wife.
I hope she spent it on something besides that stupid ticket.
I had a neighbor I didnt know very well at all. She had a young kid and a boyfriend who yelled a lot. We exchanged numbers for some reason. She texted me out of the blue and asked to borrow money but wanted to meet me at a gas station instead of at the house. I assumed it was so I could just put gas in the tank but went and got cash. She was so squirrelly when I got there and I felt like something was up. I gave her a 50 and I filled her tank. She kept saying I was helping her out so much and no one else would and the she would pay me back. I told her I don’t lend money, it’s a gift.
I never saw her again. I have no idea what the was about, what she did with the money. I’d nearly forgotten about it. I hope she’s okay.
My mom was sitting with me at a Costco food court. She saw a family and children were hungry crying. My mom get up split our whole pizza and gave it to the family and kids. I was so astonished my mom did that out of nowhere
I used to walk with a blind student to class in undergrad. He could’ve gotten to class no problem, but said it was easier for him to have someone accompany him and it gave him someone to talk to.
Followed a guy from the gas station to a McDonalds 10 minutes away to give him his gas cap that he’d forgotten.