These people did some pretty awesome acts of kindness to helped out complete strangers in need. Check out their heartwarming stories that were posted on an AskReddit thread.
Source list available at the end.
When I was doing my undergrad, there was a homeless man who slept on a bench along my route to class. I had a strange schedule, so I would often pass him when he was asleep and leave him a sandwich every time I walked by his bench on my way home. I'm glad he didn't know it was from me. I'd like to think he looks at every stranger as a possible friend.
I paid $346.76 for a family's Thanksgiving dinner.
I personally never buy anything for myself for Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd shop on someone else's behalf instead.
I went into Walmart and started people watching. I noticed a family of eight. A mom, a dad, and six small children all under the age of nine. I noticed all of the kids were trying to put stuff in there cart, and the mom and dad kept telling them to put it back because they didn't have enough money.
I went up to them and told them I wanted them to put everything they wanted in the cart and I'd buy it. The lady broke down in tears, in my arms, they only had $50 to spend for their whole family.
I went through the store with them and helped them pick everything out. We went out to their car and put everything in there. They thanked me and invited me over, but I declined and went back home and ordered a pizza.
I bought Plan B for a young teen at the pharmacy because she thought it was free and was totally scared. Nobody should ever have to face that decision with helplessness. I made her promise to use the condoms I bought for her as well, and if she was ever in an unsafe situation at home or school, she could call me anytime. I gave her my cell and email and haven't heard from her since. I hope she's happy and safe.
My grandma used to work in a hospice, and she told me about a woman she cared for who collected teddy bears. I was only 11 or 12 at the time, but I had learned sewing at school. That day, I scrounged up all of the materials I would need, sat down, and spent 6 hours making a teddy bear for her. The next day, I sent it off with my grandma along with a letter. I never met the woman. I'm sure she's passed away by now, but that was the nicest thing I can remember doing.
I raised $3000 for a lady who's son needed a large tumour removed from his brain. She was a single mom and a friend of a coworker. I insisted on remaining anonymous. To the day, though, I creep her Facebook to see how her son is doing. He is a happy little boy and is doing great.
I love playing carnival games. I win quite often, but I hate carrying the prizes around and dealing with them when I go on a ride. So, I usually let a kid that didn't win pick something out. If no kids are playing, I will ask one that is walking by. Their expressions are the best.
I think it also goes back to when I was a kid. A guy at the arcade was playing games and gave me all the tickets he won because he just wanted to play. I remember (25+ years later) how great and lucky I felt.
I saw an elderly lady struggling to pull an empty wheelchair up a few steps. I walked over and pulled it up and brought her travel bag up afterward. I didn't hesitate because I would want someone to do the same thing for my grandma if they saw her struggling.
I was in college at the time. So, I was young and broke. I was leaving the grocery store with my usual staples: bread, peanut butter, ramen, soup, rice, pasta, frozen burritos, almost-over meat, and root veggies. There was enough there to sustain me for a few weeks because I hated grocery shopping. A man approached me asking for anything at all. He said he needed help to feed his family- which was all I caught. He was wearing dress slacks and a jacket that just wasn't up to standard. He was embarrassed and cold. I said I had nothing to spare and ran to my car. Stranger danger. I lit a cig and started the engine to warm up, while I loaded my groceries, I looked back at the guy. Everybody walked by. Well damn.
I drove around to the man and gave him the bags. I told him that none of it was good, but it would do. He started choking up and thanking me. That's when I made my exit, quickly and gracelessly. I told him he needed to cook or freeze the meat by tomorrow. If you can help somebody, you should.
I'm a home health nurse. One time, when I had called a patient to set up a time to open her case with our agency, she broke down on the phone and started crying. She said she was having a baby shower the next day and no one was coming, so I could come at any time because it wouldn't matter. After work that night, I went out and bought her a bunch of stuff for her baby shower. I went at the time that it was supposed to be to at, so at least she would have one person at her baby shower.
Decades ago, I was getting my haircut at some place I'd never been to before. The woman doing my hair looked depressed and engaged in no banter. I paid and left, but the "good me" came back in 10 minutes later with a bouquet of flowers and said something like, "Hope you have a better day." The "bad me" would have tried to pick her up, but he didn't win that day.
When I worked in the hospitality industry, I would find a lot of lost purses and wallets. I would spend my breaks trying to contact the people to tell them I had found it.
My husband and I stop regularly if we see someone that needs help on the roadside. We've helped a few people who have lost things from the back of their trucks that went onto the roadway, helped push cars off the road that broke down, etc.
We've also bought several elderly people's dinners as we were leaving a restaurant. Older men we see eating alone or nice older couples. We don't tell them about it. We just pay and leave.
We have the worst luck and have been through hard times together, so when we do have the extra money, we feel like it's good to pay it forward even though it's only in small amounts.
While living in London, I made sure to assist every woman with a stroller as we went up stairs from the tube platform. It was something I could do for others in a really small way that was just helpful.
I saw a homeless man outside of DC, in the dead of winter, and his sign read: "Need money for a sleeping bag." I took him to Target, bought him a sleeping bag, and we got breakfast together.
Hope you're doing alright, Moses!
One day, I was at 7-Eleven getting a lunch to bring back to the office. Using the 7-Eleven app, I got a free Gatorade. I walked out the door and am stopped by a poor/possibly homeless guy. He asked for some cash to buy a soda, but I didn't carry any on me. I told him, he understood, and I walked away. Something clicked in my head, I suddenly stopped, went back to him, and asked if he wanted one of my Gatorades. He took the drink and thanked me. He said how he was getting ready for a job interview later that day. I never saw him again after that. I hope he got the job and turned his life around. If he didnt, I hope he enjoyed the Gatorade.
I noticed someone's car was stuck in the snow in a small road leading to my house around 1:30 AM while driving home after a party. I stopped to help them shovel the snow around their car so they could drive all the way back to the main road. It wasn't working, so I just waited in the car with him until he found some help. He said he really appreciated it. We were there until 3 AM, when a random truck passing by saw us and helped bring him to the main road.
I used to work at a coffee shop where we closed fairly late on the weekends. I was driving home at 1 AM in the morning, and I saw this couple trying to push their car down the side of the road. I stopped and got out to help. At this point, I saw that their car was filled with their belongings. They said they were evicted and had to have all of their stuff moved out before morning. Without thinking, I asked them how much stuff they had left to move and proceeded to help them get all of their stuff out of their place.
At the time, I drove a mid 80's Nissan 300ZX. It took us two trips. You can fit a surprising amount of stuff in the hatch of a 300ZX. The three of us were sitting up front (with her straddling the console and stick shift), and all of their worldly possessions were in the back. On the second trip, we also had their cats with us in a crate. I got home at 3:30 AM. They wanted my info so that they could send pay me back, but I turned them down. Partly because I didn't want it, and partly because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to say "no" to these down-on-their-luck folk ever again, and I'd keep on helping them out for eternity.
Returned $5000 in cash.
One time, I was in line at Walmart behind a super awkward, but obviously super excited guy who was buying condoms. His card was declined, so I paid for them on his behalf. Good luck, man.
I'm not a believer in giving homeless people money, but I have bought and had lunch/dinner with 5 homeless people. They really appreciated the food and the time that I took out of my day. The one guy I met was a Gulf War veteran who was discharged because of PTSD. After he got back, his wife divorced him and took everything- including the kids and his house. Both of his parents were dead, and he was never really close with anyone else in his family. He had been homeless for about 2 years. Now, my dad works for the VA. So, I talked to him about this guy, and I was able to get him connected with some good people and help. Last I heard, he was living in a small apartment with a job as a manager of a local grocery store. He was a really nice guy.
There was this mom in Target and her little girl was completely having a melt down. I was watching the mom as she realized this wasn't a meltdown that was going to stop, and she started to (presumably) make her way to the front of the store. Then the little girl puked ALL over the mom, cart, and herself. The mom collapsed and burst into tears. People around were stunned. I rolled over with my cart, broke open the bag of paper towels that I was planning to buy, and handed them to her with a smile. I then helped her clean up the cart and her little girl. When she was composed enough to say "thank you," I just let her know I had twin girls and had been down this path before. I told her it was a right of passage to have a public meltdown with a toddler.
A while back, someone saw a post of mine that had general information about where I lived. They PM'ed me, asked if they were correct about my location, and told me they had a family member here who was very dear to them pass away recently. They didn't live here anymore, so they asked me if I had the time to go to the cemetery and send them a picture of the gravestone. They hadn't seen it and weren't going to be able to in the near future. So, I drove there, spent time looking for it, and finally found it. I took the pictures, edited them to make them look more vibrant (overcast day), and sent them to the person.
I once paid to fill up a soldier's gas tank at a convenience store when he and his wife were running short on funds. I paid for it anonymously when I overheard their conversation about their PCS funds running short.
My girlfriend and I routinely take in cats from strangers to our rescue house. We pay to get them fixed (shots plus medical care) and adopt them out to other strangers. Financially, every cat is a minimum loss of $100 for their surgery. Never mind if it needs anything additional beyond that. Emotionally, they usually spend at least a couple of weeks recovering while I scoop their poops, give them medication, and socialize them if they need to be before they can find a "furever" home.
Posts are edited for clarity.
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.