It can be said that most of us tend get caught up in our own lives sometimes, forgetting that the simplest acts of kindness can make the most significant impact on someone else. Sometimes a smile, compliment, or maybe even paying for a meal can touch someone in ways you would have never imagined. These “random acts of kindness” are a shining example of what’s truly good about human nature. Think how different this world would be if everyone took a few minutes out of their week to just do something for someone else.
In the spirit of making this world a better place, we’ve compiled 41 heart-warming Random Acts of Kindness that are sure to brighten up your day. Let us all not forget to spread joy to others, often.
1. Please accept my Mother’s Flowers
When the supermarket clerk tallied up my groceries, it was $12 more than what I had on me. I began to remove items from my bags when another shopper handed me a $20 bill. “Please don’t put yourself out,” I told him.
He then said “Let me tell you a story. My mother is in the hospital with cancer. I visit her every day and bring her flowers. I went this morning, and she got mad at me for spending my money on more flowers. She demanded that I do something else with that money. So, here, please accept this. It is my mother’s flowers.”
2. Distance is not a problem
Leaving a store, I returned to my car only to find that I’d locked my keys and cell phone inside. A teenager riding his bike saw me kick a tire and say a few choice words. “What’s wrong?” he asked. I explained my situation. “But even if I could call my wife,” I said, “she can’t bring me her car key, since this is our only car.” He handed me his cell phone. “Call your wife and tell her I’m coming to get her key.” “That’s seven miles round trip.” “Don’t worry about it.”
An hour later, he returned with the key. I offered him some money, but he refused. “Let’s just say I needed the exercise,” he said. Then, like a cowboy in the movies, he rode off into the sunset.
3. My thoughtful Neighbor
I was balancing caring for a toddler and working a full-time job, all while my Navy husband was on extended duty overseas. One evening, the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor, a retired chief petty officer, holding a breadboard loaded with a freshly cooked chicken and vegetable stew. “I’ve noticed you’re getting a little skinny,” he said.
It was the best meal I’d had in months. It’s true what they say about how members of the military look out for one another.
4. Pay Kindness Forward
I saw a dress in a consignment shop that I knew my granddaughter would love. But money was tight, so I asked the store owner if she could hold it for me. “May I buy the dress for you?” asked another customer. “Thank you, but I can’t accept such a gracious gift,” I said.
Then she told me why it was so important for her to help me. She’d been homeless for three years, she said, and had it not been for the kindness of strangers, she would not have been able to survive. “I’m no longer homeless, and my situation has improved,” she said. “I promised myself that I would repay the kindness so many had shown me.” She paid for the dress, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug.
5. I still can help, Doc.
As I walked through the parking lot, all I could think about was the dire diagnosis I had handed my patient Jimmy: pancreatic cancer. Just then, I noticed an elderly gentleman handing tools to someone working under his stalled car. That someone was Jimmy.
I yelled out “Jimmy, what are you doing?” Jimmy dusted off his pants. “My cancer didn’t tell me not to help others, Doc,” he said, before waving at the old man to start the car. The engine roared to life. The old man thanked Jimmy and drove off. Then Jimmy got into his car and took off as well. Despite terrible odds, he beat cancer. His kind and unwavering positive disposition no doubt played a role in his survival.
6. An Answered Prayer
A few years back on Mother’s Day I was at a Starbucks. There was a older lady behind me so I thought I would pay for her drink. As I was waiting for my drink I saw the barista telling the lady that I had covered her order. Instead of the normal smile or whatever reaction most would have she started crying.
I then went up to her and said I was sorry I payed for her drink and I didn’t want to make her sad. She said it wasn’t that. She was having a really bad day because she lost both her son and husband on Mother’s Day. Poor thing said She asked God for a little help that day and I guess that little thing I did worked.
7. An Unexpected Gift from the Sweetest Girl
It was Christmas time and I worked at a toy store in a mall. A teenage girl came in wearing a T-shirt with the logo of my favorite video game on it. I complimented her shirt, and asked her where she had gotten it, because I’ve never been able to find that video game on a women’s shirt, only men’s before. She told me where she got it, and then she left.
I went into the break room, and when I came out, she was waiting for me. She handed me a gift box, and said “Merry Christmas! I hope I got the size right” and left. She went out and bought me the shirt, and it was the sweetest thing ever.
8. Encouragements are just so Powerful
I was four months pregnant with our first child when our baby’s heart stopped beating. I was devastated. As the days went on, I was nervous about returning to work. I’m a middle school teacher and didn’t know how I could face kids.
This past May, after four weeks of recovering, I walked into my empty classroom and turned on the lights. Glued to the wall were a hundred colored paper butterflies, each with a handwritten message on it from current and past students. All of them had encouraging messages: “Keep moving forward,” “Don’t give up on God,” and “Know that we love you.” It was exactly what I needed.
9. Free Meal from the Manager
I was on my way to work and stopped by somewhere for cheap food. As I stared at the menu and silently counted my loose change, the manager motioned me up to the register. I asked for a junior burger because it was a dollar and I was broke. He gave a “seriously?” look and asked me if I wanted fries and a milkshake as well. I felt really embarrassed because I couldn’t afford it and told him. He just repeated the question and nodded when I reluctantly said yes. He pulled out his manager comp card and comped the entire meal. He used his free daily meal to give me food.
I’ve never been more grateful to a total stranger. I’ll never forget that guy as long as I live. He probably had no idea how little money I had and his generosity was completely unprompted. It amazes me that someone who didn’t even know me could do something so kind.
10. An Elderly Couple made Christmas Merrier
I was at Walmart getting a couple of groceries with my wife and kids. It was a particularly tough year. Had lost my job, bills were piling up, and we were close to tears every night because we had no idea if we were even going to be able to afford to give our kids anything for Christmas.
I left for a different aisle to grab something, and while I was gone, an elderly couple approached my wife and the woman gave her a $100 bill and just said “Merry Christmas.” She tried to give it back, but they wouldn’t hear of it. Apparently they didn’t have any kids or grandkids, so every year they try to find someone with kids and give them a gift. My wife started busting into tears in the middle of the store and gave the woman a hug.
11. “I had a feeling it would help”
I was driving cross-country to start a new job. What began as a fun adventure turned into a nightmare when I realized I had run through most of my money and still had a ways to go. I pulled over and let the tears flow. That’s when I noticed the unopened farewell card my neighbor had shoved in my hand as I left. I pulled the card out of the envelope, and $100 dropped out—just enough to get me through the remainder of my trip.
Later, I asked my neighbor why she had enclosed the money. She said, “I had a feeling it would help.”
12. The Bully Destroyer
I was getting bullied in the locker room years ago. Middle school I believe. I was smaller, had a speech impediment, wore big glasses and had braces. I looked just like the type of kid who gets picked on in the movies.
Out of nowhere this abnormally taller kid comes over and kicked the kid (bully) in the chest so hard he flew back in the locker. I didn’t know him at the time, he was just a good person standing up for a stranger. Still talk to him now more than a decade later. Awesome guy.
13. Reddit Can Be a Kind Place After All
Shortly after Halloween last year, I saw a post on Reddit from a single mom who was struggling financially to support her two kids. As someone who was raised by a single mother, I felt obligated to help in anyway I could.
She trusted me enough to provide me with her address and I sent her a giant bags of candy (Snickers, M&M’S, Reese’s, Skittles) and a $50 gift card to Walmart to get groceries for the kids. She messaged me the day she got the package saying how grateful she was and how special her kids felt knowing that a random stranger cared enough to help them during the holidays.
14. More Kindness From Reddit
I had been unemployed for a few months and was really down about it. I was whining in one of the female-oriented subreddits about how I was out of money, out of options, and how just applying for jobs was expensive (clothes for different interviews, travel expenses, etc.).
One Reddit user sent me a $20 credit for an online thrift store, just to make me feel better. I used that credit to buy a blazer, which I really needed for the jobs I was applying for and couldn’t afford on my own. I wore that blazer to the interview that landed me my current job, and I still wear it to work all the time. Every time I do, I tell everyone who compliments it about the kindness of an internet stranger.
15. What goes around, comes around
My previous job was in a retail/rental video store. A young guy and his pregnant girlfriend came in looking to get cash for some used video games. I told them unfortunately we couldn’t do cash for trade ins, only store credit. He explained that they were trying to get enough money to pay for her medication and if I knew of any other stores that would do a trade within walking distance. I didn’t.
I asked how much they were short, and he said “five dollars.” I reached in my pocket and happened to have a five so I handed it to him. Their faces were so grateful looking and he thanked me profusely. They left and I figured I’d never see them again. A couple weeks later, they both come back to the store and told me “Thank you so much for helping us out. I finally got paid and I know you gave us $5, but here’s a $10. Buy yourself lunch today.” I obviously couldn’t accept the money, but the gesture was enough for me.
16. “I’ll deliver the books for you”
I’d pulled over onto the side of a New Mexico road and was suffering a panic attack when a minivan full of kids pulled over. A woman got out and asked if I was OK. “No,” I said. Then I laid out what had happened: I was delivering books for a publishing company. My next stop was way, way up this long, winding and treacherous road. I couldn’t do it. She said “I’ll deliver the books for you.”
She was a local, and the roads were nothing for her. I took her up on the offer and never forgot the simple kindness of a stranger.
17. Good Bosses are Rare
My parents got divorced a while back. Two of us got kicked out and our 13 year old brother at the time was left between fighting parents. I just took custody of him because of the stress (3 years later, and finally old enough to get him). The now 16 year old works part time at a Mexican restaurant. I went in to pick him up from work and the owner was at the bar. He asked me why I always picked him up and where the parents were. I gave him a quick run down, but not too much. He offered to pay the rest of my college tuition so that I could provide for my brother better, and he also just set up a fund for him.
I’m now going through medical school for free and my little brother will be able to attend for free once he’s out of high school. I’ll never be able to thank him enough. He only knew my little brother as a hard working dishwasher, and now he’s provided a future for us. I can only hope that I can do the same for a kid in my distant future.
18. Homeless People made me feel better
Well it was a rough morning I had a few years back. My little brother died after being hit by a drunk driver. I got pulled out of a meeting I was leading by my bosses boss. He let me take the phone call in his office while he waited outside. I suppose they called my cell phone a dozen times, but I had it turned off. I didn’t cry in that office.
I walked to a nearby park and I cried there, I suppose I cried for a rather long time. There was a couple of homeless guys who came up and started talking to me, they felt sorry for me. We ended up drinking vodka from a large plastic jug and eating canned meats with our bare hands. I slept in the park next to a water fountain that night and awoke to find one of their blankets draped over me. Thanks guys.
19. Nothing beats a Man with a Golden Heart
My neighbor, Jimmy, had trouble deciding if he wanted to retire from the construction field, until he ran into a younger man he’d worked with previously. The young man had a wife and three children and was finding it difficult to make ends meet, since he hadn’t worked in some time.
The next morning, Jimmy went to the union office and submitted his retirement paperwork. As for his replacement, he gave them the name of the young man. That was six years ago, and that young husband and father has been employed ever since.
20. Being generous despite of having less
Went to pick up my younger sister from Summer school. On the drive back we see a raggedy looking homeless guy with his dog in front of a Wal-Mart, holding a sign on a blistering hot summer day. We decide to get him some food and water.
Burger King had $1 Whoppers going on at the time. We order about 4 burgers and a couple large waters. The BK guys messed up and gave us a large order of fries as well, so bonus! We pull up next to the guy and handed him the food and drinks. He seemed so thankful and we saw him just absolutely tear into a burger, and gave another one to his dog as well. We noticed a homeless looking lady came by, and he offered her a burger too! My heart melts when I think about it still.
21. I hope my sandwich was enough
When I was seven, my family drove to the Grand Canyon. At one point, my favorite blanket flew out the window and was gone. I was devastated. Soon after, we stopped at a service station. Moping, I found a bench and was about to eat my sandwich when a biker pulled into the station. “Is that your blue Ford?” a huge, frightening man with a gray-and-black beard asked. Mom nodded reticently. The man pulled my blanket from his jacket pocket and handed it to her.
He then returned to his motorcycle. I repaid him the only way I knew how: I ran up to him and gave him my sandwich.
22. Nothing better than anonymous love!
While going through a divorce, my mother fretted over her new worries: no income, the same bills, and no way to afford groceries. It was around this time that she started finding boxes of food outside our door every morning.
This went on for months, until she was able to land a job. We never did find out who it was who left the groceries for us, but they truly saved our lives.
23. Paying it Forward!
I was working as a waitress, and one of my customers asked to pay for an older couples meal. I asked if she knew them and she said no and to wait until she left to tell them their meal was paid for. They were so touched by the gesture that they in turn paid for the meal of a mother and son sitting near by, who paid for another table, who paid for another table.
The chain went on for about 6 or 7 tables and only ended at closing time.
24. Fire is nothing compared to seeing the kid happy
Few years ago, a fire started in an orphanage around my area, luckily the kids all got out safe and sound. This other man and I were standing nearby watching the firemen make sure the children were alright when one small boy was howling about how his teddy bear had been left inside the building, sadly no one was really paying him any attention, the man standing next to me, without a second thought, dashed into the building and managed to save the small child’s teddy bear.
I was rather shocked and the child was extremely grateful. I asked the man later why he did it and he just shrugged and smiled.
25. My Grandpa was an Angel in Disguise
My grandfather brought a guest over for thanksgiving when I was younger. The guest was some older gentleman nobody in my family had met before. We all just assumed it was one of his many friends from the area.
Turns out my grandpa was at the grocery store and the guy was buying a small turkey for himself. When the cashier rang the guy up, he didn’t have enough money to pay for the turkey. My grandpa paid for the turkey, talked to him for a bit, found out he didn’t have any family to be with, and invited him over for dinner.
26. She missed her stop just to console me
One time, I was crying on the train when my sister called me and found out that my grandmother had a stroke and would never walk or talk again. My grandmother is really close to my heart, so it really made me felt so sad. Then suddenly a girl asked me what’s wrong and if I needed a hug.
We talked for the rest of my ride. I then found out that her stop was six stops ago and she had stayed on just to console me. I couldn’t thank her enough.
27. The Driver drove to other route just to help the Old Lady
My bus takes two different routes around my village and they go in opposite directions. An old lady who could barely walk got on the bus one day and the driver purposely drove to the other route that he wasn’t supposed to take. He took her as close to her house as possible (she was a regular) and then helped her to cross the road.
He then turned the bus around and continued onto the correct route that he should’ve been taking. Every single person on that bus was smiling that day.
28. “Tell the lady when she comes back they’re already paid for“
I worked at a shoe store. A mom was telling her son that she couldn’t afford his shoes tonight, but she would have us hold them in hopes she could scrape up the money and come back and pay for them.
A woman overheard her, and when the woman left the lady came up to me. “See those shoes on hold? I want to pay for them. “Tell the lady when she comes back they’re already paid for.” I said, “are you sure? They’re 70 dollars.” (Basketball shoes) she said, “I don’t care how much they are, put them on my ticket.” And she left. The woman came to buy the shoes for her son the next day, and her face when she found out a stranger paid for them was priceless.
29. Free Turkey for the Less Fortunate
I went to Washington to visit my sister and brother in law for Thanksgiving. We had to stop by the store for some last minute purchases and my sister and I saw a woman that had two grocery carts full of turkeys. We overheard another person in the check out line asking her why she had so many turkeys. She replied with “Every year I go the day before Thanksgiving and buy as many turkeys as possible and I go by all the homeless shelters/kitchens and bring them turkeys just in case they don’t have enough to feed everyone.”
My sister and I just looked at each other and I said “Faith in humanity: RESTORED!!”
30. Biscuit for you!
I was at a tourist spot near where I live with a friend, and after wandering around for several miles, all I wanted was a glass of water. My friend had a cup of tea and it was one of those places where they put a tiny little biscuit on the saucer.
I was just sitting talking to my friend when this little kid, probably about six, ran past my table and dropped a biscuit on the table in front of me. It happened in a split second. After that, I heard his mom reprimand with him for stealing her biscuit and him replying “but he didn’t have a biscuit!” That really did made me smile. But yes, I did return the biscuit.
31. Customer to the Rescue!
I was at work and my hand and wrist were in some pain. One of my customers and her son came in and noticed. She asked what was wrong and I explained that my wrist was hurting me. She paid for her items and left.
About fifteen minutes later, her son comes in with paper bag and gives it to me, inside was a wrist brace. After she left my store, she had immediately gone to somewhere and bought it for me. I put it on and immediately felt so much better. This was one of the kindest things I’ve had anyone do for me.
32. I’m Proud of You, Mom!
Many years ago, I was visiting family in a third-world country with my mom. There, hospitals will not provide any sort of treatment prior to receiving payment. There was a girl about my age there that had TB, and her mom was begging anyone who would listen for money – they were from outside the city, had driven a long way to get to the hospital, and could not afford the medicine she needed.
We didn’t have enough money on us at the time so my mom took us home, went to the bank, got cash (about $150), drove back to the hospital, tracked the lady down, and paid for the girl’s treatment. It took my mom about 2 hours to do all of that, and in that time, nobody had helped the woman and her daughter. I felt really proud to be my mother’s daughter that day.
33. These Ladies helped me without saying a word
The day my dad died I was holding it together pretty well. Late that night I went to a store to have a moment to just zone out, and buy a few groceries. As I got to the checkout counter with my arm full of stuff, I dropped a container of sour cream and it exploded everywhere. I completely lost control of myself and started to cry. The ugly cry. I was instantly surrounded by a group of women who just took charge of the whole situation. They helped me get everything paid for, cleaned up, and one lady even got a new sour cream.
No words were spoken, but their compassion and take charge attitude has stayed with me since.
34. Seeing him happy is more than enough!
A few months ago I went into Guitar Center to just admire the guitars. There was an old man in there making the guitar he was using sing. I started chatting with him and told him he played well. He went into a story that he’s a veteran of the 101st airborne. He told me how he had a stroke not long ago and thought he’d never be able to play again. I told him I admire his determination to play again and that it’s very inspiring.
Before we ended the conversation, I noticed the guitar he was playing was only a $125 guitar. I only have $130 (the last money I have until next paycheck), but he really seems so happy with the guitar so I bought it and told him I appreciated him serving our country, and accept it as a reward. . He thanked me profusely and I saw tears in his eyes. I know I have no money left, but it was fine, I can borrow money anyway. Seeing him happy was absolutely priceless.
35. Generosity at its best!
I got really sick and at the time my dad was working a part time job at a convenience store. What was thought to be a simple headache and vomiting turned out to be a big brain tumor that needed emergency surgery. Well turns out that after the first surgery I needed a second and couldn’t leave the hospital without staying a few months. Throughout that time, the convenience store owner kept my dad on the payroll and let him basically work whenever he was back home because he stayed with me in the hospital a couple of days.
After two years when I was finally discharged, he bought my dad a good car for basically nothing because we needed one for my physical therapy sessions. Good man, my dad found another job but my brother still works there and the owner keeps my dad as a substitute if someone can’t make it so he’ll make some extra cash. You could say that I owe my life to that man.
36. A simple note just made my day!
I used to work at a gas station and this older man came in to buy a newspaper but was a dollar short. I gave him a dollar and he asked my name and left.
A few days later my boss told me someone left an envelope with my name on it. The man had written me a sweet little note saying thank you along with a five dollar bill. It made my day so much, but I still have the note in my wallet three years later.
37. “Don’t worry, I’ll waive the charges for ya folks”
When I was 9, my mom was admitted to the hospital after a bad car accident. We were financially unstable since we were focusing on paying he hospital bill. At the time the sign ups for the new little league baseball season was about to close, so we went to the community center to see how much it was to sign up. It was $150 for the whole season.
However at the time we didn’t have the money to pay it off so we just decided to go home. However, the man who announces our games, an elderly man with an inspiring character comes up to us and says “Hey what’s wrong son?” To which I replied “We don’t have enough money”. He then tells the lady at the front desk “Patty! sign this fine young boy up for this season!” To which he turned to my family and said “Don’t worry, I’ll waive the charges for ya folks”. I cried and gave him the biggest hug a 9 year old could give him. I’m currently playing Division I baseball, eyeing a professional career in the near future.
38. Heavenly Love
I couldn’t sleep the evening after my brother’s funeral. I went to the cemetery and sat next to the burial site in a daze. This old man walked up and sat next to me early the next morning. It was hard for him to lower himself into a sitting position on the ground, but he did. He didn’t say anything, he just put his arm around my shoulders. I broke down and cried harder than I’ve ever cried before and he just held me.
After I had calmed down, he told me that he wanted to show me his wife’s grave. He started talking to her like she was standing in front of us. He told her that my brother is new to heaven and that he’d appreciate it if she’d help him get settled in. I don’t know exactly why, but it brought me so much peace. The idea of my brother having someone to take care of him was such a huge burden off of my chest. He walked me to my car and told me that he’ll check on my brother every morning when he visits his wife. I don’t think I would have had the strength to walk away from the cemetery without his support.
39. An Angel sent from above
About 6 years ago my grandmother was on a ventilator in the hospital. It happened fast and was devastating. I was missing work to spend the night shift with her. I was in the hospital cafeteria in the middle of the night. We were quietly talking and crying. I was telling my mom I couldn’t afford my rent because I was missing work. There was an older couple a few tables away and I didn’t think anything of it.
A few minutes later I got up to go back to my grandmothers room when the woman stopped me. She grabbed my hand and told me I needed to stay with my grandmother and put a 100 dollars in my hands. I started crying and telling her I could not accept her money. She insisted and hugged me and walked away. I have never been more moved by an act of kindness in my life.