The Aviva Community Fund offers people across the UK the chance to fund an important cause in their community. Inspired by this, BuzzFeed asked people to share the loveliest good deeds they've had done for them or they've done for other people.
"One day it occurred to me that I'd given the gift of flowers many times over the years, but I'd never received them as a gift. I made this remark at work offhandedly. The very next morning, two of my coworkers bought flowers for me and left them on my desk – just so I could have the experience myself. It was incredibly sweet, and to celebrate the momentous occasion, we went to the pub!"
– James L
"I received really bad news that a family member had been involved in a serious car crash a while ago. I had to endure a six-hour train journey alone to the hospital. Already emotional, I arrived at the station and was met with cancellations and heavy delays. I was sobbing, snotty, and way too emotional to be by myself. A teeny-tiny old lady came over to me as I waited for my train.
"As if by magic, she produced a cup of tea from a flask she had in her bag, a cheese sandwich, and a chocolate bar. She demanded I sit, eat, and talk to her about why I was upset. I was blown away by her warmth and kindness. She even gave me a pound that I had to promise I would use for a taxi to the hospital on the other side."
– Laurie N
"Shockingly, there was a heavy rain in London a few weeks back, and, as I was on my way to the tube, I noticed a homeless man sitting along the wall getting absolutely doused. Knowing that I would soon be dry in my warm office while he sat soaking wet all day, I thought he could use my umbrella much more than I could, so I handed it over. He appeared to appreciate it much more than I had."
– Casey M
"I was walking home from work, and the old woman who lives at the top of my road was standing outside her door in a nightgown. It was a freezing cold night, so I went to see if she was okay. She was very confused and hard to understand, but eventually I realised she had accidentally locked herself out of her house. I climbed up the side of the house to try to see if any of the windows were open, but they were all locked. She started panicking and had been out in the cold for over an hour before someone came to help, so I knocked on her neighbour's door and asked if she could stay inside while I call a locksmith.
"About an hour later, a locksmith came and supplied a brand-new lock (with a few spare keys that I gave to the neighbours), and I covered the £40 cost as she clearly didn't have any money. I still see her walking down the road occasionally and say hi, but she doesn't remember who I am or what happened that day."
– Steph T
"To cut a long story short, I was in Thailand on my gap year and had a spate of bad luck. The trouble started with me breaking my foot with a stein of beer and ended with me having my bag stolen at a full moon party, then ending up in hospital with Dengue Fever.
"We were at rock bottom, listening to the music booming from the beach from our hospital beds, when a fellow Scot walked into the ward and announced himself as our doctor! After we told him about our ordeal, he did some investigating with the Thai police and SOMEHOW managed to locate my bag, have it transported down to the island, and walked in with it on his back the day we were discharged from hospital. What a legend."
– Marissa W
"Whenever I see people with a flat tyre, I just have to stop and help. It's been like that since secondary school. You'd be surprised how many people just don't know how to change a tyre. I have no clue how many flats I've changed in my life, but each time I do I'm rewarded with giant smiles, thank-yous, and a grateful handshake. Makes it all worth it."
– Brant M
"After my dad passed away, my friends all surprised me with lanterns that we could send off up into the sky. We walked down to the beach, lit them up, and all shared some stories about him. It was insanely emotional, but we had some good laughs too. Being surrounded by all the love of my friends was exactly what I needed."
– Jeff T
"When I was a student, we lived next to an elderly lady called Nelly. I went round one day to say hello and got to know her over time. Eventually, I found out that she lived alone and had no relatives nearby. This broke my heart! So every time I went grocery shopping I would visit her first, collect her shopping list, and made sure we bought things for her too. We got into the habit of visiting her regularly for a cup of tea and walking her dog for her. On her 90th birthday, we baked a cake and took party hats to her house to celebrate it with her – just me, her, and my housemate. Old people are precious, and I hope someone would do the same for me one day."
– Sophie G
"I moved to London from New York City without knowing anyone. I really didn't want to be a bother to anyone at work or have them feel like I was just the new girl tagging along. On my first Friday night in London, a friend from work, Sabrina, asked me to come to her birthday party. She mentioned it Thursday (when I obviously didn't have any plans for the next day) and reminded me on Friday as well. She went out of her way to make sure I was there, introduced me to all of her friends, and, from that night, I met so many people who I kept in touch with moving forward!"
– Emma T
The 2017 Aviva Community Fund is now open, and you can be a part of it too. All you have to do is submit a project for your community organisation – even if you took part previously – and tell us what a difference these much-needed funds could make.
Illustrations by Sam Dunn for BuzzFeed.