We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for them. Here are their heartwarming stories.
1. Submitted by taylorb461b6566d
About a year ago I was in an accident and suffered second- and third-degree burns over 18% of my body, and I soon realized that I would never look the same again. After a few months of sitting around moping about my situation, I decided to get out of the house, so I made a mani/pedi appointment with my usual nail girl who knew of my situation.
Throughout my appointment she asked me questions about the accident and the aftermath, none of which I was keen to discuss. The woman next to me overheard the conversation but never said a word. At the end of the appointment, I was getting my wallet out to pay when my nail girl told me that the woman next to me had paid for my mani/pedi and tipped excessively. It's because of that woman that I finally felt comfortable to go out.
2. Submitted by tamim477a9d4c9
I grew up in a family of four sisters being raised by a single mom. Money was always tight, and my mom fought to give us the kind of life she thought we deserved. Still, you could always see the tension in her face as the holidays approached. One year was particularly hard for our family, and my mom had absolutely no extra money for Christmas presents or Christmas dinner, and she was devastated.
The day before Christmas Eve she came home from work smiling and with tears in her eyes. "Santa" had left a $100 gift card on her desk with a note telling her to make sure her kids got a good Christmas. To this day, we still don't know who Santa was. I've long since forgotten the toys we got, but I think of this stranger every day and thank him or her for bringing my mom a smile that Christmas, something that I hadn't seen on her face in a long time.
3. Submitted by Liz Karsa (Facebook)
I was T-boned by a drunk driver and had to be pried out of my car. Within seconds of the accident happening, a woman appeared and held my hand through my shattered window and kept repeating kind words, letting me know that help was coming. Once the paramedics and fire department arrived, she simply vanished. I am eternally grateful for those kind words said to me. God bless you wherever you are.
4. Submitted by sabrinagiselle25
Since I was about 12, I have been very sick with a collection of rare diseases. My whole life I have had a quirky, flirty, outgoing disposition, but sadly, chronic illness does not suit such a lifestyle, and sometimes even your best friends don't stick around when life stops being so carefree.
When I was 19, I became acutely ill while traveling for treatment in Orlando, a thousand miles away from home, and I was stranded there for three and a half months. Fortunately for me, my best friend Tiffany went away to school in Orlando. One evening I was highly surprised when more than 60 fraternity guys filed into my room at the Ronald McDonald House. They serenaded me with a couple of my favorite songs, and finally they presented me with a lavalier. Tiffany's friend Eric had orchestrated this grand surprise for me. Eric gave a lovely speech stating that being lavaliered is something equivalent to a proposal and that I had a whole bunch of Phi Delta Theta boys who loved me. I was so truly touched that Eric, who really didn't even know me, went to such effort just to make me happy.
5. Submitted by mancseph
About two months before I was diagnosed with depression, I'd hit a really rough patch. With what little money I had, I went to McDonald's and got a meal to-go. While I was sitting on a wall nearby eating, a lady probably in her sixties came over to me and asked how I was doing. I mumbled that I was fine and continued with my drink, but she didn't take "fine" for an answer and sat down next to me. She then told me that I looked like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and that everything would be OK. At this point I started to get a bit tearful and let everything that was happening spill out. For the next hour and a half, she sat there talking to me and helping me calm down.
Before she left she said one thing that I'll always remember: "Not everyone is a nice person, but sometimes that's what you need, and somehow life will point you in the direction of the person you need." Because of what she said, I sought out help, and I genuinely feel that if I hadn't, I wouldn't be here today.
6. Submitted by marileea3
Just after getting married, my husband and I lost everything in a devastating house fire. The loss of all of our possessions was unpleasant, but more than anything, the loss of our beloved dog was gut-wrenching. While we did have renters insurance, our loss exceeded our coverage by almost $50,000. We were relatively new to town, but my husband's co-workers, some of who worked out of another office and had never met us, set up a donation pool. We were given more than $10,000 in donations of cash, gift cards, and other goods. More than the money, the unbelievable generosity of people who we'd never met and who had no real interest in our future gave me enormous hope in the face of incredible sadness.
7. Submitted by beccas47fa33e5d
I suffer from depression and anxiety, and on the train back to university from home one time, I was sobbing and on the verge of a panic attack when the girl across the aisle reached over and put a packet of tissues in my hand and gave me a little reassuring squeeze. Her act of kindness, without being obtrusive, was so beautiful to me. I hope my actions invoke such feelings in others.
8. Submitted by abbyd4359a9299
Recently, a senior at my high school committed suicide, and it really took a toll on the community as a whole. There was a weird vibe through the halls the following days, and everything just seemed so depressing. A few days ago, I got to school, and on every single locker there was a sticky note with a compliment, such as "You're beautiful" or "Stay amazing." It's really great to see that even though life sucks sometimes, there are still nice people out there.
9. Submitted by Rusti Jo Hill (Facebook)
I was working at Bath & Body Works last year on Black Friday. We had a limited edition candle that was only available that day, and we were almost out. I showed it to a customer and told her to snatch it up if she liked it because there were only 10 left, and I told her how bummed I was that my managers wouldn't let me buy one since they were for customers. The girl picked up a candle and headed to the register with the rest of her things.
On her way back out she stopped me, handed me the candle, said, "Merry Christmas," hugged me, walked away, and left me crying in the middle of the store.
10. Submitted by laurenjeanstm
In 2008, I was stranded in Chicago during a snowstorm. I had flown in from Mexico and had planned on taking a bus to Minnesota, but because of the storm, I was stranded, left wandering the streets of Chicago in ballet flats. I found myself in an all-night diner where I was harassed by several drunk men.
Two twentysomething guys sat next to me and kept me from being harassed any more. When they found out that I had been working in an orphanage in Mexico and had to get back to the bus station by 7 a.m., they spent the rest of the night and early morning with me to make sure I made it back there safe. They walked me back and also bought me a Chicago Bears Santa hat and some drinks for my trip.
11. Submitted by Megan Avalos (Facebook)
When I was newly divorced, I took my three young sons to the bank, where I found out that my direct deposit hadn't gone through. I was close to tears, as I needed that money desperately, but I just said, "Thank you" and left.
When I got into the parking lot, I heard an older gentleman yell, "Excuse me! Wait!" He then reached out and handed me a $100 bill. "You look like a good mother," he said, "and I just want to help." He saved me that day, and I've thanked him in my mind so many times since then.
12. Submitted by Michaela Babineau (Facebook)
One time the power went out, and all our food spoiled. Because my parents were tight on money between paychecks, my family of six decided to go to Subway because we had enough rewards points that everyone could have a free sandwich. After placing our order, the woman behind the counter said that we couldn't use the points because the system hadn't restarted following the outage. My dad was getting us all back in the car, without food, when a stranger came out with a bag full of sandwiches. He told my dad that he had been in our shoes before and just wanted to make sure a family didn't go hungry.
13. Submitted by Erin Day (Facebook)
I was homeless for a while when I lived in Las Vegas, sleeping in my truck or the dressing room at work. The owner of the shop next to mine must have found out because she walked in one day, handed me $100, and then told me she had booked me a two-night stay at the swanky Red Rock Casino. I don't think I've ever sobbed so hard or been more blown away.
14. Submitted by Erika Schäfer (Facebook)
When I was 17, I was out late with some friends. We had no money, and we were just sitting on a park bench. I was feeling dizzy because I hadn't eaten in over 10 hours, and I was about to faint. Suddenly, a homeless guy — young, covered in tattoos, wearing dirty clothes – started to walk toward us. He asked me what was wrong, and I told him I was just feeling dizzy. He then gave me a bag of fresh bread someone at a bakery had given him and told me we could share it. So we sat there eating bread, telling stories, and laughing until 4 a.m.
15. Submitted by Kayleigh Street (Facebook)
After having a seizure behind the wheel last year, I completely lost consciousness and crashed my car. A stranger found me, phoned an ambulance, and stayed with me until paramedics arrived. To this day, I don't remember anything about this. He left me with the paramedics, never leaving his name or contact details. I tried to find him afterward via the local newspaper, but no one came forward. I hope he saw the article somehow and understands how grateful I am.
16. Submitted by Victoria Vartanian (Facebook)
A couple years ago when I was struggling with really bad depression, I was having suicidal thoughts. I was standing on the sidewalk very close to the road, which was next to a gas station. A woman must have noticed me standing there for a while, so she stopped pumping her gas and came over to ask if everything was OK. She had no idea that I was planning to throw myself into oncoming traffic. She sat with me and asked about my life for at least 20 minutes, making sure I was OK and giving me kind advice and kind words. She asked if she could contact someone for me, and she did. She waited with me the whole time until my friends got there.
If it weren't for her kind words and her taking the time to help, I might not be here today to type this. I wish I could have gotten her contact information to thank her a thousand times for helping me decide that life was worth living.