11 amazing acts of generosity

These unexpected acts of kindness may inspire you to open up your heart, and your wallet, to help out a stranger.

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78Comments
Aug 28, 2013 8:21PM
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I try to do things like this all the time.  My wife use to get mad at me because I would give so much randomly.  One day she ran into a small poverished grocery store late sunday night right before Christmas.  My wife commented to the lady checking her out how she must have gotten the bad shift arrangements.  She told my wife she was working overtime, trying to afford a present for her son and that she hoped he wouldn't be dissapointed since he would get it after Christmas.  She went to the ATM and dropped her a handfull of cash.  Then she came outside and told me she now understands why I do what I do.
Aug 29, 2013 9:35AM
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One day I paid for a ladies gas in South Phoenix AZ.  You know when you are approached by strangers in a gas station, they are normally asking for something, and they normally start the conversation with, “can I ask you a question?” Just to have some fun, I asked the lady If I could ask her a question.  She gave me this odd look and said yes.  I asked her if I could pay for her gas.  She asked how much gas I planned on paying and I told her I was going top off her tank. She got so excited and starting praising God.  After filling up her tank, she told me she had to show me something.  She said she had just left the grocery store to buy some dippers for a friend who did not have any money.  She said she purchased these dippers and only had a few dollars left for gas.  She showed me the receipt and it was almost identical to how much free gas she had just received.  God is amazing!  
Aug 28, 2013 7:59PM
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It good to see humanity is alive. 
I cry when I read these stories and wish I could do something for someone else.
 All I have to offer is a snow shovel in the winter to clear my neighbors parking spaces , steps and sidewalk. 
Aug 29, 2013 12:08AM
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I have never been a rich, and have never desired riches/material things. Of course, we all want to be free of the worry of wondering how we are going to pay the bills, etc., but other than that, I am quite content with what I have, even if many would call it not very much. That being said, if there is ever a reason I truly have desired money, it would be for the purpose of having the ability to make gestures like the ones listed here. Helping people out who are struggling or giving a bit of hope to those currently in a state of despair. Or simply just inspiring others, as these stories inspire all of us.

 Until I do have the financial ability to do so however, I must stick to the simple acts - holding doors for people, letting someone go ahead of me in line, donating money and items when I can, and volunteering my time and resources when needed. I long to do more, and perhaps one day I will be able to, but until then, if then, I must be content and hope that my actions make a difference, though small, to someone out there.
Aug 28, 2013 8:44PM
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Nice to know that there is still some kindness and compassion in the world
Aug 29, 2013 12:12PM
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A long time ago, a stranger picked up the difference for my new grandson's formula ... I thought I had enough money but miscalculated the total cost.  I was so embarrassed as I was holding up a long line of people wanting to check out.  To save time, this good Samaritan paid for the formula.  I never forgot to this day and try to help out whenever the opportunity presents itself.  I blessed this man a thousand times over.
Aug 29, 2013 11:04AM
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People who give away sums of money are great. People who can afford to spend $500 on coffee for strangers (and do)  are great. It's true. But the stories that REALLY move me are the ones more along the vein of the class of kids who donated their class trip money. WOW WOW WOW!!!!!! Those kids rock!!!
Sep 2, 2013 5:29PM
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Many, many years ago, when I was a newly divorced woman, mom of five great kids, working locally at full time job, ironing neighbors' shirts for extra $$ (after the kids went to bed), painting signs for our local grocery store (after the kids were in bed) for more $$$, seldom receiving  financial support from the father who left the state - I had to walk to work one cold morning because my car died.  When I arrived I complained and worried about where the money to fix the car was going to come from.  I was great at juggling bills and buying sensibly, but this was a real blow.  Late in the day I found a card on my desk with a note written "I've been down the same road you're on now, and trust me, it will get better some day.  And when it does and you're able, just do the same for another woman who's struggling to get along on this same road."  Inside was a $100 bill - I didn't know who left it, and I'd never even  held a $100 bill before!  Long story short, things did get much better - 5 tough years later I remarried and my kids have had an incredible step-father and we've had a good life.  Yes, some years later, I was able to paid it forward on several occasions, anonymously too, with the same note and I've always hoped this kind and generous gesture is continuing. 

Sep 2, 2013 4:18PM
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I love random acts of kindness.  A few years ago, a new neighbor moved in next door.  We said "Hi" a few times and then, before we introduced ourselves to each other, I was hospitalized with a serious illness for 4 months.  When I came home, it was a couple of years before I was able to do my normal household chores like taking out the trash.  My daughter and grandchildren moved in to help me.  Eventually I asked them if they were remembering to take my trash barrel out to the curb on trash day.  They didn't even know what day of the week trash day fell on.  It turns out that Mickey (my neighbor) routinely took my barrel to the curb when she took hers.  She continued to do this weekly for close to three years until I was able to do the job myself.  When she hadn't seen me around for a few weeks, she asked one of my grandchildren if I was on vacation.  When she found out what had happened, she just took it upon herself to help.  I only found out by the process of elimination when I was well enough to try and track down my benefactor.  Eventually I found out it was she and when I asked, she confirmed it.  I will be forever grateful.  To pay it back, I occasionally have food delivered to homeless camps and purchase dog and cat food for the homeless to enable them to feed their pets.  I have it delivered by the delivery service when the meal(s) are delivered.  I have purchased the coffee and meals (or part of the meals) ordered by the people behind me in drive thru lines.  Sometimes I do it just because.  Other times there may be a reason, like the man who was driving a tall pick-up behind my compact vehicle in an early morning drive thru line.  It was still dark and when he pulled up behind me, he turned off his lights so I wasn't getting the reflection of his lights in my rear view mirror.  I was so grateful, I bought his breakfast.  My favorite motto is "lethargy breeds lethargy"  Conversely, I also believe "Kindness begets kindness".  Keep it up world.  We'll all be happier.
Aug 28, 2013 10:48PM
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It's an amazing feeling to be able to help someone in need, when there is no expectation of acknowledgment or return reward. Being kind for the sake of being kind and helping another is extremely gratifying, and rather contagious, actually.  I have also maintained for many years that philanthropy (especially when anonymous) is truly sexy; not much I find more attractive in a man. 
Aug 28, 2013 10:26PM
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Ms. Landau: you HAVE made a positive difference. God will reward you in kind. Your love of others is one of His

greatest requirements. God bless you and give you peace and a gentle, pain-free release.  THANK YOU

FOR ALL PEOPLE.

Aug 29, 2013 5:26AM
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Random acts of kindness is good for one's soul and the society. I'm glad that there are still good people out there making a difference, whether through financial donations, kind gestures (like opening the door for someone, saying something complimentary, etc), or just staying out of trouble by behaving oneself. Kuddos to you all! 

Sep 2, 2013 5:53PM
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I was going up to the seventh floor of the hospital to say good by to my wife of 54 years who had just passed, I wanted to be there for her but traffic was so bad, however my son and daughter were with her.  I pushed the button for the seventh floor and a local police man pushed the button for the third floor.  He said something just to be polite and I couldn't help it I started to cry.  I told him about my wife and he said I'll walk with you.  He passed by his floor and stayed on the elevator to the seventh floor and walked with me to my wife's room.  It was a comfort to have him, I wish I knew his name. 
Aug 29, 2013 2:43PM
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All were fantastic but the students who gave the 2K to the tornado victims family was awe inspiring.  It brought a tear, no, tears to my eyes.  Living below the poverty level, planning a trip that many may never get a second chance to do and they give up their money for someone they do not know.  May Karma vist these children and their teacher a thousand times over.
Sep 2, 2013 4:27PM
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Once in a great while MSNBC gets it right. Stories like this inspire us all to do more. So nice to see an article about people doing the right thing. Too many stories about serial killers, war, impending war, and crooked politics and politicians.
Sep 2, 2013 3:59PM
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I wish I had the money to do some of these things.  On August 20th I was on a flight to Hawaii to spread some of my husbands ashes.  He died in May from a 13 year fight with Alzheimer's and it was his wish to have this done.  It is expensive to go there but several family members and myself scraped the money together to go.  The flight attendant came to us and said that a passenger in first class had asked to buy all the families with infants a meal.  There were six of us, 4 adults and 2 infants.  We had brought snacks knowing that the meals were $6.00 each and not in our budget.  What a wonderful thing to do for all the families with infants.  I know $6.00 isn't much but it adds up and his/her generosity was wonderful.   There were quite a few families with infants and I do not know how much it cost for all the meals, but I am sure that the blessing will return a hundred fold.  I will try to pay this forward as I can.
Sep 2, 2013 5:58PM
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I absolutely love these stories.  I believe it's true that when you give without expectations, amazing things come back to you.  Not necessarily wealth, but good things.  Things in life that are priceless.  It's karma at it's best.  This is one of the best articles I've read in a very long time.  It's refreshingly positive and has nothing to do with war or celebrities.  Thank you for this.
Aug 29, 2013 2:34PM
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@UnseeingJillerini

Totally agree. That kind of generosity is largely lost today. It takes it to another level when someone donates the shirt off their back (metaphorically speaking) vs donating what in reality won't be missed too much. Those kids worked so hard for something they wanted so badly, and were willing to give that up to help a stranger. How many of even the most greatest philanthropists today would do the same?

Aug 28, 2013 10:03PM
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Where does all this kindness go at rush hour ???
Aug 29, 2013 12:23AM
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Look up Dan's coffee run. He is an amazing man.
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