The world can be a really bad place, that's a fact. Just look at yesterday's newspaper, or the ones from last week, or last year — almost every article is either about crime that's been increasing like crazy in the last couple of years, or about money (as Jessie J sings: "It's not about the money, money, money"). But sometimes, we all need a reminder that not everything is about that, and that there are still good things happening in the world. Maybe not as often as they should, but hopefully we'll get there, one good deed at a time. So, grab a box of tissues and get ready for a journey full of emotions.
Here are 15 stories about strangers and their acts of kindness that restored our faith in humanity.
15 What this stranger did for these kids in Walmart will put a smile on your face
Heather Harris, who was having a pretty difficult month, and her boyfriend’s two children visited a local Walmart in Pennsylvania to buy some necessities (booster seats and clothes). They couldn't afford to buy things that they didn't really need due to some medical issues, hospital visits, money problems and a recent break-in. Heck, they couldn't even afford both the seats and the clothes. “I can either get the booster seats this week or some new clothes but I can’t afford both and I’m sorry. But I promise next weekend I will get whatever else you need and want," said Heather to the kids. So the kids returned the booster seats, but only 15 minutes later, a man approached Harris with two booster seats in a bag, already paid for. “He told me that he heard the sadness in my voice when I told the kids I couldn’t afford both this week. And then he told me 'God bless' and gave me a hug.” said Harris.
Well, Heather's difficult month had at least one positive day in it, don't you think so?
14 Grandma fell and called wrong number for help, the man showed up to help
Dang Vuong, a car sales manager in Silverlink, England, was having just an ordinary day at work, until he got a phone call from an elderly woman. After slipping while running a bath, the lady had dialed wrong number while trying to call her daughter for help. Without thinking twice, Dang left his office and went to help her. "I said, I’ll go and make sure she’s OK – at first I thought she was just across the road, it turned out she was about two miles away. I drove over there while our receptionist kept her talking on the phone," he recalled. Once he got there, he knocked, but nobody answered so he went into the house. He found the lady in shock, with blood all over her face. "I told her who I was and then scooped her up and put her on the sofa and covered her with a blanket and waited until her carers and family came,” he explained. And after making sure that she was OK and taken care of, Dang went back to work. He said that he was happy to help, but also that what he did was nothing special, adding that anybody would do the same thing. Well, you'd be surprised Dang.
13 A police officer gave a homeless man new pair of shoes
A tourist from Arizona, who was visiting New York City a few years ago, found herself in the right place at the right time. While walking near Times Square, she noticed a homeless man without shoes asking for some change. She was just about to go the man and give him some money when one police officer approached the homeless person. And what happened next warmed her heart, so she decided to share that with the NYPD. Here's a message she sent to them: “Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching*. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name. It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared.” The police officer was later identified as 25-year-old Larry DePrimo. If you want to see his interview for CNN, where he talks about what happened, then click here.
12 This teenager saved a stranger from committing suicide
This is Jamie Harrington, a young boy from Dublin, whose story about stopping a man commit suicide went viral. In his story, that he shared with Humans of Dublin, he explained how he saw a man sitting on the ledge of the bridge, crying. He knew something was wrong, by the look in the man's eyes, so he decided to talk to him. "I couldn't leave him there alone, but I had to go, so I was going to ring an ambulance. I told him they could help him feel better. But he was like 'please, please don't call them, I'm fine, I just want to walk around for a while, I'm gonna be okay!' I told him to please let me ring an ambulance, that I wouldn't sleep knowing he was just walking around alone," recalls Jamie. Luckily, the boy did call the ambulance. And according to him, the man texted him a few months later that his wife is pregnant with a boy, and that they would name the baby Jamie, after the boy.
11 Police officers made blind 13-year-old boy's dream of becoming a cop come true
This is a story about Gage Hancock-Stevens, a 13-year-old boy who is blind due to a rare brain tumor. His biggest dream is to become a police officer, and thanks to the Bellevue Police Department and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, that dream of his came true, at least for a few days. One Saturday, Gage was given a uniform and he got to spend a whole day patrolling with Bellevue Police Maj. John Manning. He got to do all the exciting stuff that cops do — defensive training tactics, learning how to use mace, how to handcuff the offenders, and he was even shown the forensics lab and all those cool stuff they do there. Speaking about the young boy's wish. the Wish Manager Hessie Elenbaas said: “These are my absolute favorite wishes to grant. When they just want to be something that they wouldn’t be able to do on their own.”
This really is a beautiful story about how easy it is to make somebody happy. All we have to do is try.
10 These guys worked together to save a cat
Seeing a suffering animal is one of the things that hurts me the most. Those creatures are so innocent and vulnerable, and they definitely don't deserve to be in pain, or some sort of danger. And these days, you see a lot of animal cruelty. That's just not right. But even though some animals are put in danger by humans, sometimes these adorable creatures get in trouble by themselves. One example is pictured above. We all know how curious cats are, so it wouldn't surprise us that this one was (for some weird reason) exploring the water (or maybe just casually walking next to it, who knows?), and accidentally fell into it. Thankfully, these two guys saw the poor kitty in distressed, and pulled the little guy out of danger. Lucky kitty!
9 Japanese passengers moved 32-tonne train to save a trapped woman
The picture above tells a story of collective heroism. About 40 people decided to help push a train carriage, after a public announcement that one passenger was trapped under it. So working together, dozens of Japanese citizens, who were at the train station at that moment, pushed a 32-tonne train carriage away from the platform, and saved the trapped woman. The woman, who was in her 30s, was pulled out uninjured and greeted by a loud applause from the bystanders at JR Minami-Urawa station in Tokyo.
So yeah, we can always help each other by working together. As Helen Keller said: "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
8 And these Norwegian guys saved a sheep drowning in the ocean
This is another story where an animal gets a happy ending. These two guys, Erik Bjørnøy and Torvald Ask, from Norway saved a lamb from drowning. "I saw a small white ball in the water, and was curious about what it was. As I got closer I saw that it was a sheep and shouted at the others," said Erik Bjørnøy. Thanks for saving this cute lil' lamb, guys!This is proof that there are still good people in the world. And if they did this for an animal, just imagine what they would do for their fellow humans.
7 When Japanese senior citizens volunteered to tackle the nuclear crisis for a good cause
You remember the Fukushima nuclear disaster, right? Well, after that the whole country of Japan (and other countries as well) was scared of possible radiation and the effects it may cause. That's why a group of around 200 Japanese pensioners decided to volunteer to tackle that nuclear crisis. Why would they do that, you wonder? The answer to that is, so the young people don't face the radiation. One of those senior citizens said: "I am 72 and on average I probably have 13 to 15 years left to live. Even if I were exposed to radiation, cancer could take 20 or 30 years or longer to develop. Therefore us older ones have less chance of getting cancer." Some people called these senior citizens Kamikaze, but they laughed that off, and said that they're not going to die like Kamikaze did. They will come back!
6 This runner helped her injured competitor cross the finish line
Meghan Vogel, a high school athlete, was competing in a race, when another runner suddenly collapsed. Instead of avoiding the last-place finish and running past the collapsed athlete, our hero Meghan stopped, draped the runner’s arm around her shoulders, and helped her cross the finish line, that was about 30 meters away. And not only that — you also need to know that Meghan pushed McMath over the line before crossing it herself, letting McMath actually win the race. Of course, she received a lot of attention, and became an internet sensation for her act of kindness. "I really don't think just everyone would have done that,' said McMath about her fellow athlete. 'I just couldn't believe what she did - especially pushing me in front of her - and I'm so grateful."See, not everything is about winning. I mean, winning is great, but doing something like this is definitely worth finishing last.
5 A broke father got to watch his oldest son graudate thanks to the internet
On May 19, 2014, somebody started a thread on Reddit about helping people cross things off their wish lists, and a user, branch455 (whose real name is Troy Branch), wrote the following: "I want to see my son graduate from high school. Don’t have the resources to travel the 300 miles. Graduates Friday May 30th.” And guess what? The Redditors decided to make that happen. Some of them helped Branch get a cheap bus ticket via Megabus, while others offered to drive him from the bus stop in Orlando to his hotel. And one Redditor actually used his Holiday Inn points to provide Branch with a hotel room. Branch later posted an update, saying: "So many kind Redditors have reached out to help me with my goal! Thanks SOO much!" "You have turned one s@#$tty week into something really special and heart warming," he added.
Seriously, the internet can be such an amazing place sometimes.
4 Two teens saved 5-year-old girl by chasing away a kidnapping suspect
Two teenage boys from Pennsylvania are being praised for their heroic act of saving a 5-year-old girl from being kidnapped. After Jocelyn, the young girl, went missing while playing in her front yard, the police and the neighbors started looking for her, and two young boys decided to help, so they took off on their bikes to search. A half-mile away from the Jocelyn's last known location, they spotted her in a car with a stranger. "Every time we'd go down the street, he'd turn back around, and then [we decided that]... we'll follow him," Temar, one of the boys said in one interview. The boys chased the kidnapper for about 15 minutes. "He stopped at the end of the hill and let her out, and she ran to me and said that she needed her mom," the boy continued. "I just feel like I did something very accomplishing today," Temar said.
And honestly, I couldn't agree more. Kudos to the boys' parents for raising them to be so helpful.
3 Reddit users sent a terminally ill man with Down syndrome hundreds of letters of support
When Sean O'Connor posted on Reddit about his 47-year-old uncle with down syndrome, who was diagnosed with a terminal disease, he had no idea what would happen. So the nephew Sean post this message on Reddit: “Hey Reddit - my 47-year-old uncle, Scott Widak, has down syndrome and is terminally ill with liver disease. He is currently bedridden and living out his last days at home with my 85-year-old grandmother. One of his favorite things to do is open mail… anyone feel like sending him a letter or card?” And just a few days later, users of Reddit sent hundreds of support letters, but also some meaningful gifts.
Isn't it heartwarming (but also heartbreaking) to see how these small things can help brighten a man's final days?
2 This Uber driver gets to see his son compete in the Rio Olympics after a stranger raises money for his trip
This is Ellis Hill, an Uber driver, whose dream is to go to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to watch his son compete in the Olympics. But he couldn't afford that with his earnings, so there was no way for him to go. Luckily, a stranger made his dream come true. During one of Hill's Uber rides in Philadelphia, passenger named Liz Willock small-talked with him for about an hour. They talked about everything. When they started talking about the Olympic Games, Hill, the driver, proudly said that his son is representing the USA in shot put. But the news that he won't be able to attend the games and cheer for his son broke the passenger's heart. So she decided to do something about that. She asked him if he would go if she could get him a ticket. "And I said, 'Oh my goodness I don't even know you,"' the man recalls. "She said, 'No. I believe you and I were fated to meet and I'm going to try to make this happen,'" Hill continues. They exchanged information, and the next day Liz Willock created a GoFundMe camaping, and in just two days, the goal of raising $7,500 was achieved. "Liz was only a stranger for 5 minutes," said Hill. "We talk all the time now and I know we're going to be friends for a long time."
1 A stranger saved 2-year-old girl's life in a supermarket
It all happened in one supermarket in Perth, Australia. A mother had been grocery shopping with her 2-year-old daughter Shaylar, when the girl passed out. The mother immediately rushed to the checkout and passed the girl into the arms of a stranger, Rowan O'Neill, before running out of the store to get help. The girl's father, together with O'Neill, attempted the "Heimlich manoeuvre". After realizing that Shaylar was still not breathing, Mr O'Neill laid her on the check-out counter and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her. 90 seconds later the little girls started breathing again and opened her eyes.Who knows what would have happened to this little girl if Rowan O'Neill, wasn't there, but fortunately for the girls and her parent's, he was in the right place at the right time.You can watch the whole video here.