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15 people share stories of a gesture from a stranger that made all the difference.

15 people share stories of a gesture from a stranger that made all the difference.


Many of us grew up with the concept of 'stranger danger.'

And it is important to keep your wits about you and not just trust any random person on the street without using your judgment.

That said, there are a lot of good people out there, and as you get older it's fascinating to notice just how many kind strangers are ready to brighten each other's day.

If you need a dose of positivity to restore your faith in humanity amidst the crushing news cycle, look no further than this Reddit thread full of wholesome stranger interactions.

1. From WesternWhatnot:

My father was terribly burned in a freak car repair accident when I was in my 2nd month of being a freshman in high school.

He was rushed to a world-class burn unit almost 2 hours away and I was told - without seeing him - that he would remain there until he was better. This ended up being 20 days.

My parents had been divorced a few years at that point and my mother lived out of state. My best friend at the time let me crash at his house with his family. That happened on a Friday night.

The following Monday, I was called to the principal’s office and found our landlord waiting on me. He was also a local judge.

He had checked me out of school, then drove me to the county offices to enroll me in aid for dependent children, food stamps, and emergency funds. I later found out he didn’t charge my father rent for the next year while he got back on his feet.

I’ll never forget how much that meant to me and I know my dad was very grateful. They have both since passed.

2. From moribes:

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. Idk why it made my day so much, but I still have the note in my wallet three years later.

3. From hpimhbcrimg:

I couldn't sleep the evening after my brother's funeral. I went to the cemetery in my PJs and sat next to the burial site (there was no headstone yet) 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 why, but it brought me so much peace. He was completely confident that his wife could hear him, which made me confident, 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 never saw him again, but I will never ever forget him. I don't think I would have had the strength to walk away from the cemetery without his support.

4. From ChefMan24:

I was longboarding one night and hit some broken concrete, the board stopped but I didn’t. I knew to roll with the fall but I landed on my shoulder really hard.

I didn’t think anything was really wrong with me, just figured I was going to hurt because my 200lb a*s just flung itself violently onto the cement.

I walked to a nearby liquor store parking lot to check myself in the light, and saw a lady leave the store and get in her car. She begins to pull out of the lot, sees me, and pulls back into the spot.

As she gets out of the car she says, “Is your shoulder dislocated?!?” I tell her I don’t know and explain what just happened. She tells me to stand straight and let my arms hang down at my side, looks me over, and says “Yup, that’s out. Don’t move.”

And with one quick jerk/twist/I don’t really know what she did, my shoulder was back in its proper place. She got in her car without another word and drove off. I was barely able to say thank you before she closed her car door.

I went to a doctor the next day because my Mom berated me into it, and they told me the lady did a great job and probably saved me from tearing something.

5. From PinayGator:

I had just delivered my son and found out that his blood sugar was low, so they immediately brought him to the NICU along with my husband, leaving me alone in the room. I was still trying to figure out what was going on.

So I sat in my bed, sobbing because I was confused, worried, and just wanted to hold my baby.

One of my nurses just happened to walk in and held my hand while I just continued to unleash these guttural sobs, then after awhile, she reassured me that he was going to be okay.

They did find an infection and it was treated, so now he’s a healthy happy toddler, but having that nurse there to comfort me while I was feeling so vulnerable meant the world to me.

6. From Asplyx:

When my father died I didn't go to school for quite some time. When I went back, a teacher of mine handed me a letter and told me to read it at home.

He offered me a helping hand and an open ear whenever I needed it and it made me realise that there were people who cared, outside of my family. Nowadays I'm friends with said teacher.

7. From trustworthybb:

Alone in a foreign airport at 16 flying standby home (and missing every single flight). I was crying at the customer service desk trying to figure out where I was going next.

A woman in a long sundress and a big floppy hat turned to me and said, “honey don’t even worry about it, the same thing happened to me in Florence just last week.” It made me feel so much better about crying in public that I actually started laughing.

Gave me the strength to make it the extra day or so of being totally stranded there.

8. From thebigcomfycouch:

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 worked night shift at the time. 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 grandmother's room when the woman stopped me.

She grabbed my hand and told me I needed to stay with my grandmother and put 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. I will never forget her.

9. From coffee-jnky:

When I was 17, I was on my way to a hospital specialist, due to a bad accident I had been in a couple months before.

I had to drive myself and I was scared to death to drive downtown since I didn't know the area well and I was still struggling with issues from the accident.

I was scared to drive! Of course, I got lost. I finally stopped at a store to use the payphone (this was long ago) to ask a friend if they knew how to tell me where to go. He didn't.

So I'm standing at the phone sobbing and scared, when an elderly lady walks up to me and asks me if I'm ok. I told her my predicament.

This woman actually drove to the hospital (which turns out I was like half an hour out of the way) so that I could follow her there and not get lost. I'll never forget her, and I wish there had been a way for me to do something to say thank you.

Or even just SAY thank you. She didn't stop. Just pointed out her window where I was supposed to park.

10. From timechuck:

1998. Early Nov. Snowing like a bastard. 1 lane of the interstate I had to drive on to get home is closed. They're not plowing it. I'm forced out of my lane and my truck loses traction and o hit a guardrail at about 45 mph.

Fast forward to Christmas night. First time I've had to drive home from work in a snowstorm since. Roads are packed with last-minute shoppers, I'm driving suuuper slow and I'm a nervous wreck.

About halfway home I notice the truck behind me is keeping up turn for turn. Even after all traffic leaves the highway they're behind me. They take my exit. They turn into my neighborhood. I pull into my driveway and they start to speed up.

I run to the street and stop them thinking g I'm about to get into some kind of fight. It's an older couple. Probably 60's. They said that noticed I seemed nervous on the road and saw the damage to my truck.

They wanted to make sure I got home safe for Christmas. They went 15 miles out of their way on Christmas night to make sure I was ok.

Since then I've stopped and helped everyone I've seen on the side of the highway to try and pay it forward as they did for me.

I think about those people often, and every Christmas I silently thank them for being there for me even though they didn't have to be, and I didn't need them to be.

11. From partial_to_dreamers:

During employee appreciation week at the university I work at, we had an activity where you could write anonymous thank you notes to coworkers for their efforts.

I received one in my mailbox that read, 'Thank you for being you! Your cheerful, friendly, open, and kind way is inspiring. I'm so glad you are a part of this community!'

It was so kind and unexpected. I teared up a bit. It hangs on my wall next to my desk. It makes me smile whenever I see it.

12. From Schmackedbro:

I got an internship at an ad agency in high school and I was way in over my head. Even the basic “intern” work was hard because I was in NYC and they had me doing runs all across the city.

One day I was carrying $300 worth of bathroom appliances for a commercial shoot, it was like 13 boxes all stacked to the brim in a giant bag.

It was raining that day, and when I got on the subway the bag broke and all of the boxes went flying all over the floor. I tried gathering it all together but I had no way to carry all those boxes. I missed my stop, I thought I was screwed.

One guy took a laptop out of an apple bag and gave me the bag. Then someone else gave me an empty grocery bag.

Then more and more people started giving me bags, and by the time I reached grand central I had enough bags to carry everything. Those random subway people saved me!

The icing on the cake was that an old lady let me under her umbrella when I got out of the subway. So many random acts of kindness that day, made me really appreciate the people of NYC!


One cold morning, very early, I start my car to go to work. Already in a sour mood to have to leave early and go to work in the cold, I realize that I have a flat tire and pull into the Safeway parking lot all but across the street from where I lived.

All but grumbling at my luck, I get out of the car and go to the trunk for the spare, thinking about how cold and shitty the tire change is going to be. Then, I notice a man park next to me and get out of his car and approach me.

I got a little nervous and taken aback at his approach but he immediately started helping change the tire. I was completely dumbfounded at first but we worked together and put the spare tire on in no time.

Then, he left and he said have a good holiday season, pass it forward. Not only did it immediately turn my bad day into good one, but I always helped people after that, especially around the holidays, and that was a good 12 years ago.

14. From DoubleMeatDave:

Happened twice today, actually. For context, I work front door security at a courthouse. I'm not a cop, but rather contracted private security.

The company I work for was hired by the Sheriff's Office to fill vacancies in the courts (mainly the front door so that the Deputies can do other things).

My hair grows kinda slow. I can usually make it about two months before I need another cut. Yesterday was my bimonthly haircut.

As the court employees were coming in before we opened to the public this morning, four different employees complimented my haircut. 'It looks great, man!' one guy said.

Two girls said it made me look cuter and an older female said it made me look downright handsome. After that, one of the Deputies also complimented my haircut. 'They're right, it looks great.' she said.

Around 2pm, a mom and her kids came in. Mom put her stuff in the bucket for the x-ray machine and then they all walked through the metal detector.

As Mom was collecting her things on the other side of the machine, her son (maybe 5, at most) says to me 'You're my hero. Can I give you a hug?' Hell yeah you can, buddy.

Knelt down, gave him a hug, and then his older sister (maybe 7 or 8) joined in to make it a group hug. (He definitely mistook me for a cop but I'm not about to correct a five-year-old on something like that.)

Between those kids and the employees & deputy complimenting my haircut, this is the best Monday I've had in years.

15. From TIGERsharkCAT:

On my way home my windshield wiper blade fell apart while I was driving on the freeway. It was MN winter---sleety, slushy, snowy, salty, you-gotta-have-wipers kind of weather.

I purchased a new one at a rural hardware store on the way home and was standing in an empty bank parking lot struggling to get the new one on.

I was near tears, gloves off, fingers frozen and a man saw me, came over and put the new wiper blade on like nothing.

Fellow Minnesotan to the rescue! I am so grateful to that man, I'll never forget it.

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