5 Random Acts of Kindness that Changed a Person’s Life

The ripple effect of making someone’s day or year is immeasurable, often reverberating to much greater heights and lengths than we can imagine.


(Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com)

People throughout the world are engaging in acts of kindness and the ripple effect is astounding. In today’s modern society, it is easy to get hung up inside ourselves; which is why when we go out of our way to do small acts of kindness, it goes incredibly far.

By being considerate and kind to the people around us we can easily foster a sense of compassion, community, and overall well-being. A kind act often spurs a sweet conversation that can bring people together, widening our awareness of the human experience.

At the end of the day, when someone uplifts us, an innate instinct encourages us to keep spreading that newborn light, and that’s something to celebrate. Here are five inspirational stories of strangers who stepped in to change a person’s life: 

Giving Shelter

Natalie Barnes, a bus driver in Milwaukee, went out of her way to help a homeless man whose residence had been recently condemned. She helped him find a temporary shelter, provided him with snacks, and allowed him to ride along with her on the cold night they met. Now they stay in touch.

“He calls me his little guardian angel. I’m happy to say that he’s progressing well” Barnes told ABC News. “At some point in our lives, everybody needs help…I wanted to do what I could to help Richard in some way.”

Barnes is no stranger to kindness and often rides with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to share with those in need.

Letters of Love

Sean O'Connor invited redd-it users to send his terminally ill uncle letters, and the internet heeded the call immediately.

“Hey Reddit - my 47 year old uncle, Scott Widak, has down syndrome and is terminally ill with liver disease,” O’Connor writes in his post. “One of his favorite things to do is open mail… anyone feel like sending him a letter or card?”

Just hours later, over 1,300 comments flooded the post and in a few days, hundreds of letters came in from around the globe. Readers not only sent encouraging letters, they also sent in artwork and supplies to support Widak’s unique and famed art, RoseArt “Fuzzy” brand drawings.

The family told Mashable that they are touched that so many strangers on the internet would go out of their way to be supportive.

65 for 65

When Dog Eaton’s Facebook friend suggested that  he do 65 random acts of kindness on his 65th birthday, he took the idea to heart.

On the blessed day, he stood at an intersection in Oklahoma City Oklahoma and for 65 minutes handed out $5 bills to whoever was around.

“I think this is the craziest guy I have ever seen in my life and it’s fantastic! I am enjoying the moment out here,” one driver told KFOR News. Eaten said on Facebook that it was the best birthday gift ever!

Better than New

After a woman’s just paid off 2005 Jeep Wrangler was stolen and destroyed in Aurora, Colorado, local businesses came together to repair it.

Ten businesses offered to help, and after two weeks of hard work they brought it back, “better than new,” said Joven Williams.

The car was stolen in front of Williams’ eyes. When found, she discovered that the thief had poured soda in the gas tank and broke, stole, and sold every part possible.

When KMGH News reported the incident, and mentioned that insurance wouldn’t fix it, a team of local businesses united to completely overhaul the car for free.

Operation Sweet Allie-Bama

After being separated for five years, Brenda Travis and Tom Shield were reunited with their dogs, thanks to strangers who transported the pets 1,000 miles.

In 2007, the couple had their two basset hounds, Bama and Allie stolen from their house in Tennessee. “It was like a death in the family…they were just our babies so it was devastating,” they told Fox News.

Although they tried their best, they were unable to find them The couple moved a year later to Wichita Kansas and thought they would never see their dogs again.

Five years later they received a phone call from the Paulding County animal shelter in Georgia, who told them that the dogs had been found wandering near a highway in the suburbs of Dallas, Georgia. The shelter located the owners because one of the dogs was chipped.

When friends and strangers found out that the couple was unable to travel to retrieve the lost dogs, they volunteered to transport them from Georgia to St. Louis Missouri, where the couple was able to pick them up. The successful mission was called “Operation Sweet Allie-Bama”.

“There will be no way I'll ever be able to say thanks enough,” Travis told KPLR News.

These stories teach us that a few simple acts of kindness can completely transform a person’s life. The ripple effect of making someone’s day or year is immeasurable, often reverberating to much greater heights and lengths than we can imagine.

Here is a list of a few ways to make a stranger smile:

  • Hand out flowers or fruit on the street
  • Compliment someone, or write down compliments on a piece of paper and find creative places to leave them
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Help elderly up and down stairs, crossing roads, and carrying heavy objects 
  • Offering chocolate on the train 

Goodnet tip: A great way to be part of random acts of kindness is by leaving your phone in your pocket or purse while you walk down the street. That way, you can notice opportunities to interact with the people around you; you may even catch a golden once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist someone in a life-changing way.

How a Hidden Note Spread Ripples of Kindness
How Every Random Act of Kindness Makes the World Better
How an Act of Kindness Made This Police Officer a Neighborhood Hero