We asked people to share the nicest thing a stranger's done for them. The stories are pure humanity.

The kindness of strangers is one of the most beautiful things about being human. Sure, there are selfish jerks out there, but the vast majority of humanity are good people who truly care about others. We just sometimes forget to look for the good that's all around us.


We asked our Upworthy audience on Facebook to share their stories of the nicest thing a stranger has done for them, and their answers didn't disappoint. Hundreds upon hundreds of comments poured in, with incredible stories of selfless kindness.

If you need a pick-me-up today, these stories might help. You can read all of the comments on our Facebook page, but here are some highlights:

"When my son was little my son saw a pair of sneakers on clearance. They were every color of the rainbow and $3. I had no money and he needed the shoes. So we hid them in a cabinet under the display and I told him if his dad could get work this week (he lost his job and was doing odd jobs at our apt complex to get money towards our rent—I was working part time and was pregnant with my fourth child) I told him if dad could get a little job that week we could come back and get the shoes. He was going into kindergarten in a few weeks and the other kids told me they didn't need new shoes to try to get them for their brother. As we left the mall after we got my little bit of groceries and started to walk home an elderly lady handed me a bag, I told her it wasn't mine and she said it was and walked away. In the bag was the shoes. She must have been watching and listening. My son was so proud to wear those shoes because an angel lady gave them to him." Michelle T.

"When I was 9, I was on holiday with my dad. I spent ages in the arcade on the claw machine trying to get this one toy. I ran out of change, so dashed to the change kiosk, and when I got back to the machine, the toy I was trying to get was gone. I was starting to tear up, when there was this tap on my shoulder and this woman handed me the toy I had been trying to get. She'd watched me trying to get it all that time, managed to get it on her first go and felt bad for me so she gave it to me. I loved that toy so much!" – Kimberly H.

"I was heading up for my daughter's wedding weekend and stopped at a lovely gift shop for a card and maybe a little something extra. I asked how much the beautiful, green milk glass cake stand was and it was over 100.00. I decided I had spent enough money and just went to pay for the card. She came out from the back room with a gift bag all wrapped. She said please take this. I can tell you're a great Mom. I broke down in tears. I've been paying it forward ever since." – Jeannie J.

"3am walking home alone from a club. A guy who had slowly been catching up to me apologised and hurried past me, saying he could see I was nervous with him walking behind me. I thanked him and relaxed a little. Not a hundred yards later, a second man shouts from a passing car, pulls up in front of me and GETS OUT OF THE CAR, beckoning me into the back seat. The previous man is now a while ahead but turns round and shouts "babe come on, I wanna get home!" And starts walking back towards me. Man #2 hurriedly gets back in his car and speeds off.

The first man just gives me a thumbs-up and goes on his way. Nice." – Ruth C.

"Almost a decade ago I was abused by my husband for the last time. It was the first time I had gone to the hospital because of the abuse and I went via ambulance. I swear, every single person I spoke with—every medical worker, security guard, cop, and any person I spoke with in the waiting room as I waited to be picked up to go home shared stories with me about domestic abuse. I was still in such denial but my face was so wrecked, everyone could see what I had been through. My ex went straight to jail from the incident and I have not seen or spoken with him since. Those strangers treated me with respect and dignity and were a huge driving force in me getting out with my children alive. I have come so far and now work in the medical field and share my stories of abuse and escape in hopes that I can help even just one person to get out. I don't know any of their names or faces. I am forever grateful for the time that they all took to save my kids and me." – Mya F.

"Comforted me in the lobby of the veterinary clinic where my dog had just been euthanized. I was standing there sobbing, unable to walk out, and she asked if she could give me a hug. I told her she could and she did. It meant so much to me—I will never forget her." – Amy D.

"A pharmacist paid for my prescription when I was fresh out of college and broke. I was crying counting my change and he just told me to take it." – Lindsey M.

"After I learned that my Mother chose not to have a life saving procedure, that she wanted to let go and die peacefully and I only had hours left with her, I walked into the hospital hallway and emitted painful, wailing cries and fell to the floor. A complete stranger asked if she could hug and hold me because I was breaking her heart. She didn't want me to be alone. After five minutes she told me to be strong, wipe my eyes and not let my mama hear or see me like this. She was an angel during a time of serious need. I will always be grateful for her words, comfort and strength." – Nicole R.

"I was 15 y.o and just landed in Seattle from boarding school in Utah. I decided to hitch-hike alone from Seattle to Denver. A trucker picked me up in Spokane and took me to Billings MT where I'd lived as a kid briefly. He toured me around town to see my home, my school, my piano teacher's house. Then we went to where his trucker buddies all hung out to try to find me a ride to Denver. After a few hours, he told me to get into his rig. He drove to the airport. Told me to wait while he ran inside to 'do a chore.' He returned with a plane ticket and handed it to me and told me 'No argument. You're getting on that plane. I don't trust any of those guys to get you there safely' His name was John van der Horne. He gave me one of his bank deposit slips. His parting words to me were 'You'll think of me someday.' When I was in my 20's (I'm 63 now) I sent him a check and a huge 'thank you.' He never cashed my check and I never heard from him again.

Thank you, John van der Horne. Wherever you are." – Terilee H.

"I was in town one day—we only live in a small town and it was the day the farmers market was there so it was quite busy. I took my child with ASD with me to pick up some things and pop into the bank. Halfway through the town he had a meltdown and threw himself on the floor, rolling around and screaming. Lots of people walking by would stare and make comments, and I reached the point that I just wanted to cry. I couldn't get my son to walk any further and had big bags of shopping to carry so I couldn't carry him. I was exhausted because I'm a single parent and my son had never slept through the night and I have a neuralgia condition meaning I was in constant pain.

A lady with her young child came up to me with flowers and said that she'd had a tough day the day before and someone had bought her flowers, which cheered her up, so she'd done the same for me. She offered to put the bags on her pushchair and carry them to my car so I could carry my son. That made such a difference to my day." – Holly L.

"My husband died unexpectedly at home about 18 months ago. One of the initial first responders to arrive was a police officer I did not know. He sat and held my hand for hours until my husband's body was removed. Had never seen him before, and have only bumped into him one time since that day." – Denise M.

"I was on holidays in San Anselmo, California when I got food poisoning. The hospital staff were so lovely. Two people even offered to give me cab fare back to my B&B. This Aussie was so grateful for their kindness. I wrote to the hospital when I got home and thanked them." – Myrna H.

"Had a stranger pay for my family's and myself's appetizer/dinner/drinks/dessert at a mid-priced restaurant. There were six adults and one child. It was absolutely incredible. They even paid the tip! I was dumbfounded when I asked for the check and was told that there wasn't one." – Holly F.

"Years ago I was shopping with my 3 kids. I had a list and was adding up the cost as I went along. Single mom, little money. When I checked out the cashier said the woman in front of me gave her $25 to help cover my groceries. It was such a quiet kindness." - Dana S.

Here's to the "quiet kindness" of strangers, reminding us that people are awesome and humanity at its best is pretty darn amazing.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
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The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

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1. Fair Trade Woven Dark Gray Alpaca Blend Scarf

Celinda Jaco selects a cozy blend of Andean alpaca for this handsome men's scarf. Classic in style, it features fine stripes of white and black woven through the dark grey textile. Hand-tied fringe completes a distinguished design.

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