by Jenna Mullins | Wed., Jun. 25, 2014 4:07 PM
Look, the world can be a truly awful place. Just take a look at some of our recent stories about dumb criminals, stupid people wasting money on stupid things and whatever the hell Jason Biggs is doing.
But once in a while it's nice to be reminded that there is good on this planet. And reddit did just that by asking its users this question: "What's the nicest thing a stranger (who you never met again) has done for you?"
The responses will restore your faith in humanity once again. So whenever you see a terrible story and you feel like moving to the moon, come back to this post and re-read these 16 amazing acts of kindness:
1. "When I was laid off years ago, with my wife and two kids to feed, someone would send me either $100 cash or a grocery gift card in the mail. It came every 1-2 weeks with no return address. To this day I have no idea who was sending it."—DrMussintouchit
2. "When I was 12, I was on my way back home from school. While crossing the road, I got hit by this driver…The driver fled the scene. The guy who took care of me [after the accident] was so mad about the driver fleeing the scene, that he actually put some advertisements in a few national newspapers, describing the car, and where the car might have possibly been damaged. After 3 days, the guy turned himself in, claiming that the advertisement lead people to figure out what he did and threaten him. So a random stranger spent quite some money on getting an advertisement out so the guy who ran me over could be found."—Heliocentrizzl
3. "In London one day, a guy handed me an all-day underground/bus pass without saying a word. It was like, 9:00 AM, so I used it pretty much all day long."—SubatomicGoblin
4. "When I was three, my parents were absolutely poor. My dad was getting his Ph.D., mom had two babies and tried to work as she could, student debt, etc. They once spent the last bit of money they dug out of couch cushions and car floorboards to get us a little bit of rice, beans, milk, etc. When we got home from church one Sunday morning our porch was filled with brown paper sacks of groceries! To this day, my parents still never found out who put them there."—CrossEyedPig
5. "Pretty much anyone who helped us out in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina…The doctor who remained behind at the hospital to keep all the pets alive. When we were evacuated, it was humans only, no animals. We had to leave our dog. One doctor refused to leave, so the National Guard kept boating in animal food to keep them going. Eventually, the company sent in boats and helicopters (Matthew McConaughey was actually on scene) to get all the pets out."—DoctorWhosOnFirst
6. "When I was 12 or 13, I bailed hard rollerblading down a big hill on a busy street, busted my knee open pretty good. People just kept passing by before an old couple finally stopped to help me…Fast forward two weeks and I've got 10 stitches in my knee, using crutches to walk. I get called down to the office and the principal hands me a card and a giftwrapped box. I read the card and it's the old couple wishing me well and a speedy recovery. In the box, a discman. My first ever. A few days after that, my family and I went to their house to thank them for helping me and the gift. Never heard from them again but I'll always remember them!"—dj_destroyer
7. "I can't swim. One time when I was a little kid my friend took me to her local pool. It was great when we were in the shallow end, but she thought it would be a good idea to jump off of the diving board and she made me do it, too. I landed in the water and realized 'wait this is terrible I can't swim at all' so I latched like a parasite to the closest grown up and shouted 'TO THE SHALLOW END!' They swam with me on their back until I could stand up in the water."—idgapho
8. "I waitressed in an Italian restaurant and one of my customers and I got to chatting about movies and books, he suggested I read Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. So I said I'd go to the bookstore across from the restaurant the next day and look for it. When I walked into the bookstore, wearing my waitress uniform, the clerk asked in my name was susandeath, when I said yes, she told me a guy had come in earlier and ordered the book for me, and that it would arrive in two weeks. I never saw that customer again, but he was right, the book is worth reading."—susandeath
9. "My twin brother and I were about four, my younger sister still only 12 months old. My mom worked days and my dad worked nights and they both spent their time off (when they should have been sleeping) trying to take care of three cranky hungry children under the age of five…Our power and electricity were shut off at regular intervals because my parents couldn't pay the bills.
I remember one time in the winter just after our power was shut off, we hear a knock on the door. My mom goes to answer it and she comes back into the house crying with an envelope in her hands. My brother and I thought that it was an eviction notice or something, but it turns out that it was just filled with money. My mom still talks about the stranger who left it for us 'til this day because she swears that they wouldn't have made it through the winter without it. Thank you, kind stranger."—LackofaBetterNameX
10. "When I was about five in the mid 70's, I was sitting on one of the mechanical horses that rock back and forth outside of a Woolworth's and playing while I was waiting for my mom who was in the store. Some lady walked by and put a quarter in to make it go. I was over the moon. It is a moment of pure joy that I've remembered vividly. I still even remember what that glorious kind stranger looked like."—bland3000
11. "I got the heart-wrenching call that my 26 year old brother had passed suddenly the night before. Two days before that I had broken my right ankle badly, thus preventing me from driving the six hours back to my hometown. I got to the airport and…I sort of collapsed into my chair and tried my best to hold it together in public. Without a word, the elderly woman next to me just reached over and held my hand. She didn't say anything...just held my hand. It was the nicest gesture from a stranger who knew I was about to fall apart."—BLINDANDREFINED
12. "I was really depressed after having a baby, started a new job. I was having a hard time catching on to how the return system worked and had a really impatient customer who was getting snappy with me. I was still really emotional and started crying. The next customer in line left the store and I thought she was upset, too. But she came back with cookies. She went and bought me cookies. And I just started crying all over again"—Reportablegirl
13. "I was 18 and had just moved to NYC by myself and was trying to adjust to the lifestyle there (having come from a small town in the south). It was my first time using the train and I had no idea how to buy a metro card. So I'm standing there at the only working machine with a line of people behind me trying to buy a card and was a little frantic because I knew people were waiting. People in the line start yelling at me to 'hurry the f--k up' 'what're you stupid!' I start to get teary eyed which made me even more frantic.
This guy steps out of the line and tells everyone to chill the f--k out. He comes up, shows me step by step what to do and pays for a 12 ride card for me. He patted me on the back and told me, 'not all New Yorkers are a--holes, but next time someone yells at you, yell back and they'll leave you alone'" In that moment I didn't feel so alone."—Wiffle_Snuff
14. "It was Christmas time and I worked in a toy store in a mall. A teenage girl came in wearing a T-shirt with the logo of my favorite video game on it. I complimented her shirt, and asked her where she had gotten it, because I've never been able to find that video game on a women's shirt, only men's before. She told me where she got it, and then she left.
I went into the break room to tell my boyfriend to buy it for me for Christmas, and when I came out of the break room, she was waiting for me. She handed me a bag, and said 'Merry Christmas! I hope I got the size right' and left. She went out and bought me the shirt, and it was the sweetest thing ever."—Smile_for_the_Camera
15. "Flew to Ireland with a friend to watch a rugby game. There was a fire in one section of the stadium the night before so they announced that people holding tickets in that area would not be able to see the match. We were at a pub when we heard the news. A 10-year-old kid hears us talking about it...Looks up at his dad and says (in a thick Irish accent) 'dad, they can have our tickets, we can always come to see a game.' I was shocked at how a young boy could have such heart!"—RJ4Aloha
16. "When I was about 12 years old I went to a book store with my cousins. We bought a few books and then went outside and started reading them. We were all getting stared down by this old man but after about 10 minutes of him staring us down he got up of the bench and went inside the book store. He later came out about five minutes later with three gift cards, he walked up to us with a smile and said, 'I love seeing kids read' and handed each of us a $20 gift card. I have never been so shocked and touched"—GabeTheNerd
To read more humanity-restoring tales, check out the entire reddit thread!
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