We don’t have to know someone to help them. Sometimes, people receive remarkable assistance from others they’ve never met before.
Here are five times strangers showed the goodness of humanity – no relationship required.
1. Social Media Share Results in $60,000 in Tips
A simple social media video share was enough to raise $10,000 in tip money for an airport piano player within 30 minutes.
The piano player, Tonee “Valentine” Carter, plays piano most days for travelers at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where he has worked for the past 13 years. When commuter Carlos Whittaker, a motivational speaker, noticed Carter’s playing, he enjoyed the music so much, that he had to post a video to his Instagram following of more than 200,000 users.
Whittaker asked his following to contribute to the biggest tip Carter had ever received by sending contributions through CashApp and Venmo. Within less than a few days, the amount swelled to more than $61,000.
Carter, age 66, was visibly touched by the generosity sparked by Whittaker and his followers around the globe. Carter has had kidney disease since 2008 and undergoes dialysis treatment 9 hours a night.
According to CNN, Carter says he plans to use the money he’s received through Whittaker’s tip to pass it on to others. Carter says he has always been interested in paying kindness forward. This random act of generosity from a stranger is no exception.
2. Homeless Connection Leads to New Home, Friendship
Today, Robert Pineda has a home of his own in Rhode Island and a best friend in Scott Kuczmarksi. Just two years ago, Pineda had spent more than 30 years in homelessness on the streets of California. A chance encounter with Kuczmarksi led to conversations, friendship, and a new lease on life.
When Kuczmarksi was visiting California from his Rhode Island home, he decided to hand out water to the homeless. He had read the Dalai Lama’s “The Art of Happiness” and decided to give to others to gain more perspective and find happiness for himself.
When he met Pineda, he decided to ask him to coffee to learn more about Pineda’s life. Pineda’s entire home was on his bicycle. That first meeting turned into breakfast nearly every day for the next three weeks and a friendship that developed online when Kuczmarksi returned home to Rhode Island.
Kuczmarksi made a return trip to California to visit his son, and his new friend. On this trip, Kuczmarksi spent a night on the streets with Pineda. He also went with him to the Peninsula Healthcare Connection for mental health treatment, where Pineda was able to get a prescription.
The bonds made led to Kuczmarksi helping Pineda look for a home. During the COVID-19 pandemic, as housing prices in Rhode Island dropped, Kuczmarksi was able to purchase a cabin for Pineda, close to where he lived. Pineda, a certified carpenter, fixed up the home with Kuczmarksi.
The duo remains close friends today. Pineda credits Kuczmarksi, initially a stranger, with forever transforming his life. Kuczmarksi says the relationship with Pineda has been equally rewarding for him and his family.
3. A Surprise Purchase Results in Family Lessons in Passing It On
May Reid-Schweiger doesn’t know his name, but a stranger’s random generosity at her local ShopRite in Hillsborough, New Jersey, was enough to make her remember his altruism forever.
Reid-Schweiger told her account of her recent grocery store visit to “The Patch,” recalling that as her grocery bill unexpectedly climbed due to Fourth of July party purchases, it soured the mother of four’s mood. Another patron in line with her smiled at her, asked her how she was doing, and then paid for her entire order.
Reid-Schweiger asked the man what prompted his kindness, and he told her he was honoring his mother, who taught him to do good deeds for others. Reid-Schweiger says she was “floored” by the man’s generosity, considering her cart’s total ended up being so expensive. His gesture brought her to tears and was the first time she had experienced such a significant form of generosity from a stranger.
The incident inspired her to talk to her kids about being kind and doing good deeds for others, as well. She says the man’s gesture has transformed her view on interacting with others. She plans to smile more, say thank you, and offer pleasantries whenever possible. Like in her situation, you never know when a simple act can forever change the lives of others and impact whole communities.
4. Discontinued Toy Gets Back to Special Needs Teen
Rosie Wheel, a 15-year-old with profound and multiple learning disabilities, has loved the VTech Light Up Learning Bug toy since she was 2 years old. So much so, the
teen has gone through 15 versions of the toy because she’s played with them so often.
After her last toy broke down and failed to work, her sister Josie, 18, put out a call on Twitter for help in finding one. The toy has been discontinued for nearly a decade, but no worries for the family. Josie’s message has resulted in around 50 versions of the toy being sent to the family, all for free.
What started as a simple ask sent out into the world resulted in retweets and shares that were seen by more than 2 million people. Josie and her family have explained the developments to Rosie, who’s joyously anticipating being reunited with her favorite toy, thanks to the thoughtfulness of strangers from around the globe.
5. The Kindness of Strangers Extends to Animals, Too
How far have you gone to adopt a pet? For Dani White and Sejal Dave, they found their beloved dog Bonsai more than 3,000 miles away.
The couple traveled from Rochester, Minnesota, to Mexico for a vacation, where they noticed a stray black dog roaming the streets. As dog lovers (White even owns a dog training business), the pair got the dog vaccinated at a local vet with the intent of dropping it off at a rescue shelter.
But there wasn’t room for the dog they had named Bonsai at one of the Mexican shelters. They tried to fly him home with them, but he was too tall to get on the plane. So the pair left the dog with some new friends they had made at a dog shelter in Mexico with hopes of reuniting.
Volunteers from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, were able to transport the dog to Tucson, Arizona, where White drove by car from Minnesota to pick him up. Along the way, more than 20 strangers who had followed White’s journey on social media donated $1,000 to her for coffee, food, and gas. White put the money she didn’t use toward her foster dog program.
Now Bonsai and his owners are happily united. His lucky fate in life started with two dog lovers and was supported by many others along the way. The story continues to bring exposure to Mexican dog shelters, where many other pooches wait for their fur-ever homes.
Check Out More Feel-Good Stories Like These
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