13 times in 2018 that people reminded us that the world is a good place

Austin Perine/FacebookFour-year-old Austine Perine provides food for the homeless.
  • Random acts of kindness remind us that the world is a good place after all.
  • This year was an especially good one for RAKs: Christmas was celebrated early by a town in Ohio for a terminally ill little boy, and strangers around the world got flowers on October 24.

Random acts of kindness tend to restore people’s faith in humanity.

This year was an especially good one for RAKs: Christmas was celebrated early by a neighbourhood in Ohio for a terminally ill little boy, and strangers around the US received flowers on October 24 in honour of the “Petal It Forward” initiative.

From the simple act of footing a stranger’s restaurant bill to a 4-year-old devoted to feeding the homeless, these 13 moments are sure to warm your heart.

Keep scrolling for more random acts of kindness.

A grocery store clerk let a boy with autism help him stock the fridge — and their compatibility went viral, inspiring people to help them both.

Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi/FacebookTaylor and Edwards stocking the fridge together.

Twenty-year-old grocery store clerk Jordan Taylor was restocking a refrigerator when he noticed that 17-year-old Jack Ryan Edwards was watching him, interested. Edwards has autism, and after a brief chat Taylor asked Edwards if he wanted to help him, and the two began stocking orange juice together.

The moment was captured on video by Edwards’ sister, Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi, and she shared the heartwarming story on Facebook. In her post, she wrote: “We all know autism makes going out difficult and sometimes grocery stores can be a challenge. This young man (Taylor) took the time to slow down and allow Jack Ryan to help over 30 minutes, guiding him as he finished his task.”

“He could have ignored him. He could have made an excuse and said he couldn’t allow him to help. Instead, he let him have his moment and in turn gave my family a moment we will never forget.”

In return, Edwards Alwosaibi set up a GoFundMe page for Taylor to help pay for his college education. The campaign surpassed $US50,000 within the first 24 hours. The grocery store also offered Edwards a job, and he accepted.

A college student in Birmingham walked 20 miles to get to his first day of work, so his boss decided to give him his car.

YouTubeWalter Carr receiving his new car from CEO Luke Marklin.

Walter Carr, a college student from Birmingham, Alabama, was excited for his first day of work, until his car broke down the night before. With no other mode of transportation, Carr decided to walk from Homewood to Pelham overnight, in the dark. The trip was about 20 miles long.

Carr made it to Pelham at about 4 a.m., when four Pelham police officers found him, and provided him with food and shelter until morning. When they posted about him online, Carr quickly gained support and admiration from the internet – Luke Marklin, CEO of Carr’s new workplace, saw the buzz, and asked Carr to meet “for coffee.” Instead of coffee he announced that he was donating his own, barely-driven 2014 Ford Escape to Carr.

A 4-year-old boy in Alabama asked his parents to use his toy money to buy food for the homeless instead.

Austin Perine/FacebookAustin Perine donating food.

Birmingham, Alabama native (and 4-year-old) Austin Perine didn’t understand what “homeless” meant when his dad, TJ, tried to explain it to him. After the two visited a homeless shelter, Perine asked if they could help the people inside get something to eat.

The two headed to a nearby Burger King, and Perine told his dad that he could use his weekly “toy money” to buy an order of chicken sandwiches. And TJ did, thus beginning Perine’s activism.

Word of Perine’s good will spread, and, according to CNN,Burger King soon gifted him a $US1,000 monthly allowance so he could continue to feed people in the shelter.

Perine now dons a red superhero cape on his weekly visits – or, as he likes to call them, “missions” – to the homeless shelter, and continues to feed, inspire, and “show love.”

A neighbourhood in Ohio celebrated Christmas early this year for a 2-year-old with terminal brain cancer.

Team Brody/FacebookBrody with Christmas decorations.

Early this September, the Cincinnati suburb of Colerain Township hung up their Christmas lights and decorations for 2-year-old Brody Allen. Allen was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and was given mere weeks to live back in the fall. Realising there was a good chance Allen wouldn’t see another Christmas, the neighbourhood decided to give him one immediately, in the summer.

After Allen’s mother posted about needing Christmas decorations early this year on Facebook, people from all over drove by and dropped them off. Neighbours decided to decorate their own homes, too. The outpouring was more than the family expected.

“I think [Christmas] is more than just lights, it’s a feeling. And for everybody, the Christmas spirit kinda came early this year… and it’s spreading to everybody, even our neighbours,” Allen’s mother said to CBS.

A boy sent a letter to his dad in heaven, and the postman sent back a heartwarming response.

Teri Copland/FacebookThe letter from Jase to his late father.

A 7-year-old boy named Jase from the United Kingdom sent a birthday letter to his late father, addressed to heaven. Not knowing the exact location, Jase wrote on the envelope: “Mr. Postman, Can you take this to Heaven for my dad’s birthday?”

Much to Jase’s surprise, he got a response from the Royal Mail a few weeks later. The Royal Mail’s Assistant Delivery Office Manager, Sean Milligan, assured Jase that his letter had been delivered successfully, writing: “Please be assured that his particular important item of mail has been delivered. I will continue to do all I can to ensure delivery to Heaven safely.”

Jase’s mother posted about her son’s excitement in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, saying: “I actually cannot state how emotional he is knowing his dad got his card … Royal Mail, you’ve just restored my faith in humanity.”

An injured police officer couldn’t make it to his son’s first day of school, so his squad went instead.

Orlando Police Department/FacebookThe squad with Kaleb Valencia and his mother, Meghan.

Orlando Police Officer Kevin Valencia was shot and critically wounded when he answered a domestic violence call earlier this year, falling into a coma and remaining hospitalized to this day.

When his son, Kaleb, had his first day of kindergarten, Valencia wasn’t able to attend – so his entire police squad went instead.

A video posted by the Orlando Police Department showed the officers escorting Kaleb to his classroom, and lining the hallways to give him high-fives.

Valencia’s family has a GoFundMe campaign to help with his medical expenses, and so far it has raised almost $US190,000 of its $US200,000 goal.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the support my husband is receiving,” Valencia’s wife wrote on the site.

A man who volunteers at his local animal shelter daily went viral for taking naps with the special-needs cats.

Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary Inc./FacebookTerry taking a nap with the cats.

A man named Terry regularly volunteers at Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, a no-kill cat sanctuary located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Every day, Terry comes in to brush the special-needs cats, and he often falls asleep with them.

Safe Haven decided to write an appreciation post for Terry on Facebook, and it quickly went viral. People even started donating to the shelter in his honour, quickly surpassing $US10,000.

“We are so lucky to have a human like Terry,” Safe Haven’s post said.

An Indian pilot gave back to his village by taking 22 of its senior citizens on their very first plane ride.

Wikimedia CommonsThe group visited the Golden Temple.

After he became a pilot, Vikas Jyani made sure that 22 residents from his village – ages 70 and up – got to experience the magic of flying.

Jyani comes from a small village in India called Sarangpur, in Adampur, and he couldn’t wait to give back to his community after he achieved his dream of becoming a pilot. And the passengers from Sarangpur were thrilled with Jyani’s gift.

One of them, a 90-year-old woman named Bimla, had never flown before and said to The Times of India that her trip felt like a dream. Bimla stressed that “many people make promises to the elderly, but [Jyani] kept his word.”

An Olive Garden waiter visited one of his customers in the hospital.

Drew Lewis/FacebookTommy Gallagher and Drew Lewis.

Olive Garden server Drew Lewis works at a branch in Akron, Ohio, and was serving a family of six one night when he struck up a conversation with one of the sons who “reminded him of himself at that age.”

Lewis noticed the boy was wearing a shirt with the phrase “#TommyStrong” on it, and the boy explained that it was for him, Tommy Gallagher, as he was getting brain surgery on Monday. Lewis asked if he could visit Gallagher in the hospital after the surgery, and Gallagher said yes.

After a successful, 7-hour surgery on October 22, Lewis came to the hospital bearing gifts for his new friend – a T-shirt and a card with his classmates’ signatures. Gallagher is expected to make a full recovery.

“This kid showed me how to be strong and handle the [adversity] life throws at you. Get well soon Tommy Gallagher,”Lewis said.

A young boy with leukemia selflessly used his “Make-A-Wish” to help his entire school.

Marlee Hayes/Make-A-Wish South Dakota/FacebookJavier Amos (middle) at his pizza party.

Nine-year-old Javier Amos was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and granted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non profit organisation that arranges for critically ill children’s “wishes” to come true.

The South Dakota native’s wish was to have a mega-pizza party, replete with zoo animals, bounce houses, and laser tag – and he wanted his entire school to attend. The Make-A-Wish Foundation obliged: they came to McKinley Elementary School in Watertown on September 21 this year, and gave Amos and his classmates the party of a lifetime.

One of the volunteers from the foundation who attended the party, Marlee Hayes, said in a Facebook post: “By choosing a pizza party for his school, Javier demonstrated to everyone involved what it meant to be kind, selfless, and inclusive. This young man impacted me in ways I could have never imagined and showed the entire community what amazing things can be done when we all come together for something positive.”

A secretary secretly amassed $US9 million in her lifetime, and donated almost all of it when she died.


Sylvia Bloom worked as a secretary in a New York City law firm for 67 years, quietly amassing a secret fortune of $US9 million by carefully investing her money and, as INSIDER previously reported, “taking note of which stocks her managers purchased and then buying the same things in smaller amounts.”

When she died in 2016 at the age of 96, none of her coworkers, or even close family members, knew she was a multi-millionaire. In fact, she and her husband lived modestly and took public transportation.

In her will, she stipulated that $US6.24 million of her fortune go to the Expanded Horizons College Success program at the Henry Street Settlement, which helps underprivileged students with their college education. The rest was distributed among her family members.

Florists around the US handed out flowers to random strangers this October.

YouTube‘Petal It Forward’ in New York City.

The Society of American Florists announced that their initiative, “Petal It Forward,” would be taking place on October 24 of this year.

According to their site, “florists nationwide randomly surprised people on the street with flowers in 410 cities in all 50 states,” all in an attempt to shed light on the florist industry and do random acts of kindness.

Someone performed a random act of kindness for a group of high school prom-goers, who decided to keep the chain of kindness going.

Rene Schwietzke/FlickrThe girls purchased Dunkin’ Doughnuts for the homeless.

High school seniors Emily Hermanson and Savannah Cantrell were out for dinner the night of their prom when a nearby table of ladies told them they looked “beautiful,” and decided to foot the bill.

The girls were so touched by this random act of kindness that they decided to something good for strangers as well, just as the ladies had.

Hermanson and Cantrell went to Dunkin’ Doughnuts for breakfast the next day, and it was there that the idea hit them: they would provide food to homeless people.

According to Florida Today, the girls bought “armfuls of doughnuts and bottled water” and set out on their mission.

“We just like to spread love and kindness,” Cantrell told Floriday Today. “Some people are so negative about everything, so I wanted to spread kindness and remind people you don’t have to go that far out of the way to make someone’s day.”


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