30 Heartwarming Stories Of People Having Wholesome Experiences With Strangers
In a world that often seems divided and disconnected, it’s easy to forget that there are countless moments of human connection and kindness happening every day. These stories of heartwarming encounters between strangers serve as a powerful reminder that empathy, compassion, and generosity are alive and well in our society.
From small acts of kindness to life-changing interventions, scroll below to read some stories that showcase the beautiful potential of human interaction and the transformative power of reaching out to those in need.
I’ve shared this story before, but I’ll never forget this experience.
When I was a kid we didn’t have a lot of money, so we often shopped at thrift stores. What I loved about that was that you could get 10 books for a dollar, so I would plant myself in front of the book section and make piles of which one I wanted to get and then decided after I’d gone through them all.
One day an older lady saw me sitting with my piles and asked if I liked to read. I told her I did and showed her a few of the books I found that I liked. She smiled and then pulled a dollar out of her purse, handed it to me and said, “Promise me that you’ll keep reading.” I was so happy and immediately stood up and said that I would. She smiled and walked away and I went back to my piles able to pick out an extra 10 books to take home.
It was just a small act of kindness for her, but for me having a random stranger encourage my love of reading and making me promise to never stop definitely had a lot to do with my continued love of reading. This was probably 22-23 years ago, but I still think of her whenever I buy a new book.
I have bright hair (currently teal) and moved from Orlando to a very small southern town. I get “the look” a lot, especially from older people. I was walking through the parking lot of an Ingles one day and an old lady (maybe 70ish) yelled out to me “Your hair matches your shorts! THATS SO CUTE!!!”. It kinda made my day haha
Once we moved into our new place, a neighbor kid knocked on my door. When I answered he asked if I had any kids. I told him that I didnt. He goes “AW MAN!! I just need friends!” and ran off lol.
I’m a wheelchair user. At a baseball game, a little girl came running up to me and climbed on to my lap. Her mom was apologetic but I told her it was fine, no worries– looking at the girl’s face, I could tell she had some kind of developmental disability. Mom explained to me that the little girl’s grandfather used a wheelchair and she missed him. I rolled around a little to give her a ride, she giggled and had a good time, then she climbed off and went back to her mom.
I was in an abusive relationship and it ended with him beating me up very badly. Broken ribs, bruises and cuts all over me. He was arrested, but the process and aftermath was hell. It was spring and the weather was warming, but for weeks I wore long sleeves and high collars to hide the cuts and bruises. Eventually everything healed and faded except one very deep bruise on my upper arm. I had had enough of hiding them in shame so one day I said f**k it and wore short sleeves. I was standing in line in Walmart and noticed this rough biker looking dude staring at me. I thought he was checking me out or whatever. Then he asked me how I got that bruise on my arm. I stumbled answering and he outright asked “Did somebody hurt you?”. For some reason I decided to be honest and not lie in shame so I said out loud “Yes, somebody hurt me.” He looked at me me and in the kindest voice said “You did not deserve that. Whoever it was will get what’s due to them one day.” For some reason, that was a turning point for me. I knew then that I was going to be ok. I knew that no matter how things turned out legally, that I was going to be ok. I never saw that man again, but I honestly think he was an angel sent to give me a message.
On my honeymoon in Greece we nearly got stranded driving our little scooter back from a day trip. Finally found a petrol station in this village but it was during afternoon nap/siesta time. We apologised as best we could in the little Greek we knew. The guy obliged but looked a little annoyed. He casually asks where we are from and we tell him New Zealand.
His face lights up and is amazed because he had never met someone from NZ before. He asks us what are we doing so far away from home, we tell him that it’s our honeymoon.
He tells us to wait there and comes back with a bottle of wine that’s obviously worth more than the €6 of petrol we are buying. He refuses for us to round up the bill or for us to buy anything.
He just tells us “honeymoon is honeymoon, be happy, go”
Hands down one of the best highlights of our trip.
A few years ago, I was experiencing deep depression. My life was a mess, my apartment was a mess, I was a mess. For a moment, I decided to just go to the park and sit for a while, as I was really at the end of my rope and had zero idea on what to do.
Out of nowhere, a kid, possibly about three or four years, comes and hands me three yellow dandalions and runs back to her mom.
I don’t know why, but I always remember that. That day, I went home and cleaned my apartment and made it more tidy. I wouldn’t say that my life miracurously changed, but I will say that, that one moment of kindness, that neither the kid nor the mom probably remember, was one of the most memorable moments in my life.
I once took my son to a local science center for a day of fun. I also have cerebral palsy. I get around well enough. Sometimes I use a wooden cane, but I’m alright unsupported. I rock a mean limp and have terrible balance, but if you were to see me walking around most would just assume I had been injured at some point.
While walking around I spotted this woman with a young daughter of maybe 7-8 using a walker and sporting a pair of leg braces. The mother and I locked eyes a few times throughout our free roaming day until eventually our kids started interacting with the same exhibit. We were standing there watching them and I turned to the mother and before I could even speak she said:
“Cerebral palsy. You too, huh?”
We ended up spending the rest of our day together chatting about our lives and experiences and going over the many advancements and therapies that have been developed since my childhood.
She ended up telling me at the end of the day that seeing me being a single dad to my son and being so independent in spite of my disability gave her a lot of peace of mind. She said she worried a lot about what her daughter’s future might hold in terms of her independence.
It was just an all around really nice experience.
I had a knock on my door and when I opened it, there was a stranger with a gift card to a local garden store for me. Apparently her kid had been pinching tulips from my garden every day to give to his mom and they wanted to pay for them, once they figured out whose garden they were coming from.
I had thought squirrels were doing it and had regretted planting them the year before, not being able to enjoy them! I spent the gift card on more bulbs!
I was using crutches at the time after an ankle injury. Got off the tram to go to uni and hobbled straight into a surprise Melbourne spring storm. Guy with very limited English walked me from the tram stop to my class, holding an umbrella over me the entire walk (about 10 minutes). One of those lovely, warm fuzzy memories.
I was in Walmart one day and some dude was blocking the aisle where the item I needed was located. I then heard him ask a Walmart employee where the cabinet liners were. She proceeded to say she wasn’t sure and started to send him to the wrong location.
I nosily piped up: I know where they are. If you want to follow me I will take you to them because I just bought some last week.
The man: Oh, ok. Thank you.
He followed me to the opposite side of the store and I showed him where they were. He thanked me again and I hurried back to the other side of the store to get what I needed.
Five minutes later at the self checkouts the man showed up and I saw him just hanging around with his bag of purchases on his arm. When it came time to pay he stepped up and insisted on paying for my items. I thanked him profusely.
At the time I only had $35 in my bank account and was trying to purchase food for the week. This man who I was so annoyed with helped me so much. I still tear up when I think of his kindness. I am a single mother of two wonderful kids and this was my miracle.
I had just lost my job and my dad had his card stolen. He was waiting on the bank but completely out of food and living in an old, run down RV. I would have figured SOMETHING out. I’d die before I let him starve. Right as he’s almost in tears talking to me about it, someone knocked on the door.
A lady had food for someone in an RV, but those people had vacated the parking lot and she wanted to know if my dad needed any. (Some sort of local helping hands org.)
There was everything from canned goods, to fresh meat, milk, pasta. Everything. She had bought it with her own money and didn’t want it to go to waste.
I’ll never forget the timing, or her generosity.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon just came out in theaters. I had been planning to go see it on my next day off. I didn’t have a car so relied on the bus. The day of the movie came and there was a snow storm. I walked downtown to get the bus but there was a sign saying all buses cancelled due to snow.
I was super bummed out and walked over to the local coffee shop. I ordered a coffee and was telling the owner how disappointed I was that I couldn’t get to the movies. There was an older woman sitting in the shop and she overheard us.
She looked at me and said ‘I really want to see that movie too. Let’s go, I’ll drive’
So that the day me and a perfect stranger went out to lunch and to see a movie together.
About a year later I started seeing this guy in town and his downstairs neighbor was the lady who took me to the movies all those months earlier. We had stopped by her house for her to get a sweater before the movies. I told the guy ‘me and your neighbor went to see Crouching Tiger together’
He was like-that was you? She went on and on about how cool it was to go to the movies w you.
More than 20 years ago, when I was still a teenager, I was on vacation with my parents. There were a lot of problems and fights I couldn’t handle and it came to the point that I had a suicide attempt. I snuck out of the hotel roo, crying rivers, and tried to jump off a railing in the courtyard of the hotel. A cleaning lady must have seen me. At the moment I was on the other side of the railing, the lady pulled me back to her side, took me in her arms -very firmly and lovingly- stroked my head while crying and told me that everything would be okay. Every pain passes. I could never say thanks, but this lady changed my life and I never had such terrible intentions again. She gave me something no one else could do at this moment. Thank you, stranger woman.
Image source: Fl1p1
I was in a bookstore and heard a young girl ask her mother for a book. The mother answered, ‘I think that’s a movie you can see on TV. You can watch that; you don’t need to READ it.’ (It was the book Chocolat.) Being a voracious reader who also never had support for my book addiction, I was enraged, so I bought the book, found the girl in the stacks, handed it to her, and whispered, ‘Keep reading.’ Her eyes lit up. I don’t know who enjoyed that moment more, but it might have been me.
I was traveling from the South of England to the North of Scotland to start a new job the next morning. I had taken a train up to London and was supposed to get on an early morning flight from Heathrow. The bus to the airport however, was cancelled and I had to make my own way using a series of night buses. However it was about 2:30 a.m. and my phone was dead, and I had never used London’s night buses before.
I was young and a little scared,standing in the middle of Victoria trying to figure out the faded bus schedule when a woman came up to me and asked “Are you alright love?” And I explained through tears that I thought I was going to miss my flight and didn’t even have an oyster card.
She looked up my route on her phone, wrote down all the possible variations of buses and trains that I would need to take, including the times. She waited with me the entire time, like twenty minutes, THEN when the bus came up she paid for my fare( no cash on London buses). I got out and looked to her and she shrugged and said “oh I’m not getting the bus, you just looked like you needed someone.”
I think about her every once in a while, and I’m incredibly grateful for her.
Image source: anon
I guess this can be perceived as pathetic by some people and thats ok but I used to go to school with a bunch of horrible people. I’m disabled so I look and walk weird. Every time I’d go out for lunch to my favourite food place and see them, they’d hurl insults.
Anyway, I was standing in a long queue and they were behind me. There was an old lady (maybe like 70-80) behind them. They were making fun of my walk (I sorta cant walk straight bc I had a stroke as a kid) and this old lady called them a “bunch of cruel twats”.
It was really kind of her to stand up to them. I always will remember that.
When I was 18 I had a friend in the hospital with brain cancer. His time was limited. I visited him when I could. He was kind of hippie alternative punk. I wore a leather jacket and had long hair. I walked to his room, a nurse saw me. Without saying a word she walked to me and gave me a long comforting hug. That’s how I knew he passed.
For context, I’m a fat lesbian. While grocery shopping, I saw a man about my age (mid-20’s) who was clearly putting a lot of effort into his appearance and it was working. He had two-toned dyed hair (one half blonde, the other black), was wearing some well-done makeup that I couldn’t do, bright purple jeans, good tattoos, etc. Overall, the look worked, and he’d clearly put effort into it.
I said excuse me and mentioned that I thought he looked very happy and confident and good. The dude began crying in the middle of the supermarket. I felt so guilty for reducing a stranger to tears like that, but he explained it was because I’d made his day and he very rarely got complimented. Made me sad-happy at the same time, but mainly happy. :)
Image source: anon
I was flying between Melbourne and Brisbane and found myself sitting next to a nun not much older than me. We chatted for the whole two hours about life, death and infinity. It was really pleasant, much more than I thought it would be.
As we were landing, after we exchanged goodbyes, she looked me straight in the eyes, touched me on the arm, and said, ” God bless you”.
I felt uplifted and strangely humbled, especially as I am an atheist.
I’m sitting at a red light with my wife and son. I’m directly behind a yellow school bus full of kids.
Some of the kids were just being kids and making faces out the window at cars, etc. A small group of kids were gathered near the back of the bus looking at us.
All of a sudden, one kid does the “Gangnam Style” crossing the wrists and bobbing the hands up and down part.
I do it right back to him, with a huge grin on my face. Then I do the part where you stick your arm up in the air and twirl it around while moving your head back and forth.
By this time just about the entire bus was watching and as the light turned green I heard them absolutely erupting with laughter.
Best red light ever.
I was going to a Starbucks to eat with a friend I met days ago. Suddently a stranger about my age asked me how to go to that exact same place, so I told him that I was going there too and we started a conversation while walking. When we got to the Starbucks, we sat at different tables and I waited for my friend. He didn’t appear (because he had had some problems and finally he couldn’t go). I asked the stanger if I could eat with him and he accepted. Now we are friends and we sometimes talk through our mobiles.
Nope, English isn’t my first language but I’m still learning!
i was walking home from work one day and there were two young guys cleaning out back of the local cinema. one was singing a bit (i think it was a disney song). his mate told him “she’s going to think you’re a weirdo”, so i joined in and sang the rest of the song with him while i strolled down the street. never let someone else narrate your story.
I was working at a local supermarket doing some construction and this little girl walks past with her dad. She stops and calls out: dad look, a girl builder. Had a little chat with her and she goes in to the shops. On her way out she runs back and has another chat with me. She was four years old. Very bright little one. It was just very heart warming how she recognised something like a female working in a male dominated industry. I had a really bad day dealing with the builder who was being a bully because I couldn’t be there first thing in the morning due to having to drop my kids off to school first.
I was about 15 and crying on a step downtown because social anxiety was really a struggle for me. After a while, a girl of about 20 stopped just to ask me what was the matter. It took a lot, but I just opened up to her as she gently held me on her shoulder and wiped my tears away. As I smiled before we went our separate ways, she promised me that things would get better. I was skeptical at first, but I always remembered our words whenever I was feeling sad. I really think she might have saved me from suicide. Leah, thank you again. I will truly never forget you!
My last job was working for the TSA. It was a pretty miserable job and most people didn’t like you. I was just having a horrible day filled with personal issues and work issues and this nice older lady asked if I was ok. I had the standard, yeah I’m doing fine. And she asked if I could use a hug. I had a blank stare for a second, and then just hugged her. Probably the nicest thing anyone ever did for me when I worked for there. The world needs more people like her. ❤️
I was traveling to the National parks in Utah. In the hotel parking lot I noticed I had a flat. I was very flustered because I was worried about the cost of replacing the tire on top of the rental company charging me extra
As I was struggling with the tire, a group of Hispanic men came over to help me out to replace. They offered me a corona beer, and we all shared a beer, and they took me through the process, guiding me but still having me do most of the work on my own as a learning experience
They refused a tip at the end.
I’ll also add that this was a formative moment for someone growing up in the wealthy white south. Growing up my only interactions or memories with people that were Hispanic were moments like my parents not letting us play outside when the neighbors had a Mexican lawn crew out, my parents complaints when the spanish speaking waiter messed up our order, etc.
Even though I wasn’t racist, that moment made me stop and think of my parents and people I grew up with in a different light. It made me go from “All races are fine” to “Wow my parents and the people I grew up with are a major problem”
On our one year anniversary, my husband and I went to a Restaurant and were sitting at the bar. A couple celebrating their 15th anniversary day right next to us. We got to talking and we ended up having a great conversation for 2 hours. The wife got up to go the bathroom and while she was gone the waiter came to collect our checks. He immediately returned our card to us and told us that the couple had paid our bill. (The wife didn’t actually go to the bathroom and was I stead paying our bill). She also wrote us a lovely note that we still have 5 years later!
Driving on the highway, the car in front of me suddenly swerved to take an exit, and then tried to swerve back onto the highway, almost sideswiping me in the process. Luckily there was no one to my left, so I veered into the left lane and avoided an accident. A few moments later I’m passing her, and she very sheepishly looks up at me, kind of anticipating and expecting someone to cuss her out.
Well, I had just learned a new road trip trick. Flipping people off is stupid, but giving them a thumbs down REALLY stays with someone. It’s the “I’m not mad I’m disappointed” of the road. I had a huge a*s thumbs down queued up for this driver, but when I saw her face I immediately knew she didn’t mean to, she was embarrassed, and she already felt bad enough. So instead I flashed her a huge smile, dramatically and jokingly wiped sweat from my brow, and gave her a giant thumbs up. She smiled and laughed and honestly it’s one of my favorite moments in my life.
Image source: stronesthrowaweigh
There was one year where I was in Spain on holiday with my family. We were staying in an apartment complex that had crane machines to win soft toys and prizes.
So one day my sister and I are downstairs playing on the machines but we didn’t manage to win anything and ran out of money and a man who was sweeping and mopping the floors comes over and unlocks the machine and hands us both a Winnie the Pooh toy. Was one of the nicest things someone’s done and I still remember it 20 years later.
When I was 16, I’d taken my mom’s old Pontiac Bonneville to the movies and I was in such a hurry that I forgot to turn off the lights. When I came out, the car was dead but someone left a set of jumper cables on the hood with a note that said, “I hope you make it home safely”. I’ve never ever forgotten about that. Since then I’ve tried to pay that kindness forward anyway I can.
Edit: Thank all of you for the awards. I was about 20mi from home and this was before cell phones were affordable so that person saved me that night. For those asking, I’m assuming the person came out and saw my lights on and maybe even saw them running low/flickering and knew there was a possibility they would burn out before I made it back to my mom’s car. Even if my battery hadn’t died, it was a nice gesture.