True Stories

slave-in-the-garage-01-af
The Slave in the Garage

Sold by her parents and smuggled into the U.S., one young girl did a family's dirty work for two… >>

cello teacher
Ari & the Cello Chair

A chance encounter with a music teacher filled me with passion and purpose. >>

the night I met Einstein
The Night I Met Einstein

This Reader's Digest Classic of "My Most Unforgettable Character" offers a lesson in life—and… >>

lauren kornacki
She Lifted a Car Off Her Dad and Saved His Life

Lauren Kornacki's father was working on a car when it fell of the jack, crushing him and knocking… >>

everyday heroes joe welch
This Guy Punched an Alligator to Save His Son

With fearless determination, Joe Welch warded off a vicious reptile to protect his 6-year-old son. >>

cookies and passport
A Frustrating Plane Delay, and the Simple Baggie of Cookies That Made It All Better

My delayed flight led to to a life-changing interaction. >>

elephants
How 2 Elephants Used Strength—and Smarts—to Save a Bridge

When massive logs and a rushing river threaten a bridge, these two elephants did something… >>

family in room 407
The Baby Who Refused to Die: 11 Hours in Room 407

Doctors said Austin Gerstenslager had zero chance of survival at birth, so his parents waited for… >>

signal rescuers
6 Proven Skills for Any Emergency, From a Reader’s Digest Staffer Who’s Edited 30+ Survival Dramas

As the editor of many of Reader's Digest's survival stories, I've learned a lot about how to stay… >>

Don Molesky John Underwood
An Ohio Couple Was Trapped in a Flooding Basement. Their Dramatic Rescue Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity.

The Hammondses were trapped in their flooded basement, with the water line rapidly rising above 8… >>

purple hearts
This Is Why Zach Fike Reunites Purple Hearts With Soldiers Who Lost Them

Read these stories behind lost Purple Hearts, and the man who finds their owners. >>

toefu
After Unimaginable Cruelty, How Toefu Became a Dog Whisperer to Help Others

Can dogs learn from their misfortune? Here’s the story of Toefu the spaniel, who overcame her own… >>

pile of pencils
Read One Teacher’s Genius Response to the Question “What Do You Make?”

Teacher Taylor Mali's unforgettable, searing retort to a thoughtless question certainly put a… >>

jessica buchanan
This Is What It’s Like to Survive 93 Days as a Hostage of Somali Terrorists

American aid worker Jessica Buchanan recounts her horrific three-month ordeal as a prisoner of… >>

swimming in ganges river
How This Chance Meeting at the Ganges Changed 5 Lives Forever

An impromptu lesson in kindness inspires one man to give an incredible gift to a complete stranger… >>

Sun clouds and rays
6 Stories of Divine Signs

When our loved ones leave this world, does our connection with them end? >>

deon
This Photographer Is Saving Foster Kids One Photoshoot at a Time

Read about the incredibly generous way Seattle photographer Jennifer Loomis is using her… >>

airplane passengers
Hoda Kotb, a Stranger on a Plane, and His Simple Advice She’ll Never Forget

On one of the Today show cohost's darkest days, her seatmate’s wise words about breast cancer… >>

effies apples box
A Neighbor’s Generosity Spreads Beyond Original Gift

The Reader's Digest classic, originally published as "Effie's Compound Interest," explores how one… >>

valentine candy hearts
14 Mini Essays That Prove the Meaning of Love in 100 Words or Less

Readers share their most romantic moments in these short, sweet tales of love, both young and old… >>