A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

12 Heartwarming True Stories That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

Updated: Dec. 16, 2022

Just when you were getting fed up with news, these warm and fuzzy stories have come along to warm your soul. Keep the tissues handy.

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The tricky haircut

Meet two of the best friends in the world: Reddy Weldon and Jax Rosebush. These two pint-sized preschoolers wanted to trick their teacher, but not in a rude way. They simply wanted their teacher to not be able to tell them apart. There was just one minor technicality that neither of them realized: Reddy is black, but Jax is white. These two BFFs see way past each other’s exterior color, though. Jax just wanted the same haircut as his pal, Reddy, so they would look the same.

Do you live in a place where people are always restoring your faith in humanity? Then help us in our search for Nicest Place in America by nominating it today! If chosen, it will appear on an upcoming cover of Reader’s Digest!

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Party of five

You might think it would be a long-shot to have a family of five young foster children, ranging in age from 2 to 11, adopted together by a loving family. So thought the children, too, who took to The Kansas City Star to appeal to its readers for a forever home—for all five of them. The children and the newspaper, however, could have never expected the immediate responses that flooded The Star’s email inbox. In a matter of a few days, the appeal went viral, garnering over four million views. The adoption agency working to place the children has since removed the family’s story from its website so it can focus on finding a home from one of the thousands of respondents. It looks like these kids will have no problem finding their forever home, happily together, as they should be. Learn how Gallatin, Tennessee rose above tragedy to become the winner of our very first Nicest Place in America contest.

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An inspiring proposal

With so many types of cancers threatening our health and well-being, it’s refreshing to hear a positive outcome of a cancer story. Jim Koch, an Iowa man whose 54-year-old wife, Lora, was diagnosed with breast cancer, made sure their cancer story had a beautiful twist. One week after Lora underwent a bilateral mastectomy, Jim re-proposed to his wife. They had already been married for 26 years. The loving husband told abcnews.go.com, “I’ve known Lora as the most selfless person, and as she was going through this rough patch, I really wanted to give a sign and a reminder of love and commitment.” The youngest daughter of the couple happily took photos of her father’s moving gesture. Jim reminds us all that true love does exist and will carry you through, in sickness and in health. These are the 32 signs that you live in the nicest place in America.

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A teenage hero

If you’ve ever heard of someone being in the right place at the right time, you’ve likely never heard it fit a story as well as this one. In 2014, a 17-year-old volunteer firefighter named Joseph Chambers heard a loud crash outside of his sister’s home. Joseph found two cars in what appeared to be a fatal collision, one of which was a police patrol car. He immediately ran up to the car of Officer Mark Kimsey to see if he was okay. Officer Kimsey was trapped, but Joseph sprung into action, pulling Kimsey out through the window with another bystander as his patrol car burst into flames. Maybe it was Joseph’s firefighter training that allowed him to think, and act, so quickly, but it’s certain that he saved a man’s life that day without once thinking about his own well-being.

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The town that came together

Can you imagine living in a place where everyone but you spoke the same language? Such was life for Muaharrem, a deaf man in Istanbul who uses sign language to communicate. Muaharrem spent every day communicating with people in his town the best he could. He may have gotten by, but was never able to truly live. Until one day, when a Samsung ad created a new world for him that he never thought possible. As Muaharrem’s sister, Ozlem, walked him through his neighborhood, he suddenly realized that everyone he encountered not only understood his language but was able to use it with him. Samsung had contracted the locals to learn sign language as a promotion for its new technology for the hard of hearing but ended up giving Muaharrem the best gift he could have gotten: the gift of communication. Don’t forget these 30 simple acts of kindness that you can do in 2 minutes or less!

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The kids who stole a bachelor’s heart

Pittsburgh Police Detective Jack Mook was a self-proclaimed bachelor who loved the single life, doing what he wanted while he was off-duty. He often went to the gym, where he boxed and volunteered his time to teach kids boxing. He became particularly close to two brothers, who came in almost every week for several years to learn from Mook. One day, they just stopped showing up, and Mook knew something was wrong. Mook found older brother Josh at his school and broke down when the boy explained the conditions under which he and his brother lived in at his foster parent’s house. Through an emergency appeal, Mook decided to foster the boys, and later went on to adopt them, finalizing the most important chapter in his life in 2014. Mook insists the boys have changed his life. The self-proclaimed bachelor is not only the dad of two teenagers, but he’s also happily married and has three step-children—because after his big-hearted story went viral, women were lining up to meet—and marry—this ordinary superhero. Here are 8 more incredible true stories that prove good karma is real.

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Airport angel

Airports can be stressful, and they’re made even more so when something unexpected happens—unless you find an angel on Earth, like one father did. After trying to check in for an upcoming flight with his daughter, the man was told that his 2-year-old daughter would need her own ticket. He mistakenly thought she was free because of her age. The father was obviously distraught, saying he didn’t have the money, and left the counter to make some phone calls. That’s when a stranger stepped in, approaching the counter to tell the agent she wanted to pay for the little girl’s ticket—all $749 of it. The appreciative man asked for the woman’s name so he could repay her, but she insisted on remaining anonymous. The only thing anyone knows about her is what she did that day, thanks to a viral photo of her good deed circulating on Facebook. You’ll absolutely love all 24 of these stories about the kindness of strangers.

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An impromptu performance for humanity

Millennials are often disregarded by older generations as selfish, but studies show that over half of millennials have given to charity. Three college students in Germany showed the world just how selfless their generation can be through a beautiful video that went viral and has touched the hearts of millions since. The students surprised a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk with a gorgeous instrumental and vocal performance that he originally thought was just for show (it began with one student asking to borrow the man’s bucket to use as a drum)—until they handed him the money they collected from passers-by. The stunned man wasn’t able to muster up any words as the students walked away, but the look on his face shows that his faith in humanity was restored at that very moment. Here are more random acts of kindness that will tug on your heartstrings.

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Gone, but never forgotten

When you lose a loved one, it can seem like everything about that person is gone from your world. One woman realized how far from the truth that is after she lost her husband to cancer. Debora Taylor had started her own battle with cancer four years prior to her husband Hank’s diagnosis, but she fought against it, feeling as though there was some reason God wanted her to stick around. When her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, Debra knew her purpose was to help him through his own battle. Sadly, Hank lost his battle only a month later. Debora was still recovering from her own treatments and was now emotionally scarred after her husband’s sudden death. But one day, Debora found a voicemail from her husband that she had never deleted. The voicemail was of Hank, somewhat agitated on his way home from work but showing his silly side that Debora loved. She treasured the voicemail until the day she had to switch phone carriers and lost her husband’s message. Through a rant on Facebook, her previous phone carrier found out her story and was able to walk Debora through the process of retrieving the voicemail so she could once again have a piece of her husband back in her life.

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The boy who took a stand

Not much touches our hearts more than children who give selflessly, like one 7-year-old named Quinn Callander did for his best friend, Brayden Grozdanich. Brayden has cerebral palsy. Quinn simply wanted to help Brayden walk and move with less pain. So, he set up a lemonade stand for his buddy to raise money to help Brayden, and the two began selling their delicious drinks outside a local grocery store. Quinn’s mom posted about his heartwarming campaign on a donation website, hoping to bring in a few more dollars for his cause. What the family didn’t expect, though, was more than $61,000 in donations to come rolling in, which would help support a much-needed surgery for Brayden later that year. And it all started with a small boy, a brilliant idea, and a huge heart. Don’t miss these 19 memorable quotes about compassion that reinforce the power of kindness.

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The babysitter who became much more

Would you donate an organ to someone you barely knew who desperately needed it? One young babysitter did, without a second thought, to save the life of a toddler she had known for only three weeks. Kiersten Miles began babysitting Talia over the summer of 2016 when she learned that the baby would need a liver transplant. Kiersten wanted to be her donor, no questions asked. After going through rounds of tests to make sure she was a match, Kiersten learned she could be a donor for Talia. In January 2017, both girls underwent surgery and are expected to make full recoveries. Talia’s parents believe Kiersten was placed in their lives at the perfect time to save their little girl, and have since told Kiersten, “I could tell you thank you for the rest of my life every single day, and it wouldn’t be enough.”

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Hope for the homeless

Ginger Sprouse is one of those people who wants to do more for the homeless than simply give them a meal. One homeless man in particular caught Ginger’s attention when he sat in the same spot nearly every day near her cooking class business. She learned that his name was Victor, and he had a mental illness. He wanted to wait in that one spot every day in the hope that his mother would find him, because that’s where he’d last seen her. Ginger befriended Victor, talking to him on her coffee breaks and learning about his life, including the fact that he’d been homeless for about 10 years and unable to find his mother for the last three. In December 2016, Ginger decided to take Victor into her home and started a Facebook campaign, known as This Is Victor, to raise money to help get Victor on his feet. She gave him a job in the kitchen of her business and even helped him see his mom again. She plans on helping Victor for the rest of his life, if that’s what he needs. This story, like our heartfelt short Christmas stories, shows the depth of family love. These are the 10 random acts of kindness you can do right now to change someone’s life today!

Do you live in a place where people are just plain nice? Then help us in our search for Nicest Place in America by nominating it today! If chosen, it will appear on an upcoming cover of Reader’s Digest!