Inspirational Stories

Reader’s Digest has the stories to lift your spirits and fill you with hope in your darkest moments. We’ve promised to be a source of joy, and these stories deliver. From everyday heros to reunited long-lost siblings, we’ve got the stories to inspire you.

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Mitch Albom on What It Means to Be a Real Father to a Special Orphan

What is a real father? An orphan in Haiti teaches ­­bestselling author Mitch Albom a wonderful new definition.

Students Noticed One Boy Was Wearing the Same Clothes Every Day, so They Stepped in to Help

"They went home and hunted through their own drawers and closets."


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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 dinner companion in his place—and can make...


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11 Ways Teachers Are Going Above and Beyond During Coronavirus

Teaching isn't just a profession—it's a calling. No one embodies this more than these inspirational, innovative teachers, who are doing...


A Man in His 60s Working Towards His Masters Proves That You’re Never too Old to Learn

At 63, Jerry Valencia was determined to get his 
college degree—and his master’s too.

I Was Adopted at 13, and Now I Dedicate My Life to Helping Others in Foster Care

After growing up in the foster care system, Shanté Elliott is working to help others transition out of it.


A 4-Week-Old Baby Was in Desperate Need of a Home. The Couple That Took Him in Knew He Was Meant to ...

Sarah Mouracade thought she would never have a child—then a miracle happened.


17 Reasons My Favorite Teacher Changed My Life

It only takes one person to make a difference in the life of another—and teachers are often that person. Check...


You Won’t Believe What These Dads Invented to Make Life Better for Their Kids

Necessity may be the mother of invention—but change the word "mother" to "father" here, because these amazing dads saw a...


11 Stories That Prove the Life-Changing Impact of Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Visiting a parent at work can open up all sorts of career possibilities. To find out just how powerful this...

4 First, Humble Jobs of CEOs That Will Remind You Anything Is Possible

When we encounter top industry leaders it seems as though they were always successful. The truth is everyone has to...


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You’ll Never Believe What This 11-Year-Old Invented to Save Babies Left in Hot Cars

Tragically, many children die in the summer after accidentally being left in hot cars. But this young inventor is determined...


This Police Officer Bought a Shoplifter Pizza for the Best Reason

It was his first week on the job, but the officer couldn't punish a 12-year-old shoplifter after seeing where she...


This Woman Is Raising Money to Open a Salon Accessible to People with Disabilities

Cat Rongitsch, whose stepdaughter has spina bifida, dreams of a place where anyone can feel safe and comfortable getting a...


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This Powerful Story Will Convince You to Stop Saying “Let Me Know If You Need Anything”

What does someone who has suffered a sudden trauma and grief most need?


The Remarkable Lesson a Teacher Taught Her Student—Decades After They Met in the Classroom

I loved what she saw in me, which was a range of abilities I had never seen in myself.


Behold, the Old Barn that Was Transformed into a Basketball Court

When they saw how their friends made an old barn the perfect space for a pickup game, this family decided...


This Military Mom Was Murdered in Afghanistan. But the Final Gift She Left Her Daughter Will Last Fo...

With a handful of videos, Lt. Florence Choe helped shape her daughter’s life–even after she lost her own.


This Adopted Woman Searched for Her Birth Mother for 33 Years. How They Met Again Will Warm Your Heart.

Last year, Ohio changed its law to give adopted children access to their birth certificates. For Julie Mooney, the result...


1,500 Feet in the Air, My Dad Gave Me This Confidence Boost I’ll Never Forget

You cannot deny this father's love for his daughter after reading this story.


After Her Little Girl Passed Away Unexpectedly, This Mom Started a Book Festival in Her Honor

How one mother's tragedy inspired her to make a difference in the lives of other children.


Doctors Thought This Disabled Boy Would Never Speak. Boy, Did Alexander Turner Prove Them Wrong.

Alexander was a strangely motionless and silent baby, and doctors knew of fewer than 100 cases like his in the...

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Her Teacher Was Long Dead. Here’s Why This Student Wrote a Touching Thank-You Note Anyway.

This teacher not only taught his class about the periodic table, but also inspiration and curiosity.



My Husband ALWAYS Leaves His Keys in the Ignition. Here’s Why That’s A Good Idea.

Trust in your neighbors may be the best kind of home security there is.


Impossible: How Our Itty Bitty Nebraska Town Raised $45,000 to Save Our Son’s Life

Holden’s community gave him hope and support when he needed it most.


A Store Clerk Offers Wisdom to an Impatient Customer: Cherish Your Mother

"It's the little moments that'll come back to you. Moments like this. I know."


A Depressed Mother, A Lonely Daughter, and Mrs. Reese, the Neighbor Who Changed Their Lives

My mother refused to let me play next door. Breaking the rules made all the difference.