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Real Life Stories

You’ve got to read it to believe it! These true stories seem almost too good to be true, but we promise that we couldn’t make these up. From love to loss and from survival to unbelieavable coincidences—we’ve got the wildest stories to keep you informed, entertained, and inspired.

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Hometown Heroes: Building Homes for Disabled Veterans

Back from war, two injured soldiers help other vets rebuild their lives.


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Occupy Sandy: True Heroes in a Time of Crisis

Stranded in my mom’s house during the worst storm to hit the East Coast in my lifetime, scouring social media,


Hero Pets: A Pig That Calms Special-Needs Kids

For special-needs students in San Francisco, pot-bellied pig Buttercup provides comfort—and a bit of fun.


Hero Pets: A Little Girl’s Lifeline Is Her Dog

For young Alida Knobloch, loyal pooch Mr. Gibbs is a true lifesaver.


Jesse Owens: My Greatest Olympic Prize

In this RD Classic from our archives, American athlete Jesse Owens tells his stunning Olympic story about putting differences aside...


Celebrities Who Inspire Us: Josh Duhamel

A Hollywood-but-hometown hero: Josh Duhamel recently told us about his love of his adopted dogs, how taking care of his...


How 6 Small Towns Honor Veterans

Inspiring: Throughout the year, these small towns honor all United States veterans in unique ways, from "Boots for Our Troops"...


Hometown Heroes: The Dirty Dozen

How a group of former sorority sisters found peace, purpose, and carpentry skills in New Orleans.

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Paula Lucas: International Angel

Paula Lucas dreamed of being able to help battered women living overseas. In 2001, she started Americans Overseas Domestic Violence...


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Hometown Heroes: Control Over Chaos for Foster Kids

When young Noah Jones got a glimpse into the world of foster care, he created his own charity to help...


The Titanic Coat: One Family’s Legend

In an inspiring follow-up to the Titanic story, Reader's Digest national affairs editor David Noonan tells of a family heirloom...


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Hometown Hero: A Sailor’s Savior

When worried mother Marianne Naslund saw her 16-year-old neighbor Andy Livasy was in trouble, she opened up her heart and...


Digest Diet: Adrienne’s Weight-Loss Success Story

After the first phase of the Digest Diet, Adrienne's weight loss was seven pounds; then she went on to shed...


A Wife Gives her Husband the Gift of Life

There's no way to top this present.


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The Birth of a Family

What’s a single white guy doing with three Mexican kids? Making a loving family — and showing how foster adoption


The Power of 1: Celebrating Inspirational People

The Power of 1 Project celebrates brave, compassionate, and committed hometown heroes who have given their time, invested their talent,...

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California Teenager Grants Wishes to Terminally Ill Patients

Our hero: Caitlin Crommet, 17 Where she lives: Rancho Santa Margarita, California How she helps: Grants wishes to terminally ill


Digest Diet: Annette’s Weight-Loss Success Story

People told Annette when she hit menopause, she would stop losing weight, so she teamed up with her daughter Dana...


Hope for Deaf-Blind Triplets — Light in the Dark

How parents of triplets found hope in a dismal situation.