A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

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.

View More in:

Add Filter

Hixson, TN

A scenic hike through Coolidge Park. (Credit: Vicki Roginsky) After living out west most our lives we up and moved


Corinth, MS

A pancake fundraiser for kids at Waldron Street Christian Church. (Credit: Delores Topliff) Here, when you meet people for the


Lexington, TX

When kids come back to Lexington, they visit with everyone in town who made them who they are, not just


Charlie’s Place Activity and Respite Center, Baton Rouge, LA

A Charlie’s Place client gets a kiss from a therapy dog named Dala. (Credit: Dana Territo) Close your eyes and


Guntersville, AL

After the tornadoes hit, it took a huge effort to get the state park cleaned. Now that it’s clean, it’s


Southport, NC

Santa and Mrs. Claus hand out candy downtown during the Christmas season, bringing cheer to all. (Credit: Nancy Lepri) We


Chester, CA

Randy Fossom’s annual Wheel Around Lake Almanor ride raises money for local charities. (Credit: Bill Mahaffey) I fell in love


The Orange Elks Lodge, Orange, CA

Orange Elks were there for Zack Collie when he sustained a life-changing injury. They supported him from his initial recovery

Franklin, NE

Named a Finalist Because: Nobody circles the wagons like the folks in Franklin, who band together to face challenges big


Dalhart, TX

Dalhart is home to nice, caring people who aren’t too busy to help and pay it forward. On a trip


Ohio State University Medical Center, OH

The Ohio State University Medical Center has a laid back, polite and supportive culture. My family has said that I


Greenville, SC

Greenville is a friendly place where everyone is welcome. (Credit: William Hehmann) With lots of trails, restaurants, friendly people, broadway


The Villages, FL

The Villages bills itself as the “Florida’s friendliest hometown.” (Credit: Vincent DeSantis) This retirement community of over 100,000 residents lives


Texas A&M University, TX

A community spirit of helping and giving fuels the largest single-day of service at any university in the country. (Credit:


Fargo, ND

It’s easy to make new friends in a friendly place like Fargo. (Credit: Dinah Stephens) Just new to Fargo, I


Jim Oliver’s Smoke House Restaurant, Lodge and Cabins, TN

Jim Oliver’s Smoke House has been a safe haven for stranded travelers and folks down on their luck for 50

Darrington, WA

The people of Darrington faced a terrible tragedy, pulling together and overcoming it with hard work, determination and fortitude. (Credit:


South Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, WA

Named a Finalist Because: The nation could use a lesson from this opinionated island community, where combatants leave even the


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...


Reader's Digest Logo

Carly Zalenski: Helping Kids in Ho Chi Minh City

Carly Zalenski’s eyes filled with tears as the dusty bus rattled down a dirt road in southern Vietnam. The 14-year-old


Richard Reisner: Fun on the Slopes with Vermont Adaptive

Richard Reisner lends more than a hand at Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching sports to...

George Haley: The Man Who Wouldn’t Quit

A look back: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alex Haley tells the story of a man who overcame prejudice to excel as...


Kirkwood, PA

Neighbors help each other make this beautiful landscape with the cycle of the crops. When someone is injured or sick


Austin Disaster Relief Network, TX

Austin has experienced more major disasters in the last ten years than in the previous 100. The community has pulled


Ruidoso, NM

When more than 200 homes in Ruidoso burned, neighbors helped everyone who lost recover. (Credit: Dorrie Tyler) Residents of Ruidoso


Olympia, WA

A local enjoys the Hands on Children’s Museum. (Credit: Margaret Stockert) Olympia may be a small city, but we have


Bordentown, NJ

When a local resident lost his life at war, the town pulled together to remember and honor him. (Credit: Anne