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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    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:


    Hayesville, NC

    Named a Finalist Because: Though wildfires threatened their homes for weeks last year, the residents of Hayesville, North Carolina, didn’t


    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:


    theCHIVE.com, Austin, TX

    "Making the world 10% happier"


    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

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    Pam Sloane’s Green Initiative for Education (GIVE)

    Our hero: Pam Sloane, 67 Where she lives: Old Greenwich, Connecticut How she helps: Growing the school garden movement When



    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...


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    It Happened to Alexa: Helping the Families of Rape Survivors

    Our Heroes: Alexa, Stacey, and Tom Branchini Where they live: Lewiston, New York How they help: It Happened to Alexa


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    Fairbury, IL: An Upgraded Library

    How a small Illinois town is using its Reader's Digest We Hear You America prize money to bring its century-old...

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    Ainsworth, NE: A Better Library and Pool

    Learn how this small Nebraska town rallied its residents and earned a prize in the Reader's Digest We Hear You...


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    Crescent City, CA: Restoring a Devastated Harbor

    In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in


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    Rancho Cordova, CA: Making the Holiday Season Special

    In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in


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    San Jose, CA: Keeping Kids Away from Gangs

    In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in


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    Galesburg, IL: Funding Youth Programs

    In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in


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    Armada, MI: Building a Skate Park

    In 2011, residents of more than 50% of the cities, towns and villages in the U.S. cast their votes in