15 Most Heartwarming Acts of Kindness of 2018
Let’s take a moment to consider the kindness we extend to each other every day. These moving stories will reaffirm your faith in humanity.
Connecting through music and flowers
Courtesy Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey
The “Connection Thru Music” program, organized by the Caregiver Volunteers of Central New Jersey, pairs young people with Alzheimer’s patients. The patients are better able to recall their history and share their stories when listening to music; the young people who volunteer gain empathy and provide companionship for their elders. When high school freshman Brody Bonelli, volunteered, he was paired with patient Bonnie Ball, visiting her home weekly, listening to her sing old church hymns and singing along with her on “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad” and the John Denver classic “Country Roads.” Over the course of a few months, he learned that Ball had grown up in West Virginia, that her father had been a railroad employee, and that she had worked in the Toms River School system. She calls him “Smiley” and her face lights up when she sees him. When Bonnie had to move to a nursing home, Brody continued visiting her to sing songs—and bring her flowers. “It truly softened the transition for Bonnie and her family knowing that Brody would still be in their life,” reports Caregiver Volunteer’s Program Director, Lynette Whiteman.
Good hearts, all around
Courtesy Bellhops Moving
The evening before Walter Carr’s first day of work, his car broke down. After the Alabama resident failed to find a ride to his new job as a mover—20 miles from his apartment—he decided he would have to walk it, reports the Washington Post. He started his journey at midnight in order to arrive at the job by 8:30 a.m. At one point, he was threatened by a dog; later on, while he was resting, a policeman came along and ended up offering him a ride and breakfast.
Twenty-year-old Carr eventually made it. When the homeowner that Carr was moving heard his story, she was so inspired that she started crowdfunding campaign for him. She set a goal of $2,000 but ended up raising $44,000 for the college student. Carr’s new boss—the CEO of Bellhops Moving—was so impressed by Carr’s heart and determination that he gave Carr his 2014 Ford Escape. “The lesson of my story is it’s great to reach people,” Carr told the Washington Post. “I always wanted to inspire people.” Read these stories about the kindness of strangers that will make you tear up.
Humanity for the manatees
Courtesy Roxi Foley
Roxi Foley, 8, is a fan of the show Sea Rescue, which depicts ocean rescues of marine creatures. The plight of manatees—the marine mammal is under threatened status—led her to seek out the manatee exhibit when her family visited SeaWorld this year. After speaking with the animal’s caregivers, Roxi had one clear goal: To find a way to save manatees. That would be tricky from her home in the suburbs of Chicago. Undaunted, Roxi began writing letters to friends and relatives asking for donations. (Her grandfather recommended she call her efforts Humanity for the Manatees.) Roxi also sold artwork, donated her own money, and encouraged others to share spare change for manatees. “From a young age, she’d always ask me how she was going to change the world if she was just a kid,” says her mother, Didi. She would remind her daughter that every effort helps, no matter how big or small. This year, Roxi has raised hundreds of dollars for the cause. If you’re interested in helping save manatees, check out this page.
Crowdfunding for the school bully
Courtesy Aubrey Fontenot
One day, Aubrey Fontenot sat down with the kid who his son Jordan said was bullying him. Fontenot asked the bully, Tamarion, why he behaved the way he did. As it turned out, Tamarion was often a target himself because his clothes were dirty or his shoes were worn: His family had fallen on hard times and had recently lost their home. Fontenot decided to step in, buying Tamarion new clothes and new shoes; then he arranged for Jordan and Tamarion to hang out. Finally, Fontenot set up a GoFundMe page for Tamarion’s family. Tamarion and Jordan are now friends, and the campaign has raised more than $30,000 for Tamarion’s family. “I was angry at first,” Fontenot told the news station KHOU 11, “then I said let me try something different.” Now, he says, the boys are like brothers.
Teen who gives back got a special gift to satisfy the kid he is at heart
Courtesy Jenna Stroup
The non-profit Pajama Program is dedicated to bringing books and new pajamas to children who are homeless, in the foster system, or in emergency shelters. Chrissie Martinez, the group’s Reading Center Program Manager, recruits teens from a local high school to come in on a weekly basis and read to the younger children, building relationships and serving as role models. As thanks, Martinez gives the teens their own pair of pajamas—but one of her most dedicated volunteers had an unusual request: “Brandon made it known to me that he really wanted a Clifford the Big Red Dog onesie. He owned one as a child and it had been very special to him. I told him that I would try my hardest,” she says. When Martinez couldn’t find Clifford onesie pajamas in adult sizes, she and a coworker made the outfit themselves. Brandon was touched by the gift—and by the effort it took. The best part? He now wears it proudly when he reads with the children. Can’t get enough kindness? Check out our round-up of last year’s most heartwarming acts of kindness.