Sometimes sad news can weigh heavy on our hearts, but there is also plenty of good in the world to remember in the midst of unease and heartbreak. These selfless deeds remind us of all of the ways we can help, especially on Random Act of Kindness day this February 17th.
Massachusetts resident Judy O’Brien came across a viral video about crocheting with plastic bags and introduced the idea to her senior housing community. Now about a dozen women meet every week to crochet donated bags into water-resistant mats for homeless people. "I think [we’ll stop crocheting only] when they ban plastic bags," O’Brien told the .
Airline representatives at Orlando International Airport knew that federal employees were working without pay during January's partial government shutdown, so they to help TSA, Customs, and Federal Aviation Administration workers until their paychecks resumed.
This Christmas, a burglar broke into the Salvation Army in Sanford, Maine, and stole some $1,700 in cash from a locked safe. But when the word got out in the local community, they raised the funds once again — and then some. Three businesses each gave $1,700 to the nonprofit to support its food pantry and other outreach efforts, the reported.
When California animal control authorities seized 78 bulldogs from a backyard breeder in 2017, more than 3,000 people offered to adopt the neglected animals. In December, about a dozen lucky owners and their rescued pets organized a reunion to celebrate how far they'd come. "One year ago the dogs had urine-soaked paws, no hair, and wounds everywhere," WAGS shelter manager Cortney Domey told the . "They had never been touched by people and were in crates. They were breeding stock. Look what a year of being loved does."
After Hurricane Florence caused devastating flooding in North Carolina this fall, kindhearted citizens like Amber Hersel jumped into action. The volunteer from the Civilian Crisis Response Team helped rescue 7-year-old Keiyana Cromartie and her family from their flooded home on September 14, 2018 in James City.
Anthony Ledesma, Victor Erwin, and Aaron Flowers (from left) volunteered their talents at the sixth annual Kutz4Kids event last August in San Jose, California. Fifteen barbers gave out hundreds of free haircuts for students returning to school.
The decision made by Patricia Almonte (right) to donate the organs of her late 3-year-old daughter Veronica Garcia helped save three lives: Essence Walls (left), an 8-month-old baby, received her heart; a 2-year-old received her liver; and a 68-year-old woman received her kidneys.
"Mr. and Mrs. Claus" spread a little holiday cheer at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver last year. The volunteers took pictures with the babies and families spending the holidays in the NICU, including preemie Kayden Reid Odey.
Frida the rescue dog and her trainer Israel Arauz Salinas went viral for their life-saving efforts during the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook Mexico City in 2017. The 9-year-old Labrador has detected the bodies of 52 people during her career, and the duo recently for their service to the Mexican navy.
Members of the Aurora Police Strategic Response Team came up with a clever way to surprise patients at Children's Hospital Colorado . Four officers dressed up in superhero costumes before rappelling down the side of the building, greeting children along the way.
American Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealander Nikki Hamblin won a for their sportsmanship at the 2016 Rio Games. After Hamblin tripped in a 5,000-meter heat, and brought D'Agostino down with her, the American helped her competitor to her feet. Later on in the race, D'Agostino fell again as a result of her twisted leg, but Hamblin stayed by her side until the finish line.
A lucky dog got a ride from some unnamed helpers in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew two years ago. Photographer Sean Rayford caught these two men pushing a makeshift boat through the floodwaters in Lumberton, North Carolina.
College athlete registered as a bone marrow donor in high school and promptly forgot about it — until he received a call just a month before the final track and field championships of his career. The shot-put star gave up his medal chances and underwent the surgery, helping an unknown man suffering from leukemia.
Every year, the recruits volunteer hairstylists, manicurists, and estheticians to pamper homeless women and underprivileged children with makeovers, lunch, and personal care supplies. Amber Paul (right) applies makeup to Joann Simpson at an event in 2002.
Long-finned pilot whales can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds, but that didn't stop 58 volunteers from saving 17 of them during a at Hamelin Bay in Australia. The animals lovers raced against the clock, keeping the gentle giants comfortable until they could guide them back out to sea.
While Good Samaritans will return wallets to their owners, these do-gooders really took it up a notch. Constructor workers in Downey, California, came across a likely when remodeling an office in 2000 and turned it over to their bosses. Then law enforcement released the info to the media to track down the owner, Alma Scott Grieshaber. She had unfortunately passed away the year before, but internet genealogists then connected her with descendent John Grieshaber. When the family came to collect the wallet, her two great-grandchildren got to see a snapshot of their ancestor's life.
College student Angy Rivera didn't qualify for federal aid or loans, so she started selling $5 "education bracelets" to fund her tuition at John Jay College back in . When Good Samaritan heard her story, the retired MTA worker paid her entire $2,500 bill.
Wrapping your own Christmas presents can get tedious, but Denver volunteers prepare gifts for more than 3,500 people in need as part of an annual tradition. The prep culminates in the , named after a Colorado priest who opened his church doors to the homeless during the bitter winter of 1982.
hired community resource specialists like Kristi Schaefer (left) to help the city's homeless population stay warm and find the help they need. Here, Schaefer's assists Richard Ortega with charging his wheelchair at the Denver Central Library on January 26, 2017.
Random residents of Krakow, Poland, embraced on "Free Hugs Day" in 2018. If you'd like to get in on the action, mark your calendars: starts in July.
's decision to give his kidney to a stranger back in 2008 led to not one but four donation surgeries in a single day. The young man went through with the surgery after seeing a 60 Minutes program on live organ donors. His kidney saved Barbara Asofsky (pictured), whose husband donated one in return to Alina Binder, whose father then gave a kidney to Andrew Novak, whose sister then gave a kidney to Luther Johnson. While not a match for their own loved ones, the chain of donations saved multiple lives.
A British charity called regularly performs good deeds on a giant scale, including food and toy drives. In 2013, the group created a free bookshop in a former pub with for the public to take and keep. Continued donations keep the store .
Mark "" Imhof already works full-time as a pet groomer and sitter in New York City, but in his off hours, he's still shearing dogs. He's provided free services to rescue shelters for years, both raising the pups' spirits and improving their chances of getting adopted.
first started taking in foster children with his wife Dawn in 1989. A few years later, the couple committed to caring for terminally ill boys and girls because no one else would. When Dawn died in 2000, Mohamed kept up with their work. "The key is, you have to love them like your own," he told the . "I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God."
After bushfires swept Australia in 2009, stepped up to help the orphaned kangaroos left behind. The wildlife rehabilitator cared for multiple little roos in her own home, giving them the proper food and even pouch-like nooks for sleeping.
With Hurricane Rita set to pound Houston just weeks after Hurricane Katrina, residents evacuated in what became the in the city's history. Instead of worrying about his own safety, however, generous resident Daniel Flynn actually gave out free gas to a needy motorist before the storm hit.
Sesame Street's Elmo and Grover brightened the days of patients at in Hackensack, New Jersey, on February 22, 2017. The kiddos made crafts, colored, and cuddled with the fluffy characters.