We live in times where self-glory and selfish acts seem to be overtaking the world, so it's reassuring to see that random acts of kindness, empathy and understanding still exist! To prove our point, here are 14 incredibly touching times when someone has helped out a stranger, even if it meant losing a competition, putting their own lives at risk...
So, what if we all followed suit? What if we all made an effort do one act of kindness each day? If you need inspiration, then check out these 14 'heroes and heroines'!
1. Even if it meant losing her first place, this Kenyan runner slowed down to offer water to a dehydrated competitor
2. This girl was only 7 years old when she raised $750,000 to save her friend
When this girl from Colorado heard that her friend Mila had been diagnosed with a rare, fatal illness called Batten disease, she decided to help raise the $700 000 needed to fund her pal's treatment. She decided to sell cookies to neighbors and people were soon lining up to buy Cookies 4 Mila. With the help of her mom, Dana managed to raise over $750,000 to pay for Mila's surgery. A true BFF!
3. A Danish lady who saves children neglected by society due to Nigerian superstitious beliefs
In Nigeria some children are tortured and/or abandoned because people believe they are witches. This can happen when they're still tiny, as Anja Ringgren Loven discovered when traveling around Africa in 2016. This young Danish lady came across Hope, who had been abandoned for 'being a witch' and was wandering the streets dying of hunger and thirst. Loven was outraged and decided not only to help Hope but also set up a charity to save these kids. She currently raises money to look after and educate the children under her guard, as well as aiming to put an end to this horrific practice.
4. This lady gives her hair to kids who suffer hair loss due to chemotherapy
5. This little guy raises money to buy clothes for homeless people
This kind-hearted 6 year-old was shocked to see a shoe-less, homeless man walking around in the rain. He asked his parents to help him raise funds so they could buy boots, socks, gloves and sweaters that they then handed out to homeless people in their town.
6. Residents of Munich who raised money to help a lady who was fined for collecting used beer bottles in order to supplement her pension
Anna Leeb's story touched the hearts of Munich residents. Leeb would collect used beer bottles in the local railway station, so that she could use the concession money to supplement her pension. After the new station manager banned her from doing so, she took one last bottle before she was thrown off the premises.
To make matters worse, she suddenly found herself being fined a whopping €2,000! Her story was picked up by the media and the local community set up an online fundraising page to help pay the fine. Her story touched so many people that before she knew it €7,500 had been raised, which goes to prove that community action can make all the difference to someone in need!
7. Sometimes the smallest gesture can make all the difference
This guy saw an old man looking nervous before stepping onto an escalator, so he offered to help. The old man explained that he'd once fallen over on an escalator and they made him nervous. A few seconds later and the old man was safely on the ground floor and able to continue his day!
8. When an older man helps a younger guy with his tie
This guy was having a hard time doing up his tie, when an older gentleman stopped to help. Like a dad teaching his son, he showed him how to knot his tie so that the younger man could turn up for work (or maybe a job interview?) looking smartly dressed!
9. When cops help out a homeless man
10. A little boy who helps people in need
San Francisco-based Walt was only 5 when he started to collect pajamas to give to kids up for adoption. His mother decided to set up a charity and within a few weeks they'd raised more than $4 000. But Walt didn't want to stop there and decided to also help homeless people. He and his sister joined a homeless charity, proving that you don't need to be an adult in order to make a difference!
11. This guy paid for the meal ordered by the people behind him in the drive-in queue
12. A blender for a cancer sufferer
This guy was doing blender demonstrations for Vitamix when he met a lady who was looking for a mixer to make healthy juices and smoothies. She explained that she needed to eat a healthy diet in order to battle her cancer, but the hefty price tag meant she left empty handed. Realizing that $400 was way beyond her budget, this guy ran after her and gave her a blender for free!
13. Help from an unexpected hero
This lady was driving through a dangerous neighborhood in Philadelphia when her car suddenly ran out of gas. A homeless man approached her and told her to lock herself in her car for safety reason, before leaving and returning with a container of gas that he'd bought with his last $20. Relieved and touched by his act of kindness, the lady later returned to repay the man as well as give him some food and clothes.
And she didn't stop there! Kate McClure set up an online fundraiser and has already given Johnny around $400 000 to help him start a new life. He bought a house, a car and was able to help those who'd been there for him in the past. A heartwarming story about two strangers who met by chance, but managed to come to each other's rescue!