By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Some might look at paying it forward as a trivial or insignificant act, but gestures of kindness can create changes that last a lifetime. It’s often said that a hero’s strength isn’t measured by the size of their muscles but by the size of their heart.
The true test for each and every person on the planet is seeing if they will help someone else without the thought of receiving anything in return. The ability to help someone who can do nothing for themselves is the epitome of human kindness. Kindness is contagious, and here are 10 acts of kindness that were repaid exponentially.
Related: 10 Heartwarming Times Thieves Had Second Thoughts
10 Welcome Wounded Warrior
When a service dog was operating in an armed forces division, he was wounded in action. After undergoing extensive procedures to revive the exemplary pup, he exits the hospital alongside his commanding officer and owner. He is greeted by his fellow officers in uniform, lining the halls and walkways on either side. Even on the drive home, there are police cars and fire trucks all honking their horns and blaring sirens.
And when they pull up to the house, an even bigger hero’s welcome is waiting for him where it appears the whole town gathered to greet him and applaud his brave return. Welcome home, little pup, and thank you for your service.
9 Honoring Healthcare Heroes
It’s no secret that recent and current events have impacted quite literally every person on the planet. And no one has been more impacted or at risk than healthcare workers. Nurses, doctors, surgeons, and administrators risked their own health to provide the help that others desperately needed. Loved ones began spreading the word on social media, and displays of appreciation were organized to applaud these tireless workers.
The gratitude that unfurled was seen on a global scale. From towering apartment complexes flashing lights to NATO seamen clapping underwater, the cheers were heard around the globe. They boosted healthcare heroes with the vote of confidence and courage to keep going and keep helping the world.
8 A Samaritan Shoebox
A teenager from Idaho donated a shoebox of gifts when he was around seven years old. Eleven years later, he received a friend request from a woman in the Philippines. He discarded the request, positive that he didn’t know anyone there, and continued on with his life.
Sometime later, he received the friend request again and accepted just to see what was going on. The girl introduced herself, saying she had been the recipient of the shoebox. She proved she was telling the truth by recalling the photo of the boy he had included. The pair stayed in touch, and he even saved up money to fly out and meet her.
The friends fell in love and were married in 2014, and instead of asking for gifts, they asked each guest to bring a shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse to be donated. They have since made it a tradition to contribute each year to the charity that connected them so long ago.
7 Waitress with a Will
A diner waitress dealt with unpleasant customers all the time, but one man, in particular, was especially harsh. He was a diner regular. And by regular, I mean he regularly complained about the food, the service, the decor, just about anything and everything. But this waitress continued to serve the older man with a smile. She was kind and took his order despite his attitude and did what she could to improve his experience, even if he would never admit it.
One day, the waitress read in the newspaper that the regular customer had passed away. The man’s lawyer showed up the next day and stated that he included her in his will. The lawyer proceeded to produce fifty-thousand dollars and keys to a car. The waitress had just earned the tip of a lifetime, proving kindness doesn’t stop even when others are rude.
6 Walking for a Win
There are many different ways to show kindness. Sometimes acts of kindness include just showing up. Others include showing up to work on time. It’s an act of courtesy when others rely on you, even if it means waking up before sunrise and walking for miles.
That’s what one employee did to become the company’s most loyal, dependable, and hard-working car salesman. And when his employer found out, they gave him a car of his own so he would never have to wake up early or walk to work again.
5 The GISHWHES Phenomenon
Before becoming an actor starring in CW’s Supernatural, Misha Collins grew up in a somewhat nomadic lifestyle with his mother and younger brother. He knew how to hitchhike and steal food by the time he was in kindergarten. But sleeping in tents and growing up poor didn’t make him poor in heart. Once he came into some money, he founded GISHWHES—the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen.
Over tens of thousands of participants pledge to complete random acts of kindness ranging from everyday activities to some obscure gesture of kindness. Even NASA has participated all the way from space!
GISHWHES holds a Guinness world record of being the largest scavenger hunt, and all proceeds go directly to the Random Acts charity.
4 Paratrooper Pizza Party
A retired paratrooper lived next door to a family where the father was deployed overseas. In typical fatherly fashion, this neighbor helped the family by mowing their lawn every Saturday. Life can be difficult, whether you’re in the military or not, but for those who are and for those whose loved ones serve, it can be an added layer of challenges to life’s demands.
And no one understands the sacrifices military families make better than this neighbor. This kind paratrooper even had pizza delivered to the family’s house when he knew the mother was at her wit’s end raising the couple’s four daughters. Even he would rather be dropped from an airplane rather than face ravenous hormonal girls. Pizza truly does make everything better.
3 I Scream, You Cry
When a group of kids wanted ice cream from a local shop, the clerk counted their coins, but they didn’t have enough. The shop owner told them the cheapest thing they could purchase with their dollar, and the kids agreed. She started to complete their order and gave them each a dollar in return. She figured they needed it more than her small business did.
Then, the kids gave her a one hundred dollar bill. That’s right, a Benjamin Franklin special.
The owner refused, wondering if it was even their money to give since they couldn’t pay for the ice cream until she realized that they had slipped her a note, thanking her for her kindness. The store owner broke down in tears, and the kids went on their way with the ice cream.
2 Cookies for Toothpaste
A homeless man asked for money, but the man he asked wanted to know what it would be used for. He replied that he thought about buying a box of cookies since he saw a coupon on it for toothpaste. Stunned by his honesty for not stealing the package of treats, he gave the man a hundred-dollar bill and asked him to come back with the change.
A few minutes later, the homeless man returned with his single package of cookies, and the gentleman let him keep the change, saying it was his now. The drifter began crying and said that he was planning to open a bank account and would put the money in there for safekeeping.
It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day or even turn their life around.
1 The Dancing Delivery Driver
Truck drivers are the backbone of the 21st century, especially during the holiday season. When one worker delivered a package to a house in the suburbs, a sign on the door invited him to play a game. All they asked was for the driver to do a dance, and he would get a gift.
At first, the driver didn’t want to, but the owner insisted. Once they performed a small rendition of the Cabbage Patch, the house owner directed the driver to look behind them at the gate surrounding their yard. On the pillar of the fence was a gift-wrapped box.
The driver took it off the column and unwrapped the present to find five different gift cards over one hundred dollars each. The driver couldn’t believe it was all for themselves, but the owner just wanted to show their appreciation for their hard work, long hours, and even their little dance.