Readers share the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for them. 

By Real Simple
Updated August 02, 2017
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An incredible woman at the Women’s March told me I had lipstick on my teeth. We bonded instantly.

— @AbbDean


Our neighborhood really pushes recycling, so much so that our trash has to be thrown away in special bags. When we bought our house, before we even moved in, a neighbor (a few streets down!) and longtime resident dropped off multiple sizes of the trash bags, along with a card and a bottle of wine. We felt so welcomed to our new home!

— Ashley Nylin, Decatur, Georgia


My mother-in-law has dementia and is in a wheelchair. It is rare that she agrees to leave her assisted living home any­more. We took her to the park the other day, and a stranger came up and told her how pretty she looked. She immediately smiled and said, “Why, thank you.” It truly brightened her day.

— Lisa Junkins, Collierville, Tennessee


When I was first separated from my children’s father, my youngest was a senior in high school. After the information came out about senior portraits, I wrote to the company saying that although the proofs were lovely, I couldn’t afford to purchase any. Much to my surprise, an envelope containing the photos arrived in our mailbox a short while later, including an 8-by-10 for framing. I frantically called the company to say I couldn’t pay for them, and the office manager told me they were a gift from the company president, who couldn’t bear a family forgoing their child’s senior ­portrait.

— Nancy Lippincott, Grafton, Massachusetts


I came home from work one day to find that my neighbor had mowed my lawn. I had hurt my back and been unable to do it myself for several weeks.

— Wendy Hammack, Lancaster, California


A couple at a restaurant stopped by our table to compliment my children’s behavior. With four children six and under, I normally hear comments like “You have your hands full!” Hearing a kind word instead was a treasure I won’t soon forget.

— Elizabeth Butler, Tampa, Florida


One Saturday morning in college, I was standing in the flower section at a grocery store wanting to pick out roses for my sweet mom as I was heading home to visit. I had no idea how to pick the freshest bouquet. A nice lady noticed my puzzlement and kindly proceeded to go through every type of flower in the store, showing me how to check for freshness and quality and how to care for each type. I am so grateful for her and still use her knowledge often.

— Katrina Lee, Holland, Michigan


While I was running to school through the streets of Boston in the pouring rain, a nice man give me his umbrella. 



Many years ago, a successful advertising executive came up to me after a meeting and told me I should be in advertising and invited me to her office to observe. Her insightful perception led to my reality. I’ve spent 40 years in magazine sales and am still going strong!

— Gail Gillman Elansky, Avon, Connecticut


When I was racing to get the invitations in a large mailing stamped, a delightful postal employee helped place the final 60 stamps in time for the last pickup of the day!

— Pamela Lovett, Houston, Texas


I am a heart transplant recipient who is thankful for the anonymous donor who saved my life.

— Elaine Paliatsas-Haughey, Bellmawr, New Jersey