When we asked Beliefnet users to tell us some of the favorite acts of kindness they'd received in their lives, we were surprised by the wonderful range of people who are happy to come to the aid of others. Has anyone ever done something nice for you? Read on, then sign in and let us know!

Five years ago I went in for a simple surgery. It went very wrong and I was dead on the table for several minutes. When I woke up I was very scared and in a lot of pain. My husband had called my boss and she rushed to the hospital; before she came she put on her angel costume, a long flowing white dress with full wings and a halo. She covered me with a beautiful angel throw. I had always loved anything to do with angels and she knew that would comfort me. She got lots of strange looks but that didn't bother her at all; she knew what I needed and she didn't think twice--she just did it. I'm sure she's still out there doing wonderful things for other people in need. She will always be my angel.

Favorite Acts of Kindness

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  • One of my favorite acts of kindness happened to me over 40 years ago, but I remember it well. My friend and I stopped at our church at noon hour on the way back to school so she could purchase a prayer book. Father O'Neill, the priest, looked at me and said "What about you?" and I replied that I didn't have the money to buy one. That afternoon I was summoned to the principal's office and she handed me a brand new prayer book. Father O'Neill went to the trouble of finding out who I was and sending a book over to me. That act of kindness had a great impact on a little girl and has stayed with me ever since.

    I was driving on a highway when my tire went flat. Being alone with no way to call someone, I started up the road to a ramp to look for some help. I hadn't gone very far at all when someone stopped to help me with my problem. They brought me to a station, the tire was fixed, and they returned me to my car. I thanked them and offered a few dollars for their trouble. They refused, telling me just to do something nice for someone in return. I smiled and thanked God for being there. Some days later I stopped for someone who ran out of gas along the highway. We bought some gas and I returned them to their car with the same request. What a great feeling of happiness!

    When I was in 7th grade, my dad was very ill and we couldn't afford a Christmas tree. My teacher Mrs. Collins gave me the tree that we had in our classroom. She also made me a beautiful pink dress. I will never forget her.

    My Dad was very ill the fall of 1999 and passed away that November. My friends who I worked with at the local high school knew I was coming home from our family ranch that very evening to collect clothes and tell my son the news. They came to the house that night, bringing chocolate, cards and shoulders to cry on. We left the next day, leaving a key with one of them so they could feed our pets. When we returned after the funeral, my entire house had been cleaned--top to bottom! It was the kindest action I have ever experienced at the most devastating time of my life.

    Not quite a year and a half ago I lost what I thought was everything: a long-term relationship (14 years), my farm, my pets, my beautiful perennial gardens--it seemed like everything. I had worked in distant town teaching all that time. Of course I had made friendships there over the years but had never been able to develop them as I had been so busy. I never, ever would have believed I was what you would call a deserving friend. Now all I had was a mattress on the floor and a futon from my married daughter. Then the gifts began arriving. A mirrored dresser from a friend. Plates and silverware from another (I was using paper and plastic). Pots, dishes, and even curtains from a teacher who had left our school three years before, having never seen my windows. They fit!!! Soon I received a chair to go with the futon. It was amazing. I knew God was with me. I knew I'd never lost him. Yet he found me and lifted me through those wonderful people. I will never, ever forget their kindness. To start over with nothing (I thought) at 52 years of age was impossible. With God, all things are possible. It has still been a struggle but I try to give thanks each day. God truly sends us guardian angels; I know I work beside them every day.

    Once I was at the seashore with a friend. He stayed on the beach to read while I went into the water. The undertow was so strong and fast, it grabbed me and pulled me under. I flailed around in panic, but the pull of the water was infinitely stronger than me. I lost consciousness for several seconds. Then I felt two strong arms under mine, and I saw a large, dark Paul Bunyan-like man who was holding me. He set me on my feet in shallow water. I muttered, "Thank you!" He smiled, nodded and was gone. I never even told my friend on the beach, who read through the whole thing. I had been saved. I now think of every day as a gift from that person.

    When my little boy was 4 and Easter was coming, me and my husband were having financial problems and we were not going to be able to fix our Easter dinner, much less get an Easter basket for my little one. I cried a lot and prayed about everything that was going on. Three days before Easter, I received a card and $50.00 with the sweetest message in it at my mother's house. I asked my mom if she had sent it but it wasn't her handwriting. To this day I don't know who sent it but I'm still so thankful!
    --neany 34

    Last week I suddenly had a bad inner ear infection. I was losing my hearing in one ear and I was having unbearable pain. It was getting worse. I was at work and it was 8pm. I didn't have a doctor or health insurance. I remembered a doctor who worked at the same hospital I worked at five years ago, and I called his office. I gave the answering service my number and they contacted the doctor, who called me. He remembered me after all those years and he called in a prescription of ear drops. I also needed antibiotics, but they were really expensive. He told me he had extra antibiotics, and that he would leave them at the pharmacy where I had to pick up the prescription. He drove to the pharmacy that night and left the antibiotics for me. He saved me from having to spend hours in an emergency room. An act of kindness is like a warm ray of sunshine on a freezing, cold day.

    My favorite act of kindness happened about five years ago. My husband left me and our three small children right before Thanksgiving. Close to Christmas, the people I worked for collected money--$450.00 to give to me so my children could have a good Christmas, as they knew we were struggling financially. They signed the card from Santa, and to this day I do not know who orchestrated this. My children had a wonderful Christmas that year, and, as it still means so much to me, I look for ways daily to have the same impact on someone else's life.
    --Diamond 423

    My favorite act of kindness is the way my Grandmother prays for me, and then asks if I'm offended by it! :-) I always tell her I need all the help I can get.

    I needed an addendum to an appraisal, and the appraiser knew I could not afford the $135 it would cost. He did it for free, and when I was going through some paperwork, I realized I did not have a bill for the work. I called him and he said it was a "favor." I will never forget that. It showed me there are some really great people in the world.

    I recently turned 45 years old. My daughter was giving a Mother's Day celebration on that Saturday afternoon at her home; I also had an event to attend at church on the same day, so when I finished at church, my thinking was to go by my daughter's and visit a little bit and go home. When I drove up into the driveway, there was this big banner that said "MARVELOUS AT ANY AGE." To my surprise she was giving me a birthday party--my first party ever! I was so overwhelmed that I started crying and could not stop. I thought that was the most thoughtful thing that she could have done for me, and she took the time to cook all the food herself, and the decorations were so beautiful. This memory will be with me the rest of my life, and I continually thank God for her thoughtfulness.

    I have a friend I only knew about six months when I lost my job, my car, and my unemployment. My sister sent me a ticket to go back to my hometown in Illinois for a visit. Since I was totally broke, I never went anywhere but for a walk with my friend. The day before I left, she took me out to eat and treated me to a manicure and a pedicure. The day I left, she came over and gave me $40 so I wouldn't go home broke. I am really thankful for her friendship.

    I had been talking to a new "friend" on a popular instant messenger service and accepted a file from him. It turned out to be a trojan horse so that he could take control of my computer. He used it to terrify me for hours; though he did no real damage, he could have easily. Another friend of mine came onto the service and I told him what had happened. He got on the talk feature of the service and stayed there with me for eight hours helping me get the virus out. He lives in Holland and I live in Tennessee, so he stayed up all night, giving up his sleep to help poor li'l terrified me. Thank you Matt. And thank God for friends like him. That was the first time I remember someone "holding my hand through a crisis" since I was a little girl. Oh yeah, and if you don't have it I would suggest getting good antivirus software and a firewall!
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