13 Heartfelt Acts of Everyday Generosity
Giving something, whether tangible or not, without expecting anything in return increases the feelings of happiness in your brain, according to a 2017 University of Zurich study “A Neural Link Between Generosity and Happiness.” During this study, even small acts of generosity made the brain light up during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Imagine the dazzling display going on in the minds of the following people who have given selflessly and without anticipating any reward.
Missing Wedding Ring Inspires $190,000 in Giving to a Homeless Man
Kansas City resident Sarah Darling dropped some change in a homeless man’s cup, completely unaware her engagement ring went with it. Later that day, Billy Ray Harris found the ring in his daily income and had it appraised – it was worth $4,000. Realizing what had happened, Darling contacted Harris the next day and got her ring back.
Impressed by Billy’s ethics, Darling and her husband set up a crowdfunding page for Billy designed to raise $1,000. Instead donors contributed $190,000. That money helped him buy a house and a car, and to reunite with his family. Darling told her story to CNN.
According to research conducted by Texas A&M University economists in 2016, the average person gives 3.7 percent of their income to charity. Julia Wise and Jeff Kauffman have blown that amount out of the water. The Massachusetts couple, now in their early thirties, decided several years back to donate half their earnings to good causes. So far that amount has totaled $585,000. Wise said they have their needs covered. They wanted to share with others and also teach their young daughters about philanthropy, they told WBZ Boston.
A Positive Police Presence
Tony Carlson, a Tallahassee, Florida police officer, showed extreme caring by shaving the face of a homeless man known as Phil. Phil was told McDonald’s would give him a job if he shaved. The video, which can be seen at WJHG.com, of the compassionate officer went viral.
The Dog Rescuer Extraordinaire
When 7-year-old Roman McConn found out not all dogs make it out of a shelter alive, he wanted to help those canines get adopted. By creating videos where potential adopters could see what the dogs looked like and hear McConn’s assessment of their cuteness, he’s found homes for 1,500 furry friends so far.
In 2015 he was named ASPCA “Kid of the Year” and also appeared on the “Ellen Show.” His organization is called Project Freedom Ride.
Helping Out a Penniless and Frustrated New Mom
After a bout of incessant crying from her infant son, Vicky Garza took him to an emergency clinic, where a doctor prescribed drops to soothe the child’s ear infection. She tried to fill the prescription at the drug store next door to the clinic but was told her insurance wouldn’t cover the drops.
The infant continued to bawl.
The pharmacist asked her to pay $129. She couldn’t call the doctor and ask for a different prescription because the clinic had closed for the day. While on the phone to her mom to ask for a loan, a woman handed Garza a bag containing the ear drops and said, “I don’t want him suffering.” Garza told Today she asked for her address to send her a check, but was countered with, “Don’t worry about it, just trust in God and pay it forward.”
A Special Delivery From Heaven
Seven-year-old Jase Hyndman, who lives in the United Kingdom, sent a birthday card to his dad in Heaven. Unsure whether it would get to the recipient, the boy wrote on the envelope, “Mr. Postman, can you take this to Heaven for my dad’s birthday?” A few weeks later, according to the BBC, the Royal Mail responded, “Please be assured that this particular important item of mail has been delivered. I will continue to do all I can to ensure delivery to Heaven safely.”
She Instantly Paid Goodwill Forward
When Sara Berg and her cousin, Lisa Meier, had a flat tire on a Wisconsin highway, neither of them knew how to change it. A man named Victor Giesbrecht from Winnipeg noticed their dilemma and pulled over to help them. He told them that someone up above put him in the right place at the right time.
Just minutes later, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, after continuing their journey, the women saw Giesbrecht’s car pulled off to the side of the road. His wife waved them down and told them he’d had a heart attack, he didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing. Berg, a certified nursing assistant, performed CPR, and Meier dialed 911. Because of their efforts, Giesbrecht survived.
A Kindhearted Teen Rides to the Rescue
After leaving a store, a Kentucky man, Clarence Stephens, discovered he’d locked his keys inside his car. He swore a little and kicked the tires to emphasize his dilemma. A teen on a bike witnessed the incident and asked the man what was wrong. Stephens said his wife had an extra key, but she couldn’t bring it to him because they only had one car.
The boy said he’d get the key from the man’s wife. That’s seven miles round trip explained Stephens, who told his story to Reader’s Digest. The teen shook Stephens off, fulfilled his promise, and refused to take any money for doing so.
An Unexpected Purchase and a Hug
Stacy Lee, a grandmother in Maryland, found the perfect dress for her granddaughter, but she didn’t have the money to buy it on the spot. She asked the store owner if she could place it on hold. Another customer asked Stacy if she could buy the frock for her. “Thank you," she said, "but I can’t accept such a gracious gift.”
The customer explained that she’d been homeless for three years, and the kindness of strangers had kept her alive. She wasn’t homeless anymore, though. Her situation had improved, and she wanted to pay back some of the kindness others had shown her. In lieu of money, the compassionate stranger gave and received a hug, Lee told Reader’s Digest.
Employees to the Rescue
Christian and Justin Moore, parents to Logan, needed a walker for him because the 2-year-old was born with a condition that makes it hard for him to walk and stand. They went to a Home Depot in Georgia with a list of the supplies they needed to build one. They didn’t think their insurance would cover this type of walker and if it did they’d need to wait too long before they got it.
According to a CNN report, they showed the list to an employee, telling him of their plans. The manager and a couple of other employees conferenced for a minute and then told the parents and Logan to go get some ice cream and they would build the walker for them. When they returned, the new device was ready and even brandished Logan’s name across the front.
Family Offers Warmth in Frigid Temperatures
A married couple living in Morton Grove, Illinois, Sabbel Ahmed and Asma Naheed, left handwritten notes on 40 of their neighbors' porches during a cold spell. The wind chill factor reached minus 14. According to a CNN report, the notes said, “My family and I are available if you need assistance in picking up groceries, medicine or removal of snow.” Ahmed said he did this because he knew the weather kept many isolated and cut off from necessities. Three neighbors responded and received assistance.
The Playful Generosity of a 9-Year-Old
Not all acts of kindness come from adults. Nine-year-old Zachary Darner, who lives in Washington State’s Kitsap County, decided to collect toys for kids in the hospital. He’d learned what it was like for kids to be in the hospital when his younger brother was hospitalized for a long time, according to the Kitsap Sun.
In his first year of asking for toys, he donated 300 to different local hospitals. Last year his total was an amazing 6,000 toys for sick kids. His non-profit is called Kidzz Helping Kidzz.
A Life-Giving Decision
University of New Hampshire track-and-field star Cameron Lyle registered as a bone marrow donor when he was 19. Two years later, he was asked to donate his marrow to a 28-year-old stranger suffering from leukemia. Lyle said yes without wavering even though having the procedure meant he had to give up his promising career as an athlete. “Life is a lot more important than that, so it (the decision) was pretty easy,” said Lyle, to ABC News.