10 Random Acts of Kindness Stories from 2021 to Restore Your Faith in Humanity

While 2021 was challenging, there were plenty of ways that people were kind, considerate, and authentic to others. From a woman buying a tiny house for a homeless man to a Dunkin’ Donuts customer who surprised an employee with a free home, we'll share some of our favorite heartwarming stories from the past year. We’ll also give you some small, simple ideas of things you can do going forward in 2022.

 

10 Unforgettable Act of Kindness from 2021

The pandemic may have put a damper on things for many people, but that didn't stop these heartwarming acts of kindness:

1. Squirrel puppet helps people cope with mental health.

Puppets are normally playthings, but for Evan Wagoner-Lynch, who lives in the picturesque San Juan Islands in Washington state, it's turned into much more. He uses his puppet Squirrel to help soothe people's anxieties and depression, and he has gained over 176,000 followers on TikTok since starting his channel in 2021.

2. Minnesota teen builds affordable wheelchairs for disabled pets.

Fifteen-year-old Shaine Kilyun has always loved pets. So it makes sense that she was searching for a way to help animals when she landed on an amazing idea: build wheelchairs for pets whose owners might not be able to afford them.

3. Hockey fan spots cancerous mole on team member's neck, saves his life.

Nadia Popovici, a University of Washington student, was enjoying a hockey game in October when she spotted an unusual mole on the back of the Canuck assistant equipment manager's neck. Concerned, she typed a large-font note on her phone telling him to get it checked out. It turned out to be cancer. To thank Nadia, the Canuck hockey team awarded her a $10,000 scholarship.

4. Woman helps raise funds to buy a tiny house for homeless man.

Toronto residents Kim Cormier and David McDonald met by chance several years ago and have remained friends. In 2021, Kim started a GoFundMe to raise money to buy David a tiny home of his own, since he had been living in a tent in Kim's backyard. The fundraiser was successful, and now David lives in a warm, safe spot.

5. Teen has performed a random act of kindness every day since the pandemic began.

Eighteen-year-old Sebbie Hall from the UK has chalked up quite the list of random acts of kindness. Every day since the beginning of the pandemic, he's done things like collecting pumpkins to make soup for hungry folks, hiding Easter eggs around his town, collecting coats for homeless people and more. The young man was even recently gifted with $10,000, which he's used to start up a foundation.

6. 200 families of fallen firefighters and police officers have their mortgages paid off.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created in honor of a New York City firefighter who died in the September 11 attacks. This year, the foundation chose 200 families of firefighters and police officers who passed away and paid off their mortgages, in addition to handing out over 15,000 toys and hosting free barbecues for survivors of the recent Kentucky tornadoes.

7. Mystery Santa and friends leave holiday presents in UK neighborhood.

Residents of Holbrooks got quite a surprise when they woke up to find their cars festooned with candy canes. Upon looking at security cameras, they noted that a trio of people dressed up as Santa Claus, a Christmas tree and the Gingerbread man had stealthily delivered the treats. Little girls and boys, and their families, delighted in the surprise.

8. Dunkin’ Donuts' customer surprises employee with free home.

For years, Suzanne Burke had been visiting Dunkin’ Donuts and chatting with employee Ebony Johnson. When Suzanne learned that Ebony — a mother of three — was about to be evicted, she sprung into action. Networking with local organizations, she helped give Ebony a fully-furnished home by the holidays.

9. Yuengling delivers 500 cans of beer to 106-year-old who attributes her longevity to the brew.

Margaret Dilullo was born in 1915, and for most of her life, she has drunk a can of Yuengling beer every day. So in October, when her 107th birthday was nearing, Yuengling Brewery arranged a special delivery of 500 cans of beer.

10. Brothers raise $70,000 for Covid relief by walking across country.

Best friends and brothers Aiden and Louis Ardine were restaurant workers put out of work during Covid. With nothing to do and strong legs itching to stay busy, they decided to set out and raise money for fellow restaurant workers by walking across the country. They hoped to raise $30,000, but instead, they blew it out of the park by pulling together $70,000.

 

7 Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness for 2022

If reading those random acts of kindness warmed your heart, just think of how good you’d feel if you tackled some of your own! Big or small, having a positive impact on someone’s day is gratifying. Not sure where to start? Here’s our list of ideas to get you spreading kindness in your community.

1. Make a scarf or a hat and give it to someone in need

Whether you like to sew, crochet or knit, get your crafting on and make a stylish warm winter garment for someone. If you are unsure who to give the garment to, try your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen, or consider giving it to a friendly neighbor who may simply be happy to receive something which makes their day a little warmer.

2. Send a postcard to an old friend

Do you have a good memory of a trip you took with a friend but haven’t spoken with since? Do you wonder what happened to an old acquaintance from middle school? Pick up a pen and write someone a nice note about the memories you have together and send it to them snail-mail style.

3. Spread some joy on social media 

Try spread joy on social media by not only liking a friend’s post, but also try adding a comment on how much you like that they shared something online.

4. Leave a glowing review on a business's Facebook page

Times are especially hard for small mom-and-pop businesses right now. If you've gotten good service at a place lately, lend a helping hand by leaving them a great review on social media. It’s an easy, free way to show your appreciation and pass on some good vibes.

5. Start a conversation with a senior citizen

It's common for elderly people to feel alone. You can help bring joy to someone's day by asking them about their youth and any inspirational stories they have to share. Alternatively, if you see an older person at the grocery store or walking nearby, try saying hello and giving them a compliment.

6. Give flowers 

If someone gives you flowers for no reason, wouldn't it bring a smile to your face? You can do the same for others. Try buying small bouquets and handing them out to someone you always see or even someone you don’t know at all.

7. Donate blood, platelets or register for the bone marrow donor program 

One of the best ways to help others is by donating blood and bone marrow. The process is entirely anonymous so you're literally helping to save a stranger's life. It's easy to find a place to donate blood, and even easier to sign up for the bone marrow donor registry in case someone in need matches your profile.

 

Kindness is Always in Season

Wherever you find yourself this year, remember that it’s always worth taking a moment to reflect on the blessings in your life. Whether you’re enjoying a sunny day or taking a walk around the block, think about the small things. If you’re lucky, your good mood might inspire the person beside you to do a random act of kindness and make the world a better place.

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