Selfless giving is one of life’s few pure pleasures. You get to give an amazing gift to someone and if you are able to feel good about it too, well, bonus! Here are some of best deeds that we’ve heard about, from the women who performed them and also very openly volunteered this information to us.
“Just last week I saw a poor, hungry man sitting outside my morning Starbucks. I always buy muffins because I love the smell and then normally throw it away. But something about that man made my hand stop halfway to the trashcan. I stood there thinking for almost a full minute when suddenly my heart filled with joy and my brain filled with a remarkable idea: why not give this man the muffin? So I walked right over to him, placed the bag gently in his lap and whispered, ‘You’re welcome’ while also holding my breath because he didn’t smell great. It felt amazing to do something for someone else—who isn’t me or my dog.” -Cathy Williams, Wayne, PA
“At the restaurant where my husband and I celebrated our anniversary dinner the other night, there was an adorable little family with a wailing baby. At first I leaned over to Harry and was like, ‘Is the kind of situation in which you’re allowed to make a citizen’s arrest?’ But then I looked over and saw how tired and defeated those parents were, so I paid it forward by paying their bill. Harry and I left before we could see the look on their faces but I dreamt about it that night and am considering having an artist rendering done of it.” -Lauren Bradford, Nyack, NY
“I’d always seen so many stray cats roaming around my neighborhood and never really thought much about it, but then last month I looked at my cat, Benjamin, and thought, What if it was him out there wandering out there with no sustenance? So I put out a saucer of milk on my porch from my great-grandmother’s tea set that she brought all the way over from Russia. It’s so beautiful and I figured the cats would appreciate some beauty in this ugly, ugly world. The milk is still there, so hopefully they find it soon.” Rebecca Shapiro, Seattle, WA
“This actually just happened yesterday. I was walking into Walgreen’s when I noticed a man in a wheelchair behind me. I thought to myself, Wow, I am more advantaged than this man. What can I do to help? And then it occurred to me—I could hold open the door for him. I’m not saying I’m doing God’s work but when the big man upstairs gets a little busy, someone’s got to pick up the slack!” -Marissa Brown, Milwaukee, WI
It’s incredible to see that do-gooderism is still alive and well today. And now that you know exactly how each of these women did it, maybe you can, too!