While the holidays can be a stressful time (and bring out the worst in some people), it brings out the best in most people. It’s a time for giving and being thankful for all that you have. We’ve gathered some stories here for you of amazing holiday generosity that will warm your heart.
Chad Rose had an extra Christmas tree and put an ad up on Craigslist wanting to give it away for free. He ended up getting flooded with emails from families that couldn’t afford a Christmas tree that year. One family with six children, just drew the tree on a piece of paper and stuck it on the wall. Rose was inspired, and went out and bought 40 Christmas trees to give away to families in need.
In 2013 during Thanksgiving, a homeless man, Joel Hartman, was rummaging through the trash outside the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, GA when he found a wallet. He brought it inside the hotel to return it to the owner. The staff at the Omni were so moved, they put Hartman up in the hotel for the weekend, gave him a new wardrobe and a makeover. The best part is that the media attention helped Hartman’s family, who have been looking for him for years, get back in touch with him.
A British pub, Old Nags Head, opened its doors last year to the homeless. On Christmas Day the homeless were all fed, given clothing and were even given haircuts. Over 300 people ended up coming through and enjoying the pub’s generosity.
In 2013, an anonymous man in Texas decided to pay for a bunch of people’s groceries after Thanksgiving. He told the cashier that he would pay for all the groceries for the next 10 people in line after him. “When one of the ladies started crying, I got a little teary eyed,” said Destinie Rogers, a cashier at the store. “I thought my God, this is real. He’s really doing this.’ It was so nice.”
In 2016, football player for Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand, donated £500,000 (nearly $700,000) worth of toys to charity. He made the donation to Key 103’s Cash for Kids and the Mission Christmas Appeal campaign. He also donated 11,500 sleeping bags to the homeless.
In 2013, WestJet, A Canadian airline, produced Christmas Miracle. In several Canadians cities, WestJet set up TV screens at boarding gates that had a live session with “Santa.” The passengers were all asked what they wanted for Christmas, while the employees took notes. When the passengers landed in Calgary, they were greeted by everything they asked for at the baggage carousel.
Last week, a man only identified as Charlie K., paid off more than $10,000 in layaway accounts at a Toys “R” Us store in New Jersey. “Just, you know, trying to bring some happiness to people. That’s really it,” he said. “Help bring back to the community that brought so much happiness to me and my family.”
Last Christmas, Mo Fayose, a mental health nurse, invited anyone who felt lonely over for Christmas dinner. She ended up hosting 130 people, when she was just expecting around 10. She ended up having to rent out two venues, and she and some volunteers cooked up a three-course meal for her guests.
Sometimes, the gesture doesn’t have to be so grand. This person just left a couple of gifts next to this homeless sleeping man. This way, when the man woke up the next morning, he’d know that somebody was thinking of him.
The Muslim religion is very big on charity. This Muslim restaurant, Shish, in London didn’t want anyone eating alone on Christmas day. They offered a free three-course meal to the homeless and the elderly all day.
Every year, business consultant Peter Shankman, offers up with frequent flier miles on Imgur so he can help people go home for Christmas to be with their families. People who read the posts asking for the flier miles choose who gets to get them. This year, Shankman flew about 350,000 miles, so that’s a lot of frequent flier miles to give out.
They never had toothbrushes or pillows, let alone toys. The response she got was overwhelming. So many people ended up donating that the rest of the toys and gifts went to other children in foster care.
In 2015, in Dallas, Spider-Man and a few other superheroes handed out a bunch of presents to kids in need on Christmas Day. Spider-Man said that Santa Claus got a little behind, so that’s why he needed some help. The kids were clearly overjoyed.
Sometimes, the holidays can also bring out the worst in people. This poor family got their house robbed before Christmas. The thieves took all the presents under the tree. Well, the police ended up pulling an all-nighter, looking for all the presents that were stolen. They replaced all of them for the family. The kids ended up telling the police that “this was the best Christmas ever!”
Sometimes, toys can be hard to play with if a child has a disability. So, for three years, The Adaptive Toy Project has engineered toys specifically for kids with disabilities. These toys are essential therapy tools for these kids. They also let them feel like they have some semblance of normalcy.