With so much negativity in the world, it’s easy to feel jaded. Although superheroes don’t actually exist, these 10 stories show that one person’s extraordinary kindness and generosity can do an enormous amount of good for those around them.
5. Uncle Wiggly Wings
Right after World War II, Germany became a divided country. The Soviet Union was in control of East Germany, and civilians in West Berlin were starving to death. Operation Vittles was the US Air Force’s attempt to bring food and supplies into West Berlin.
In 1948, a pilot named Gail Halvorsen was flying the aircraft that was in charge of dropping necessities like food and coal. He noticed that a group of German children were watching him through a fence at the end of the airfield, so he said hello. He was touched to see how generous the kids were with one another. This inspired him to start dropping packages filled with candy from tiny parachutes.
As he flew over, he would wiggle the plane back and forth so that the children knew when the candy was coming. This earned him the nickname “Uncle Wiggly Wings.” Chocolate wasn’t going to solve the issues in their country, but witnesses say that it brought much-needed hope to children to let them know that the world had not forgotten them.
4. Gloria Campos
Most parents looking to adopt a child prefer babies. So it’s much harder for older kids to find permanent homes. Gloria Campos was a news anchor for WFAA in Dallas-Fort Worth when she featured the story of a boy named Ke’onte who was part of the Wednesday’s Child adoption program.
His first adoption didn’t go through. He had also been in foster care where they overmedicated him with drugs that turned him into a sluggish zombie. Gloria was determined to make sure that he found a good home. So she aired a second story that featured him.
That time, Carol and Scott Cook saw Ke’onte and knew that he was the son they had always wanted. As he grew older, Ke’onte realized that what had happened to him in foster care was a form of abuse. He spoke before Congress to bring attention to the conditions of children in foster care.
As a teenager, Ke’onte surprised Gloria on the news to thank her for bringing him together with his new parents. Ke’onte and Gloria had a tearful reunion on camera.
3. Ajay Munot
Ajay Munot, a rich businessman in India, set aside 80 lakhs (£93,000) for his daughter’s wedding. This may sound ludicrous to most people, but the newly rich in India have been known to spend as much as £59 million on a wedding. In a country where there is a huge amount of poverty, many have criticized these mega weddings as being in poor taste.
However, Munot decided that the money for his daughter’s wedding would be put to better use by helping those in need. He purchased two acres of land and built 90 small houses with electricity and running water. Then he found homeless people who needed a place to stay. The only requirement was that these people not be addicts.
Munot’s daughter loved the idea. She considered it to be the best wedding gift she could have received. The family was still able to have a beautiful wedding on a fraction of the budget. When his good deed was covered in the news, he encouraged other fathers to begin a new tradition of charitable donations as wedding gifts.
2. Xiong Shuihua
At 54 years old, Xiong Shuihua had more money than he would have ever imagined. He grew up in Xiongkeng village in China where everyone lived in small huts and struggled to survive. The people in the village had helped to raise him, and Shuihua wanted to return their kindness. Once he found success in the steel industry, he had everything he could ever want. So he decided to use his money for a good cause.
He spent £4 million bulldozing the village huts and replacing them with luxury apartments and paved roads, which he gave to the villagers for free. There were 18 families who helped his family the most during tough times in his childhood. Instead of apartments, they got luxury villas. All of the elderly are given three meals a day absolutely free to ensure than none of them ever go hungry again.
1. Sir Nicholas Winton
It was 1938 in Czechoslovakia. In his late twenties, Nicholas Winton was a stockbroker from England on a trip to Nazi-occupied Prague. (Although Nicholas had been baptized as a child in the Anglican Church, his parents were German Jews.)
In Prague, he noticed that the city was filled with Jewish orphans whose parents had been killed. Nicholas took it upon himself to find families who were willing to adopt these children and paid out of pocket to transport them on the train from Prague to London. He managed to find homes for 669 children.
In 1988, the BBC program That’s Life! asked to interview Nicholas about the experience. He was so humble that it took years for him to get any sort of recognition. While the cameras were rolling, the BBC gave him a big surprise. “Is there anyone in our audience tonight who owes their life to Nicholas Winton? If so, could you stand up, please?”
Several rows of people surrounding Nicholas stood up. The entire audience was filled with the people he had saved and their families. In 2003, the Queen of England knighted him, giving him the well-deserved title of Sir Nicholas Winton. He died in July 2015. He was 106 years old