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10 Stories That Prove Good People Still Exist in the World

by Julie Henthorn
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

No matter whether you get your source of local or international news via television, printed newspapers, or online news websites, one thing is for certain—the headlines seem to be a dreary reminder of all the unfortunate events plaguing our world today.

With all the reports on crime, natural disasters, political unrest, and wars that seem to overshadow any sources of hope, it can become quite easy to believe that our world is doomed and that goodness will seemingly never prevail.

Despite all the “bad” and the challenges we face in this ever-changing world, these uplifting stories serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of humanity. From selfless acts of kindness to remarkable displays of compassion even in the face of danger, these people have proven that there are still those who possess unwavering goodwill and, in turn, serve as a beacon of hope that good people still exist in the world.

Related: 10 Things That Restored Our Faith in Humanity

10 Sha’Kyra Aughtry: The Blizzard Savior

Good Samaritan rescues Buffalo blizzard victim

Thirty-five-year-old Sha’Kyra Aughtry, an environmental services manager in Buffalo, New York, began feeling depressed in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve 2022. After a record-breaking, deadly blizzard hit the area, Aughtry would be unable to pick up her three sons—ages 5, 6, and 13—who had spent the night at a cousin’s house, meaning they would not be at home for Christmas. Yet despite her own feelings of sadness, little did Aughtry know that she would serve as a beacon of hope and would play a pivotal role in a stranger’s Christmas miracle, making this holiday one she would never forget.

Around 6:00 am, Aughtry was woken by the storm and later heard someone calling for help. When she looked out her window, she saw a man with no gloves on, struggling in the snow amid 53 mph (85 kph) winds and frigid temperatures of just 4°F (-15°C).

It was later discovered that the man—64-year-old Joey White—who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is on the autism spectrum, and has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, lived in a group home just a few blocks away from Aughtry’s home. White had worked as a custodian at the North Park Theatre for 40 years, and although he had the day off, White’s employer, Ray Barker, believed White may have thought he needed to go to work. This was likely the reason he left the group home in such terrible weather. However, in doing so, the storm overwhelmed White, causing him to fall and become unable to get up.

Aughtry’s boyfriend, 33-year-old Trent Alls Jr., carried White into the house, and Aughtry then FaceTimed her cousin, who is a nurse, in order to get triage tips to care for White’s frostbite. Sadly, the blizzard had left White in terrible condition—his pants were frozen, his shoes were actually frozen to his body, and his hand, which was balled up from holding a bag, was covered in ice balls. While Aughtry attempted to care for White, she knew he needed professional medical attention.

Aughtry called 911, but given that the city was buried in thick snow, weather conditions made it impossible for first responders to reach them. Thankfully, White was able to provide Aughtry with his sister Yvonne’s cell phone number, and the two kept in communication and continued to make repeated calls to 911 as well as the National Guard in hopes of getting help for White. Aughtry was “put on a list,” but unfortunately, no one came.

Once the storm died down, Aughtry’s family was able to bring her children to a point where her boyfriend could carry them home through the deep snow. However, rather than celebrating Christmas with her family in the traditional way, Aughtry did White’s laundry, played movies for him, and made him pancakes Christmas morning and pot roast and carrots for Christmas dinner.

By Christmas evening, White’s pain became worse, and he began drifting in and out of consciousness. Given the lack of response from emergency responders, Aughtry made a public plea through Facebook Live for help. Former NFL player and Buffalo native Doug Worthington and his brother-in-law, Jason Kipa, responded to Aughtry’s message. They drove Kipa’s truck to Aughtry’s home and then transported White to Erie County Medical Center.

White underwent several surgeries to save his fingers, but unfortunately, after suffering fourth-degree frostbite, he lost nine fingers and half a thumb. Despite the loss of his fingers, one thing is for certain—had it not been for Aughtry’s brave act of selflessness and compassion, White would not be alive today. [1]

9 Tracy Dean: A Child’s Hair Fairy

Utah Bus Driver Braids Hair Of 11-Year-Old Girl Who Lost Mother To Illness | NBC Nightly News

Eleven-year-old Isabella Pieri of American Fork, Utah, lost her mother due to a rare brain illness in 2015. Her father, 47-year-old Phillip Pieri, was left to care for Isabella and her older brother, in addition to working grueling hours at a convenience store near their home.

The new widower was doing the best he could to care for the children, but there was one thing he didn’t know how to do, and that was caring for and styling Isabella’s hair. In fact, at one point, Phillip chopped Isabella’s hair into a crew cut, which she was definitely not happy about.

Even as Isabella’s hair grew back, caring for it and styling it remained an ongoing issue. Thankfully, Isabella’s bus driver, 47-year-old Tracy Dean, a mother of four and grandmother of six, also noticed that Isabella needed help with her hair, although initially, she didn’t know how to approach the situation without hurting Isabella’s feelings.

Dean had been helping one of Isabella’s classmates style her braids. Eventually, Isabella approached Dean about styling her hair too. Needless to say, Dean was not only relieved but thrilled to help. Dean has now made it a part of her regular routine to get to school early enough to do Isabella’s (and the other little girl’s) hair. Aside from braiding Isabella’s hair, Dean is teaching her how to brush, detangle, and even style it on her own.

Phillip stated he was extremely grateful for Dean’s kindness and for the surge of confidence he had seen in his daughter. As for Isabella, she stated she and Dean are “best friends forever and ever.”[2]

8 Holle Prigmore: Saves Dog from Certain Death

Mail carrier reunited with dog bitten by venomous snake | FOX 5 News

Holle Prigmore has been delivering mail for the United States Postal Service since February 2022, and the highlight of her days are the dogs she encounters during her route. In fact, her motto is “Not every dog likes me now, but when I’m finished with them, they will.” However, she was entirely unaware of just how true that sentiment would become.

As Prigmore was delivering mail on September 22, 2023, in Buchanan, Georgia, on her everyday route, encountering furry friends took a dramatic turn. Prigmore was making a delivery to the home of Kelsey and Aaron Proctor when she discovered the couple’s dog, Ginger, a black beagle mix, limping on the side of the road. Ginger seemed to be in a lot of pain, and Prigmore went to grab a treat for her. Unfortunately, she noticed something moving, and then a snake snapped at Ginger.

Thanks to a Facebook page that Prigmore follows, she was able to identify the snake as a copperhead and knew she had to take Ginger’s collar off in case of any swelling. Given that the Proctors were not at home, Prigmore “couldn’t stand the idea of Ginger suffering throughout the day,” so she scooped up the suffering pup, put Ginger in the back of her postal van, and took a picture of the snake. Prigmore then went on to type a message on her phone that read “Little beagle bit by copperhead” in order to alert the Proctors about Ginger and left a message on their doorbell camera before heading over to the Bremen Animal Hospital to have Ginger treated.

The Proctors later shared images and video from their doorbell camera in a Facebook post in an attempt to locate “the postal hero.” The post circulated quickly, and Prigmore was hailed as a hero.

On September 23, 2023, the Proctors stated that Ginger was doing well, and on September 27, 2023, Kelsey got to meet and thank Prigmore in person for the first time. However, Kelsey wasn’t the only person excited to see Prigmore. Before Kelsey could say anything, Ginger immediately jumped up on Prigmore and then jumped in her car, “letting Holle love all over her.”[3]

7 Michael Armus Sr.: Stops Bank Robbery with a Hug

‘It was meant for me to be here’: Customer talks man out of robbing bank in Woodland

Sixty-nine-year-old Michael Armus Sr. knows all the tellers at the Bank of the West in Woodland, California. However, when Armus went into the branch around 11 am on May 22, 2023, rather than being greeted with a smile, he was met with looks of concern from the bank tellers. Armus had found himself at the center of a bank robbery.

Armus then noticed a man, later identified as 43-year-old Eduardo Plasencia, who had his face covered with his shirt. Plasencia passed a note to one of the tellers claiming he had a gun and was robbing the bank.

While most people might be apprehensive about intervening in such a situation, Armus recognized Plasencia as a former apartment complex neighbor and friend of his daughter from decades ago. Armus could hear not only irritation but a sense of depression in Plasencia’s voice, so rather than choosing to use any type of weapon or physical restraint to subdue Plasencia, Armus chose a rather unusual strategy—empathy.

Armus approached and asked Plasencia what was wrong and if he had a job. That’s when Plasencia replied, “There’s nothing in this town for me. I just want to go to prison.” From there, Armus tried to comfort Plasencia and asked if the two could step outside. Once the two men were right outside the bank doors, Armus hugged Plasencia, who began crying. As soon as Armus stepped away, Woodland police arrived on the scene.

Plasencia was not armed as he had claimed to be and was arrested for attempted robbery. In a statement, the police later thanked Armus, stating he “delivered the right message that made a difference.”[4]

6 Boynton Beach Good Samaritans: Stepping up to Save a Life

Watch: Good Samaritans Rescue Florida Woman Who Passed Out While Driving

On May 5, 2022, 63-year-old Laurie Rabyor began feeling unwell while working as a seamstress at the Shading Source in Boynton Beach, Florida. However, after leaving work, Rabyor suffered a medical emergency and fell unconscious, causing her car to drift into the intersection of Congress Avenue and Woolbright Road.

Fortunately, Rabyor’s co-worker, Janette Rivera, happened to be driving next to Rabyor and quickly realized something wasn’t right. Without hesitation, Rivera ran into the middle of the intersection, putting her own life at risk, but was unable to stop the runaway car alone. Rivera then began signaling to other drivers that something was amiss. Thankfully, five other good Samaritans hopped out of their vehicles, and together, they were able to stop Rabyor’s car. They then aided in redirecting traffic.

DaVita Peele, a member of the United States Postal Service, was later identified as one of the many people who helped stop traffic. She found a dumbbell in her car and gave it to one of the men in order to break open Rabyor’s window. Once the window was broken, the group moved Rabyor’s car to a convenience store where Robin Fox, a nurse at Bethesda Hospital West, was able to get inside the vehicle, call 911, and administer aid until first responders arrived.

Rabyor’s employer later reached out to the Boynton Beach Police Department in hopes of locating the good Samaritans who helped Rabyor. It was at that time that authorities looked through traffic camera footage and released it to the public. After sharing the video on social media, the police were able to finally identify several of the good Samaritans. On May 13, 2022, Rabyor was able to meet the group of strangers who worked together to save her life.

Although Rabyor has no memory of the incident, she stated a mix of high blood pressure medication and fasting for a colonoscopy was to blame and that she was overcome by the generosity of everyone in her time of need.

The police department presented the group of good Samaritans with “Lifesaving Awards” for their actions, and Royal Caribbean also donated a six-to-eight-night Caribbean cruise along with a $2,000 gift card to each of them.[5]

5 George Condash: Returned $27k Found Next to ATM

Good Samaritan finds $27k on the ground, returns it to Wayne Westland Federal Credit Union

On January 21, 2020, George Condash of Westland, Michigan, discovered a plastic box that had been left in the middle of the street near an ATM at the Westland Federal Credit Union.

Initially, Condash assumed the box was simply trash, so he decided to get out of his vehicle and pick it up so that no one else would have to swerve around it. Imagine his surprise when, after picking up the black box and inspecting it, he realized that what he assumed was trash was actually an ATM cassette with a tag stating there was $40k inside.

However, despite seeing such a large number, Condash didn’t hesitate to do the right thing. He took the cassette full of cash right up to the clerk’s counter of the credit union and asked, “Is there a reward for $40,000?” (Link 26) Naturally, the employees were dumbfounded.

It was later discovered that the cash had been left behind by an armored security guard.

Although the container contained $27k rather than the tag amount of $40k, bank manager Alicia Stewart was incredibly grateful to Condash for his honesty, as well as for saving the bank from a major loss. Stewart gave Condash a small, undisclosed reward for his honesty, but Condash stated the true reward was a clean conscience.[6]

4 Ariel Naylor: Saved Woman from Attempted Kidnapping

Massachusetts kidnapping thwarted by good Samaritan

Thirty-seven-year-old Zayra Mendoza came to the United States from Nicaragua. Still, unfortunately, after being in the country for only five months, she found herself in a dangerous situation, which she believed were the final moments of her life.

Around 8:20 pm on May 8, 2022, Mendoza was walking on the sidewalk near the Middlesex Turnpike in Burlington, Massachusetts, when she realized a man was following her. Mendoza attempted to run away, but her attacker, 23-year-old Tyler Healey, grabbed Mendoza, touched her indecently, and dragged her. As Mendoza tried to fight back, she and Healey ended up in an intense pulling match, and Mendoza’s shirt came off during the struggle. Sadly, several cars passed by during the altercation but never stopped.

Thankfully, Ariel Naylor was driving home from work that night, and upon spotting the attack, Naylor didn’t hesitate to stop and help. Naylor called 911, and when she slammed on the brakes to stop her SUV, Healey released Mendoza and ran away. Police arrived on the scene moments later and located Mendoza shortly after that.

Healey spent two days on the run but was arrested in Winthrop, Massachusetts, on May 10, 2022, after his father recognized Healey’s brightly colored sneakers and a distinctive tattoo from the security video and photos released by police. He was charged with assault with intent to rape, attempt to commit a crime, assault with intent to commit a felony, and indecent assault and battery of a person 14 or older.

On May 11, 2022, Mendoza and Naylor were reunited for an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, where Mendoza said of Naylor, “God sent me an angel.”[7]

3 Minu Pauline: Feeding Those in Need

How community fridges help feed people in need

Twenty-eight-year-old banker turned chef Minu Pauline owns Pappadavada, an ethnic tea shop and restaurant in Kochi, India. However, what sets this restaurant apart is the fact that it has a working refrigerator outside laden with uneaten food so that the homeless and hungry have access to food 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pauline decided to take action after seeing a woman searching through her trash bags for food late one night. On March 23, 2016, the fridge—nicknamed nanma maram, meaning “tree of goodness”—was placed outside the restaurant in order to combat food waste and hunger.

Pauline’s restaurant contributes close to 50 packs of food on a daily basis, and she encourages her customers to put any food they didn’t eat inside the fridge. Passersby are also asked to put any unused food in the refrigerator rather than throwing it away. Pauline is careful to ensure that food packets are dated and also asks restaurant patrons to write the date and time on any of their shared leftovers in order to ensure quality as well as prevent food illness.

The refrigerator feeds dozens of people each night, and anyone who is hungry can take a meal free of charge, no questions asked.[8]

2 Kenny: Helping Those Who Can’t Help Themselves

On September 16, 2015, Destiny Carreno was visiting a McDonald’s location in Chicago, Illinois. As she waited in line to order, an elderly handicapped gentleman who was in front of her wheeled himself over to the counter to politely ask the cashier for assistance. Unfortunately, neither Carreno nor the cashier understood what the gentleman needed at first, but after a few tries, they realized the man was saying, “Help me, please.”

Despite it being rush hour in downtown Chicago and the restaurant being crowded at the time, the cashier, identified only as Kenny, shut down his register. He then went to the back to wash his hands and put on gloves, came out from the kitchen, and sat down with the man, cutting his meal and helping him eat.

Carreno was moved to tears as she watched Kenny’s heartfelt act of compassion with the man she believed was quadriplegic. Carreno then took a photo and posted it to Facebook with the caption, “Compassion has NOT gone out of style.” Needless to say, the photo went viral and was shared over 315,000 times.

Rod Lubeznik, the owner of the McDonald’s where the photo was taken, stated, “It’s a true testament to who Kenny is and a reminder to us all that one seemingly small act of kindness can touch the hearts of so many.”[9]

1 Lou Asci: Helping Boy Find Cherished Necklace

He Reunited This Little Boy With An Irreplaceable Necklace Containing His Mom’s Ashes

Ten-year-old Connor Datri of Plymouth, Massachusetts, lost his mother, 31-year-old Lynelle Leonard, in a car crash in 2020. Sadly, one of the few remnants Datri has of his mother is a heart-shaped locket engraved with Leonard’s initials and fingerprints and containing a tiny amount of her ashes, which Datri only takes off when he showers.

Unfortunately, on October 19, 2023, Datri had been practicing soccer at West Elementary when he fell down and somehow lost the locket. On October 20, 2023, Datri’s grandmother, Melissa Moriarty, shared photos of the locket in a community Facebook group, and while friends and strangers scoured the field over the next few days in hopes of locating the locket, their attempts were unsuccessful.

However, when 61-year-old Lou Asci—a self-proclaimed “detectorist” who looks for missing items with his metal detector free of charge—got news of the story, he went right to the soccer area to search for Datri’s locket. Although the school principal would not allow Asci on the premises during school hours, he did not give up and came back the following evening.

Three trips to the field led to the discovery of several coins, another pendant, and a ring, but not Datri’s locket. However, Asci stated, “Failure was not an option.” On October 26, 2023, after talking to Datri and Moriarty, he had a much better “feeling” about where the locket might be.

Asci returned to the field that evening with his wife, and after two more hours of searching, they finally located Datri’s locket. He sent pictures of the discovery to Moriarty, who, along with Datri, rushed to meet Asci in the parking lot for an emotional reunion.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen