Let’s take a moment to consider the kindness we extend to each other every day. These moving stories will reaffirm your faith in humanity.

A teen building homes for families in need

DaniellaCourtesy Daniella Benitez

Daniella Benitez, a 14-year-old freshman at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, has made it her mission to help build homes for people in need alongside the nonprofit organization, Build a Miracle. It started when her family helped build a home in Tijuana that was sponsored by Daniella’s school. “The day after completing the project, she woke up and told me she wanted to commit to building one home a year,” said her mother, Ghada. Daniella recruited a team to raise the $16,000 needed to provide a fully furnished home with running water, electricity, beds, and showers each year. She plans to personally go down and help build, paint, and furnish the homes, as well. This past spring, Daniella helped build a home that was just completed. Check out 30 simple acts of kindness you can do in under two minutes.

Building castles during disasters

AbbyCourtesy Stephen Walsh, American Red Cross

Abby is two years old. She’s energetic, positive, and a lot of fun—even after being evacuated ahead of Hurricane Florence with her three older siblings and her mother. They ended up at a Red Cross evacuation shelter at W.T. Brown Elementary School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “She had the biggest personality of anyone in the shelter,” says volunteer Chelsea Griggs, who deployed from Minnesota’s Twin Cities Red Cross Chapter. “She would always come around the corner of the registration desk to say good morning to everybody.” Abby’s family had been through this before, losing everything they had in Hurricane Matthew. Abby’s cheerful attitude was rewarded when Griggs gathered a bunch of discarded cot boxes and built a play castle for Abby, using plastic cups for the spires and filling the inside with toys. Abby’s face lit up at the sight of the box castle. “Is that for me?” she asked. Even the local sheriff’s deputies got in on the fun, posing as guards in front of Abby’s castle door.

Keeping homeless people—and their pets—healthy and safe

Paul CrowellDavid Paul Morris/Courtesy Paul Crowell

As he walked the streets of San Francisco, Paul Crowell couldn’t help but feel concern for the hungry homeless dogs—and their homeless owners. A life-long animal lover, Crowell made it his mission to feed the homeless pets in his community. Crowell began by collecting food that restaurants and stores were tossing: “I delivered it to the many homeless dogs I saw in the encampments around here. Pretty quickly, I became known as ‘the doggy food man,’ and I started bringing it all the time.” He started a GoFundMe to continue his mission, which has now evolved into the non-profit Project Open Paw. “I just love the dogs so much. It’s ultimately about them, but I’ve also come to love these folks out here on the streets,” he said. This year, Crowell has been handing out 30–40 bags of food a week—each filled with 10 cups of kibble, a can of food, and several treats. He estimates that each bag costs $10. And when a dog gets sick or a puppy needs shots, Paul is there to help. “The dogs give these people a reason to carry on, and a lot of times, that may be the only thing. They’re a team out there; they help each other survive.” Don’t miss these life-changing acts of kindness.