Kindness is one of the most beautiful and powerful forces for good that exists in the entire world. It can show up as a supportive smile or a helping hand when we need it the most, but expect it the least.
Acts of kindness, both big and small, are how we express care, concern, and consideration for ourselves and those with whom we share the world. Kindness builds; it taps into the inherent goodness that resides in each of us and grows steadily stronger with every act that’s performed.
Despite common negativity in the news, viral stories of kindness are often shared through social media and other outlets. Ones featuring the genuinely selfless acts of teens, though, are some of the most inspirational.
All too often, people place low expectations on the kindness of teenagers. However, recent research from the University of British Columbia in Canada suggests that teens surpass these expectations. Many teens consistently inspire and help others, providing young energy that sparks hope for the world’s leadership of tomorrow.
Here are some notable acts of teen kindness that are sure to warm your heart. Some of these stories simply brought this writer to tears of joy…
Teen Completes Random Acts of Kindness Daily
Pictured: Sebbie Hall Source: BBC
Since the start of the pandemic, Sebbie Hall has carried out a random act of kindness daily, which has helped more than 2,000 people and raised over $53,000 for charity. The 18-year-old started his mission when he realized many lacked the technology to contact friends during the lockdown.
Sebbie initially wanted to donate his iPad to a friend, but his mom, Ashley Hall, suggested he should help others to buy what they need instead. It was then that Sebbie, who has physical and learning difficulties, decided to raise money to prevent disabled or vulnerable children from feeling lonely during the pandemic.
His generosity – praised by the British Prime Minister and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – includes handing out flowers, teddy bears, coats, and even lottery tickets on the street. Sebbie has also set up an arts hub and The Sebbie Hall Kindness Foundation to support disabled or vulnerable children.
Teens Build a Bus Shelter for a Disabled Child
Pictured: Top Left and Right: Five-year-old Ryder Killam; Bottom: Kind Teens and Ryder next to his newly-built bus shelter Source: Good News Network
In Bradford, RI, local teens built a covered bus stop for five year old Ryder Killam, who is bound to a wheelchair. Ryder had to battle rain, wind, and snow for about 15 minutes every day, using only a patio umbrella as protection.
Motivated by the cause and knowing that soon snow would be falling, the teens building Ryder’s shelter worked on the project for numerous weeks. Youtube was a huge tool for them to learn the craftsmanship required to complete the project. Standing 5×8 feet, the hut was built large enough to shelter Ryder and a nurse or parent.
“Ryder loves to hang out in it from time to time, claiming it as his fort,” Ryder’s father Tim Killam said. “His project brought our community together and showed that there is still so much good in this world and this town!”
Teens Build a Wheelchair Ramp for a Neighbor
Pictured: Teens building a ramp for Catina Wagner Source: Fosters
Dover, New Hampshire, resident Catina Wagner’s multiple sclerosis was progressing, making it difficult for her to get around. A group of young volunteers heard of Catina’s condition and stepped up to build a wheelchair ramp for her home.
The teens labored for a week, not even stopping during a torrential downpour until the ramp was complete. Giving Catina the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors once again was the reason the teen volunteers felt such a passion for the project.
The act of kindness is part of the United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission By Youth, or U.M. ARMY, which has nearly 70 young people from different states coming together to aid people in need. The goal of the organization is to provide Christ-centered missions that serve people in need and promote spiritual growth and leadership development in teens and young adults.
Teen Uses His “Make-A-Wish” for Kindness
Pictured: Abraham Olagbegi hands out meals to the homeless Source: Good News Network
Abraham Olagbegi was 12 years old when he and his family learned that without a bone marrow transplant, the blood disease he’d been born with might prove fatal. Over the course of his illness, Abraham was made a recipient for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charitable organization whose goal is to take the dreams of ailed children and make them a reality.
Rather than wishing something for himself, Abraham chose to show thanks for his good fortune by passing it along to others. The wish Abraham asked for was to feed the homeless in his area one day a month for an entire year.
On the third Thursday of each month, Make-A-Wish’s Mississippi chapter has committed to helping Abraham coordinate with local organizations and businesses to feed up to 80 homeless people. Since October 2021, Abraham has helmed many successful “Abraham’s Table” events, distributing the donated goods to folks in need.
Teens Raise Money to Replace a Child’s Stolen Nintendo
Pictured: Shawn Hawkins (Middle) with Shawna Cantiliano (Right) and Piper (Left) Source: People
Two teens banded together to raise money to replace a Nintendo 3DS XL that had been stolen from a fellow student by the name of Shawn Hawkins. Shawn had written about his stolen Nintendo, which was given to him by his late grandmother, on the whiteboards of classrooms around his school.
His classmates, Shawna Cantiliano and her friend, Piper, were moved by Shawn’s message and announced on social media that they would be collecting money to replace his stolen Nintendo. Ms. Grimm, a teacher at the school, also helped by matching the donations and buying Shawn’s new gaming console.
Shawna and Piper presented Shawn with his new Nintendo 3DS XL in a tearful exchange that was caught on video and can be seen here. According to the girls, Shawn thanked them multiple times and regarded the teens as angels sent from God himself.
Teen Creates a Gaming Platform for Kids Facing Illnesses
Pictured: Top: Nick Priest (left) with Power of Play officers Kylie and Jack; Bottom: Nick’s father, Joe Source: Good News Network
A man named Joe was diagnosed with cancer when his son Nick was three, and after that, playing games in the basement was their form of bonding. However, the last time Joe played games with his son, he was so weak that he could barely make the trek down the stairs. When he passed away, Nick didn’t just lose his father, he lost his gaming partner.
After his father’s passing, Nick told his mother that no kid should ever be without someone to play games with, which is when Power of Play was born. Nick started working on the project as a freshman in high school; now a junior, he rallies teens to bring Power of Play to kids who are affected by cancer or other illnesses.
Nick also developed a Buddy System for Power of Play where parents reach out and share the games their child likes and other interests, and then Nick assigns one of his teen volunteers to be a buddy, based on their interests.
Teen Creates Devices for Healthcare Workers
Pictured: Left: Quinn Collander and his ear guard creation; Right: Quinn’s mother, Heather Roney wearing an ear guard Source: Good News Network
12 year old Quinn Callander was inspired to start his mission after a family friend working at a local hospital expressed their wish for a contraption that alleviates the physical aches of medical face masks by easing the pressure of elastic bands on the ears.
Using his 3D printer, Quinn made ear guards for local hospital workers in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. Upon realizing the impact of his donations, Quinn decided to keep making the ear guards. Today, he’s distributed thousands of plastic ear guards to hospitals across Canada, the US, the UK, and even Singapore.
Quinn’s mother, Heather Roney, said they’ve been flooded with requests since she posted a picture of the teen displaying his creations on social media. “We’ve heard from thousands of people who say, ‘This is the difference between working a 12-hour shift comfortably and being in constant pain,’ because of pressure on their ears. It’s so simple, but it’s incredibly effective.”
Teen Buys a Motorized Wheelchair for a Friend
Pictured: Brandon Qualls hugs Tanner Wilson after receiving his new wheelchair Source: Inside Edition
Brandon Qualls, a teen from Arkansas, used a standard wheelchair to navigate the long hallways at his high school. But by the end of the day, Brandon was in immense pain from using his traditional wheelchair, leading him to vocalize his dream of one day owning a motorized wheelchair.
Tanner Wilson, Brandon’s classmate, decided to save up money to make the teen’s dream a reality. After working several hours after school every day at a small mechanic shop in town for months, Tanner was able to buy a motorized wheelchair for Brandon.
Before presenting Brandon with his new wheelchair, Tanner asked fellow students to personalize the chair with flames and the teen’s last name in decorative letters. Brandon adored his gift, and now, thanks to Tanner, can get around his school’s campus pain-free.
Teen Sews Bow Ties to Help Shelter Dogs Get Adopted
Pictured: Darius Brown and dogs wearing his hand-sewn bow ties Source: Good News Network
13 year old Darius Brown works tirelessly to help shelter animals across the country get adopted by making them handcrafted bow ties. His sister first taught him how to sew so he could improve his motor skills, but as he became more talented with his needlework, she suggested he use the skill to start sewing bow ties.
Shortly after Darius began making bow ties, hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit Texas and Florida — and the teen was heartbroken by the number of animals who were left without homes after the storms. He then resolved to help the shelter pets find their forever families by making them personalized bow ties.
Darius figured that if the cats and dogs could look extra dapper for potential adopters, they would be more likely to find a home — and he was right. Since Darius began the organization Sir Darius Brown, he’s made as many as 500 bow ties and the accessories have helped more than 100 dogs and cats find forever homes.
Teens Use Origami to Raise Money for Clean Water
Pictured: Isabelle and Katherine Adams with their origami Source: Good News Network
Isabelle and Katherine Adams are the masterminds behind Paper for Water: a nonprofit dedicated to funding clean water projects around the world by making and selling their paper creations. The teens began their mission in 2012 after they learned how many young women in developing countries are unable to get an education because they are forced to collect water daily.
Though origami ornaments may seem like a small way to fight such a worldwide problem, the teen sisters have managed to raise over $1.5 million in water project funding since they launched their nonprofit seven years ago. Collectively, the money has helped to fund 170 water projects in 17 countries.
To prepare enough origami ornaments to raise money, the girls regularly host origami workshops around Dallas, Texas. Additionally, the girls were featured in a NexxGen video that was shown in 300,000 high school classrooms, which is the equivalent of “6 million to 9 million children being inspired to go out and create positive change,” says the nonprofit.
Kindness Is a Gift
“Kindness is a way love is expressed, a reason love multiplies, and an example of what is possible when love is prioritized.” –Unknown
Kindness is about more than simply being nice, polite, or friendly, although those things contribute to the overall power of kindness. It’s about treating those around you with genuine care, compassion, concern, and acceptance.
Sometimes kindness is mistakenly associated with naivety or weakness, which can cause some people – including image-conscious teenagers – to try to avoid being labeled as kind. But kindness isn’t a weakness.
In fact, demonstrating kindness can sometimes require real bravery and strength of character. In a world filled with struggle and pain, kindness is like a deep cleansing breath that rejuvenates us with its purity, refreshes us with its goodness, and gives us the strength to persevere despite our troubles.
Have you recently performed any acts of kindness? The HBM wants to celebrate and spread true kindness, so let us know in the comments below!