The 12 Most Inspiring Good Deeds of 2016 That Made Us Proud of Humanity

Our experiences from this year convinced us that people with big hearts and kind generous natures do exist in this world. Doing good to others doesn't always require a person to have special skills or talents. Mighty deeds are often the work of ordinary people, and each of us can contribute to making this world a better place.

We at Bright Side have rounded up some of the most inspiring acts of kindness that have restored our faith in humanity this year. Let's do good things together!

A world champion boxer built 1,000 homes for poor Filipinos

Manny Pacquiao was once an ordinary boy living in a dirt-poor family in the Philippines. However, he grew up to become the first fighter in history to win the world titles in eight different weight divisions. After winning his first million as a professional boxer, Manny used a portion of his earnings to construct homes for the poor families in his hometown of Tango. Today, over 1,000 families have secure living spaces thanks to the fighter’s generosity.

A brave Syrian remained in war-torn Aleppo to care for abandoned cats

Alaa Jaleel was risking his life every day with only one goal: to provide those in need with food and shelter. Even when most of his neighbors, family, and friends left the city, this man chose to stay in Aleppo in order to care for their abandoned pets. Today, Alaa looks after more than a hundred felines, including a kitten brought by a little girl whose family was forced to leave the country. "I promised that girl to return the cat back to her when they come back," he says.

A teacher created a "Gentleman's Club" for boys from single-parent families

Raymond Nelson is a teacher at an elementary school in South Carolina. There was a time when he couldn't get his students to behave properly in his class. It was then that he came up with the idea of creating a "Gentleman's Club." The teacher bought jackets, vests, and ties for kids who didn't have their own and started to teach the boys life lessons. Each week they discuss a new topic like how to tie a tie, how to address their elders, and how to treat their sisters, mothers, and teachers. A strict dress code introduced by Nelson serves as the tool in nurturing the moral consciousness of the students because a man wearing a tuxedo won't behave like a bully. "I know a lot of them struggle because a lot of them don't have men at home, so I just want them to grow up and think of the things that I teach them," Nelson says.

A Danish woman rescued a two-year-old Nigerian boy, abandoned by his parents

Almost a year has passed since Anja Ringgren Loven found a naked starving two-year-old baby boy on the street in Nigeria. Anja gave him a name to give him the strength to recover: Hope. The boy was left to die by his own family because they thought he was a witch. At the time, he was a one-year-old toddler who could only survive thanks to kindhearted passers-by giving him some food. Anja took Hope in, and he is now one of 34 children being cared for at the orphanage which she founded with her husband, David Emmanuel Umem.

When Anya published the photos of Hope on Facebook, people started sending money to help the poor boy recover. As a result, she received $1 million in donations from around the world. Anja and her husband are planning to open one more orphanage and a hospital for children. Today, Hope is unrecognizable from the skeleton he was a year ago. He is a happy and chubby child that enjoys his life.

A runner sacrificed her chance of a medal in order to help an injured athlete

At the Olympics, during the women’s 5,000-meter race, Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand accidentally bumped into US runner Abbey D’Agostino. Nikki helped her competitor up, and then the girls were running together, supporting and helping each other. Although the two runners were the last to cross the finish line, they still got moved to the finals. Moreover, they both were awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for showing generosity and the true spirit of sport during the Olympic Games.

Thousands of people supported a girl when no one showed up to her birthday party

Hallee Sorenson, an 18-year-old girl with autism, invited friends to her party but no one turned up. Then, Sorenson's cousin Rebecca decided to take action and shared a photo of Hallee on Facebook asking people to send her cousin a birthday card with warm wishes. The Internet responded in a big way. The post office in Bangor, Maine, was flooded with a huge amount of mail specifically for Hallee. In total, the girl received more than 10,000 cards, letters, and parcels.

Students recreated graduation for their classmate who was in a car accident

Scott Dunn was in a serious car accident just a few days before his high school graduation ceremony. Having woken up from a coma, the boy found out that he had missed the most important day in his life, and he was incredibly upset. But when the young man began to recover, the school’s principal contacted Scott’s family and said, "We want to do something special for your son." As it turned out, Dunn's classmates decided to return to school and recreate graduation just for him. Just like during the original ceremony, the students were dressed in their academic gowns and the teachers delivered their graduation speeches. However, Scott was the only one who was called up to receive his diploma this time. The young man was struck to the heart. "I don’t know how to even explain it," he said. "I’m speechless to know that this many people are behind me."

A homeless Thai got a job and a home in gratitude for an honest act

One day, Woralop, a 44-year-old homeless resident of Thailand, found a designer wallet filled with credit cards and 20,000 baht ($580) at a subway station. Despite the fact that the man was very poor, he didn't even take a single coin from the wallet. Instead, he handed his find in to the local police station. As it turned out, the wallet was owned by 30-year-old factory owner Niity Pongkriangyos, who was simply taken aback by the honesty of a homeless man. "If it was me in that position, I probably would have kept it," he said. In order to reward Woralop for his honest act, Niity gave him a job at his factory and provided him with a service apartment. Now the formerly homeless man earns 11,000 baht ($317) a month, and he has a nice bed and a secure home to sleep in at night.

In the Altai, a fisherman rescued a sinking moose that crashed through the ice

Ivan Drachev, a resident of Barnaul, was returning home from a fishing trip when he noticed a moose that had crashed through the ice. After several tries, Ivan lassoed the animal and pulled it out of the ice. The poor creature was so cold and shivering that the man had to rub its body. "I sat down next to the moose. It put its head on my knees and wheezed. It's amazing how animals can understand everything that is going on around them!" Ivan writes in his blog.

Neighbors repaired the house of a poor elderly teacher for free

Anne Glancey, a retired schoolteacher, received a letter from city officials saying that she could be fined $3,000 per day if she didn’t make repairs to her home. The old lady had no one to help her. Then one day, Anne saw some young people repairing her house! These kind helpers turned out to be her neighbors, Adam and Kristin Polhemus. The young people spent the whole summer getting Anne’s house in order, and their work wasn't in vain. Just look how nice this old house looks today!

Canadian airlines violated their own rules in order to save animals from a fire

The residents of Fort McMurray, Canada, were forced to flee their homes after a wildfire ravaging a nearby forest moved into the area. The airlines usually have very strict guidelines regarding the transportation of animals by air. As a rule, passengers carrying animals must provide all necessary documents, and the pets themselves should be transported in special cages in the plane's cargo hold. However, this time airlines broke their own rules and allowed displaced pets to fly in main cabins along with their owners. Fortunately, all the animals were rescued!

A flight attendant adopted a dog that waited for her for six months

Olivia Sievers, a flight attendant from Germany, often flew to Buenos Aires. Once while she was there, she saw a dog outside the door to the hotel she was staying at. She fed the canine and stroked it. Ever since that day, the dog — whom Olivia decided to call Rubio — began to wait for her return to Buenos Aires. Olivia lived in Germany, which is why she found Rubio a new home, but the dog ran away from it in order to see her again. By this time, Olivia had already formed a strong bond with Rubio, so she decided to take him to Germany with her. Now the dog is completely happy in his new home.

Preview photo credit Anja Ringgren Loven/Instagram
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