is the act of selflessly giving to others.


“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”

Arthur Ashe (1943-1993); professional tennis player, civil rights supporter

“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.”

Plato (428-348); classical Greek philosopher, mathematician

“Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.”

Jean de La Bruyère (1645-1696); French philosopher

“A pessimist, they say, sees a glass as being half empty; an optimist sees the same glass as half full. But a giving person sees a glass of water and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty.”

G. Donald Gale

“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.”

Kevin Heath CEO More4kids

“He who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own.”

Confucius (551-479); philosopher

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965); British statesman, prime minister, author, Nobel Prize winner

“Infinitely more important than sharing one's material wealth is sharing the wealth of ourselves—our time and energy, our passion and commitment, and, above all, our love.”

William E. Simon (1927-2000); Former United States Secretary of Treasury

More About This Value

Real Stories About Generosity

Altruistic Donation

I donated a kidney in July of 2002. My mother had passed away in 1999, and then the horror of 9/11 happened. I was grieving and felt so angry and helpless. I discovered that people can actually donate just for the act itself - an altruistic donation. I didn't know who the recipient was going to be, and still don't…

Read Full Story

A Kind Heart on Flight 662

January 12, 2010 My name is Erica F. I am a Flight Attendant for US Airways. This morning on a flight from Charlotte, NC to Phoenix, AZ I witnessed an amazing transformation not only in me but also in many of the passengers on board our flight. I was approached by our First Class flight attendant while I was preparing…

Read Full Story

The Giving of Christmas

This Christmas my mother and I decided to give some very old ,still wrapped, priceless Barbie dolls. Out of the entire collection I only got to keep 3 of them. I felt so thrilled to give some little girls something for Christmas.I never thought of a more perfect way to spend the day then to give to the poor little…

Read Full Story

There are good people out there!

I work for a bus company in where I am an aide on a school van with two disabled teen boys. One of my guys, Tyrell is almost completely blind and has some other physical and mental issues as well. Tyrell was all smiles for about a week at this point. He's normally a quite happy kid but I could…

Read Full Story


Today I was out shopping with my mom at a store. While a lady in front of us in the checkout line, I spied a kid that looked 2 years younger than me. He was trying to get some gum but probably was out of money, because he just stared at the dispenser with sad eyes. When my mom and…

Read Full Story

What Would YOU Do?

At the checkout in Wal-Mart the other day, a woman (apparently disabled and in a wheelchair) was checking out with her grandson (assumed) in front of us. She was having trouble with a gift card given to her (it appeared that there was NO money on it instead of the $50.00 there should have been). After several tries, the manager…

Read Full Story

A Simple Dollar

My mother and I were at my brothers middle school waiting for him in the parking lot, he was at a basketball game. A few girls were at a vending machine and I'm assuming the machine took their dollar. In an effort to get their snack they were banging and shaking the machine. Many adults walked by and looked at…

Read Full Story


I met her at my place of work, she was my boss at a local bank. Though I am a Christian and she is Muslim, something about her told me she had a beautiful soul. She earned good money but she was always broke and I took it upon myself to sort her out by helping her come out with…

Read Full Story

The Judge

Back in the mid to late 80's I had just finished up a 1 year program at a local Technical School. I soon began interviewing for a job. I was hired after my very first interview. I would be wearing a suit and tie every day. Well, I was flat broke and had no clothes suitable. A good friend's father…

Read Full Story

Nice Kathleen

Kathleen was the most popular girl in her high school yet she still was nice to everyone. When a boy with mouth problems asked her out, she said yes despite his disability. She was also nice to a boy with a crush on her who used to hide in her bushes. She was selflessly kind.

Read Full Story

Keeping things in perspective

The generosity in me was inspired following a retreat celebrating the 2010 Lunar New Year (Chinese/Vietnamese New Year). For the first time, I started filling decorative red envelopes with "lucky money" to send to family, friends, co-workers, former lab mates, and the people around me and their (very) sick loved ones - a custom that has primarily been reserved for…

Read Full Story

Just Give

A few years ago, I was the single mom of two kids, aged 12 and 14. Times, as always for us, were very hard. I spent 85% of my pay for rent. I went to the corner store about 9pm with a friend, and saw a man sitting against a wall, not unusual in our area, but this man had…

Read Full Story

Thomas No Home

When I’m with my dad and we drive in the city streets, there are always people panhandling. I Guess I feel bad for them, but I know they could do something else except beg for money. By my house there is a gas station, the owner of the gas station always kicks out homeless people from his store. But there…

Read Full Story

Full House

Growing up my mother taught me to be generous. Whenever someone was in need of anything such as food, money, or even a home, she was always there for them. No matter if it was family or friends or even strangers, there was always a place in her heart for them. People would stay with us for weeks at a…

Read Full Story

There is an EYE

There is a poor boy named Roy Freetz in a 30-student classroom who is really hungry and have nothing to eat. He felt jealous in all of his classmates for they were eating and enjoying their foods. He was just staying in one of the corners of the room. There was a girl came to him and give all the…

Read Full Story

A Random Act of Kindness

My Wife and I recently travelled from Lasalle, Ontario, Canada to Harsen's Island, Michigan. We were travelling East on I-94 in the construction zone approaching 8 Mile Rd. The traffic was down to a crawl, when a blue Dodge pick up truck approached along side and an older gentleman driving asked us if we'd like to avoid the traffic and…

Read Full Story

Aaron's Sacrifice

I work for a company in the hospitality industry that has suffered heavy layoffs and pay freezes in the past year. I was hired as the Director of New Business Development, and in that capacity, as business grew, I hired a young man with whom I'd worked for several years at my previous company to be my crew leader, as…

Read Full Story

A birthday to remember

I work with developmentally disabled adults in a residential setting. One of the men wanted to go to a restaurant for his birthday with a few of his friends and housemates. We were all having a great time, eating and joking and just having fun. When I went to pay the bill (which was about $300) the wait staff told…

Read Full Story

Oprah, Elvis and Patrick Swayze

A friends journey: My wife got breast cancer in her mid 30's on Valentines day 2001. She had treatment and beat it. But it returned in the brain - 9 tumors. She was given the only treatment available in Australia, which almost killed her itself and made no difference. We were told to say our goodbyes. But I "discovered" a…

Read Full Story

A Small Fire

A friend had invited me to dinner at his new house. Right before I was due to arrive, he tried out the gas fireplace, which caused the insulation in the attic to ignite. When I got there, the roof was in flames, four fire engines were at work, and there were people standing around, watching. My friend found me and…

Read Full Story

Christmas Joy

On New Years Day I had the wonderful opportunity to see the spirit of Christmas first hand. You see, my extended family exchanges presents together at the start of the new year and have done so in this way for more than 40 years. Since the beginning, my grandfather and grandmother have entertained their children and cousins on this day…

Read Full Story

Average Guy

My daughter and I often take in cans/bottles from our own collection or from friends and family for gas money to get to work. While at the bottle return site one day, a small truck pulled up. The bed of the truck was full of at least 10 bags of cans/bottles. It had the name of a door repair company…

Read Full Story

Donating to Someone Who Certainly Deserves Recognition

I had just looked up this website after seeing a billboard of Kermit the frog in my neighborhood. And was very inspired by all the good deeds that go so unnoticed in our society. This incident happened just today. I was in an unfamiliar town this morning for recreational reasons and had stopped at a common gas station to get…

Read Full Story

See All 23 Stories

Read Everyday Hero Stories About Generosity

Everyday Hero: Sherry


Sherry Hall works very hard for Grace Rids. She works with a group volunteers who have followed the call of our hearts to love and serve others by using the stuff of our daily horsey lives to bless “future horse lovers” who have special needs. We know how much these lovely large creatures have added to our lives, and we…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Eric

Last Friday the most amazing thing happened to me. For several months I had been training with my sister to run a half-marathon. It was my sister's first half marathon and both of us decided to use the race as an opportunity to raise money for causes we cared about. My sister raised money for cancer research and I raised…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Ellen

My hero is Ellen P. For over 15 years, Ellen has always graciously opened her home to anyone wanting to celebrate the ancient solar holidays such as the Solstices and Equinoxes. We gather every 8-10 weeks to honor and connect with Mother Nature. Ellen has never asked for anything in return except to bring a dish to share afterward for…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Kenneth


My hero is my uncle Kenneth Howard I'm getting teary eyed just writing this we have been through so much as a family but he has held it together he gives when he doesn't have he feeds 600 families every week he volunteers his time when he don't have it this man has changed and impacted so many lives and…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Unknown

Several years ago, each Christmas season, the Salvation Army would get something extra in their donation bucket near where I live. Someone would drop a one hundred bill with a dollar bill rubber cemented on each side to disguise it, ensuring that he would be able to remain anonymous. One Christmas season, the traditional masked C note did not turn…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Mitch

Mitch headshot 47

I really don’t even know where to begin. This summer I was honored to receive an internship opportunity through my University and I began interning at the Foundation for Sight and Sound. Just a few short months ago I didn’t know what was in store for me. On my first day, I met Mitch Shapiro, the founder, president and CEO…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Denise

Denise has contributed within her family and throughout her community. While her children were growing up, she actively participated in school activities with three kids. Now she teaches sign language classes and is a teacher's aide for handicapped children. All this while suffering from cancer. She is my hero.

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Kegan and Taylor

After a very difficult divorce last year, I decided to sell my home and move closer to my parents. While I was packing, my home caught fire because of a mistake I made by placing a box too close to a heater. My children's bedrooms were the most badly damaged in the fire. They lost everything. The insurance company refused…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Yanina


Rarely is such hospitality evidenced these days as that extended to my husband and me by our neighbor, Yanina. Our own home sold so quickly that we were not prepared to find other living arrangements until purchasing a new home. We were in a pickle! Enter stage right, our neighbor and mother of two, Yanina. She graciously opened her home…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Lois and Bill

Bill is a retired engineer. Lois, Bill's wife, has been a homemaker. They are fairly ordinary people with little notable achievements. Yet they remain my heroes. When he turned 18, Bill was drafted to serve in Korea from 1948 t 1949 as an Army engineer. He was lucky enough to leave Korea before the Korean War broke out, which cost…

Read Full Story

Everyday Hero: Ambie

Ambie is my hero because she is the nicest person that I know. She is always looking out for others and trying to help everyone in any way she can. She's always doing charity work and attending church events. Which I find amazing how she finds time between volunteering at local animal shelters and disability clinics. She really is a…

Read Full Story

See All 11 Hero Stories

Pass It On®

Your Comments

My friend Yanina should be featured in the dictionary for Generous.
John and Tim 5 months ago from Paterson NJ

It is good to be generous because no one know what tomorrow will bring.
FUNMI over 1 year ago from LAGOS

Generosity is being happy to give.
Bruce Willingham over 1 year ago from Warner Robins, Ga

Forgiveness is also a thing such as generous. Although this is not a materialistic thing.
Cassie Chang almost 2 years ago from Malaysia,Batu Pahat

We all can be generous in some way or another by sharing our time, talent or treasure. Don't let your lack of money keep you from helping others.
Sandy over 2 years ago from Colorado

See More Comments

Explore Another Value