Kind World is a show about how a single act of kindness can change someone's life. In each episode, hosts and reporters Yasmin Amer and Andrea Asuaje search the world for good news stories that will restore your faith in humanity. A production of WBUR.
Remember those OxiClean commercials with the in-your-face pitchman? That was Billy Mays. Mays died years ago, but he’s lived on in meme form. Why? We ask his son Billy Mays III, his biggest frenemy, and a host of others to explain why someone who was squarely in the age of television continues to appear online in strange and provocative ways. It’s the story of an American staple whose consumerist existence belies a personality that, in the end, was surprisingly wholesome.
Today, we present the very first episode of Anything for Selena, a new podcast from WBUR and Futuro Studios. Growing up along the US-Mexico border, Maria Garcia felt torn between her two identities as Mexican and American. But then, something changed her life. She discovered Selena — the Mexican-American pop icon who proved she didn’t have to choose. In the premiere episode of “Anything for Selena,” host Maria Garcia explores how Selena helped Maria find her own place in the world.
Listen to the trailer for "Anything For Selena," a new podcast from WBUR and Futuro Studios coming in January 2021. Subscribe now so you don't miss it! About The Show: On March 31, 1995, nine-year-old Maria Garcia came home to find her mother glued to the TV, tears rolling down her rosy cheeks. The phone kept ringing. Relatives in Mexico and the States wanted to know if Maria’s family was watching, too. American networks and Mexican programming aired the same top story. Selena Quintanilla,...more
The perception that the U.S.-Mexico border’s been effectively sealed shut because of the pandemic is wrong. Lots of people are still crossing. Actually, the biggest, most dramatic change in who can’t cross right now; you’re not going to find those folks at the official ports of entry. Instead, you have to look inside migrant shelters, at the refugees who can’t seek asylum in the U.S. right now and are instead stuck in border towns. So that's what we do today. We talk to a migrant stuck at the bo...more
Listen in as five Kind World producers discuss how the show has grown and evolved in its seven-year run.
Science says giving can make us happier than having more money. Psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Dunn suggests ways to rethink the way we give in order to make it feel like a source of joy rather than an obligation.
When Jenn Carson found out her father was a serial killer, she began to think she was doomed to follow a dark path. But then she met a teacher who helped her change her life forever through simple acts of kindness
Adam Grant, organizational psychologist at UPenn, says kids who are taught kindness and caring at an earlier age may be more likely to succeed as adults.
A chance meeting between a school volunteer and a Marine leads to a slew of unexpected acts of kindness. Plus, how small gifts and tokens from neighbors helped a mother and daughter as the young girl struggled with a mysterious illness.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy shares with us the startling effects of chronic loneliness and how we can combat this public health crisis -- even in a socially distant world.
A man confronts his dark past and a random act of kindness that led to a 20-year philosophy.
Priya Parker is an expert on gatherings. She gives us tips on creating deeper social bonds and more collective meaning through our get-togethers.
Six years after their story, "A Second Mother To Me," originally aired on Kind World, we catch up with Michael Tambone and Frances Schmitz to talk about the importance and power of a "chosen family."
Our listeners share profound acts of kindness they've experienced throughout their lives, including how kind acts propelled a woman out of homelessness.
A man became stuck at an airport for 7 months and his only source of hope was a determined stranger. PLUS how a small town helped a family of refugees rebuild their chocolate empire.
Irene Li, the celebrated chef of Boston's Mei Mei, discusses her commitment to helping mom-and-pop restaurants and immigrant families survive during the pandemic. Plus, how a longtime customer helped a Los Angeles restaurant owner keep his business afloat as his sales plummet due to coronavirus.
A drumming teacher steps in and helps a troubled young immigrant find his identity in his new reality. Plus, how kindness and generosity in his early adulthood helped High Point University President Nido Qubein find strength and success.
A Connecticut man starts a donation challenge to feed local families in need during the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, a conversation with activist and authors Mia Birdsong on how we can build stronger, healthier and more equitable communities.
Shawn Dromgoole, a 29-year-old black man, said he was afraid to walk in his gentrifying Nashville neighborhood. Then came a response he never expected.
Healthcare workers are in the spotlight these days and getting recognized for their sacrifices during the pandemic. But for so many of them, that recognition is long overdue. Here are three of our favorite Kind World stories about how healthcare workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help their patients in deeply compassionate ways.
Will Bloemendaal, of Grand Rapids, Mich., tells us about witnessing a small but powerful act of integrity and kindness while on the bus.
Why a heartfelt thank-you letter from an 11-year-old to her mail carrier resonated with people across the country.
Jessie Spellman, of New York, N.Y., tells us about an emotional and unforgettable birthday surprise.
Stories of kindness that span across different generations.
Anna Baumgaertner, of Davie, Fla., tells us about a student performance that she calls the highlight of her year.
Dr. Laurie Santos, professor of psychologist at Yale University and host of the podcast, The Happiness Lab, gives us advice on practices we can all adopt as we cope with the anxiety of the coronavirus crisis.
Carly Shields, of Salt Lake City, Utah, tells us about the sweet ways her 3rd grade students are thinking about #COVIDKindness.
Finding creative ways to celebrate the class of 2020. Also, how a dedicated mentor changed one man's path.
Kelly Brooks, in Boston, Mass., called us to tell us about a project she's been working on to bring people together during the pandemic. The origins of her project date back to 2014 and a diagnosis that changed her life.
Voicemails about kindness during coronavirus from our listeners! Plus, a woman's quick trip to the grocery store turns into a nightmare as she becomes involved in a hostage crisis at a California Trader Joe's. Donate to support Kind World: www.wbur.org/supportkindworld
Becca Andrews had recently moved to New York City to pursue her acting dreams. One day, as she was riding the subway, she experienced a small act of kindness that would make a big difference.
CBS's Steve Hartman joins us to talk kindness during Coronavirus PLUS a story about finding solace in nature and new friends. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. www.wbur.org/supportkindworld
Suzie Hicks, of Los Angeles, tells us how her "chosen family" helped her one summer when a string of bad headaches turned into a serious medical condition.
How can worshippers come together during religious holidays during the coronavirus pandemic? Our latest #COVIDKindness update. Then, a story about how a friend's kind act assured a woman in a painful struggle that she would make it through the darkness.
We talk about creative ways people are dealing with social isolation during the pandemic. Also, a story about why one woman turned her house into a sanctuary for women in recovery.
In this week's #COVIDKindness update, we discuss help by and for medical professionals. Plus, how one man's search for a kidney donor brought him closer to a colleague and friend looking to restore her faith in patient care.
Laura Niverson, a high school English teacher in Tucson, Ariz., shared with us a story of how her students helped her as she was grieving a difficult loss.
Neighbors helping neighbors during the coronavirus crisis. Plus, the humble beginnings of a remarkable movement to educate generations of refugee children.
Marianne McCarthy, of New Haven, Conn., shares the story of a stranger who led her to safety during a crowded concert.
When Nancy Kinnally helped a young man living on the streets, she never imagined how meaningful a hot meal and a little hospitality could be.
Listener Mallory Van Fossen tells us about the time a complete stranger came to her rescue after an accident.
Nguyen Thi Dep was forced to give up her daughter during the Vietnam War. She spent decades searching for her, until a stranger decided to help.
We know there's a lot going on in the news, and sometimes, it's hard to see the good when so much seems bad. But here at Kind World, we know there are still compassionate people doing amazing things for others every day -- small good deeds and life-changing acts of kindness. Our new season starts March 10.
Breakups can involve complicated feelings and simmering resentments. But we asked some of our friends and colleagues to reflect back and think about the nice things their exes have done for them. We got some pretty great answers.
When a filmmaker bought an old VCR for a video project, he was surprised to find a VHS tape inside, featuring a remarkable family moment. He was determined to find the family in the video.
Edith Rubin, 91, survived the holocaust. More than 75 years after she was rescued from a Nazi camp, she remembers the rare moments of kindness she experienced during the darkest time in her life.
When Writer Nancy Davis Kho decided to spend an entire year writing "thank-you" letters, she didn't expect just how transformative it would be.
A collection of Kind World stories that showcase the power of a small but life-changing gift.
An author shares her thoughts on how kids can take an active role in creating a better world. Plus, we visit a children's book shop to check out some favorite stories about kindness.
Six years ago, Ruthy Brown answered Laura DiGeronimo's cry for help on Facebook, agreeing to clear her driveway piled high with snow. Neither woman expected the simple but significant act of kindness to change Laura's life dramatically for the better.
A slew of unexpected letters, one awesome invention, and an exceptionally kind Santa. These are some of the most heartwarming stories from Reddit - aka "the front page of the internet."
Bob Charland doesn't know how much time he has left to live. But he knows that while he's here, he wants to bring joy to as many kids as possible.
In 2017, Rachael Cerrotti shared her story with Kind World. This year, she released a podcast called "We Share The Same Sky," detailing her grandmother Hana's incredible story of survival -- and the journey Rachael took to learn every bit of it.
Rachael Cerrotti spent the last decade obsessing over her family history. She uncovered a remarkable story about her grandmother, Hana Dubova, who was the only person in her Jewish Czech family to survive the Holocaust.
Rais Bhuiyan was almost killed by a white supremacist. The hate-filled attack shattered his life. As Rais picked up the pieces, he then decided to do something extraordinary.
Mark Joseph Peredo and Luke Hutchins may have never crossed paths. But in the aftermath of a highway crash, the two men needed to find a different way to heal. They set off together to walk a centuries-old pilgrimage.
Lynn Schutzman had right education, the right job, and the right marriage. Then, she lost everything...until one day, someone asked her a life-changing question.
When Gary Marquardt attended a veteran’s funeral and heard a squeaky recording of taps honoring the fallen soldier, he was taken aback. Then he learned about an organization that aims to have a live bugler at every veteran’s memorial service.
When Chick McClure, a transgender man, began transitioning three years ago, he was terrified his father would reject him. Then one day, Chick got an unexpected call from his father.
A woman, who fled her country after a vicious attack, now helps other refugees overcome trauma.
Many of the migrants living at the Matamoros, Mexico border encampment are young children. To help them, Felicia Rangel-Samponaro began a makeshift school where the classes are led by asylum-seekers themselves.
We cross the southern border with a dedicated group of volunteers, who are the only source of food, clean water, and shelter for hundreds of asylum seekers.
Kind World Presents "Lifelines:' Stories of Compassion At The Southern Border.
Reading and a chance encounter with a former English teacher helped Dan Wise through what he called the scariest time in his life.
When we take stock of the people who matter most to us, there are the spouses, the family members, the best friends, the partners. And then there are the people who aren’t any of those things, but who change our lives anyway.
Classical Violinist David France came to realize that students from low-income backgrounds could excel just as much as wealthy ones, if they have the right teacher.
11-year-old Ruby asked residents at a nursing home to list their three wishes. What they said - and what she did next - surprised everyone.
Almost three years ago, Norah Wood, 6, helped Dan Peterson, 84, through his grief. Today, their friendship is still as strong as ever.
When Michael Connor saw a burning car on the side of the road, he stopped to see how he could help. He didn't expect to save a child's life seconds before a disaster.
In 2014, Melissa Turner went above and beyond the bond of sisterhood to become a surrogate for her identical twin, Jen. Five years since the birth of Jen's own twin girls, the sisters have experienced tremendous joy and unimaginable tragedy.
José Bou went from solitary confinement to college professor and youth mentor.
A young man fled his country for the U.S. after his life was threatened. He lost everything and spiraled into a deep depression. That's when a family stepped up to help him rebuild his life.
When David Pradel was going through a hard time, Nate Edwards was there to help. But David didn't know that Nate was suffering from depression, too.
Six years ago, Dylan Siegel thought of a way to help his friend living with a rare liver disease. Now, his idea is funding life-changing scientific research.
After a chance meeting on an airplane, school volunteer LynnEllen was inspired to help Timothy feel closer to home during his first deployment to Afghanistan. The letters he received were as unexpected as their meeting.
A couple forced into homelessness finds shelter and community in a tiny house village built by volunteers.
When Chef Rebecca Kelly-Manders met Quintin Storey, she knew he was perfect for her new culinary program catering to a special population: people with felony convictions. It's a population Rebecca and Quintin know intimately. They're both felons.
In "The Rhythm Within," we spoke to Jonathan Mande and Jorge Perez-Albela about how they developed a close bond through drumming. Here are some additional highlights from our conversation with them at the WBUR studios.
A boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo moves to Boston with his family after living through harrowing civil unrest. As he struggles in his new reality, a drumming teacher steps in and helps him find his identity.
Sara Cunningham struggled when her son told her he was gay. Now she volunteers as a stand-in mom at same-sex weddings when the biological parents refuse to attend.
A woman with a rare disease and her husband decide to expand their little family by adopting boys who all share the same rare disease she does.
Growing up in a violent and chaotic home almost pushed Aaron Stark to commit a mass shooting. He says the simple acts of kindness from his friends stopped him from making a horrible mistake.
A Syrian man is stuck at an airport terminal for months and a determined stranger makes it her mission to help him get out.
Kind World is a show about transformative acts of kindness. We've got stories that will inspire you, lift your spirit, and stories that may even make you tear up a little. Our new season begins April 16. Subscribe now and don't miss an episode.
Reporter Shirley Wang tells the story of her father, Lin Wang, a cat-litter scientist who befriended NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley.
Coach Kevin Motsinger was one of many North Carolinians displaced by Hurricane Florence earlier this year. Despite his own devastating losses, the 45-year-old high school football coach focused on rebuilding his small, rural town.
Iowa basketball player Jordan Bohannon had the perfect opportunity to break an existing free throw record and solidify his name in Iowa sports history. He decided to sacrifice it all for the sake of one family.
Community worker Cathy Heying realized that cars are the lifeline for many people with financial struggles. She decided to dedicate herself to helping others get that lifeline back.
A bereaved grandfather was looking for cards of his deceased son, who used to play in the MLB. When he reached out to an avid baseball card collector for help, he got way more than he ever expected.
When Jenn Carson found out her father was a serial killer, she thought she was doomed to follow a dark path. But then she met a teacher who could see "the goodness" in her.
Lenny White always wanted a job that would bring him purpose. After becoming a barber, he realized his trims could offer so much more to men with dementia.
Drew Bell knew he wanted to be in his high school's marching band even though he couldn't walk. A friend's act of kindness, and sacrifice, helped him do just that.
Baby Aubree was born nearly three months early and was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal disorder. One of her therapists helped her mother record songs to play to Aubree when her parents are away.
Much like addressing racism, covering a tattoo can be more complicated than getting the original.
“The ocean was one of the most important relationships in my life," Shannon Leone Fowler says. "Sometimes, the most important."
Julie Lindahl and Rachael Cerrotti of our previous two episodes meet, and a twist of fate changes everything for Rachael.
For Rachael Cerrotti, history keeps circling back to the present.
Julie Lindahl felt burdened by an indescribable guilt, a feeling she could never understand.
Bob doesn’t want a day to go by when he doesn’t help someone.
As far as she knew, Roberta Ursrey and most of her family were about to die.
Willow was going to turn 3 the day Hurricane Irma hit Florida, but both birthday and hurricane were about to be overshadowed.
You must decide whether to do what you think is right -- but it means losing everything. What do you do?
10-year-old Phil's dreams were dark.
It was supposed to be a standard procedure. Then something went very wrong.
Jim Abbott was an improbable major league pitcher.
On a November night, Ted Hakey felt uneasy about his neighbors.
Alice's dad was losing his words, and then he had just two phrases left.
Bostonians aren’t always known for their friendly, helpful nature, but Blair Wong has discovered a very different side to the city’s inhabitants.
People ask Mohamed if he's crazy. He says he wouldn't live any other way.
Norah and Dan were an unlikely pair.
When President Trump signed an executive order in January, one family feared their daughter's life was at stake.
The story begins with an open wound.
They didn't all know each other, but they knew their friend needed help.
After a breakup left Laura in rough shape, Ruthy and Bill stepped up to pick her up.
“The moment in the grocery store will just be something that I’ll always remember,” Suzie Skougard says.
Michael Reagan turned his life upside down to draw portraits of service people who died in Iraq or Afghanistan. Four thousand portraits later, he finally understood why.
The gift a father thought he didn’t want ended up being exactly what he needed.
A judge in North Carolina came up with an unusual way to enforce the law. His unorthodox decision ended up having a huge impact on one veteran’s life.
When Curtis Bishop was homeless, most people looked right past him. One stranger reached out in the middle of a food court and helped change his life.
James Carlsen's guitar never left his side until he sold it to feed his heroin addiction.
Ever dream about finding yourself naked in a crowd?
Deborah Greene was on a routine grocery run at Whole Foods when her brother called with terrible news.
Years after a car accident partially paralyzed her, Lauren Watson saw an aerial acrobatics demonstration in a local mall and decided she needed to learn it herself.
Watching his friend cope with a rare liver disease, Dylan Siegel was determined to help. So he set out to raise $1 million for research.
Joel Obermayer has recently come to see his father in a new light -- and learned that one of his father's projects helped grow a web of people around the world.
When she took her seat for a performance of King Lear one Saturday night, Barb Cone had no idea what enormous significance it would have for her 48 hours later.
Tragedy brought two women together. Now memories keep them close.
Here's a downloadable Kind World playlist that will put you in the mood to give thanks.
Sasha Chanoff was in his mid-20s when he faced an urgent decision unlike any he'd encountered before - and more than 100 lives depended on it.
Max Evans lived on the streets of Boston near the New England Aquarium, making his bed between two jersey barriers each night. He was known for being gruff, feisty, and unkempt, but these traits belied an inner graciousness and sincerity that touched many of those around him.
Janne Vanessche and her boyfriend were fighting - a lovers' quarrel. The argument was over something trivial, but, to an outsider, things may have looked serious. When Janne fled to a nearby park to let off steam, she was surprised to hear an unfamiliar voice call out to her.
Sister Sue Kintzele's phone number is written on the wall near the pay phone at the county jail. When prisoners can't make bail, they tell their family to call Sister Sue.
Nearing the end of her months-long hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, Brittany Goodson began to panic. Days of unrelenting rain had soaked her gear, and hypothermia threatened. Brittany and dozens of other hikers were forced off the trail, and eventually found their way to the only nearby town - the tiny community of Trout Lake, Washington.
As Parkinson’s disease worsened for Bernard Michaels, his family took him on a final trip to Europe. Early in the trip, a slip in Venice, Italy landed him in the hospital. His daughter, Sonia, set out with a collapsible wheelchair to meet him, but seventeen staired footbridges, slick with rain, stood between them. Fortunately, others took notice.
Jen Turner had always wanted to be a mom. But when she developed macular edema, an eye disease, doctors warned her that pregnancy could result in permanent loss of sight. Seeing her sister's distress, Jen's identical twin, Mel, made an unconventional proposal.
Everything seemed to be going wrong in Maureen Festa's life. Her marriage was ending, her mother was dying, and she faced having to leave the neighborhood she loved. She'd learned of a potential new apartment just down the street, but, on the day she'd planned to see it, she lost her job. To her surprise, the apartment's landlord gave her reason to hope.
Dr. Ferenc Jolesz's kidneys were failing fast. The estimated wait time for a cadaver transplant was five to 10 years. He didn't have that kind of time. But an article in the local paper led a stranger to ask, "Why not me?"
Every year at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, Missouri, students gather for a mother/son Mass and breakfast. Having lost his mom in middle school, Michael Tambone hadn’t attended the event. But in his Junior year, Frances Schmitz, a friend's mother, asked Michael if he’d like to go with her and her son.
Emily Proctor was traveling to Florida to visit a friend in need. When a thunderstorm caused her to miss a connecting flight, it looked like she'd be spending the night in the airport. That's when a stranger wrapped an arm around her, saying everything would be okay.
When Maureen O'Rourke's father was dying from Alzheimer's, she vowed to stay with him until the end. Death seemed imminent, but days turned into weeks, and Maureen contemplated leaving her father's side. That's when a small gesture from a nurse gave her the strength to stay one more night.
Shelagh Gordon was another name in the obituaries, an ordinary woman who had died suddenly of a massive brain aneurysm at the age of 55. But something in her obituary stood out to a journalist at the Toronto Star. For weeks, Catherine Porter had been combing the paper, looking to profile an ordinary person through the perspectives of the family and friends he or she had left behind. What emerged was an extraordinary portrait.
How far would you go to a help a person in need? When Ron Jones, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, got to know a young couple who were struggling and learned about their background, he made the decision that money alone would not be enough to truly make a difference in their lives.
Scott Widak had a smile for everyone and an open heart. When he became terminally ill, his nephew took to Reddit, asking the online community to send letters to his uncle with Down syndrome and listing some of his eclectic interests. Scott's story resonated around the world, with hundreds and hundreds of letters coming in, each recognizing something special about Scott that had resonated with the sender.
Karim Alagha worked for 25 years at a gas station in Cambridge. He was immensely loving and deeply empathetic; he asked people how they felt and truly listened to their answers. Over time, a community formed around Karim and the station. An invisible community that was not even aware of itself until Karim fell sick.
Reverend Nathan Detering is minister at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Area Church in Sherborn, Massachusetts. Last holiday season, he tried an experiment with his congregation — “reverse offering,” where instead of members donating money to the church, they were given money instead.
A skydiving instructor in Texas, David Hartsock, was making his last jump for the day. His student was Shirley Dygert, a 54-year-old wife and grandmother who was jumping for the first time. When everything went wrong, Hartsock determined that there was no way they could both survive the fall, and there was only one way for either of them to survive.