Things That Matter

We Asked People About Retirement Savings And The Answers Will Shock You

With all that’s going on in the world, it’s important to remember more than ever that taking our futures seriously is crucial. Still, not all of us know about saving up for retirement let alone ensuring that we’re staying on the right track when it comes to squirreling our finances away. Recently, a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute revealed that a woman who is 25-years-old and saving for retirement would have to set aside double the amount of money she’s saving if stock market returns take a turn for the worst in the next few decades.

For advice on saving, we turned to Reddit and found when and how people started.

Check out the answers below.

“If you are in a position that you have 401k and IRA both maxed (and HSA if you are eligible), I recommend picking up a copy of the The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins. Or even if you don’t have all those accounts already maxed because I sure do not. I just finished reading it, it’s an informative book in plain English to get you started on the hows and whys of investing outside of tax sheltered retirement accounts.” – InternationalDivide3

“If I could upvote this twice, I would. Love that book. Completely changes our approach to investing for retirement.” – beloise

“I am going to read that book! Thank you for the suggestion.” – heysunflowerstate

“Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while.” – emmy__lou

“Single, no kids, no parents to support, age 55.5.

I didn’t start until my first post-graduate school job (assistant professor, 1997, age 33). I’m now federal employee @ ~ $180K. I started at 5% to get the match and both the percentage and my salary have increased. As of today, I contribute the full $19,500 and get a 5% match and have a combined $750K. I expect a minimum of $1M (probably more) at age 64. I also get a federal pension and social security and will have no student loans and a paid-off NoVA townhouse by age 64.

When I retire – ~ age 64 ~ I plan to sell the townhouse (~$450K), buy another home in a college town (PA through NM, location TBD) – preferably with room / in-law suite to rent to a grad student. Use the difference in sales prices to set up account to fund utilities / property taxes / repairs, use the rental income to cover upgrades, use social security to cover health insurance, use pension to cover living expenses / transportation, and use 401K to cover travel and entertainment (until it becomes long-term care).

Of course, the best laid plans …” –ADB_BWG

“I contributed to my 401k immediately with my first job out of college at 22, consistently contributed since (now 35) and this will be my 5th year maxing out the pretax contribution (19,500 this year). I always did enough to get the maximum company match, I was lucky to have a few promotions over the years that allowed me to get to the point I am now.” –thighgaap84

“For those who max your 401k, what’s your salary? I think I can do it this year on my salary without feeling it too much but just wondering. EDIT – well, shit, I’ve made well over 60k for over four years. So I can definitely be maxing. Whoops.”- workthrowa

“I started maxing my 401k when I started making ~60k/year. Before then I only contributed enough to get the company match. What really tipped the scales for me was

  1. using the smart asset paycheck calculator. This has always been very accurate for me down to a couple dollars when I want to see what a raise or contribution change means for my net paycheck; and
  2. doing the math to understand the tax implications. It was super empowering to see that with our budget at the time, I was able to afford doubling down on retirement. Before then I just assumed that it would be a hardship and wasn’t even willing to look into the math or the output of my choice.

Smart asset calculator in case it’s useful for others: https://smartasset.com/taxes/paycheck-calculator.” – beloise

“I didn’t start making mine until I was over $100k, but I wish I had sooner. We also starting maxing my husband’s at the same time since our joint income was enough to carry it. His salary was around $60k at that point but two earners makes a big difference.” –weasel_stoat

“$174k (I went from making about $82.5, and immediately maxed it out). Really wish i would have done more, sooner. I probably could not have maxed it out, but at least more.” –Aryne13

“Cost of living definitely makes a difference here; I did not max out my 401k when I was on a 60k salary because I live in NYC. And while I max it out now, when my expenses increase (e.g., if I have kids), I may not be able to do so even if my salary stays the same (and I’m at the point where I don’t expect it to rise significantly anymore).” –MerelyMisha

“Started maxing when I made $47k but was used to living like a college student. That money has grown big time. So glad I started early.” – chicksin206

“I started contributing after I graduated from law school (am 33 now) and, because of that never “missed the money” that I took from my check. I contributed to a employer sponsored 401(k) and later started contributing to a Back-Door Roth IRA.

  • I chose a traditional 401(k) as I expect to be making less money in retirement than while working.
  • I chose a Back-Door Roth because straight traditional – or Roth – contributions are not deductible/permissible at my income level.
  • I contribute the maximum each year (plus our retirement plan permits for “After-Tax” (not the same as Roth) contributions, so I add a couple grand there. I receive a 7.5% match.”- PersonalFinanceD

“As soon as I started my first job in highschool. I was mainly saving for university but I also put a bit away in an RRSP just to get started, which my parents suggested. It wasn’t much ($500, probably, throughout highschool.) But it normalized retirement savings as a thing to do from my very first paycheque and meant that when I got my first “big girl job” I wasn’t overwhelmed by the idea of having to research and open an account, etc.” –PracticalShine

“I’m cackling at your younger self opinion of a 401k, I wish it were true!!

I did something similar, contributed 6% ish until 26 when I switched jobs for the first time and got a decent pay bump. 2019 was the first year I maxed out at 28, and plan to keep that going.

For investing, I’ve been using a financial adviser to manage mutual funds since 26 as well. We revisit my goals once or twice a year to adjust contributions and investment allocation. It’s fairly conservative and right now am contributing large sums when my savings account gets high, I want to look into other options next time we meet to maybe deposit monthly. But I’ll probably listen to what he suggests.” –jamz512

“Y’all are so good! I started actually trying to save when I was 27ish and I’m 31 now. I focused on liquid savings for a long time though and in the last few years pivoted those good habits to retirement accounts.” –kamikatzie

“For anyone who thinks they don’t make enough money to invest in their retirement, please know that putting even as little as $50 (or even like $25) a month is better than not doing it at all. Things like compound growth with interest are your friend and will make that tiny amount of money balloon up over the course of a few decades.

I first moved to NYC out of college and made barely anything. I thought I could not afford to put money into my 401k let alone a Roth IRA. I started with my standard company match and then eventually bumped it up a few percentage points and hardly noticed the salary deductions. Fast forward a few years and I’m making more money and have exponentially more money in my retirement accounts because I bothered to start at 22. It’ll be even more by the time I retire. I have a fat amount of money in these accounts now because I put just a little money away as a naive fresh college grad.

Educate yourself as much as possible! Watch YouTube investing gurus, listen to finance podcasts, learning about this stuff isn’t hard if you’re open to listening!” –alum38

“I’m in basically the same situation and trajectory as you!

I’ve contributed at least the employer matching to my 401k (4-6%) since graduating college (22). I didn’t get super serious about it until maybe 26 or so, which coincided with a job switch where I got a sizable raise. I started maxing out my Roth IRA that year and increased my 401k contributions. This is the first year where I’ll max both out. I probably could have maxed out my 401k earlier but I had been saving for graduate school and a house downpayment.

Honestly I chose 401k because that’s just what my first job offered, and Roth IRA because I had a decent tax refund one year and decided to be responsible that year and put it towards retirement.

If you haven’t seen the r/personalfinance flowchart (https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/wiki/commontopics#wiki_the_flowchart) that’s a good resource! Basically it depends what your goals are. Personally I’m saving for shorter term goals still, but the next steps if you’re trying to save more for retirement are usually HSA, 529, mega backdoor Roth, or other tax advantaged accounts!” –mdengineer4

“I’m Australian so our system is slightly different.

The government requires your employer to put 9.5% of your salary into a superannuation account for you. So if you earn $70,000 then $6,650 is put in an account for you.

I started making additional contributions (an extra $5k per year) at 25 and will do so until I buy a house because of the power of compound interest.” –currypuff63

“I started contributing to a 401k when I started my first real job after college graduation (age 23). I contributed 10% and that job matched 100% of the first 5% if I remember correctly. I’ve continued contributing 10% every since. So as my salary grows, so do my 401k contributions.

Now that my husband and I have finished paying off our student debt, we need to revisit our plan for investments and may choose to max out our 401k contributions. We haven’t hashed that out yet though.” – Reddit user

“I saved a tiny bit for retirement in my first post-college job. I delayed seriously saving for retirement until I was 28 (ouch) because I was in grad school then spent two years in temporary low-ish paying (but prestigious!) jobs that didn’t offer benefits. (I didn’t figure out how to open my own 401(k) or IRA, which I now regret). My spouse also delayed saving for the same reason (grad school) until he was 34 (double ouch).

For the past 3.5 years, we have both maxed out our retirement contributions and invested all of our spare money in the interest of catching up on retirement. We’re now expecting a kid, so our extra investment will slow down, but we do expect to continue maxing out our retirement contributions.” –PutridMarionberry

“I started with a Roth IRA pretty young – I think I was 18 the first year I contributed. I didn’t start a 401k until I was 28 because grad school takes forever, and I’ve been putting money in there at a pretty good clip. The funny thing about compound interest is that my Roth IRA is worth more than my 401k, even though the actual contribution amount was so much less.” –weasel_stoat

“Started contributing and maxing my Roth IRA around 22 and started contributing to my employers simple IRA after I graduated at 23. I have been at my current job for 4.5 years and contribute 10% with a 5 % match. I have yet to max it out but my company deposits profit sharing into it which helps immensely. I wish I had started earlier.” – fozhoe

“After finishing residency where I was working 6 days a week 14 hours a day and devoted one paycheck to rent, ~ 29 yo.”- sushdances

“I opened my Roth IRA when I was 23 (have been maxing it out for three years) and just opened my own solo 401(k) for my freelance income at 26 years old. I don’t get any benefits through my full time job, so I’m figuring all of this out on my own.” –Comfortable_Salad

“19 when I opened my IRA, but 26 when I actually started working towards maxing out contributions.” –Shannoniggy

“Very very late to the game but I’m in a position where I will get a pension (probably 80k a year?) and minimally contribute to a 403b. Maybe this is super naive of me but I’m really banking on the pension for retirement.” –gpc31

“I’ve saved between 5-15% of my salary in a 401k since I first started working in a job that offered one when I was about 22. I took a couple of years off retirement savings due to underemployment/not having a 401k, but whenever I’ve had a job that offered one, I’ve been saving. I’ve never maxed out my 401k because I’ve always lived in very HCOL areas and it hasn’t seemed reasonable to cut that much of my salary. Right now I’m saving 7%, because I’m trying to build up more liquid savings for a house down payment.” –butterwerkbatch

“I started contributing at age 23 but have not been able to max contributions (I’m 31 now). I have about $57k in my 401k and also have an IRA separate from my employer 401k. Hoping to wipe out debt this year and hopefully max out both next year!”- ny2017

“Growing up my parents really pushed the savings and retirement contributions. I didn’t fully understand it, but I put money in my savings account and then into my 401K when I was eligible. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I fully understood the concept and thought of money in an entirely different way. Now my husband and I max out our employer retirement accounts and are working to get our Roth’s maxed out too. I’m in my mid 30’s now and we are looking at early retirement. I wish I could go back and educate myself in my early 20’s!”- InherentlyFeminine

“I’m 26 now, but starting at 25, $1,050 has been invested in my retirement fund per month – half comes from me, and the other half is from my employer. I have a DB pension and the contribution increases whenever I make more. Come spring of this year, $1,300 will be put towards my retirement every month.

Honestly I had no choice in the matter. The pension is apart of my work benefits and participation is mandatory. Not that I’m complaining – it is seriously golden.” –shehasntseenkentucky

“At my first “real” job, i started to contribute to the 401k at the level the company matched at. I essentially did this for 10 plus years, maybe going a little over, but not much…And never really thought to put in any more. The last two or so years, though, i would increase a percentage of my contribution with ever COL increase I received.

In that 10 years, though, I paid off my student loans, and put a downpayment towards a home. For the past two years (going on 3), I have now maxed out the 401k, and put more money into other investment accounts, this is 100% because of a significant salary increase. I was ignorant in my twenties, had no clue that I should be contributing more, and with my salary, I was focused on saving for a downpayment and really, nothing more. I really wish, i would have contributed more. I have about $150k in one account, and $30k in another, at 35, and this could have been so much more…” –Aryne13

“I’ve always been more of a saver than a spender, but I don’t think I got serious about it until I was 32. Until then, I saved primarily in bank accounts, stacked cash in an IRA but didn’t invest it, etc.” –Kindly_Sprinkles

“I’ve had an IRA since I was 18, but I didn’t really start saving for retirement until I got my first real job at 23. I just did our taxes and we owe money for the first time ever and I also learned that we’re over the threshold for saving in an IRA, so I think I’ll put more money into my 401k and work toward maxing that out.” –ancientbluehaired

“When I graduated I made $50k, was $25k in debt, and contributed 10% to retirement. This was 2015.

I think I bumped it up to 12% when I was done with my loans and making ~70k.” –MaotheMao21


“To phrase it the way that makes me sound pretty good: as soon as I had access to a 401(k) I started contributing almost $200 a paycheck.

To phrase it the way that makes me sound much worse: I didn’t start saving for retirement until I was 25. And closer to 26 than 25.

Took me over six months out of college to get a fulltime job, then I lost that job six months in and it took me a year and a half to get another. In between I made barely enough to cover my student loan payments and my car loan and insurance.
Nobody ever told me I could, and should, put money in an IRA while I was in college. I had at least a few hundred dollars to spare then that I could have saved.” –walkingonairglow

“Right out of college. I was making $32k in the late 90s and contributed up to the match of my 401k (it was 3%) more than 25 years later, that year worth about $70k of my retirement portfolio now.

The moral of the story is, no matter how little your have, time is in your side when you start early.

Do the best that you can!”-  Reddit users

“Not American, but last year I started paying maybe 3% into a pension scheme, there was no employer match so it was hard to justify paying in more when we were trying to buy our first home. We’ve bought that house and I’ve also moved job, now I pay 5% and my employer pays 8%.

My fiancé and I are late 20s. We’re getting married soon (on a budget), we have a mortgage and very small car loan but no cc or education debt. We’re not planning on trying for kids for a few years so maybe this is the right time to plough money into our pensions before we’ve got college funds etc to pay into.” –dickbuttscompanion

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Cardi B Gets Hit With Thanksgiving Backlash After Throwing COVID Party

Entertainment

Cardi B Gets Hit With Thanksgiving Backlash After Throwing COVID Party

Leon Bennett / Getty

The Thanksgiving family drama ain’t over yet, folks.

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, medical officials appealed to Americans to stay home for the holidays to combat a potential increase in COVID cases that would undoubtedly arrive during gatherings. Over the weekend, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, told Americans that they should assume they are infected with the coronavirus if they did opt to travel and attended large gatherings for Thanksgiving.

Over the weekend after news spread that rapper Cardi B hosted a large Thanksgiving celebration amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After she shared a post to her social pages over the weekend, Cardi B is getting a bitter taste of Thanksgiving backlash.

Cardi B responded to backlash Sunday over her Thanksgiving celebrations where she appeared to host a large gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 28-year-old rapper tweeted, “12 kids and 25 adults over the holidays. It was lit !!”

It didn’t take long for the post to spark commentary from followers aware of public health officials’ pleas to urge Americans to limit their Thanksgiving celebrations. Ahead of the Thanksgiving celebrations officials asked people to keep dinners and gatherings to a limited number of people out of anticipation of coronavirus case increases.

As ever, Cardi was quick in her response and at first, seemed to apologize claiming that she had not meant to offend anyone with her holiday celebration.

“Sorry my bad wasn’t trying to make nobody feel bad.I just had my family in my home for the first time and it felt so good & uplifted me. I spent soo much money getting every1 tested but it felt worth it. I wasn’t trying to offend no1,” she tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Late last week Cardi posted photos of her Thanksgiving Day with her 2-year-old daughter Kulture.

She also replied to a fan who ridiculed her use of COVID testing to support a gathering.

“ME specially and everyone that works around me get tested literally 4 times a week. Im In the middle of work and every time we clock in we MUST GET TESTED !” she Cardi replied.

It didn’t take long for Cardi to continue her responses to critical fans

“People be trying tooo hard to be offended,” she tweeted to one post. “I wonder how they survive the real world.”

Like it or not, tested or not, the reality of the current pandemic situation is that people are still contracting the virus.

“We know people may have made mistakes over the Thanksgiving time period,” Birx warned in an interview with Face the Nation. “If you’re young and you gathered, you need to be tested about five to 10 days later. But you need to assume that you’re infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask.”

“We’re really asking families to even mask indoors if they chose to gather during Thanksgiving and others went across the country or even into the next state,” she added.

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People Are Sharing Humbling Acts Of Kindness Tales And The Stories Will Bring You To Your Knees

Things That Matter

People Are Sharing Humbling Acts Of Kindness Tales And The Stories Will Bring You To Your Knees

Fox Photos / Getty

Good deeds make for a good world. We all know there’s some sort of truth in that, but these days there’s so much in the world to shadow goodness and kindness in the world. Fortunately, people have been quick to share their memories of acts of kindness and good deeds.

And on Reddit no less!

Users on Reddit are sharing the most humbling acts of kindness they’ve ever experiencexd.

Check them out below!

“This is a few humbling kind experiences all wrapped into one: My mom got suddenly diagnosed with cancer and deteriorated unbelievably quickly. She seemed totally healthy when she was diagnosed, yet died 6 weeks later. She had me when she was older (45) so it was always her dream to live long enough to see me get married. When my boyfriend of 8 years found out she was sick, he immediately asked me to marry him. Humbling experience #1.

We then tried to find a justice of the peace ASAP to officiate the wedding at my parents’ home. There was only one in the small town my parents lived in. She was all booked up but when she heard why we needed to book ASAP she reworked her whole schedule so that she could be there for us (humbling experience #2)

Our family and friends then went out of their way to plan the wedding for us so that I could be with my mom in pallative care. My aunt and uncle drove 5 hours to us, got flowers, candles, a cake, champagne and set up the house for the wedding. Our neighbours took care of our dogs and planned a catered reception for us. My best friend (the only person I really wanted as a brides maid) nearly got fired from her new job in order to get the time off to be there, and she and her boyfriend drove for 6 hours to be there. Everyone was so wonderful, well beyond what I could’ve ever expected or asked for. It was so amazing and heartwarming. (Humbling experience #3)

My mother was able to attend the wedding and it was a very joyous occasion, despite the circumstances. She passed away 3 days later. Even though it wasn’t a traditional wedding, it was perfect because so many people that we loved dropped everything to help fulfill our dreams.” –awkwardmumbles

“In a thread asking what things my children don’t know, I shared that we were struggling financially, that I often lied to them and said I’d already eaten, but I knew the situation was temporary. Reddit users suggested I create an Amazon wish list and sent us food, gifts for the kids, and even a pair of shoes for me to replace the pair I’d been wearing for years. The words of encouragement got me through a very tough time. I’m working now, and while I’m still digging out of lots of student loan and medical debt, last Christmas I was able to pay it forward, by sponsoring a family for Christmas. I’ll never forget the kindness of the people here.” –surpassing_disasters

“I’m not the richest guy in the world. I was in grade 11 and at that point I had been playing the same cheap $150 guitar for 10 years. One day during the year, it was my birthday. My girlfriend at the time had already told me that she couldn’t make it on that day because she had a family thing. I didn’t expect much. Two of my friends finally convinced me to grab dinner with them so we did. We then headed back to one of my friends houses. When I got there, about 20 friends (including my girlfriend) were there. They had thrown me a surprise party. They then pulled out a guitar case. They all put their money together and bought me a $2000 brand new American Fender Telecaster. I don’t think I have ever been so humbled by the kindness of my friends and I will never forget what they did for me.” – Krebsy92

“I was living in another state with my family,my husband and son (I was also pregnant). we hit some hard time. Money was very low and that week we only had 30 dollars for food for the next 4 days. I went to the grocery store and picked out some food (rice, beans, smoked sausage, eggs, etc..). I went to the self service register to check out and it came to 25 dollars. I went to my pocket for my money and it wasn’t there. I turned red in the face with embarrassment and I told the cashier maning the self checkout lanes I must of dropped it so please cancel the order. He didn’t. He paid for it out of his own pocket. I thanked him up and down. I went to my car and cried.” –thepurplefrog

“My uncle gave me $500 when I left for college (he usually gave money to me and my cousins). He was murdered months after, the day one of my older cousins was getting married. She gave EVERYTHING from her wedding that could be useful at the funeral (food, alcohol, sodas). My cousin is poor, by the way.” – mrcolon96

“I was arrested for possession of marijuana in Texas and before I even made a phone call out, a random lady bailed me out and drove me to my car, paid to get my car out of the impound, and let me pay her back like 5 weeks later.” – echo_astral

“In 2004 my father died somewhat suddenly after fighting very aggressive cancer for a month. My family and I witnessed an overwhelming outpouring of kindness and love from our community. The local businesses adopted us for Christmas(dad died in early December), people brought us meals for weeks, and the local funeral director made sure that the services honored dad’s life while making it affordable for an already struggling family. The biggest thing, though, would have to be the hospital bills that my mom never saw. After a month in and out of the ICU and multiple surgeries the bills must have been huge, but someone picked up 90% of them without ever telling our family. We always assumed it was my dad’s boss, but we will possibly never know. There are countless more instances from that first few years, but I cannot begin to name all of them. It is truly amazing to see a small community pull together for a family in their time of need.” –perrydise_livin

“one winter, i spent a saturday with my mom. that evening, she’d bought tickets to a college production of jesus christ, superstar, and invited me to go with her. i wasn’t terribly excited about it, but i know it’s one of her favorite musicals and it would mean a lot to her if i went, so i just sucked it up. we would up having a lovely day together. we were walking back to the car after the show, and were in the middle of talking about something that had happened to her at work. an elderly woman walking in front of us slipped on some ice, fell, and started to kind of cry/moan/wail.

the elderly lady had two people with her (her kids, i found out later). one rushed off to get help, and the other (a man) stayed with his mother. as soon as the woman went down, my mother stopped talking mid-sentence (a difficulty for an italian-american woman who grew up in NJ) and rushed over to help. the man was kind of panicked. he kept kind of loudly asking his mother if anything hurt, what hurts, can you move your arms, your legs, etc. I’m sure he meant well but in his panic he was somewhat aggressive and it was scaring his mother even more.

my mom told the guy sternly but softly to calm down and bent down, in the snow/mush/ice, to talk to the woman. she cracked a few jokes about how she was clumsy and fell all of the time, it could happen to anyone, and how unfortunately her clumsiness seems to have passed on to her daughter (me). in between jokes, she took off her coat and put it over the woman and gently told her to keep still until help arrived. by the time some workers from the theater and security folks came over, the woman was smiling and talking about holiday recipes with my mother. she was laughing and saying how she felt embarrassed everyone made such a fuss over her. an ambulance arrived and after consulting with the EMTs, the woman was standing up and seemed okay. she agreed to go get checked out, and gave my mom back her jacket and thanked her profusely “for keeping her head” better than her own kids. her son tried to give my mother some money for “dry cleaning” (her clothes were wet and muddy from sitting next to the woman) and she told him it wasn’t necessary.

we started to walk away, and she continued our conversation from earlier – like, word for word, picked up with the sentence she’d left off with. it occurred to me that helping someone like that was just second nature to my mom. she didn’t think twice, and it would never have occurred to her to keep walking and let someone else handle it. and not only that, she handled it like a champ, calmed everyone down, and had folks laughing by the time she was through.

not a huge thing in the grand scheme of things, but it really struck me in that moment just how selfless she is. she is constantly doing things both big and small for others without ever expecting anything in return.”-MsSusieDerkins

“My dad took my brother, sister and I out for lunch at a local diner/ice cream shop. About three tables away was a very bedraggled mother with twin infants in carriers and two other small children, and it looked like today was the day for all of them to act up. After I was done eating I went to look at the pinball machine ( a lifelong obsession) and on his way over to collect me, my dad stopped at the counter, paid our bill, and the lady’s as well. He never mentioned it later, and did it in a way that no one other than the cashier would have even known, but I managed to catch it. I know its a very simple act, and it probably wasn’t very expensive, but the fact that he did it without much thought, and not even to use as a kindness lesson to us kids, always stuck with me.” – CigaretteCigarCigar

“I was in the hospital for passing out in class at college. I was 4 hours away from my parents and they couldn’t come to take care of me and I didn’t have a roommate in my dorm. I was pretty much by myself. A nurse drove me all the way back to my dorm. She then went to walmart, bought me soup, crackers, gateraid and a bunch of other things for when you’re sick. She said for me to call her if I needed anything. I didn’t know this woman at all. I almost cried. She saw I had no food or anything and was so kind to me. I will always be thankful for her kindness. She didn’t have to do that at all. She is an angel.” – ThatRedHairedGirl

“I was homeless and walking from Huntsville Alabama to Nashville Tennessee. I had no money, hadn’t eaten or bathed since the previous morning, and I was pretty much exhausted from walking all night. Stopped at a gas station to ask directions and a Jamaican guy who worked there was kind enough to give me a free sandwich. I remember sitting on the curb trying not to cry while eating what remains the best goddamn sandwich I’ve ever eaten.” –blkhatRaven

“When I was 19 and rapidly deteriorating on the waiting list for a liver, and the doctors decided we’d try the last ditch option of living donation. We called my only blood match, my paternal aunt. She agreed to be tested and was a perfect match. She came to my house in late August and told me that she was a match, and she’d set the date for September 30th.

On that day we rolled into surgery together, and 14 hours later I came out. She was in surgery for about 8 hours. I woke up 3 days later in a ton of pain. But I was alive and the liver was working. My aunt was doing great. She went home on day 4. I had another 2 weeks in the hospital and a hotel near the hospital.

That was 5 years ago. I’m doing great, never had a bout of rejection (which is rare and pretty awesome) my aunt says it’s like she never had surgery. I’m now 24, 25 in July. I wouldn’t have seen 20 without my aunt. I wouldn’t have gotten to travel, or have met my soulmate, or adopted 2 cats together. I moved across the country to live with my bf, and we’ve been together for 3 years. Life is very good.” –greffedufois

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