Have You Ever Given to a Stranger?

We want to hear your stories about giving.

Mother Jones illustration

What makes people give?  Every day we see requests for help: from charities and nonprofits, acquaintances crowdfunding for projects, or strangers on the street. Research has found that when it comes to giving, we’re often “ruled by hearts rather than our heads,” and we’re pushed to give to causes that emotionally appeal to us rather than ones we know might have the most impact. A study in 2005 found that bystanders are more likely to help strangers in distress once they recognize they have something in common—even if those connections are as simple as liking the same football team. 

Giving to someone you know or a cause you care about makes sense. But what about giving or helping complete strangers—people we don’t have connections to at all? 

We’re interested in hearing your stories about giving: Tell us about a time you donated something to a complete stranger, and what motivated you to do it.









We may share your response with our newsroom and publish a selection of stories which would include your name, age, and location. Your email address will not be published and by providing it, you agree to let us contact you regarding your response. We respect your privacy and will not use your email address for any other purpose.

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