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 Your email address will not be published and by providing it, you agree to let us contact you regarding your response.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.

Image credit: kazatin/Getty


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.