Updated: Mon, 02 Sep 2013 23:00:00 GMT | By Kim Peterson, MSN Money
11 amazing acts of generosity

These unexpected acts of kindness may inspire you to open up your heart, and your wallet, to help out a stranger.



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It doesn't take much to make a stranger feel special in our society. Just holding the door open for someone or letting a fellow shopper back out in a crowded parking lot can go a long way. It seems like we don't see even those basic levels of courtesy quite often enough.

That's why it's so noteworthy when someone makes a real difference. When people open their pocketbooks or make a decision that is so striking, so jaw-droppingly generous, that they change lives forever. It happens, in big and small ways.

We've pulled together several examples of people going out of their way for others. They made large donations of money that they could have used themselves. They helped neighbours in crisis, or young people with medical problems. They spent money just to put a smile on someone's face. 

And the funny thing about this kind of goodwill is that it can spread like a virus. In some of these cases, one generous act was the spark that spurred on a spree of similar kind-hearted gestures. People wanted to keep the momentum going, to maintain a pattern of giving that is all too rare.

Read on to see 11 amazing acts of generosity.

* All funds in USD.

* Bing: Health benefits of giving back

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