10 inspiring acts of generosity

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    People generally aren't used to kindness from strangers. Most of us are too wrapped up in our lives to pay much attention to anyone else.

    That's why it's so striking when strangers do something unexpected. The act may be as simple as holding the door open for someone else, or letting a person go first in line. Even the smallest actions can have an impact.

    With some people, though, the well of generosity runs deep. They do incredible things to improve other lives, opening their pocketbooks or going the extra mile in unexpected ways.

    Each of these actions changed lives, and in some cases saved lives. And nearly each one inspired others to act a little kinder or give more of themselves. Good deeds are funny like that.

    Click ahead to see 10 acts of generosity that did more than make people smile.

  • Kim Peterson

    Kim Peterson is a financial journalist covering business and the economy. She has written for several online and print publications, including MSN Money and The Seattle Times.