Hearing about or experiencing the unexpected kindness of strangers can help get us through the toughest times.
Just one bright moment on a dark day can do wonders.
Throughout the pandemic, the ECHO has reported on some incredible examples of kindness shown by strangers.
Whether that's helping out an elderly neighbour, or an unexpected gift – those simple, kind gestures have meant the world to some.
Here are some of the amazing moments that have brought smiles to our faces over the past six months.
Kind hearted stranger pays for woman's meal at McDonald's Drive-thru
Wendy Jones was left blown away by a kind-hearted stranger who paid for her McDonald's order at the drive-thru.
She visited the fast food chain on Chalon Way in St Helens, on Sunday, 14 February with her sister.
But it wasn't until Wendy went to pay for her meal, that the cashier told her the car in front had already paid for her.
The cashier said the customer's cousin had passed away last week and instead of buying flowers they had decided to give out random acts of kindness to others.
Sharing what happened in a community group on Facebook, Wendy said the gesture had "absolutely blown her away."
Wendy wrote: "Random act of kindness. I took my sister and her friend through the drive-thru at McDonald’s near the Range.
"I ordered their meals and went to pay. The cashier said the guys in front of me had paid my bill.
"They had explained to the cashier – their cousin had passed away last week and instead of flowers, they agreed to do random acts of kindness.
"It absolutely blew me away. If anyone has experienced the loss of a loved one during these times you will agree how difficult it is to celebrate their life with all the restrictions in place."
Kind-hearted taxi driver offered to take woman to have her Covid vaccine for free
In January the ECHO reported on hero taxi driver Mick Ball, who drove Meg Ogwin to have her coronavirus vaccine and refused to accept payment for the fare.
Meg Ogwin, 73, who has been shielding from the virus, said she hasn't driven much recently and wanted to make sure she arrived in plenty of time due to roadworks on The Strand.
She booked Micks Taxi Liverpool to take her there in advance but after driving her to and from the appointment Meg said Mick refused to take any money from her.
However, she insisted on paying him enough to cover the cost of his petrol.
Meg told the ECHO: "It made me feel really good that somebody whose work must have dried up would do that. He must be struggling himself.
"He seems like a genuinely nice man. I think he deserves to get some recognition."
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Asda worker left 'speechless' after girl gives her flowers then walks away without a word
Also in January, postman Danny Carolan, 51, witnessed a "touching moment" while out shopping in Widnes.
He was standing in the queue at Asda when he noticed the staff member behind the till chatting to a customer.
Danny said: "I was just queueing up and there was a girl in front of me getting her shopping in.
"She spoke to the woman behind the till just as little bit, as you do. As she's walked off with her trolley I started unpacking my stuff.
"Half way through she come back, I thought she'd been short changed.
"It was strange, she never said a word. She just passed her these flowers.
"I thought she must have knew her, a relative or something, but it was a surreal moment as she never said a word."
Danny said the female staff member behind the till who looked to be about 60 put her hand to her chest and looked like she was about to burst into tears.
He said: "She couldn't say a word because she was that choked up but the girl who gave her the flowers looked choked up as well – it was a touching moment."
Adding: "No one knows what people are carrying around with them.
"You forget, especially people in shops they put themselves on the line and you can take it for granted.
"Hopefully It will put it in people's minds that yes that is the way to go about it.
"And just to remind people there's a lot of people out there putting themselves out on the front line."
Cafe owner fills 'cold and hungry' pensioner's fridge with food
Claire Rigby who runs Momo's Cafe in St Helens, rushed to the aid of the elderly man on Tuesday, December 29 after discovering he had no oven or cooking facilities at his home.
The man, who is in his late 70's, was left unable to cook any food after his oven blew up on Christmas Day with his Christmas dinner still inside it.
Claire said the man who was "hungry and distressed", had not seen anyone since March except for one volunteer who drops his shopping off once a week.
Claire told the ECHO: "I was walking down my street and there was an old guy obviously in a lot of distress talking to his neighbour and his neighbour was looking really confused.
"I walked over and said, 'is there anything I can do to help?' He was saying 'I've not eaten, I've not eaten, I'm going to collapse.'
"I sent him back inside out of the cold because it was snowing and I said I'll get you some food and come back in a few hours."
After posting what had happened on Momo's Facebook page, people from across St Helens rallied round and donated food, a halogen oven, a toaster and a microwave to ensure he didn't go hungry.
The man was left in tears by the amazing gesture and Claire also contacted the local care team, social services and the council to get him the support he needs.
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NHS staff member's kind gesture to patient too scared to stay in hospital
NHS staff member Kieran Lees was called a hero for his "wonderful act of kindness" after a patient admitted they were too scared to stay in hospital.
The Fazakerley based ambulance care assistant was dropping off a patient at A&E when he got talking to the "flustered" man waiting outside Aintree Hospital in December.
The man told Kieran he was worried about having to stay in hospital over Christmas as there was no one to look after his terrier, Daisy.
After talking to the patient, the ambulance care assistant called his wife who drove up to the hospital to pick the dog up.
Kieran and his family then took care of Daisy over the Christmas period while her owner recovered in hospital.
Kieran said: "After I heard how desperate he was that he didn’t have anyone to look after his dog, I thought yes straight away, although I had to phone my wife who was at her mum’s for Christmas.
"However, within 20 minutes she’d packed my children into the car and came to the hospital to pick up the dog.
“It definitely brightened up my day that I could do something kind for him and made it worth working on Christmas day."
Friends and neighbours rally round to replace £500 stolen from pensioner's purse
Christmas proved it was the season of good will when friends and neighbours helped replace £600 that was stolen along with the purse of a pensioner.
In December Kyle Harper was at his parents' home in Walton on leave from his job in the RAF.
The day before Christmas Eve, he was in the kitchen chatting with his mum when there was a knock at the door from their neighbour who was in tears.
Kyle brought his mum's neighbour, Rhona, indoors for a chat and asked her why she was upset.
He said: "She'd been to the post office and got her pension money out which was £600.
"Then she went to a charity shop in Old Swan because they have beautiful cards apparently.
"There were two ladies in there, one in her thirties and one a lot younger like a teenager.
"They bumped into her and said sorry. When she went to the till to pay for her cards she realised her purse had gone."
Kyle took to Facebook and posted about what happened to Rhona, and set up a Gofundme page to see if they could recoup some of the money that she had lost.
Within hours they managed raise the full £600 target which Kyle went round and handed to his mum's neighbour on her doorstep.
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Kind teenager gets off his bike to help elderly woman sweep the street
Karen-Marie Montgomery from Rock Ferry captured the heart warming moment a teen stopped riding his bike to help her elderly neighbour brush the street.
In December, she said witnessing the kind but unexpected act made her heart ‘ cry with happiness ’.
The 31-year-old mum told the ECHO: “I was just watching telly in my bedroom and I just stood up because I just had this feeling to look outside the window
“I saw a young lad approaching the elderly woman opposite and I thought 'I'm going to keep my eye out here'.
“The next minute I saw him take the brush from her and start sweeping!”
She said what made her feel even happier about the teen’s sweet gesture was the fact he stayed for over an hour to sweep up and chat to the woman.
Karen-Marie was contacted by the boy's grandmother after she posted the photo up on a public Facebook group
She said: “The lad's nan got in touch with me. She said that he went home all buzzing saying he had talked to an old woman and she was so sweet and caring and he felt that it was his duty to help her.”
Karen-Marie believed the teen deserved a rewarded for his kind actions, adding: “It's hard times at the moment and it just goes to show who has got a heart.”
The friends who found hilarious way to return a lost phone to its owner
A group of hikers who found a hilarious way to return a lost phone to its owner were praised as "true Scouse ambassadors".
The friends took a cheeky selfie on a phone they discovered on a mountain – before going above and beyond to help get the phone back safely to its owner in August.
The friends found the phone of Kevin Dandy, 47, from Chester, who had accidentally left it at the top of Moel Famau in North Wales while watching the sunrise with his partner.
Panicking at the thought of losing his phone his partner, Pipa, decided to call it on her own phone to see if somebody had picked it up.
Kevin said: “My missus rang the phone and some dead cheeky sounding Scouser said ‘alright mate, how’re you doing. Where are ye?’
“He said 'Don’t worry, we saw you walk off so we’re heading down the track.'"
Kevin's phone was returned to him, but the friends refused his offer of a reward, and it was only later that he realised they had left a group selfie on his phone to remember them by.