Rank #1: All-Star Friendship
Reporter Shirley Wang tells the story of her father, Lin Wang, a cat-litter scientist who befriended NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley.
Rank #2: The Betrayal
“The ocean was one of the most important relationships in my life," Shannon Leone Fowler says. "Sometimes, the most important."
Rank #3: New Ink
Much like addressing racism, covering a tattoo can be more complicated than getting the original.
Rank #4: The Bridge
Julie Lindahl and Rachael Cerrotti of our previous two episodes meet, and a twist of fate changes everything for Rachael.
Rank #5: Remembering Karim
Karim Alagha worked for 25 years at a gas station in Cambridge. He was immensely loving and deeply empathetic; he asked people how they felt and truly listened to their answers. Over time, a community formed around Karim and the station. An invisible community that was not even aware of itself until Karim fell sick.
Rank #6: A Stranger's Rescue
When Michael Connor saw a burning car on the side of the road, he stopped to see how he could help. He didn't expect to save a child's life seconds before a disaster.
Rank #7: Love For The Least Loved
Growing up in a violent and chaotic home almost pushed Aaron Stark to commit a mass shooting. He says the simple acts of kindness from his friends stopped him from making a horrible mistake.
Rank #8: Reddit Sends Its Love
Scott Widak had a smile for everyone and an open heart. When he became terminally ill, his nephew took to Reddit, asking the online community to send letters to his uncle with Down syndrome and listing some of his eclectic interests. Scott's story resonated around the world, with hundreds and hundreds of letters coming in, each recognizing something special about Scott that had resonated with the sender.
Rank #9: The Secret
Julie Lindahl felt burdened by an indescribable guilt, a feeling she could never understand.
Rank #10: When The Sun Came Out
Norah and Dan were an unlikely pair.
Rank #11: A Place That's Safe
How far would you go to a help a person in need? When Ron Jones, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, got to know a young couple who were struggling and learned about their background, he made the decision that money alone would not be enough to truly make a difference in their lives.
Rank #12: A Different Window
Bostonians aren’t always known for their friendly, helpful nature, but Blair Wong has discovered a very different side to the city’s inhabitants.
Rank #13: Refuge
For Rachael Cerrotti, history keeps circling back to the present.
Rank #14: A Connecting Flight
After a chance meeting on an airplane, school volunteer LynnEllen was inspired to help Timothy feel closer to home during his first deployment to Afghanistan. The letters he received were as unexpected as their meeting.
Rank #15: A Sister, A Surrogate
In 2014, Melissa Turner went above and beyond the bond of sisterhood to become a surrogate for her identical twin, Jen. Five years since the birth of Jen's own twin girls, the sisters have experienced tremendous joy and unimaginable tragedy.
Rank #16: A Story Of Basketball, Friendship And Mental Health
When David Pradel was going through a hard time, Nate Edwards was there to help. But David didn't know that Nate was suffering from depression, too.
Rank #17: Secret Sisters
They didn't all know each other, but they knew their friend needed help.
Rank #18: An Ordinary, Beautiful Life
Shelagh Gordon was another name in the obituaries, an ordinary woman who had died suddenly of a massive brain aneurysm at the age of 55. But something in her obituary stood out to a journalist at the Toronto Star. For weeks, Catherine Porter had been combing the paper, looking to profile an ordinary person through the perspectives of the family and friends he or she had left behind. What emerged was an extraordinary portrait.
Rank #19: The Boy With Long Lashes
People ask Mohamed if he's crazy. He says he wouldn't live any other way.
Rank #20: After The Flood
Coach Kevin Motsinger was one of many North Carolinians displaced by Hurricane Florence earlier this year. Despite his own devastating losses, the 45-year-old high school football coach focused on rebuilding his small, rural town.