These days, losing faith in humanity is all too easy to do.
But help is at hand.
These remarkable photographs show how there are people out there who put others first without hesitation.
There’s the brave man who jumped into choppy waters to rescue a dog, the man in Brazil whose mission in life is to rescue as many strays as possible and the kindly passerby who taped some loose change to a snack machine for others to use for a bite to eat.
One act of kindness, meanwhile, deserves a special mention – because it involved tunneling through an entire mountain so locals could reach a hospital more easily.
Scroll down for the most heart-warming pictures you’ll see all year.
This man jumped into rough waters in Melbourne to rescue a stranger’s shih tzu. The dog owner was overwhelmed by his gesture
An Imgur user took this photo of his phone (using a friend’s phone), which he’d left on the hood of his car by accident. A passer-by put it in a bag to protect it from the rain and secured it under a wind-screen wiper
Wilson Martins Coutinho, from Rio de Janeiro, found a starving dog and nursed it back to health. He uses his vetinary training to save as many stray dogs as he can
A kindly doctor offered free health care after Hurricane Sandy
A driver did a hit-and-run on a wing mirror – but there’s no escaping justice, thanks to a friendly passer-by
This gentleman used a giant table umbrella to keep three ladies dry while he escorted them to their car in the rain
This caring man waded into the sea to rescue a beached baby dolphin
A Good Samaritan found a pair of glasses by the side of the road, then put them in a bag and hung them on a branch to keep them dry and in plain sight for the owner
These football players didn’t want this disabled man to eat alone, so they joined him for lunch
One thoughtful resident let people charge their phones in the wake of Hurricane Irene
Glam-rock band Panic! At The Disco turned a homophobic protest in Kansas City into a cause for good. They tweeted that they’d donate $20 to charity for every protester that turned up. In the end just 13 protesters showed, so the group raised its donation to $1,000
This loyal dog refused to leave his owner after he was knocked out following a fall while pruning a tree in Bahia Blanca, Argentina
Money for a strip club for a broken-hearted neighbor and some light therapy. A win all round
This photo, originally posted to Reddit in 2013 by user Brittany Magill of Falls Church, Virginia, shows a sign put up by dog-lover Megan Brockman, the owner of Cafe Mojo on Virginia Street in Urbanna. She distributed the doggie pools at her restaurant after reading about two dogs dying of heatstroke
An Indian man spent 22 years chiselling a massive gap in a mountain out of love for his dead wife. Dashrath Manjhi (pictured), an impoverished labourer from India’s lowest caste, embarked on the monumental endeavour after his wife Falguni died in 1959 because she had not been able to receive urgent medical care in time having been involved in an accident. Getting to the nearest town involved going around the mountain, a 55-kilometre (34-mile) journey, and Manjhi didn’t want other villagers to suffer the same fate. The tale of his incredible toil was made into a Bollywood film – The Mountain Man