Cool thread... I like it.
I can't speak much for myself, but I have listened to enough people talking about it to know quite a bit about what gives other people hope.
I guess the good thing about hope is that it walks hand in hand with "inspiration". In fact, in most cases they are intrinsically linked.
And you can be inspired by pretty much anything from music to art to travel to a smile from a stranger on the street.
As you stated, mearly knowing that your experienced is shared is enough to give some people hope. I think other than for help and advice, it is likely the reason many people come to this website in the first place.
A person I know told me that the response that she sees after a tragedy gives her hope. The way people join together to help each other, the outpouring of aid from charities people donate to, and people coming together in their grief.
Another person says when they hear that a critically endangered species numbers improve enough to get off the list... that gives them hope. Of course they are a huge animal person.
A "sciency" person I know feels hope when they discover a new solar system or planet or star. Hehe, they get so excited. I think they believe that it is by space exploration that our species will finally bond as "Earthlings" rather than be divided by "races".
A number of people I've met have told me that they are hopeful because... they just are. I guess like a 6th sense kind of "I don't know why but I feel everything will be ok". Funnily enough, these are usually among the "happier" people I have known.
I remember when I saw the story about the father who downloaded the plans and 3D printed a functioning hand for his amputee son. While this did not give me hope directly, I'm sure that every parent with a child that had a lost limb and amputees that saw it were extremely hopeful.
I guess a lot of hope comes from seeing positive progress in something that you are personally passionate about, or having someone to share what you are currently going through with.