Act of kindness #33: Vending machine goodies

I’ve been itching to do this kindness act for quite a while now, and have been waiting for the opportunity.

I was inspired after seeing how an anonymous donor left free treats in a vending machine at Christie’s cancer hospital in Manchester (see here). I’ve left money taped to a public vending machine before, but this is different.

I wanted to find a vending machine frequently used by the doctors, nurses and staff in a hospital. And today as I had a hospital appointment, l finally got that chance.

After my appointment, I set about searching for a vending machine staff which used, but was told that there are only vending machines in public areas.

And I really wanted the hardworking hospital staff to benefit from this act of kindness.

So I kept asking.

Eventually, someone overheard me talking to the main receptionist and suggested I try the theatre reception, as she thought there was a vending machine which the public didn’t have access too – but warned I may have difficultly being allowed into the ‘staff only’ area.

Bingo!

So back up the long corridor I went in search of the theatre reception, but got a little confused by all the different signs and entrances. Then, I saw a nurse about to go into the theatre area and thought I’d ask her for help.

As she turned around, I realised it was an old childhood friend I haven’t seen in oodles of years!

What are the odds!!

She works in theatre and was just returning from a meeting. As I explained my kindness mission, she kindly let me go with her into the ‘staff only’ area and stayed with me throughout.

WooHoo!!!!

I bought a selection of chocolate bars and stuck a note on the front to explain why there are goodies lying in the bottom of the machine.

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vending machine close up

My friend took a photo and emailed it to the theatre department to let them know. I hope a few of them got to enjoy a sweet snack on this rainy Tuesday afternoon, and know that they are very much appreciated for the incredible job that they do.

☆♡☆

ps if you found one of the snacks, I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below (and if you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please do let me know).

Act of kindness #32: Lovely letters

Over the last few days, I’ve been writing letters for the ‘One Million Lovely Letters Exhibition’.

The organiser, big-hearted Jodi Ann Bickley, started her One Million Lovely Letters project with the simple but gorgeous idea to send a lovely letter to anyone who needs a little lift.

It’s become a huge success and she has written and sent oodles and oodles of lovely letters to people all over the world.

Now, she is asking for help.

Jodi’s first exhibition is at Centrala in Digbeth, Birmingham (UK) from 10th April.  And she’d like folks to write a ‘Dear You’ letter to be included in the exhibition.

As Jodi explains, they need to be “letters of positivity that will be put up in the exhibition that any one that visits will be able to read and take the letter they feel speaks to them at that specific moment in time”.

The theme of this exhibition is “A letter to my younger self; a letter full of hope to a stranger or a letter of guidance to a younger, lost you.”

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It’s such a brilliant idea, I couldn’t resist writing and sending a few lovely letters…

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Here’s the info with the address if you fancy sending a letter or two to be included in one of Jodi’s fabulous exhibitions.

Or if you’d like to receive a letter from Jodi, or would like to nominate someone who’d appreciate one, please send an email with the address and reason to: onemillionlovelyletters@gmail.com

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #31: Birthday Giveaway

Today is my birthday, hooray!

And to celebrate, I’m giving away 3 copies of ‘The Kindness Diaries: One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around The World’*  by Leon Logothetis.

29th Kindness Diaries Bday Giveaway

It’s also my little way of saying a big THANK YOU for all your kindness and support, it really means a lot.

For your chance to win, simply comment on this post.

That’s it 🙂

To double your chances and get TWO entries, finish this sentence in the comments:

“Kindness is __________”

The winners – one each from here, my ‘Spreading a little kindness’ Facebook community page, and on Twitter – will be chosen at random on Friday and posted in the comments below.

Please make sure you’ve subscribed to my blog, so I can contact you if you’re a winner.

Good luck my lovelies.

☆♡☆

The Kindness Diaries is an inspiring true story of how Leon Logothetis “circumnavigated the globe on his vintage yellow motorbike Kindness One, giving life changing gifts along the way to unsuspecting good Samaritans. All of this whilst relying on the kindness of strangers. The Kindness Diaries will introduce you to a world of adventure, renew your faith in the bonds that connect people, and inspire you to accept and generate kindness in your own life.”

Act of kindness #30: Litter picking

A kind-hearted Facebook friend recently wrote this post on her inspiring kindness page:

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And it really hit home. HARD!

I completely identified with the first part of the post:

“We were walking home and I walked past a whole lot of litter that was left from the parade that was on in the week. Guess what I thought? ‘the council didn’t do a very good job cleaning up afterwards, that’s a real mess at the top of my street’ AND I KEPT ON WALKING… yep. I walked past it.”

Yep, whenever I see litter, I say to myself how awful it is, and I keep on walking. And I imagine most people do the very same.

But now, I want to identify with the second part of Ally’s post:

“Then I thought, actually I keep harping on “Be the change in the world” and wondered how many other people had walked past this litter. I turned around, and walked back and with that thought in mind, I had a small plastic bag in my bag, and with Roux [Ally’s dog] on her leash (more hindrance than help) I picked up the litter.”

So rather than tut-tutting about the amount of litter I see strewn around my neighbourhood and feeling outrage at the person/s responsible for the rubbish, I will simply pick it up.

[image: downtownarlington.org]

It’s that easy!

Due to a CFS symptom flare up, I haven’t been feeling well enough to go out for a soul stroll these past few days (my kindness calendar suggested this act for Tuesday) but today, I felt up to taking a gentle walk around my neighbourhood.

And before I set off, I stuffed an empty bag into my coat pocket, ready to pick up any litter I came across.

Like this…

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And this…

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At one point a woman walking her dog shouted to me over the brook: “What are you doing?”. When I explained, she replied: “Thank goodness there are people like you in the world!” and came over for a little natter.

As I came back home I picked up a little litter in our front garden, and came across my dad’s peugeot car badge which he thought had disappeared forever! We’re guessing it had come loose and had been  blown onto the garden.

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Result!!

So from my 10 minute stroll around the green space near my home, this is my haul…

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I have to admit, I’m pretty surprised how much I found.

Just think, if every person in the world picked up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 7 billion fewer pieces of litter in the world. If every person in the world picked up just 10 pieces of litter today, there would be over 70 billion fewer pieces of litter. And if we did this every day, my mind boggles at the number of fewer pieces of litter around our communities!!

And the good news is that we don’t even have to make a massive effort to do this.

Here are my 3 favourite tips I’ve gathered from litter picking campaigns:

1. Watch and share this inspiring video:
keepbritaintidy.org

2. “You can make a big difference by ‘adopting’ somewhere and committing to litter pick it on a regular basis, say once every 2-3 weeks.”
litterheroes.co.uk

3. 7 Keys for a Successful Cleanup Project

1) be willing to do the activity alone, and enjoy it
2) make the time, place and duration explicitly clear to everyone you tell about it

3) INVITE people. Don’t coerce, try to sell it to them, or overly control their participation. When invited, most people will bring something to the clean up effort that really makes really work.
4) keep it simple. Cleaning up trash is easy. All you need are garbage bags, places to put the trash, and gloves (rakes and shovels can’t hurt either!) Tell potential participants that these are the raw materials, but bring enough yourself to cover half-a-dozen people who come without .
5) have fun doing it. After all, you and everyone else will be actively making the world a better place… really.
6) tell lots of people, including the press. Just call them up and tell them what, when, where you are doing what you are doing. Even if you wind up alone out there, you will still peak interest, and people may want to join you next time.
7) remind people and yourself that what you are doing matters by telling incidents and specifics about how it matters to you. Just the simple truth will inspire others.
litterproject.com

Thank you Ally for inspiring me to spread a little kindness around my neighbourhood to help make my community a better, cleaner place to be.

☆♡☆

 

Act of Kindness #29: Free chocolate, anyone?

Happy Random Act of Kindness (RAK) Day!

Today, I wanted to do something a little bit more special, while still taking into consideration the limitations of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

And so I decided to hand out a few chocolate bars to strangers in the street!

As my budget is also very limited, I thought I’d email a few of the larger confectionary companies to see if they’d be happy to help me by donating a few bars.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard back from them… but I imagine they must receive lots of requests like mine.

I also asked my kind-hearted local Co-op Foods as they’ve given members of our local community – including lucky ole me!- goody bags filled with lovely things around Christmas-time.

I was thrilled when they said YES!

And I was over-the-moon when they delivered 88 bars of their yummy chocolate (and it really is yummy if you haven’t already discovered it!).

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Then a big-hearted friend said she would donate £50 of her own hard-earned cash to buy chocolate bars with. And on behalf of RAK Day, I simply couldn’t refuse her kind offer.  (THANK YOU my lovely!)

And believe me when I tell you I had a LOT Of fun choosing which choccies to buy and couldn’t believe my eyes when I loaded up my trolley with 205 bars – thanks to a brilliant offer on at the supermarket!

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This makes an incredible, grand total of 300 chocolate bars for my RAK Day giveaway.

WooHoooo!!

I wanted to attach one of my kindness cards to each bar, explaining what the give-away was all about. And I’m so thankful for my lovely mum for helping me write them and then attach them to the bars.

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We couldn’t believe it when we filled up the rucksack-on-wheels my sis lent me for the occasion. And then filled up half a carrier bag too!!

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This morning, I recruited the much-needed and deeply appreciated help of my lovely mum and 8 yr-old nephew Callum, and we all headed down to our city’s Old Market Square.

And they were such kindness superstars. (THANK YOU mum and Callum ♡)

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At first Callum was a little too shy to hand out any bars with us, but it wasn’t long before he joined in the fun and then really got into the spirit of it, which was really heart-warming to see.

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My mum was absolutely brilliant and was happy to go into some of the city centre shops to hand out bars to the hand-working staff.

Mum+Callum in tram centre

As we stood in the Old Market Square offering bars of chocolates to passersby, some people practically ran away from us. Some people were a little suspicious at first, but then seemed happy to accept a chocolate bar once we explained what we were doing. And some people happily accepted straight away.

We got a few hugs, lots of thank yous, and oodles of big smiles.

Hooray 🙂

We were even joined by our city’s newspaper, the Nottingham Post, who’d come along to capture the choc-fest fun! Click here to see what they wrote.

With only a few bars left, we were feeling rather hungry and headed for a celebratory lunch. Then after giving all the staff a chocolate bar, we slipped into a city centre car park and popped the rest onto cars so that their owners can enjoy a sweet surprise when they return after a hard day’s shopping.

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And now as I’m utterly wiped out after all this RAK Week fun, I’m heading to bed for a few days to recover.

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But I do so with a happy heart and the hope that we’ve made a few people smile this week, and brightened up a few people’s days.

☆♡☆

ps if you have received one of chocolate bars – thank you for visiting! I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below (and if you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please do let me know).

pps Huuuuuuge thanks again to both the big-hearted Kerry at Co-Op Foods Hucknall, and my kind-hearted friend who wishes to remain anonymous. Today wouldn’t have been possible without your kind donations ♡

ppps please forgive any mistakes as I’m super-duper tired whilst writing this, but I wanted to post before I zonk out! Night, night!!

Act of kindness #28: A Valentine’s rose

Happy Valentine’s Day!

And Happy International Random Act of Kindness Week!

What a perfect opportunity to spread some love-filled kindness.

As it’s the school holidays, I have the sweetest little helper in the form of my 4-year-old nephew, Thomas.

Could this day get any better!

And as it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a lovely idea to give a few flowers to strangers to show them some love and make them smile.

Last week, I approached our local florist, Kerry’s Florist, to see if they would be interested in donating a few flowers for the occasion.

And even though it’s most probably their busiest day of the year, they said YES!

WooHooo!!

So, yesterday I collected 20 gorgeous red roses, and was really touched to see that the lovely Kerry and Shania had wrapped every single rose beautifully.

I attached one of my Kindness Cards to each rose with the message: “Happy Valentine’s Day: You are AMAZING. Kindly donated by ‘Kerry’s Florist’ to celebrate RAK Week.”

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Earlier this morning, my little helper and I happily made our way down to our local GP surgery. Here’s a little video I made of us.

And we had the loveliest time placing our Valentine’s surprises on car windscreens.

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We even had the chance to give a few people coming out of the doctor’s surgery a Valentine’s rose in person.

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It was touching to see Thomas happily handing each person a red rose, and most of the recipients seemed really touched. One lady in particular had tears in her eyes, and it was clear we’d really made her day. We both gave her a big hug.

We hope that the flowers are a LOVEly surprise for all the car owners when they return to their vehicles after their Doctor’s appointment.

And we really hope our little act of kindness will make them smile and feel a little bit better and brighter, especially on this love-filled day.

☆♡☆

ps if you have received one of our Valentine’s red roses, I’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below (and if you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please do let me know).

pps Huge thanks again to the big-hearted Kerry and Shania at Kerry’s Florist for generously donating the roses and wrapping them so beautifully. You are both AMAZING.

Act of kindness #27: Lotto luck

Day 23 of my Kindness Advent Calendar is to “buy a lottery ticket and give it to a friend, loved one or stranger”.

So this morning I bought a few lottery scratch cards and popped them in a bag along with a little chocolate bar and one of my Kindness Cards with the message: “I hope this brings you a little lottery luck! Merry Christmas.”

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I then randomly placed them on windscreens of cars parked in my local town.

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IMG_6250I really hope they bring someone a little lottery luck this Christmas.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #26: Food bank donation

I’ve been really looking forward to doing this act of kindness, which is Day 3 on my Kindness Advent Calendar.

I received one of my own a few years ago when I was really struggling financially, whilst living in Germany. My kind and thoughtful sister filled a box full of my favourite food and gave it to me on one of my visits home. I’ll never forget how touched I was and can honestly say it remains one of the most memorable gifts I’ve ever received.

And so, I’m really excited to be ‘paying it forward’ by preparing a box of my own for a family in need over the festive season.

I wanted to give a family supplies for each meal of the day and snacks in between. Of course they need to be non-perishable items, which I thought would be a little challenging for me as I’m a big fresh food lover, but I think I did ok… here’s what’s in my box:

Food bank donation

Kicking off the day with cereal and a cuppa tea; lunch could be a flavourful tin of soup; for an afternoon snack I’ve put in a packet of tasty biscuits; for dinner there’s a choice of rice or pasta with tinned veggies, tinned tomatoes or baked beans, and tuna; for pudding there’s a tin of fresh fruit which can be served with a tin of custard; and finally, for an evening treat there’s some yummy chocolates to be washed down with another cuppa!

I’m going to pop by box down to my local food bank today. I really hope it helps brighten a family’s Christmas.

☆♡☆

ps I’ve made a little video of what’s in my box, if you’d like to take a peek, please click here 🙂

Act of kindness #25: Celebrating World Kindness Day

Happy World Kindness Day!

There’s been a huge ripple effect of kindness on social media these past few days leading up to today’s World Kindness Day. And I have to confess I’m feeling very excited about it.

I loved making up my World Kindness Day Goody Bags and placing them on cars in the hospital car park on Friday, and I’m ecstatic about the positive reaction to my Kindness Advent Calendar I posted yesterday (at the time of writing over 250 kindness warriors have downloaded it already, woohooo!!)

So it’s no surprise that due to my limited energy from the CFS, I’m feeling pretty wiped out today.  I have a family birthday dinner to go to shortly, but really wanted to do just one more kindness act in honour of #WorldKindnessDay.

So today’s is a simple one.

I wanted to enjoy today’s gorgeous sunshine and autumn colours so took a gentle soul stroll down to our local shops.

And I bought this cheerful autumn bunch of flowers.

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I thought I’d split the flowers and place a single flower onto windscreens of cars parked at the restaurant. And to each flower, I’ve attached one of my kindness cards with the message: Celebrating World Kindness Day – Sun 13th Nov.

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And I decided to take my own advice and be kind to myself as well. So I treated myself to the same colourful bunch of flowers… I know they’ll keep me smiling all week long.

I also wrote a happy message on the back of one of my kindness cards and will stick it onto the restaurant’s bathroom mirror for everyone to enjoy.

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And this message is for you too 🙂

☆♡☆

p.s. If you found one of my kindness flowers, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…