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 #22: Thank you, Teacher!

As part of my kindness mission, I wanted to write a thank you note to the teacher who made the biggest impression on me.

And I immediately thought of Dr Anna Powell.

Anna was one of my lecturers at uni and made a huge impression on me. I always really looked forward to her classes and found her enthusiasm, knowledge and content, inspiring, engaging and hugely enjoyable.

In fact, I wish I could still attend her lectures today, over 20 years on!

She believed in me and encouraged me, and for that I will always be deeply grateful.

You are AMAZING postcard

So, I wrote a thank you message on the back of one of my ‘You are AMAZING’ postcards and sent it off today. Thankfully she’s still at the same university, so was really easy to find.

I hope it’s a nice surprise and a reminder of how much what she does matters.

☆♡☆

Act of kindness #18: Kind news

I simply adore The Happy News, a newspaper dedicated to celebrating all that’s good in the world.

photo 3(1).jpg

The creation of graphic design graduate Emily Coxhead, this quality quarterly is jam-packed full of happy stories from all around the world, features on all things happy, and snippets of showbiz, travel, food and much more.

It also has a section to celebrate Everyday Heroes where readers can nominate a person, group or organisation for recognition and appreciation.

When I was ordering Issue #3, I saw that the very first issue was on offer and thought it’d be lovely opportunity to send a copy out to a few friends. I really wish I had the funds to send a copy to everyone I know, but I have to work with what I have.

I couldn’t wait for my Happy Newspapers to arrive through my door, so I could get them straight into the post. And when they arrived this week, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect what with all the crazy stuff going on in the world.

I wrote this message on my Kindness CardsI hope this brings you an abundance of smiley moments, and attached one to each newspaper.

photo 5(1)

And as they wing their way around the country, I really hope it helps bring a few smiles to the receivers of The Happy News.

☆♡☆

PS If you too are tired of all the negative news and want to be reminded of all that’s good in the world, you can order yourself a copy at thehappynewspaper.com/shop

Day 99: My kind Valentine

Being kind by leaving love-filled goodie bags on car windscreens in the hospital car park:

Happy Valentine’s Day! And Happy International Random Act of Kindness Week!

So why not combine the two, me thinks!!

How about some Valentine’s Day Kindness Bags filled with love-themed goodies?

And being joined by my helpful nephew Callum, I have all the ingredients for the sweetest Valentine’s Day EVER!!

I’ve been planning this ever since my  Random Act of Christmas Kindness. One of my favourite kindness acts so far, I loved choosing what to put inside my festive goodie bags and it gave me such pleasure leaving them on car windscreens at my doctor’s surgery.

But most of all I was incredibly moved by a response I received from a lovely lady who received one of these bags (see the comments section if you’d like to read it).

So the day is finally here, hooray!.

And I’m over-the-moon that my seven-year-old nephew Callum wants to help me. I love what a big heart he has and how his teacher is always commenting on how kind and helpful he is.

So earlier this morning we spread our loot across my bed, and had fun packing our 20 kindness goodie bags.

Packing goodie bags

Into each clear bag, we popped: a red foil-wrapped chocolate heart, a mini packet of Love Heart sweeties, a mini chocolate bar, a highlighter pen, some heart stickers, a handful of heart-shaped jewels, and a feather or two.

Valentine's Goodie Bags

We wrote kindness messages on my Kindness Cards. Callum carefully writing: You are amazing, and adding his name and age on a few. So sweet. And we also included a ‘You Are Loved’ card I’d made using one of my favourite nature photos I took last year, with a little explanation about our Random Act of Kindness on the reverse.

Valentine Kindness messages

Excited and ready for action, we drove down to the City Hospital and parked up.

Although it was freezing, our hearts were warmed as together we placed our kindness bags on the car windscreens.

Callum with goodie bag

placing our goodie bags on car windscreens

We even had the chance to give someone one of our kindness bags face-to-face: we spotted a lady heading into the hospital and ran across to hand-deliver a goodie bag. She seemed really happy to receive it.

We hope that when the owner/s returned to their cars after their appointment or visit or work-shift, they will be surprised.

And we really hope our little act of kindness will make a few people smile and feel happy, especially on this love-filled day.

Last week, I told the Nottingham Post about our little Valentine’s adventure, and we were interviewed and snapped by our city’s newspaper while in the midst of our good deed. Once the feature goes out, I will post the link here:

We then celebrated with a trip to our local Costa for a well-deserved sugar-loaded treat!

my handsome valentine's date

What really warms my heart is that Callum wants to take a kindness goodie bag with him into school next week for his ‘show and tell’. My heart is so happy to think that this small act of kindness may help inspire this younger generation to continue the ripple effect of kindness.

What a brilliant way to celebrate the start of International Random Act of Kindness Week!

Now back home, I’m shaking with exhaustion and about to switch-off and have a long soak in a yummy Epsom salt bath.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving love-filled goodie bags on car windscreens in the hospital car park.

ps if you have received one of our Valentine’s Day Kindness Goodie Bags, we’d really LOVE to hear from you in the comments below. If you’d prefer me not to publish your comment on the blog, please let me know.

Day 95: Kindness trail

Being kind by leaving kindness messages on windows and mirrors around the city:

Time for another Random Act of Kindness me thinks.

I wrote out a kindness message on the back of my new Kindness Cards with the intention of sprinkling some magical kindness around my city on this freezing cold January Tuesday.

The message was simple and true of ALL of us: You are beautiful ~ inside and out.

I set off for my Artist’s Date in the city of brunch and a movie, clutching my Kindness Cards and blu-tack ready for action.

As I was a little short of time and am still slowly building up my energy levels, I decided to leave a trail of Kindness Cards in my wake.

First up was the window of my local connect bus:

local connect bus

Followed by the window of my tram which took me into the city:

tram kindness card

After eating a delicious brunch in my favourite café, I nipped to the bathroom to pop a card on the mirror:

cafe loo mirror kindness card

As I walked through the shopping centre, I stuck a couple on the mirrors in the main public toilets:

shopping centre loo 2 kindness card
shopping centre loo 1 kindness card

After arriving at the cinema and before my screening, I popped one on the bathroom mirror:

kindness card cinema loo 1

And after seeing my film, I stuck my last card to the mirror in the main bathroom.

Kindness card cinema loo 2

And that’s it. My job as Kindness Fairy for today is done! I really hope I’ve made at least one person smile today after seeing one of my kindness messages.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving kindness messages on windows and mirrors around the city

ps if you happened to see one of my kindness messages, thank you so much for visiting my blog! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

Day 87: You’ve been RACK’ed!

Being kind by leaving festive goodie bags on car windscreens at the doctors’ surgery:

I’m so excited about this act of kindness. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, but with my recent big CFS relapse have had to put it on hold.

But as I start to feel a little better, I made it to the shops a couple of days ago to buy some treats to make some festive goodie bags; and I was delighted to have enough to make 24 bags!

RACK loot

Alongside a few sweet treats, I added a party popper, a festive feather and a Christmas bauble.

I also included one of my brand new Kindness Cards with the message: You are AMAZING (if you forget that, please read this again).

You are AMAZING

I’ve also made a ‘you’ve been RACK’ed’ card which reads: You have been RACK’ed. You have been chosen to receive this small gift through a Random Act of Christmas Kindness. May your day be merry and bright Xxx

RACK'ed

So today I nipped out to pop a goodie bag onto the windscreen of the cars parked in my local doctors’ surgery car park. I really hope that it will be a nice surprise for those who’ve just been to see one of the doctor’s about a health issue.

Doctor's surgery RACK

A dapper gentleman dressed in a smart suit was just returning to his car as I was about to put a goodie bag on his windscreen, so I got the chance to give it to him face-to-face instead. It was really heartwarming and rewarding to see his reaction to this little act of kindness: he gave me a huge smile as he said thank you. ♡

With the rest of the goodie bags, I hope to feel well enough to head into the city one day next week and will either hand them out or will hide them for people to find. If not, I’ll work something out.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by leaving festive goodie bags on car windscreens at the doctors’ surgery.

 

ps if you received one of my festive goodie bags, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

Day 78: You are AWESOME

Being kind by hiding kindness messages in my local newspaper:

Today I’ve been sprinkling some kindness around my city.

I’ve been inspired by a lovely little card sent to me by a very kind Happier friend. It formed part of a fabulous collection of goodies in the recent Happier Connection Box and reads:

“You are AWESOME. If you forget that please read this again.”

Happier Connections Box

I love it sooooo much, I wanted to continue this kindness ripple effect by spreading this uplifting message across my city.

I decided to hide the same message inside my city’s newspaper, The Nottingham Post. In August, the paper launched a ‘Good Deeds’ campaign to “make our community a better place” and has set a target of 1,000 readers to do an act of kindness over the next few months.

Nottm Post Good Deeds

Each week the newspaper features kind folk in our community who’ve carried out a kindness act, such as raising money for charity, volunteering in the community, or helping out a neighbour.

I wrote the “You are AWESOME” message on seven of my Kindness Cards, and set off to a busy city centre newsagents.  I found the page that mentioned the Good Deed’s campaign and popped a Kindness Card inside seven newspapers, waiting to be found by its purchaser and readers!

You are awesome

Kindness Card in Notm Post

I really hope they make the people who come across my kindness messages smile. (And if you have and you’re reading this, it’d be really, really fantastic to hear from you in the comments below!).

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by hiding kindness messages inside my local newspaper.

Day 72: A cup of kindness

Being kind by buying a stranger a coffee:

My spirits have taken a battering recently with one thing or another, and so I took myself out for a soul stroll in this morning’s magical mist.

I walked into my local town and stopped at my local coffee shop for my usual, a decaf soy flat white.

Feeling pretty down in the dumps, I decided to reach out and show kindness to a stranger. From the acts of kindness I’ve been doing over the last few months, I know how much they lift my spirits too. And to be honest, this has been an unexpected bonus, it’s like experiencing a wonderful side effect from the kindness act itself.

So today I decided to buy a stranger a coffee.

I paid for the extra coffee and asked the barista to choose a customer who’ll receive the free cup, and give them my kindness card which reads: “You are an incredible person. Enjoy your coffee Xxx”

Kindness Card: Coffee's on me

I instantly felt my spirits lift.

In an article titled “5 Side Effects of Kindness on Health”, kindness author Dr David Hamilton explains why:

“When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside of us that says, ‘This is who I am.’

On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high, often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’.”

So it’s a win-win.

I hope it brings a smile to the face of the recipient on this chilly, misty morning as it has to mine.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by buying a stranger a coffee.

Day 62: Everyday kindness

Being kind by bringing home a library book for my mum:

My mum recently borrowed a book from our local library, but a few pages in she realised she’d already read it. Mum decided to continue with it until she could go back to the library and choose a new book.

This was on my mind as I popped into our library today.  I looked for and checked out a book I thought she would enjoy.

When I gave mum the book, she was really touched and said it could be my kindness act for the day.

I was quite surprised because it didn’t feel like an act of kindness; I haven’t really considered thoughtfulness as an act of kindness before.

But when I think about it, they do go hand-in-hand.

I’ve been focussing on the bigger acts of kindness, especially those that take me out of my comfort zone. But it’s also about the thoughtful everyday little gestures. Especially to those who are part of our day-to-day lives.

Today has been a lovely reminder that all acts of kindness, big or small, showy or low key, deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated.

Hooray 🙂

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind by bringing home a library book for my mum.

Day 3: Choc full of kindness

Being kind by leaving chocolate bars for strangers to find:

I’ve wanted to be part of the kindness movement ever since reading Danny Wallace’s brilliantly funny ‘Join Me’ book. With so many kindness organisations such as the Wake Up Project and the Random Acts of Kindness foundation encouraging people to spread happiness by being kind, I feel it’s time I did something about it.

I love the idea of Kindness Cards, which involve doing a kindness act anonymously and leaving a kindness card. While this is enough in itself, it may hopefully encourage others to do an act of kindness, creating a ripple effect.

The Sydney-based Wake Up Project offer a handful of gorgeous Kindness Cards, but understandably don’t post internationally. So I decided to try and make my own.

While in the midst of doing a pretty embarrassing botch job on my macbook (technology is not my forte), I received an email from Vista Print offering me 100 business cards for free. Perfect timing I thought. So I decided to make use of this gift of generosity and make my own kindness cards.

With a limited choice of design, well they are free after all, my Kindness Cards arrived a few days ago. Following the Wake Up Project’s example, my cards simply read:

Kindness Cards

Kindness Card
You’ve just been touched by a random act of kindness
Now it’s your chance to do something kind and pass this card along

As my circumstances are limited – both health wise and financially – I need to get creative with what I can do. I’m sure I’ll be writing about my kindness acts as I go along.

Keen to start today, I bought a couple of chocolate bars, stapled a Kindness Card onto each wrapper, and wrote: ‘Please enjoy! 😊’ on the back to hopefully entice the finder to take it and enjoy it, and not be suspicious of it!

I excitedly left my first act of kindness on the shelf at the library, hoping a bookworm browsing the shelves will stumble upon my choccie gift and enjoy it. The second I left on the bus, for the next passenger to enjoy.

Numerous research has shown how doing an act of kindness for somebody also has an incredible effect on the giver as well as the receiver. And it’s true. I feel happy and uplifted that my kindness acts have hopefully made two people smile today – and the thought that they may even feel inspired to ‘pass it on’ is the icing on the cake.

So with that in mind, my happy for today to being kind by leaving chocolate bars for strangers to find.