Last week I asked you to share your stories of simple everyday acts of kindness to help me spread a little positivity in the run up to Christmas. You haven’t disappointed.
One common theme I noticed is how much everyone tended to downplay their own acts of kindness whilst applauding others for theirs. I heard, ‘but I’m not that kind’ or ‘I can’t think of anything kind I’ve done,’ and ‘it’s only a small thing but…’ There’s no denying it now though; you are all caring, compassionate people! Here’s the proof:
Get your groceries
An Abergavenny resident orders online food shopping for a family friend with undiagnosed Asperger’s who is struggling with the current restrictions. She also calls him regularly to check he’s okay.
Lots of you have shopped for other people and made phone calls to family, friends and neighbours for a chat, but not many of you seemed to think this qualifies as a genuine act of kindness, spoiler alert, it does!
Potton resident Vicky’s neighbours have been supplying her with vegetables from their allotment through lockdown.
Fernwood resident Bex fosters two children. After receiving an Asda voucher to cover one of the boys free school meals the family asked in their residents group if anyone in their community would benefit from the voucher. A single mother of two was suggested and when they dropped the voucher off to her she only had £3 left to cover the week!
A Flintham resident commented her family have been really grateful this year for what they have and where they live; to be part of a community that buoys each-others spirits and looks out for each other.
Great examples of sharing and caring within the community.
Hats off to the quiz masters
Many of you mentioned how zoom quizzes have provided some much needed light relief. Having completed my first ever family zoom quiz on Saturday I’d like to join my personal thanks to all you zoom quiz masters out there; you curated your questions, overcame the numerous scheduling challenges, solved the technical glitches and helped your less tech savvy friends and family participate, please know that your efforts in the name of fun and laughter are appreciated!
Elves are everywhere
Emma’s son, Alfie, has an outpatient appointment with his surgeon every year where he gives him a Christmas present. This year it was a telephone appointment and Alfie was gutted he couldn’t deliver the presents; step in Liz who works as a nurse at the same hospital and took the time to hand deliver the presents on behalf of Alfie, making a little boy very happy. Emma said, ‘she is our Christmas elf and we are so grateful.’
Handmade with love
Monmouth resident Nanny Sue made bang on trend hoodies for her grandchildren and their friends, making a lot of children very happy (and very stylish).
Flintham resident Jan makes delicious homemade jams and chutneys for her neighbours and even some Christmas cookies for their children.
Above and beyond in the workplace:
Lindsey, a Newark Business Centre Manager, helped many of her clients access government grants during the first lockdown, many of which they were unaware they were eligible for, even going so far as to fill in the forms for some of them.
Mark, a Managing Director at a local factory, drops one of his employees home after working the late shift so he doesn’t have to cycle in the dark and bad weather.
Nick, a Managing Director in Treorchy, gives all of his employees a Christmas gift voucher.
The Boot and Shoe Inn at Flintham gave Alex a job after she was made redundant from a job she loved whilst pregnant. She didn’t think she’d be able to get another job while pregnant and writes, ‘I’ll never forget that…it saved me from a dark place.’
Flintham resident Tom and his family usually visit Tom’s Aunt, who lives alone, once a month but haven’t seen her as much with the ongoing restrictions. She was very pleased (and Tom’s wife was very surprised!) when he sent her a poinsettia earlier this month.
A Flintham man surprised his wife by gifting her a beauty product advent calendar, the opening of which brings her a little cheer each morning.
A few kind words
I want to use Flintham resident Lindsay’s own words for this next one as she described it to me so beautifully I almost felt like I was there:
‘I dragged myself out for a run; it was cold, wet and I was struggling to find the motivation to keep going. The views that I would normally enjoy to distract myself from my discomfort were blurred by the mist. I was two miles from home and I was miserable! A group of cyclists approached me. As they passed, each of them gave me a little encouragement. Nothing over the top, just a simple ‘well done’ and ‘keep going’ and an acknowledgement of the horrible conditions we were in. Just a few kind words gave me the boost I needed to carry on and eventually make it to the end.’
Karrie and her kids in California stopped on a walk to chat to an older gentleman. As they left he called out, ‘thanks so much for stopping, it was wonderful to get to talk to someone.’ Karrie sums this one up when she writes, ‘simple acts of kindness can make all the difference.’
Our local elf Liz has been spreading more kindness at the hospital where she works after stopping to talk to a lady who was taking a photograph of a picture on the wall in the hospital; the lady told Liz how it was her in the picture and how she had battled COVID for twenty-nine days as an inpatient. They had a lovely chat and Liz left, telling her she was amazing. Sometimes it’s the small moments of true connection that stay with us.
Helping Mummy out:
Newark resident Jess makes her Mum, Lindsey, a cup of tea and breakfast in bed every few weeks (can you teach that to my children please Jess?)
The final act of kindness comes from my children Bella and Jamie, for holding hands for much longer than they wanted to so I could photograph the image for this post. Thanks kids.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed. Getting in touch to help me write this blog was an act of kindness in itself. I feel very lucky to see so much kindness around me every day; from friends, family and complete strangers (like the driver who stopped to let me cross the road whilst walking my dog in torrential rain). I could go on forever, but I have to leave you somewhere.
Times can get tough and we can all feel that negativity bias start to creep in, but if we take the time to value the simple everyday kindness we see in others and also in ourselves, then we can come through smiling. Have a lovely Christmas everyone.