For some reason the Christmas season brings out our giving spirit and a feeling of altruism. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could incorporate that spirit of giving year around? I think it would be a wonderful idea if everyone wrote a phrase on their calendar or appointment book as a reminder. The phrase could be “A Small Act of Kindness”.
This week I was reminded of how small a gesture can be to make a huge impact on someone. Turned out that one moment in my life this week lead to one, then another, then another, then another.
I was invited to an open house where everyone was given a pie to take home. I avoid sugar, so I needed to find a home for this delicacy. I remembered that I had an acquaintance living near by who was the soul care giver of her husband who has dementia. In a few minutes I was knocking on her door with pie in hand. I got a full-bodied smile and an invite in for a long visit.
I first met my friend while attending a weekly quilting group who made covers for charity. During our visit she told me that she had a friend with lots of sewing and quilting supplies, who was wanting to donate to some group, who could put her treasures to good use beyond the small group she attended. I told her about the Linus Project. They makes quilts and blankets for children in hospitals from ages birth to eighteen. Then I told her about a mother whose daughter was incarcerated in a women’s prison here in WA. The prison has a program where they teach some of the inmates how to quilt. All of the supplies are donated. The quilts the inmates make go to charitable organizations. One special feature of this program is that after the inmate has finished serving her time, she is allowed to chose a quilt she has made and take it home with her as reminder of her accomplishment.
These slivers of “An Act Of Kindness”turned into a ripple effect. A gift of a pie was re-gifted, then information was shared that would help someone share her treasures and touch sick children and women trying to improve their lives. Both The Linus Project and the women in prison would both end up reaping rewards. What ever charity received the quilts would also reap the rewards of the donations and time volunteers spent creating the quilts. Plus the inmates would have the opportunity to learn some life skills that would be at their fingertips for the rest of their lives.
“Acts of Kindness Moments” Do not have to be costly or spectacular. I remember another instance that happened this past year. I love to make soup but get tired of eating it for a week at a time. I have never leaned to make a small batch. My husband once said that in a past life I must have been an army cook. Anyway, I got a light-bulb moment one day when a pot was ready for the fridge. I put a hefty portion of my soup in a container, jumped in the car and picked up a packaged salad, a jar of pickled asparagus, a bottle of apple cider and some cookies from the grocery store, and surprised my friend and her husband with dementia with a surprise dinner. You would have thought I had brought her a Prime Rib Dinner by her reaction. Her gratitude humbled me.
I hope many will take my suggestion and consider putting that short phrase “A Small Act Of Kindness” somewhere where it can be a reminder. I can almost guarantee that the giver’s heart will sing louder than the receivers will.