Sweet Moments (2) Random Acts of Kindness

Over the last month an old friend has undertaken to commit to 33 random acts of kindness in the 33 days before her 33rd birthday which is today.

Happy birthday Naomi!

naomiandgirlsNaomi is incredibly creative, but also has an enormous capacity for love and an openess to be changed by this commitment.  I’ve really enjoyed discovering her acts, her journey and seeing her photos.  This Sweet Moments series is about talking about and showing up the things that give me hope or goosebumps – that make all this feel worthwhile.

My Favourite of the Random Acts

(There’s a full list at the bottom of this page)

  • Made a giant heart cookie and left it with a thank you note for the postman.
  • Had a friend write beautiful words of affirmation and copied them into cards. Then slipped the cards into self-help books in Waterstones.
  • Took the children to the park and picked up litter and dog poo (with gloves on!)
  • Made biscuits and took them with water bottles to the team running A&E on night shift.
  • Left change on the vending machine at A&E so those waiting could buy refreshment.
  • Made a banana bread and took it to the breast feeding counsellors at the Children’s Centre.
  • emberLocated bicycles at the train station and dried the wet seats, and bagged them to protect them from further rain.
  • l left a Peppa Pig sticker book at the Job Centre for waiting families

Here is Naomi to tell you some of the story:

What prompted you to do this project and why?

I saw this idea of Pinterest (a 38yr old lady did it) and I just thought about how it would give me a purpose.  I’ve recently been diagnosed with delayed post natal depression.  I have felt pretty hopeless and suicidal in the last two years.  I wanted to do something that was random, and celebrating the goodness that there is in life.  I am also aware that Jesus’ 33rd year he did his most incredible things.  I thought there would be something special about marking my birthday on the year he gave his life for me…

How do you hope people will respond?
That’s a hard one – I really wanted to make people think – but enough to actually do something themselves! Not because I have the answers but because I feel we are truly fulfilling our purpose when we take risks and show selflessness. I honestly wanted to start a cultural shift- silly now I think about it but it was worth a go!

As for those I am ‘blessing’ I want just that- them to be blessed and know someone out there cares.

bucketDid you know what you were going to do or have the acts evolved as the month has gone on?

I think I initially had a list of 8 ideas. Otherwise this has been very organic and I have let things happen around me. I have had a few completely panicked days with no ideas until around 3 pm which has been a lesson in trust. I’ve loved people giving me leads/suggestions– it’s felt less lonely that way.

Have you had any positive/negative feedback?

I’ve had lots of positive feedback. Many people have said they find it inspiring. My worry is that I personally found Mother Theresa inspiring but I never ran off to India to help her! I pray that people will be moved enough to do some random acts – we have no idea how big these things can be for others.

I have also had people reject my acts (workmen were offended when I tried to give them tea etc) and I also had comments about my creating a “Naomi brand” on Facebook. I knew this was a risk, but I took it anyway.dogpoopic

How will you celebrate your birthday?

The night before my in laws are having our girls and we are staying at friends. The plan is good food and a lie-in!

How has it affected you? How has it affected your family?  What happens when the project finishes?

I don’t yet know how this has affected me- I’m still processing a lot of it. I feel I have encountered varied reactions to my acts and felt humbled, rumbled and purposeful.This evening my daughter Ember gasped when she realised we hadn’t done our random act. I explained I did it when she was at school. She told me I mustn’t do that again and I must wait for her!

Some of these ideas were so simple I will definitely repeat them – the bike one cost us nothing but 5 mins.  What’s been amazing is how much opportunity there is out there. You know when you go on a diet and suddenly every advert is about food? It’s so been the case here – when you start looking for ways to bless someone you see chances all over the place. Sometimes I would spot a chance and wimp out- then panic that I missed the one divine appointment of the day; only to be presented with another opportunity minutes later. It’s been such a learning curve for me.
This project has been fun, joyful and challenging to watch via social media.  It certainly sparks your creativity in thinking what local Belfast random acts may look like.  What are your favourites?  Do you have any ideas of your own?
___________
Naomi is married to Aaron and they live with their two girls in Tunbridge Wells – they are two folks I’ve known since we were teenagers – we travelled some faith journey together  in the ‘on fire’ days- and in contacting her to ask about sharing the project on the blog I’ve been struck by how such a beautiful, positive and upbeat season of kindness has come from such a raw and painful place.
God bless you and your family Naomi – have a lovely birthday and thank you for inspiring me!
naomiandaaron
The Random Acts Of Kindness
  • Handed out water bottles to runners.
  • Baked cookies with the girls and left them in parcels for neighbours.
  • Handed an envelope with a encouraging message and £5 note to a guy that slowed in his car to let me pass.
  • Made a giant heart cookie and left it with a thank you note for the postman.
  • Tried to catch the bin men and having failed took teas to mums on the school run.
  • Tried to take milk to elderly residents in a ward assisted block but instead chatted with them.
  • Had a friend write beautiful words of affirmation and copied them into cards. Then slipped the cards into self-help books in Waterstones.
  • Gave cake to the residents of a care home
  • Wrote inspiring quotes on flash cards and had my girls decorate them. Then placed the cards on people’s wind screens in Sainsbury’s car park.
  • Baked and took brownies to the fire brigade.
  • Handed out popcorn at the cinema.
  • Caught the bin men and gave them cups of tea
  • Took the children to the park and picked up litter and dog poo (with gloves on!)
  • Handed out bottles of bubbles to children in town.
  • Made biscuits and took them with water bottles to the team running A&E on night shift.
  • Left two labelled buckets and spades in the park so children without could play in the sand pit.
  • At the end of my grocery shop bought a gift card for that supermarket and handed it back to the cashier asking him to give it to the next person he felt needed it.
  • Made a crumble for elderly neighbours who have had a tough few months (they showed me their owl ornaments!)
  • Made an anonymous Polaroid card for a local charity thanking them for all they do in the community.
  • Took a bag of baby clothes to the hostel for a young mum.
  • Left change on the vending machine at A&E so those waiting could buy refreshment.
  • Handed out more flashcards to the people in my church service asking them to write blessing or prayers on them and to leave them for people they knew would benefit.
  • Made heart shaped apple puffs and dropped them at a local school for the staff.
  • Made a banana bread and took it to the breast feeding counsellors at the Children’s Centre.
  • Took a double Maclaren to the hostel having heard a mum was in need of one.
  • Planned to buy a coffee for the person behind me in a coffee house but instead bought it for and chatted with a young women who was sleeping rough.
  • Handmade encouraging cards with the girls and took them to a residential home to give out.
  • Sent an Ebluey message to all the British troops encouraging them
  • Located bicycles at the train station and dried the wet seats, and bagged them to protect them from further rain.
  • l left a Peppa Pig sticker book at the Job Centre for waiting families
  • Handing out freshly made brownies to commuters at the train station
  • A heart shaped mirror with words of affirmation left on the back of a public toilet door
  • Luxury food and drink from M&S left on the door step for a single mum
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1 Comment

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One response to “Sweet Moments (2) Random Acts of Kindness

  1. This is so great! You’re not alone. Check out this random acts of kindness project by a local Tampa artist.

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