Kindness of Strangers
Goodwill comes in all shapes and forms. Dominic found 21 ways to change someone else’s day for the better
TARA CLARK is a 25-year-old registered nurse and a mother to three-year-old Everleigh. Her goal in life is to prove to her daughter that she can achieve anything if she sets her mind to it.
MY FRIEND DOMINIC recently set himself a 21-day kindness challenge. He started Mother’s Day – May 10 – by surprising his mother at her work with his two brothers. He invited people to check his Facebook wall each day to see what “act of kindness” he had achieved with the hope that others would feel inspired to begin their own kindness challenge. His initial posts attracted over 100 Facebook likes, and gained more as the days went on.
The week before his challenge started, he had won some money, so on Day Two he donated some of his winnings to Wimmera UnitingCare, a local disability organisation in Horsham, Victoria. On Day Three he left money in an envelope at the laundromat with the words, “The next one is on me” scrawled on it. Later that day, the local district was hit by strong winds so he cleaned out his elderly neighbour’s gutters on Day Four.
Dom manages a retirement village and on Day Five he visited some former residents who had moved to a nursing home, taking time to catch
up with them over a cup of coffee. Trading in his car keys for a bicycle helmet on Day Six was Dom’s way of being kind to the environment, and then on Day Seven he took his grandmother on a road trip to three different towns so she could visit the graves of loved ones she hadn’t visited in a while.
On Day Eight he spent the morning down at the nearby Wimmera River where he picked up rubbish that was littering the shore. He drove 200km to the closest blood bank in Ballarat to make his first blood donation on Day Nine and then on Day Ten bought a lottery ticket, and put it in an envelope with “Act Of Kindness” written on it before dropping it into the letterbox of a random house.
On Day Eleven my daughter and I found ourselves stuck in a supermarket car park with a flat battery. I called Dom, who came to our rescue with his jumper leads and smile, and successfully jump-started the car so we could get home.
Day Twelve’s act of kindness was volunteering at Meals on Wheels to help deliver dinners to people in the community who need extra support.
And so Dom’s kindness continued for another nine days – helping friends move house, delivering flowers to nurses at the local hospital, washing his aunt’s car and stopping by his grandparents to help out in their garden are just some of the kind things he did. “I have loved every minute of this, had some terrific experiences and met some great people,” he posted on the last day. “I encourage you all to step out of your comfort zone.”
Dom took up this challenge because he had been through some difficult times after a relationship breakup. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he turned a negative into a positive and I can honestly say that it has been contagious!
DAY 6 Share your story about a small act of kindness that made a huge impact. Turn to page 6 for details on how to contribute and earn cash.