Kind­ness of Strangers

Good­will comes in all shapes and forms. Do­minic found 21 ways to change some­one else’s day for the bet­ter

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents - BY TARA CLARK

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 3

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.

DAY 4

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