Wake up and show an act of kind­ness

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By SARAH MOORE

Sev­eral inspiring slo­gans are sten­cilled across the walls of the of­fice where I work. My favourite is: ‘‘Ev­ery­one is fight­ing a battle you know noth­ing about. Be kind, al­ways.’’

We of­ten talk about the im­por­tance of kind­ness and ev­ery day on Neigh­bourly we see heart-warm­ing ex­am­ples of neigh­bours be­ing kind and com­pas­sion­ate to one an­other.

It’s fair to say there’s a bit of a kind­ness revo­lu­tion un­der way and char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Wakeup Project and New Zealand’s own Givealit­tle are help­ing drive it.

I fol­lowed the Wake Up Project on Face­book some time ago – but it was their Kind­ness Cards that re­ally cap­tured my at­ten­tion.

The Wake Up Project launched th­ese pretty lit­tle cards as a way to in­spire and en­cour­age, quite sim­ply, acts of kind­ness. It could be buy­ing a cof­fee for the next per­son in line, mow­ing a neigh­bour’s lawn or berm, top­ping up an empty park­ing me­ter, or leav­ing your favourite book in a public place for some­one else to en­joy.

Do some­thing

nice and leave the card to en­cour­age the re­cip­i­ent to do some­thing equally kind – and so it con­tin­ues.

The only rule is to keep your act hush hush; all acts of kind­ness should be com­pleted anony­mously.

Un­for­tu­nately this is where my first act of kind­ness fell apart; I gifted my favourite kind of choco­late to a col­league. The other acts I can’t talk about (it’s about be­ing anony­mous, re­mem­ber). But let’s just say I have been creep­ing around the neigh­bour­hood stuffing good­ies into neigh­bours’ let­ter­boxes.

The Wake Up Project is an Aus­tralian ini­tia­tive now post­ing Kind­ness Cards, at no charge, to New Zealand. All they ask is that you spread a lit­tle fur­ther kind­ness by pay­ing-it-for­ward. More than 250,000 cards have been sent out – and it’s nice to think that this could have lead to 250,000 acts of kind­ness among strangers and those who need a lit­tle lift.

Givealit­tle is also mak­ing the world a lit­tle kin­der by con­nect­ing gen­er­ous Ki­wis with dif­fer­ent causes. Lynne Le­gros, Givealit­tle spokes­woman from the Spark Foun­da­tion, says the site used to be a ‘fairly niche way to do­nate’ but Ki­wis have used it to do­nate more than $10 mil­lion to wor­thy lo­cal causes in the past eight months alone. Lynne says the site’s ‘‘not just about giv­ing money but is about love too; so many lovely mes­sages go along with each do­na­tion’’.

‘‘Any­thing that en­cour­ages peo­ple to be more mind­ful, thought­ful and gen­er­ous to­wards oth­ers is awe­some,’’ she says. ‘‘If we can all be a lit­tle kin­der to each other ev­ery day, it’s go­ing to make New Zealand a bet­ter place. And of course, you don’t al­ways have to open your wal­let to be kind.’’

Givealit­tle al­lows you to search by lo­ca­tion, en­abling you to find causes in your own com­mu­nity to sup­port and spread a lit­tle kind­ness in your neigh­bour­hood.

Kind­ness cards: An Aus­tralian pay it for­ward ini­tia­tive is start­ing to pick up pace on this side of the Tas­man.

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