Coffee House Chats: Random Acts of Kindness Day

Grace Reddish

Spreading kindness.

Random Acts of Kindness Day takes place on the 17th February, and this year the theme is #MakeKindnessTheNorm.

Studies have shown that acts of kindness not only benefit the recipients, but also boost the happiness of the person offering kindness! Performing acts of kindness also have a positive impact on mental health, as they help reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

This Random Acts of Kindness Day, we chatted with Heike, a member of Team Baxter who is constantly supporting her local community, especially through highlighting the importance of food banks.

Where did your passion for supporting your local community come from?

H – It all started after I received some life-changing news, in which the way I view my mortality changed. Ever since then, the way I viewed the world was different. Even before the Covid pandemic I knew the help that food banks required, and ever since then I’ve been helping my local ones. Still though, I think everyone is often busy looking after the world, that they sometimes forget to look after their neighbours.

What impact do acts of kindness have on others?

H – I know that whenever I’m feeling low, I look for what I call “sunshine rays” – they’re the little pockets of lightness in every day life, most of the time they’re something small, but looking for the good can help turn a negative day into a more positive one. So by doing a small act of kindness, you’re able to be the “sunshine ray” in someone’s day and reassure them that there is some goodness in the world!

How important is it to show others the value of kindness?

H – For me, charity starts at home and when you’re surrounded by something, you then implement it in your daily life. I believe that showing acts of kindness is a way of living, and once someone sees the impact it has, it then spurs them to do something nice for somebody!

Do you have any traditions when it comes to helping out others?

H – Yes! Every Christmas my grandchildren will write a letter to Father Christmas, and out of everything they’ve written down, they’ll choose 1 thing to give up. Afterwards, I’ll then take them food shopping and we’ll take everything we’ve bought to our local food bank.

How big does an act of kindness need to be to make a difference?

H – Not big at all! An act of kindness comes in many forms, even something as simple as a smile – I would even say the smallest gestures are the most important! Being kind should come freely, you shouldn’t need to gain anything from it, but you never know how much of an impact small gestures can have on someone else.

What’s 1 thing more people should know about supporting their local food banks?

H – If you are wanting to make a donation I’d remind people to be inclusive of their donations. There’s often people with allergies or dietary requirements who get forgotten about, so they’re left with minimal items. Also, donating products like sanitary towels and tampons helps reduce period poverty.

A ripple effect

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation believes that: “every act of kindness has the potential to inspire positive change in the world.”

Every small act of kindness can have a ripple effect, inspiring others to be kind in their daily lives.

So why not spread a little joy this Random Acts of Kindness Day, who knows what it could lead to? Together, we can #MakeKindnessTheNorm.

 Find out more about how we support our local community by clicking below

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