Acts of Kindness

One moment can change a life

February 17th is #RandomActsOfKindnessDay, and it got me thinking about what I have done recently to offer help or support to somebody in need.

How often we walk by people who look like they are in trouble, not wanting to interrupt, or perhaps just too busy and in a rush – much like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”

Since starting at the Society of St James in July 2019, I have noticed many things which have put a smile on my face. One thing which sticks in my mind is how all the small things add up and can make a big difference to the lives of others. Sometimes this might be a donation, other times it might be that our supporters share our news and this spreads across the internet like wildfire.

Even if 1,000 people donate £1, that money goes to help people change their lives. It takes people who have lived with no hope for so long, so much closer to getting over that final hurdle and into the accommodation they deserve. We have all had bad times in life and we have all had one person in those times commit to a random act of kindness to turn our fortunes around – and those on the streets are no different. One random act of kindness can transform a life.

Home pride

I recently heard a story about some of our service users who are now in accommodation provided by us. When the cleaner arrived the next morning she was told there was no mess and invited in for a tour. These people now have a place to live – one they are proud of, and that all comes from the acts of kindness we see regularly.

Two homeless gentlemen

Every single day I notice the small things our team does to help improve the lives of those who have had the bottom fall out of their world, and it makes me feel so proud. Our service providers wake up each day with the determination to give others a better day than they had yesterday – and I have seen this happen in front of my eyes. Every day they do a job which makes a difference, each day they offer little acts of kindness to make a difference – because they care about less fortunate people.

I’ve seen what happens on the inside, and as the social media manager, I have seen the effort that goes in from people across the south coast – providing support when we need it, proving that in this world – which can get us all down – acts of kindness still exist. Whether you are paying it forward at our Cafe in the Park, donating to us directly, buying a refurbished computer, or meeting your fitness goals on a re-cycled bike, you are making a difference with your kindness and intent to support the Society of St James.

Kindness. It’s addictive. Pass it on.

Dennis Jones