What if a single act of kindness could transform someone’s life? Because that person discovered someone cared and believed in them, what if they applied for and got a job they thought was out of their reach? What if that personal transformation impacted their family? What if the transformation impacted their community and in turn changed their town? Would that single act of kindness be worth it. Absolutely.
Over the election there was a lot of talk of a revolution, but to be honest I had trouble understanding what they were actually “revolting” from. I propose instead we “revolt” against the effects of poverty. I understand that this is a complex topic, but I strongly the community, you and I can have an impact that can transform somebody’s life. I believe everyone genuinely wants to help, so I’ve put together 10 ideas, to get the ball rolling.
I hope it will spark more ideas from you, as you think about what’s in your hands and you are good at. Together we can significantly reduce the effects of and dare I say it reduce Poverty in New Zealand.
What’s in your hand? 10 tips to reduce if not say “See you later!” to Poverty in New Zealand.
- Excess is shared
We all have times when we overspend and we need to put our excess on TradeMe to make up the difference, but this is talking about if you have a car seat or bike or have enough money to buy an extra bag of apples. Imagine a kindy in a low decile area that had families dropping off a bag of fruit every week. Imagine that kindy needing to send fruit home with the kids because there was too much fruit.
You don’t even have to know the person. My husband responded to a tweet from someone in another town who was asking for baby port-a-cot for a refugee. When the person arrived to pick it up I managed to give them our stroller too. Certainly cleared out the space they were taking up – a Win-Win for sure.
If you don’t know of someone contact a low decile community centre, donate to a charity, or simply keep your eyes and ears open for needs.
2. Christmas/Mid-Year Hall Toy Sale
In my interview with Derek and Carrie Olsen, Carrie talked about Affordable Christmas, which gives people dignity in purchasing their own toys for $5 or $10. You may get together some as-new toys for this with friends or partner with some toy companies. The possibilities are endless, but imagine how proud a Mum or a Dad would feel buying a super-cool present for their child and seeing them open it at Christmas. You just changed their life.
3. Do a random Act of Kindness
I love this one, because there is no box to this. My friend Rey Brown from Texas shared about how he likes to gather coats in winter and take them to the homeless or randomly paying for the person behind him in the supermarket, without telling them. It gives him a buzz ““it makes me feel good and makes me feel like I can conquer the world.”
4. Run a Kindness Campaign in a home or a street
This reminds me of seeing the students mucking in and helping clean up Christchurch after the earthquakes. When I was a student Ps Russell Williams from Salt ran what he called a Kindness Campaign. He would turn up to a street that needed some TLC. From memory, there was a team of lawnmowers and a ute/trailer that would take away rubbish and take it to the dump. I would like to extend this, you could bring some gardening tools, oven cleaning tools, whatever you know is a hard job.
Seriously, imagine the impact that one Saturday would have on that family or that street of families. You showed that they were important by the kindness you were showing them. I’m projecting here, but what if that gave them a positive outlook on themselves, and gave them the confidence to take the next step that they had been putting off. You just gave them the confidence to be who they are meant to be.
5. Become a Budget Advisor
Are you still there? I know this seems really boring, but as I mentioned in my first point, even I, who I think am pretty good with my money often over spend my budget. If you are passionate about money, how about training and helping others in the community that could really do with some assistance in this (let’s be honest, we could all do with this assistance).
6. Catch Someone Else being Kind
When I was a teacher we had the “Caught being good” awards. As well as of doing a selfie, keep the look out for others being awesome being kind. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, share wherever you can. It not only warms our hearts to see others doing kind things, it may spark an idea within us on what we could do too.
If you do something Kind and have a photo, but feel a bit embarrassed to share it, send it to me, I’ll be happy to share about it for you 🙂
7. Sort our a Room/Cupboard
What’s in my hand? I’m not a fan of gardening, lawns, baking, but I do love sorting.
I spent 3 hours sorting through a Kindy cupboard and it felt awesome! Not only that it genuinely helped make finding a change of clothes for their kiddies a breeze.
What’s in your hand?
8. Run a Pre-school Music Session
Pre-schoolers love music. Mums and Dads love to catch up. If you have a passion for facilitating singing and kid’s instrument playing or preparing baking and hot drinks, you could be awesome at setting up a music session in a low decile community hall or church. Contact them or see if you could support an existing one in that community.
9. Join forces with a fellow Sports or Community group
When I first thought of this I could see two rugby teams, one from a high decile the other a low decile, both selling sausages on the street in an upmarket area. The friendships formed working along side each other consequently made that All Black team of the future unbreakable because of the unity/strength of friendship they had.
That situation could apply to any sports team or community group. The future of those children and the country lies within your hands.
Let’s be honest, it may be a new concept for them to get their head around. So be patient and keep approaching people until you find someone who is open to partnering up (in whatever way works for you).
10. Speak Kind Words
Believe the best of people. Believe every person wants the best for their children and their partner. Believe that everyone wants to have a clean and tidy home. Believe that everyone wants their children to have healthy food to eat and enjoy. Speak kindness when you see someone struggling or trying something new. Speak kindness to everyone.
By looking at what’s in our hands, we can transform someone’s life. It’s good old-fashioned helping everyone out, like they were related to you. In doing your act of kindness, you may find that the life transformed was actually your own.