It all started as an effort to help our immediate family during the earliest stages of the pandemic, but quickly morphed into numerous acts of “random kindness” for our delivery personnel, grocers, extended family, neighbors, and total strangers. Between March and December 2020, my wife, a master seamstress, made more than twelve hundred high-quality, dual layered, ultra-artistic, cotton facemasks and gave them away.
She shopped at our local thrift stores for high thread-count cotton sheets using neutral colors (white, grey, tan) as the lining material, but selected wonderfully patterned cotton sheets for her very creative outer layers. Themed masks made for children (in children’s sizes) included Minecraft, Lego, cars, sharks, butterflies, and many Disney characters. Adult themes included flowers, stripes, polka dots, holidays, common events, and even leopard print!
Being active, creative, and sewing masks to help others was my wife’s way of coping with being at home. I chose to write books, and authored four between April and October, including “When Life Needs a Sticky Note… words of inspiration during challenging times.” I gifted copies of my books to family, friends, neighbors, business associates, clerks at places we shop, and others. It was fun!
During the heat of the Georgia summer, we prepared more than a hundred plastic bags filled with a chilled bottle of water, two chocolate candies, paper towels, ice, and a small Purell hand wipe and gave these to our mail carrier and other delivery personnel and to the seasonal employees of our local state park.
Just before Christmas, I witnessed a distraught shopper offer the clerk three different credit cards to pay for her groceries only to find that each was rejected. Not knowing her situation but recognizing that many people lost their jobs during the pandemic and suffered serious financial losses, I was thankful that I was able to pay for her food.
Random Acts of Kindness. It’s not a new concept by any means, for kindness to others is an inherent human trait. It’s just that, after 2020, maybe we could all do just a little bit more for others and add some joy to their lives.