At The Hardy Project we not only send sunshine to patients who are on the battlefield everyday courageously, fighting Cancer or Leukemia, but we also encourage our followers to ” be copy-cats!” It’s our hearts’ desire that “spreading sunshine” would become contagious. We hope that those who see us on social media or follow us through subscribing to our website, would be encouraged, inspired and motivated to step out of their comfort zone and also go do “Random Acts of Kindness.”
The logo on our backpacks has a Ferris wheel on it. We chose that icon because life is a lot like the ride one would take on a ferris wheel…it’s unpredictable, full of ups and downs and in the end, is very short. So, living each day intentionally with purpose and on purpose, is crucial. At The Hardy Project, we don’t always get great reports. But one thing that has always stayed with me is something my daughter Zoë shared with me several months ago. I remember being discouraged because I had been told that one of our sunshine recipients had just graduated to heaven. I broke down in tears, as I often do. And Zoë said to me, “Mom the really great news is that our sunshine recipient got to taste a little bit of heaven before she actually got there… and that’s a blessing. That’s why we’re doing this.”
That is so true. Heaven is a place that is beautiful, warm, full of joy and peace. There is no crying, no pain, no suffering and no hard days. There is no chemo, no radiation, no pills to take and no shots administered. It’s just perfect and awesome. To be able to give some of our recipients a backpack full of sunshine that brings them a little joy and a peace and hopefully distracts them from pain or suffering they might be wrestling with on any given day, is why we do this. This is an act of kindness. It’s free. We don’t charge anyone. You can’t put a backpack full of sunshine “in your cart,” and then click purchase, because we have no cart! Haaaaa!! Sunshine is free- just like when you walkoutside… it’s there to just make you feel warm and peaceful. The only motivation we have is to be kind, do good and pay it forward. The world we live in is filled with heartache, sadness, sickness and disease. So at The Hardy Project, we decided to take action by pulling the curtains back and letting the sun shine brighter than the challenging circumstance.
You might not be able to send out hundreds of bags of sunshine or mail lots of letters of encouragement, but there are a few small things that you could do on a daily basis or even from time to time. Shining the light into someone’s darkness, takes a little bit of your own time and effort and maybe a couple of bucks, but means the world to the person who is on the receiving end!
Here are some fun ideas of ways you can pay it forward!
- Buy lunch for someone
- Offer to drive the carpool
- Make an extra portion of dinner and take it to a friend
- Bring someone a cup of coffee
- Volunteer for an organization
- Donate blood
- Leave donuts in the break room with a note that says “have great day!”
- Go volunteer at your church, synagogue or mosque
- Clean out your closet and donate clothing
- Write a PRAISE on the yelp or Google review site for someone
- Leave a big tip for the waitress
- Leave a positive body image comment on a post-it note on the mirror in a dressing room! ( I love this one!)
- Offer free babysitting for a couple who needs a date night
- Leave a nice note on the windshield of someone’s car
- Anonymously, mail a movie gift card to a single mom and her kids!
- Tell your waitress, you want to (discreetly) pick up the bill for the people at another table.
- Give someone a hug- a good, meaningful, “I care about you” hug.
- Send a treat with your little one to give to the teacher (They work so hard!)
- Mow the neighbors lawn!
- Bring the trashcans in for your neighbor (Thank you Holt family for doing this for me!!)
- If you can afford it, bless someone with a financial gift!
Listen, once you start being nice “on purpose,” it becomes a way of life. You just start doing for others without even realizing you’re actually doing anything special or profound! Go be helpful. Be loving. Be kind. Pay it forward in this life, by just showing “Random Acts of Kindness!” When you do, those you bless will feel loved and appreciated… but, YOU my friend will feel GREAT on the inside too.