Today is World Kindness Day – a day to highlight good deeds in our communities, cities and nations and to inspire us to think about what gestures we can do to help show someone that you care.
Whether it’s a random act of kindness for a stranger or perhaps for a friend or family member, being kind and helping others can help make the foundation of a strong and happy community.
At Nextdoor we see members using the platform every day to help one another and their communities in acts of kindness – from getting together to pick-up litter on their local beach to visiting a lonely older neighbour for a cuppa and a chat.
On World Kindness Day we want to share with you the inspirational story of Nextdoor member Sally-Ann Brown, who has made it her mission to share random acts of kindness within her local community in Southend-on-Sea.
A couple of years ago, Sally-Ann was diagnosed with Unstable Emotional Personality Disorder, a mental health disorder which means she does not feel emotion in the same way as others and resulted in her having to take time off work.
Sally-Ann wanted to put her free time to good use by helping her local community, particularly older neighbours and those living with disabilities. This is when she launched, ‘Sally B presents random acts of kindness’ a community project where she offers to help those in the community with tasks they may not be able to carry out themselves.
Using Nextdoor, Sally-Ann was able to carry out her first-ever random act of kindness. She received a message from a 79-year-old neighbour who was crippled with arthritis and housebound, and so was hoping for some help in the garden as she was struggling to maintain it. Sally-Ann was more than happy to help out and spent hours transforming the overgrown garden into a tranquil haven her neighbour could sit in and enjoy in the summer.
Another neighbour also reached out to Sally-Ann on Nextdoor after her husband had sadly passed away and needed some help painting her home. Sally wasted no time getting out the paintbrushes, putting on a couple of coats of bright white to lighten up the rooms – helping to give the neighbour a sense of home pride again.
To date, Sally-Ann’s random acts of kindness have helped tens of neighbours in need, including supporting a local family whose young daughter has a rare form of cancer.
What started out as a hobby for Sally-Ann, now fills her days while she is on the road to recovery. When Sally-Ann helps others, it also helps with her own mental health journey, acting as a form of therapy.
To help find neighbours who need an extra hand, Sally-Ann posts to her local Nextdoor neighbourhood asking members whether they know a neighbour-in-need or whether they could do with extra support. She also finds it a great way to share her achievements with her community in order to inspire others.
Sally-Ann’s kindness and commitment to helping her local community make her a stellar example of a good neighbour and we hope her story will inspire members all over the UK to get involved in small acts of kindness. Whether it’s popping round to see an older neighbour for a coffee or simply saying hello to someone in the street, no gesture is too small.
There’s no better day than World Kindness Day to get started so why not post a message in your neighbourhood today and see if there is anyone you could help.