At Random Acts, our goal is to help fund acts of kindness that positively impact our supporters’ neighborhoods, including hard-hit areas like homeless communities, animal shelters, schools, and regions struck by natural disaster. Sometimes, however, our supporters surprise us and take the initiative on their own.
“I’ve always had a personal motivation to help those in the homeless community,” says Rachel Gilbert of Cincinnati, Ohio. “Here in Cincinnati there are several dedicated groups that supply temporary shelter and weekly meals for those that need them, but often these types of places do not have enough housing or funding to support every individual.” While working in soup kitchens through her high school years, Rachel spoke with several individuals who admitted that there were a few items that rarely made their way to the shelter– basic supplies that most people take for granted.
“I started to write down requests that I hadn’t really thought of before, like bandages, hand sanitizer, emergency blankets, feminine hygiene products, sunscreen, and so on,” Rachel recounts. So when it came time to start planning for our Annual Melee of Kindness (AMOK), she knew exactly what she wanted to do.
“I wanted to share what I felt was a moderately comprehensive and inexpensive care package that would support individuals who couldn’t make it to a shelter, or who didn’t have consistent access to a food source,” she writes. Her ambitious project consisted of putting together 22 backpacks with $20 worth of items inside, including combs, toothbrushes and toothpastes, microfiber towels, rain ponchos, assorted snacks, and business cards courtesy of Random Acts. With her supplies ready to go, she set out to deliver.
“My friends and family were all relatively surprised at how much time, effort and money I was putting into the bags,” she says. And it was an impressive effort indeed: after breaking her foot earlier in the year, Rachel nearly had to stall her plans, but decided to make the trek regardless. “I couldn’t get out of the car and walk around as I had intended to. But I think that the event went well despite the setbacks.”
As she handed out the backpacks, Rachel reported the general reaction as “wonderful and inspiring”.
“I received a lot of positive feedback from the online community,” she writes. “Anytime you go out in the community and perform any act of kindness, I feel like it changes some small part of you…. Sharing my experience with others was the most rewarding part of this act, since so many others have been motivated to become more involved.”
Of course, before she even began her drop-off route, there was one story that Rachel says stuck with her more than all the others.
“My absolute favorite story happened when I was purchasing the items for the backpacks: the cashier happened to recognize me from several months ago when she was homeless and I had given her some money for food — we spent several hours catching up, and she ended up donating money from her own pocket to help fund the care packages. I was just so touched and absolutely amazed at how things can come full circle like that.”
This act of kindness was sponsored by Random Acts.
At Random Acts, our goal is to fund YOUR amazing acts of kindness, big or small. Send an Act Proposal form our way and see if you qualify for financial assistance. We can’t wait to hear your plans!