12 Acts of Kindness, Day Six: Time Out for a Deserving Couple

12acts_updated-01-01It’s the sixth act in our 12 Acts of Kindness already (can you believe it?), and this time around, we’re headed across the ocean to our neighbors down-under.

When we first proposed the idea for the 12 Acts project, our former Marketing Manager, Melissa Dark, was thrilled. Immediately, she began planning and with the little time she had left as a Random Acts staffer, she put her ideas into motion.

On the other side of the world, Melbourne residents Hayley and her partner Tim were having a bit of a rough year. After a minor ankle injury in 2006, Hayley had developed an incurable chronic pain disorder called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which led to her becoming disabled and unable to work, and required her to use crutches and a wheelchair to get around.

“Many people would have fled such a burdensome relationship, however Tim chose to stick around,” Hayley wrote. “For eight years he has looked after me physically, emotionally and financially. Our relationship is still going strong — sometimes I even look after him too.”

One exciting prospect dawned on the couple early this year when they realized they would be celebrating 10 long years together. Unfortunately, with all of their turmoils, they eventually came to the conclusion that they would be unable to afford a celebration.

“Our love has survived some tough trials and ten years felt like something worth celebrating. I was so sad to have missed it,” she wrote.

20141206 10th anniversary dinner

But friend Melissa knew of the couple’s doleful circumstance as well, and decided to do something about it. Employing her Random Acts funding, she purchased for the lovely duo a night away at a beautiful resort and a dinner at a luxurious eatery, giving them the 10-year anniversary celebration they had always wanted.

“Melissa knew how I was feeling, but the fact that she took steps to make a difference and give us those celebratory memories blows my mind,” wrote Hayley. “It was the kindest and most thoughtful thing that anybody has ever done for me.”

She continued, “Living with chronic pain is a constant struggle and most of the fighting takes place in private. Receiving this wonderful night out made me feel like I was being seen — like my fight matters and I am a valuable human being. The kindness was invigorating and motivating. I feel ready to continue my battle for health and hopefully I will find a way to pay it forward, to share more kindness with people who are struggling.”

Although Melissa has moved on to bigger dreams (keep a keen eye out for her award-winning novel any day now), her inspiring achievements still motivate the marketing team she managed every day for many years — and she continues to be a proud supporter and enactor of Random Acts at any chance she gets.

Make sure to read more about Hayley’s journey on her blog, Rellacafa, and find out how you can support those who suffer from the debilitating disease. 

Make sure to visit our blog regularly this month as we celebrate the 12 Acts of Kindness — a project which showcases the kind things our staffers get up to in their off-time. Want to follow our team’s lead and perform an act of kindness in your community? Check out how you can get involved and fill out an act proposal today to see if you qualify for financial assistance. We can’t wait to hear from you!