We hope you have been enjoying our #RAHolidayKindness stories as much as we have loved sharing them! Each year our staff gets to spread a little holiday cheer in the name of Random Acts, and we are pretty excited about it. This time, we are going to share with you three of our staffers acts, each working with a different organization whose goal is to make children’s lives better.
Outreach Officer Nicole Kirby discovered a great non-profit in Middlesbrough called Rubies. During the period before they transition to senior school, girls 10-11 years of age sometimes experience apprehension. To help, Rubies has created courses these young women can take that will help them build up their self esteem, raise awareness around personal and online safety, and help them with the school transition. Nicole reached out and was able to assist putting together “Self Care Goody Bags”, which included items sanitary products, lip balms, hand creams, and deodorant.
The message of self empowerment that these young girls receive is invaluable, and Nicole was excited to help this organization. “This is the town I grew up in, it regularly appears on lists of towns facing disadvantage and there are many people living in poverty.” Nicole says. “To see how such a small thing can positively affect these girls, because of Rubies hard work in building their self esteem, is amazing. They need inspiration, kindness, and to feel like there are options for them. Rubies is giving them this, and today I was able to be a small part of it.”
The work of Cunningham Children’s Home in Champaign, Illinois, is a beautiful example of how a small, kind idea can grow into something that has a tremendous impact. Cunningham Children’s Home was originally founded to care for children who had lost their parents or whose parents could not care for them. Over time, Cunningham broadened their mission to serve the needs of children with emotional, behavioral, and special educational needs. Cunningham currently has 731 children, adults, and families to shop for this Christmas.
Communications Manager Lisa Cerezo actually discovered Cunningham last year around this time, but missed the deadline to donate gifts. So this year, she jumped on the ball at the beginning of December and went shopping for the children. In total, she brought six bags of toys. “As a former teacher,” Lisa says, “I’ve met kids who struggled in much the same way the children at Cunningham have. I knew I wanted to do something for kids who needed a little extra kindness.” Lisa is hoping that in the future, Random Acts can partner with Cunningham to spread more cheer to the children the whole year round.
HR Recruiter Stephanie McCabe first discovered the Youth Crisis Center when Random Acts partnered with them at the Supernatural Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. When it came time to spread a little holiday cheer, Stephanie jumped at the chance to purchase gifts for the children the center helps. “Normally I despise shopping of any sort,” she says. “But being able to shop for children, especially those in need, was both fun and rewarding!”
The Youth Crisis Center’s focus is to care for children who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. We cannot think of a better place for a little cheer to be spread than to an organization that fosters healing and promotes growth. Stephanie had a little help from her own daughter in picking out the gifts. She insisted on purchasing a beautiful unicorn for the children because she said “Every kid needs a unicorn!” (We could not agree more as the Random Acts staff has our own personal unicorn ourselves in the form of our Executive Director Rachel Miner!)