Friday was Random Act of Kindness Day, with the Victoria Foundation inviting everyone to help inspire smiles.
Since 2008, this special day has brought Canadian communities together by engaging citizens in small acts of kindness and generosity. The message is simple: Do something nice for someone and ask nothing in return, except that they do something nice for someone else.
The Times Colonist has invited readers to share their experiences. Here are some of the “random acts of kindness” stories received over the past few months.
Thanks to the candy-man
I was the “candy-man” at our house this Halloween. During the night, a young girl gave me an envelope with a thank-you message: “Thanks for something yummy to eat.”
A first for me and I am touched.
Robert J. Boyne
Cyclist pauses to help pedestrian
I was trying to cross Douglas Street at Discovery Street, an unmarked crosswalk, but no cars would stop for me.
I am elderly and walk with a cane, and had stepped onto Douglas to signal that I wanted to cross, but to no avail.
Then I noticed someone on a bicycle speeding toward me and was startled to have him abruptly stop, dismount, take my arm and march us straight into traffic.
Like Moses commanding the sea, cars and trucks came to a halt and I was guided safely to the sidewalk on the other side.
Before I could do more than say thank you, he was gone, but I want him to know how grateful I am for his bravery and kindness.
Free delivery of lost wallet
In September, I arrived at the Mill Bay ferry terminal enroute to Victoria with the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa 275-kilometre fundraising cycle tour. I was drenched with rain but in high spirits from the dedication and encouragement of the support groups along the way as well as companionship and inspiration of our fellow riders.
However, my high spirits were dashed when I discovered my wallet (containing cash and my driver’s licence) was missing. I had tucked it into the back pocket of my shirt before entering the Cowichan Café and thought I had returned it to my pannier before boarding the ferry.
When I arrived home much later that evening, I found a large brown envelope stuffed into my front door. On it was this note: “Hello, my name is Hardeep and I am the deckhand on the Brentwood Bay ferry. I found this in front of my truck on the road. I remember your face because you said thank you.”
I called Hardeep and learned that he had driven all the way from Brentwood Bay to my home on Lands End Road in North Saanich, delivered the wallet, and then driven back to his home in Nanaimo. This is truly an act of human kindness. Thank you, Hardeep.
Johanna de Leeuw
Sparks a real show-stopper
During the summer, my husband and I set out for Chemainus to see the show Grease.
Just over the Malahat, a Datsun/Honda passed us with a young couple frantically indicating we should pull over.
They stopped on the side of the road and we parked behind them.
The young lady ran back to us and said they had seen sparks coming from under our vehicle.
She was dressed in a pretty, black lacy dress, but didn’t hesitate to get down on the ground to look under the car.
She ran back to their car and came back with a roll of masking tape, which they proceeded to use to tape up whatever it was that had come adrift.
We didn’t get names, as they were on their way to work, but we were very grateful that they stopped for us and helped out.
We carried on to see the show, came home the next day. We called ICBC and the car is now OK.
A million thanks to the young couple for making us pull over and giving us their time and energy.
Richard and Janet Stockman
Police officers’ moving gesture
On June 29, 2018, Sgt. John Grennan and Const. Graham Walker went to our friend’s home to inform her of the passing of her only son.
At her request, they accompanied her to our home. With her permission, in the most sensitive and patient manner, the officers informed us of the events that brought them to our home and the procedures that would follow.
When they were assured that everyone was comfortable and had no further questions, they handed us their business cards and departed.
The service that they provided to our friend in this dark hour exuded grace, warmth and sincere compassion.
The following day, both officers went to our friend’s home but she was not there.
They realized that she may be at our home and they were right.
They presented our friend with a beautiful white azalea plant.
It was a moving and pleasant gesture that demonstrated their compassion and humaneness and was a crucial step in the journey to easing her pain.
Vi and Hickman Wong
Beneficiary of two acts of kindness
On Sept. 23, I was walking with a friend toward the Royal Theatre for the afternoon performance, chatting happily away, when my toe caught on a brick and I splattered myself across the sidewalk.
I was immediately surrounded by women enquiring as to my health.
One woman had a bag with a pillow in it, which she offered for me to kneel on to get up, and another, younger, woman said: “I’m going where you’re going, so I’ll walk with you and make sure you get there OK.”
At the theatre, the first aid fellow bandaged me up, and other than a sore pinkie and wounded dignity, I was fine.
All strangers, all kind and compassionate.
Another day, I got turned around inside Hillside mall, and could not find my car when I came out.
A young woman came up to me and said: “I’ve been watching you walk back and forth, and I wonder if I can help you find your car.”
She stayed right with me until mission accomplished (it was around the corner from where I was looking). Her name is Holly, and I thank her very much.
Chairs of comfort at bus stops
A large thank you to the generous and kind people of the Saanich Peninsula who leave lawn chairs at bus stops that don’t have a shelter. As a senior who often travels by B.C. Transit, I have passed many long waits more comfortably sitting rather than standing. I believe in random acts of kindness.
If you want to tell us of your encounter with a random act of kindness, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the word “kindness” in the subject field.