Have you, or do you know of an instance of Accidental Goodness, or, acts of goodness that have had wonderful consequences and made a difference? Please feel free to share and add to this thread.
The TV and news media would have us believe that life is incredibly miserable and that people are selfish and insular. Yet, society does exist and thankfully it operates very well indeed. The level of people caring about other people, animals and the environment is incredibly high! KAS itself is living and breathing proof of the fact that thousands of good hearted people exist and care. So let's prove the journalists who focus on the negative aspects of life, wrong!
My own story involves a handmade tailored overcoat!
In 1995 my artist Father decided he wanted to treat himself to a handmade overcoat. But being almost 80 years he asked if I would drive him to the tailors to be measured. Having agreed, I assumed that the tailor would be located in the area of south London where he lived - Deptford. I lived in St. Albans which is outside of north London and over 30 miles from my Dad's flat and meant travelling right cross London - thankfully the traffic was not quite as congested as it is now! Then he informed me his chosen tailor was in a place in a different part of north London called Harringay. I thereby drove to Deptford, collected Dad and drive back the way I had come and diverted slightly to the tailors. Having been measured and selected the material, we returned back to his flat with another trip across London. Once he was safely deposited, I (deep breath) proceeded to drive through the new fully awakened London traffic back to St. Albans. Needless to say it took all day and after 4 trips across London I was pretty exhausted.
This journey then had to be repeated when the overcoat was ready for collection! However, I survived criss-crossing London eight times and he was very happy with his brand new overcoat!
A short while later my Father took it into his head, that rather than just give his 'old' overcoat to one of the local charity shops, he would head down to Waterloo Bridge and give it to one of the tramps who lived nearby. On the London bus journey he got quite hot, so took off his brand new coat. At Waterloo he gave a tramp an overcoat and got back on a bus to return home. During this journey he realised that he'd given the tramp his expensive brand new coat!
What to do? Could he return to find the tramp and ask for it back and replace it with the elderly worn coat? No, of course not!
What the tramp thought of being given such a quality coat we'll never know, but I bet he got several good years out of it!
When my Father was relating the story of the coat exchange, as soon as he mentioned he'd taken his off because he was hot - I just knew what was going to come next!
Fortunately, he had been one of the first volunteers for Crisis at Christmas, a charity founded in 1967, that provides shelter, food & clothing, dental & foot treatments, haircuts etc., and much much more for the homeless over the Christmas period in London, and, now in most major cities in the UK. Volunteers give up their Christmas to help provide basic human needs for a disadvantaged group of people who tend to be shunned or ignored, using whatever skills they have. Therefore, although he'd lost his much longed for overcoat, he was totally relaxed and stoically said, "C'est la vie"!
Dad contented himself a ready-made-off-the-shelf overcoat instead!
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What a marvelous story, Pam. I'm looking forward to hearing more like this one from our members.
What a wonderful story, Pam. It takes the notion of "giving the coat off your back" to a whole new level! Your father was truly good hearted, though, to accept the situation so well.
This is just a terrific idea for a thread! I too am looking forward to hearing more stories.
What a lovely story :) Thank you for starting this threat :)
Was hoping it would be a 'thread' rather than a 'threat'!! Thanks Gitta, Laurie and Anne.
NOT SO ACCIDENTAL GOODNESS - what a community can do
Our church, St. Paul’s Leaskdale, sits in the middle of 100 acres on the edge of the village. All of the arable land is farmed on a volunteer basis by local farmers. Crops are sold and the income is matched on a 4 to 1 basis by the Canadian government for the World Food Grains Project.
Homelessness is a problem everywhere, but particularly in rural areas like mine, where we have a fair number of "invisible homeless". An organization called North House was formed several years ago in our region to aid families who find themselves on the edge of homelessness.
St. Paul’s has donated a large plot of our land for a community garden in support of North House. There are 12 individual plots for needy families who wish to grow some of their own food. In addition, there is a huge community plot where we grow food which is supplied to the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Uxbridge.
This plot is known as "The Garden of Eatin’"
The church hires a student to plant, manage and oversee the community plot each summer. The rest of the work is done by volunteers. Some folks come and weed for several hours a week, others just drop in now and then - but it is all needed and appreciated. We have been supported by many organizations and people in the community. One farmer has donated a water tank and keeps it full for watering all summer. Another tills the garden each spring. Local companies support us in many ways - we receive mushroom compost to enrich the soil, a few garden centres supply seeds, plants and tools. Last year, someone came and built a pergola and donated Muskoka chairs for our tired gardeners.
Since its inception about five years ago, when the first Garden of Eatin’ was just a ploughed up patch in the middle of a pasture, the garden has continued to improve and become more efficient. Today it is a lush plot that produces a lot of fresh food that otherwise might not be available to users of our local food bank.
The best part is, that it costs virtually nothing - except for the salary of the plot manager, which is paid by St. Paul’s. Everything else is donated by generous people in the community.
Anne, the Garden of Eatin" must be such a blessing for anyone on the edge, plus the community can be supportive without the 'people in need' feeling like useless victims. Here they get an opportunity to help themselves! Thanks for your contribution to this thread, we need to share these lovely stories to keep reminding ourselves of the tremendous goodness that exists.
Anne, this is such a fabulous project! Congratulations to everyone involved! As Pam said, helping people help themselves, is always the best way to go. Such a peaceful scene in the second photo!
Both stories are examples of the good in people. Thank you Pam for starting this thread, we tend to hear the negatives and forget to celebrate the positive actions people are doing all the time.
I second this. I've just resurfaced from a not nice at all time and this thread is a joy. Thank you Pam for starting it with the lovely story of your father and Anne for the 'Garden of Eatin' which looks as lovely as it is useful. Nice to be back xoxo
I was just thinking yesterday that we had not seem MT for a while ! Sorry to hear you have had a bad time. Great to have you back !
I agree these are great stories and I've enjoyed reading this entire thread. Sadly my mind is blank as to what I can contribute here. I'll pray on it. I go on active hunts now for positives and love reading the "Chicken Soup" books, my fav right now being one on Miracles. I also enjoy the CNN Heroes' show when it comes on, that night where they publicize "do gooders" from around the globe and give them funding. I've learnt about incredible people that way. Anything online where people help others just touches me so much. I love what Anne's church is doing...so much can proceed from so little. I loved seeing the delight on a child's face when they were putting on a KAS hat I made. :) I loved saving a ginger kitten's life, he turned up starving on our front lawn. I love helping out truckers when I'm driving our two lane Trans Canada highway and they need to pass and I slow down once they're out there passing me, so they can get safely past me faster. They flash their brake lights to say thank you. I think so many small things we all do every day adds up to such good worldwide! I remember reading in one of the Chicken Soup books of a person who paid the next 7 toll fares for whoever was behind them, stuff like that. :) Or seeing a car with an expired meter and popping in a quarter... I love stuff like that. I will try to think of something but meanwhile I hope others have more luck! I have "spotty brain" this morning regarding memories, LOL!
Thanks Jeanne. Feel sure you will add to this thread from time to time, especially with your fund of humour! It doesn't need stories in which you are actually involved, it can just as easily be one you hear or read of that you feel members of KAS would enjoy. Also, little comments like your being helpful to truck drivers are wonderful. So often it is the millions of 'little' kindness that a carried out daily that create harmony and happiness!