I live in a community in Perth’s northern suburbs. The past few months has seen violence, break ins, racist slurs and in a suburb which is reasonably affluent, has become a scarier place. Call it COVID craziness but whatever it is, I was determined to flip the narrative and bring the kindness back to Christmas.
I love to do a community kindness campaign at Christmas. I look for opportunities within my neighbourhood because as they say, kindness begins at home. Last year, I wanted to see how many kindness messages I could send in 24 hours (it was over 4,000 and exhausting!)
This year I wanted to do something which would bring my local community together. I bought a $10 mailbox from the local hardware store, decorated it and created a place where people could pop notes of gratitude, give Christmas cards for children in hospital and even draw pictures for aged care residents. As long as it is “kind mail” all the correspondance will be passed on whether to a charity or a specific address.
I have spent many a balmy summer evening marvelling over the epic Christmas lights on a house closeby and this year, thanks to the power of social media, I connected with the owners who will be adding something to their display this year. My Community Kindness mailbox.
People love going and watching this light show. You see couples hugging, children marvelling and families taking deck chairs and a picnic. I loved the idea that people can bring their kids to look at the lights but at the same time, drop a note in the mailbox.
I put the call out on social media for anyone to come and share their positive and uplifting messages and the responses have been beautiful.
Mackenzie talked about putting a card for her neighbours to say thank you for looking after her disabled brother.
Katie posted a card for people who don’t have friends or family.
Alekx shared how much he loved his sister – which ended in a beautiful, sibling to sibling cuddle.
Getting together to launch the mailbox was beyond anything I could have imagined. Hundreds of people came and said hi, frequently hearing people recognisng each other but from now on, will be able to greet them by name. It wasn’t only the children who were using the mailbox, the adults were too.
I remember at one point looking around and getting teary as I watched the children enjoying the snow machine, the adults chatting and a queue to use the mailbox! I couldn’t believe that a simple idea brought our community together. There were no mention of the last year, instead, there was talk about 2021 and our hope and wishes for it.
This was my act of kindness to my community and it filled me with gratitude. I made a promise to myself to never take a moment such as this for granted and I allowed myself to smile. A big smile.
In a time for giving and a time for giving thanks all communities should have a Community Kindness mailbox.
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