I think that any decent person would agree with that statement; an act of kindness – big or small – can have a profound effect upon a person. As parents, we’re probably all constantly telling our children to “Be kind”, “Play nicely”, “Share”. We are building the foundations for them to blossom into generous, caring people.
What about us?
We give and give and give; to our children, partners, home, work, friends. Sometimes it feels relentless, thankless, when you’ve been pinched by your 1-year-old for trying to put their coat on, while your 3-year-old screams about the injustice of not eating chocolate at 8am, at the same time as the washing machine beeps to remind you it needs emptying, and you cast an eye over the chaos of toys and dishes and discarded meals and wonder “How is it THIS hard?”
Town centres, supermarkets, soft play, parks are all full of people feeling exactly the same way! Parents who adore their families but so often feel like they’re drowning, failing. For some it’s just a random bad day, others may have postnatal depression, be grieving the loss of a baby, a relationship breakdown, illness, sleep deprivation, money worries. How much can a single random act of kindness mean to each and every one of us?
This is why I’ve launched the Apples & Pips Kindness Scheme.
Myself and a fantastic tribe of people up and down the U.K. are handing out notes and gift vouchers to the parents we see out and about, just as a small gesture to say “You’ve got this, you’re doing a great job”. Together, I hope that we can be the light, or at least a lovely part of the brightness!
I started handing the notes and vouchers out months ago, and one chance encounter made me realise that it was something that was needed in as many towns and cities as possible, which meant enlisting the help of as many other people as possible! That chance encounter came in a Sainsbury’s car park, where I approached a couple with their young son and offered them an envelope along with an explanation of what I was up to (you do get some odd looks!). The woman looked to be pregnant, but she explained that their newborn daughter was poorly in Great Ormond Street Hospital, and they were heading over to see her at that moment. She thanked me, hugged me, told me that my gesture meant a lot, we both cried a little bit. All these months later I still wonder how they are, I hope that their daughter is home and thriving. I’ll probably never know, but it meant so much to have such a relatively insignificant yet positive part to play during what must have been one of the worst times of their lives.
These random acts of kindness are a beautiful blend of solidarity, philanthropy, a sense of purpose and community. Obviously as a business owner I hope to make the name Apples & Pips better known, but I want that name to be synonymous with kindness and nurturing.
To the Kindness Tribe who are helping me out for very little reward: thank you.
To the mums and dads who receive the gifts: Know that they’re borne of love and support.
I am excited about this, and if you would like to get involved then please just send me an email and I’ll get back to you with all the details, for you to decide whether you fancy joining in!