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Kindness is the real spirit of Christmas


Recently there have been some heart breaking and shocking stories in the news, the Sydney siege, the horrific shooting at a school in Pakistan and the children murdered by their mother/aunt in Cairns, Australia. More and more people in the UK are having to visit food banks just to get by and it seems there is a growing number of fanatics who want to threaten our way of life with their plans for terrorist activity. But in the last week we have heard stories that have warmed the cockles of our hearts and restored some of our faith in the kindnesses that people show to others.

First came the story of 26 year old Luke Cameron. When Luke decided to do a good deed every day for a year, he could never have anticipated how much it would change his life. Luke, from Cheltenham made the decision after a close family friend died from cancer in 2013. He started writing a Good Deed blog and logged every kind gesture he made on the site, which now has thousands of followers.

His kind acts have ranged from taking out the rubbish for his elderly neighbour, to baking mini lemon drizzle cakes and sending them round to his friends and family. H's also bought countless meals for strangers at places like McDonald's and even paid for someone's petrol just because they were standing next to him in the queue at the petrol station tills. In total, Luke estimates that he has spent £3,000 in the last year on good deeds, despite the fact that he was only earning the wage of a part-time shop worker.

Luke said: 'In a world of taking selfies with your "besties" and Instagramming pictures of your new handbag and Rolex watch, we forget to think about anyone else but ourselves. 'Our generation has forgotten to care about others, because we are too self-obsessed to even care what others are going through.'

Since starting his challenge, Luke also entered a competition run by Utility Aid to win the job of National Philanthropy Manager, aka The Nicest Job in Britain. His Good Deed challenge convinced the organisers that he was the right man for the job and so, for the whole of 2015, Luke will be paid to travel the UK and assist 45 different charities. What a lovely young man Luke is and a fantastic example of how the simplest of acts of kindness can change your life in a positive way.

Then came the story of homeless man "Robbie" in Preston, who offered his last £3.00 to student, Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, who had lost her purse on a night out. Robbie wanted her to take the cash so that she could get a taxi home safely. Dominique didn't take it but was so touched by the man's kind gesture that she has set herself a mission to help him. Dominique said: "I ended up posting a status on Facebook to try and find him the next day and it turns out I'm not the only person he has helped." Robbie appears to have come to the aid of many in Preston city centre, returning wallets to pedestrians and offering his scarf to keep people warm.

Dominique asked her mum to help her find Robbie and they spent four nights driving round Preston to find him, and she was beginning to lose hope that I would see him again, to thank him personally for his kindness.

Dominique decided that simply thanking Robbie wasn't enough, she wanted to repay his kindness and on Tuesday 16th December she spent 24 hours with him experiencing life on the streets. But that wasn't all, Dominique asked people to sponsor her day with Robbie in the hopes of raising enough to get him a deposit for a place to live. The campaign has reached beyond her wildest dreams because at last count an amazing £32,245.00 has been raised to help Robbie on his way. How awesome is that? Another wonderful example of how one act of kindness can change lives.

And finally, this really made us smile. An unknown man was filmed at Kentish Town tube station in one night last week, the platform was packed with people waiting for a train when this guy, who had just been to an Erasure gig, starts to sing their hit song "Give a Little Respect". He's happily singing along by himself when a few tentative voices join in, then more and more, until the song ends in a resounding chorus echoing through the tube platform, finishing with cheers and whistles as everyone has a great time. Now people always think the tube is full of crazy people and miserable commuters – and sometimes it is! – but there are often moments of fun and laughter, more than you might imagine.

As we said at the beginning, these stories really warmed us and reminded us that kindness, joy and a little fun is what is at the heart of the spirit of Christmas for us. Why not try giving yourself a challenge of doing a small random act of kindness every day in 2015 and see what difference it makes to your happiness – you can read more about RAKs in our blog. We're going to give it a go too.

In the meantime, we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and positively wonderful New Year.

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