Small acts of kindness, from holding a door open to paying for another person's cup of coffee, can create a bright spot in someone else's day. Studies have even shown performing acts of kindness can positively impact a person's health. But mostly, performing these acts can bring a community together.
A group of scholars from Unbound's Cuernavaca program in Mexico was motivated to raise awareness about solidarity by creating an activity doing acts of kindness. They called it chain of favors, and invited everyone sponsored in their area and their families to participate. The invitation went out to more than 2,200 sponsored friends, so there was a lot of potential to do good in the community.
"This is the biggest event we've organized," said Unbound scholar Maria. "It's big because all the sponsored members participated and because they carried out many acts of solidarity for others in their community.
"Our goal was to let sponsored members and their communities realize we can help others by doing simple, little things, and that helping without expecting anything in return brings great satisfaction."
Sponsored friends and their families got involved in a variety of ways. They performed good deeds like assisting elders cross the street or carrying their bags. They helped neighbors with their groceries or lent them a horse or donkey for the day. One sponsored friend even caught a loose pig.
After a day of good deeds, everyone was invited to share their experiences. The children drew pictures and wrote stories of what they did to help others in their community. They discussed how their acts of kindness helped make their community stronger and demonstrated solidarity.
The chain of favors event was a success, and the scholars want to organize more in the future.
"The day we got together, we got emotional when kids and parents read about their good deeds," said Teresa, one of the scholars who helped organize the event. "In the end, we realized that we received precious gifts of gratitude and blessings from those we helped.
"I believe our communities now have more solidarity, gratitude and love. And we realize that anyone can be a helping hand, and we will all need that hand at some point in life."
Perform your own act of kindness. Sponsor someone through Unbound today.
About the Author
Unbound is an international nonprofit founded by lay Catholics grounded in the Gospel call to put the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable first. We build relationships of mutual respect and support that bridge cultural, religious and economic divides. We bring people together to challenge poverty in 18 countries. We invite you to join us. Find us on Facebook or Twitter.