The world is such an amazing place.
I recently connected with a woman named Ashley Noronha who lives in Rome, Italy. Ashley started the Sparklers’ Diaries movement as a way for people to intentionally spread light during the quarantine. Her website is an oasis of goodness.
That in itself is really cool, but I also loved hearing that she used to live in my home state of Wisconsin. She remembers “Casual Fridays” as the day everybody wore green and gold to work to support the Green Bay Packers.
Ashley agreed to share some of the sparks of light she is seeing with our Kindness is Contagious community.
“When people realize that kindness can be simple... that's when the real magic begins.
"One day I received a text from Sunil Menon who saw that the poor in Bangalore, India didn’t have access to enough food. So, he called a friend, who called another friend who owned a restaurant. In a few days, they were making 1,500 warm meals a day for the hungry.
"In central Illinois, a woman decided that throughout quarantine, she'd serve dinner on the family's fine china. In a simple move, she turned each day into a celebration!
"In New York, Chris Slattery's heart ached for struggling families who wouldn't be able to afford diapers for their little ones. So, he assembled a team, asked for donations and managed to deliver 1 million diapers across the tri-county area.
"A woman in the U.S. cut out hundreds of paper hearts and left them on her front stoop, inviting passersby to take some and decorate the windows of their homes in a show of community unity.
"A taxi driver here in Rome, Italy, decided to offer free rides to health care workers in COVID-19 units.
"One morning, a couple in Wisconsin woke to find they'd received some anonymous love — someone had decorated their driveway with chalk art featuring hearts and messages of affection.
"Five seventh grade boys in Champaign, Ill., grabbed a few boxes of granola bars and went out to the streets, giving them to people without homes and passersby explaining they simply ‘wanted to give others some joy.’
"Eleven-year-old Vanessa Monpetit in Canada wanted her parents to have a special date night in quarantine. She explained, ‘You gotta spark their relationship to keep it flaring!’ So she cooked a feast and presented it on a candlelit table, complete with jazz music!
"A woman in Arkansas was touched to read about various cities who were clapping daily to thank their health care workers. Unfortunately, it wasn't happening in her area. So, each day at noon she chose to step onto her porch and clap... alone. Then, one day, a neighbor joined. Then another.
"All of these simple and heartfelt acts are proof that a spark of kindness can become a raging fire! Keep sparkling!"
You can find even more stories of kindness happening around the globe on Ashley’s website: https://www.sparklersdiaries.com.
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.