Random acts of kindness was a phrase certain to have crossed of of our lips over the last 12 months. From heart-warming deeds by helpful celebs to humbling acts by general do-gooders, 2014 was chock-full with inspiring, uplifting and joyful stories that restored our faith in humanity. Missed out on the kindness buzz? Don’t worry, dear friend, we’ve got a run down of 10 key acts of kindness that broke the internet in 2014. Enjoy….
1 Kindness nominations
While #NekNominate was recklessly encouraging social media users to knock back alcohol, one South African used his nomination to raise awareness of homelessness in his country. When he was nominated, instead of chugging booze, Brent Lindeque decided to carry out an act of kindness, which inspired the masses. Good job, Brent!
2 Hannah the brave
Acts of kindness are fabulous at any age, but it’s especially touching to hear of selfless youngsters wanting to help others – and that why 7-year-old Hannah is certainly deserving of a mention. To mark her younger sister’s remission and help other young cancer survivors, Hannah decided to have her head shaved. “I’m going to shave my head in honor of all of the children fighting cancer – especially my sister Natalie. And I DO NOT CARE if someone makes fun of me because I am beautiful no matter what!” – Hannah Gorsegner. What an inspiring young lady – we salute you!
3 Preston’s homeless hero
When student, Dominique Harrison found herself without her bank card and cash in the early hours of the morning she was panicked, as her phone battery had died and she had no means of getting home. That’s when a homeless name – known now as Robbie – approached her and offered her the only change he had for her to get home safely. So touched by his kind gesture, Dominique tracked him down the following day and has since set about to pay him back in a big way. To date she’s raised more than £20,000 for him to use towards a deposit.
4 The Kindness Offensive
Making it their mission to spread kindness, the team of volunteers behind the London-based initiative that is The Kindness Offensive (TKO) has set about planning and carrying out random acts of kindness on both a small and giant scale. We heard they even sourced teddies for every police car in the UK, to be used to comfort upset or distressed little ones.”The toys are supposed to calm young children in distress – whether that’s because mum’s got a speeding ticket or because the family is caught up in a domestic violence incident,” said its founder, David Goodfellow (such an apt name!) when speaking with Huffington Post. TKO has even got its own ‘Kinder’ bus – now that’s very cool!
5 Vanessa Hudgens surprising a 17-year-old cancer patient at his prom
In August 2014, Vanessa Hudgens made Cesar Guerrero extremely happy by turning up unexpectedly at his prom, after hearing about his story and battle with cancer. Cesar is a big fan of the High School Musical star and was the envy of his pals.
6 Taylor Swift’s secret party for her fans
To mark the exciting release of her latest album, Taylor Swift made a bunch of her fans’ dreams come true by inviting them to her house for a secret pre-release listening parties. Needless to say, they were delighted!
7 Free dry cleaning for unemployed job seekers
This movement is believed to have started in 2009, however more independent dry cleaners began offering free suit cleaning for the unemployed in time for their job interviews in 2014. And the inspiration is spilling into 2015, as of 1st January 2015 UK chain Timpson is offering this service to give the unemployed a fair shot at making a great impression.
8 Justin Timberlake singing Happy Birthday to make a little boy’s day
Mr Timberlake lead a crowd 25,000 strong in singing Happy Birthday to an 8-year-old autistic fan. According to Gossip Cop, tickets to see Justin Timberlake were all that the boy wanted as a gift. Having got the attention of the pop star, he proceeded to make it one birthday the boy would never forget.
9 Britain’s ‘nicest man’ carrying out his 365th act of kindness
Cheltenham-based Luke Cameron started 2014 with a very clear goal in mind: to carry out an act of kindness every day – and that’s exactly what he did! From buying food for strangers to helping the elderly, Luke did something selfless every day and it was all in honour of somebody very close to him who passed away and, as he puts it on his website, “gave her whole life selflessly helping others around her and at her funeral over 4,000 people queued for 3 hours to get in and pay their respects”.
To top off 364 days of greatness, the 26 year old gave a £5 to 365 people. What a fantastic achievement – big thumbs up from us!
10 The inspiring video Robin Williams sent to a cancer patient
Vivian Waller, from New Zealand, created a bucket list when she found out she had terminal cancer. On this list she wrote: to turn 21, see her daughter’s first birthday, get married, travel to Rarotonga and meet Robin Williams. Having grown to poorly to travel, Vivian’s family contacted the late and great Williams and he replied with this heart-warming video of hope.