An Inspiring Personal Journey in Helping Others
--by Jacinda, posted Jul 13, 2010
I stumbled across Helpothers.org when I was in a Computer Science class in my last year at high school (2008) while looking for an inspirational quote. Well I found more than just an inspirational quote but many inspiring people from all around the world too! I had no clue then how I would begin a journey of being inspired every day by all of you. I didn’t know I would meet and become friends with people from the USA, UK, India, Netherlands, Australia etc..But in life the things you love the most are surprises which take you on a whirlwind adventure.
After successfully grasping the quote I had been looking for, I noticed a green box on the site saying about “if you had US$100 to helpothers what would you do to help people?” There was only a few minutes until class finished. So I hurriedly submitted my idea of how I would like to help people. From that day I went on Helpothers.org on a regular basis, being totally blown away by all the ways that we can help others in the world around us. I had forgotten about the idea competition and my answer about how I would help others. Then I was notified that I had won the idea and was given the money. I was so happy as I didn’t think a girl from New Zealand, so far away, would be able to win!!! Incidentally, this is what I had submitted:
"Kindness from the heart
Money doesn't always have to be the thing which is the answer to kindness. It comes from the heart. You don't need $100 dollars to bring more kindness its from a happy friendly smile or a loving and helping hand. I'd pick colourful flowers from my garden, go round the hospital, give many bunches of flowers to the ones who look sad, lonely, dying or terminally ill and i'd give to the children. I'd do this to brighten up there day in a simple but heartfelt way."
From then I went around every flower shop in the area..about 30 different flower shops. I went to try and get the best deal about the highest amount of flower posie bunches they could do for me with US$100. One said they would give me 60 so I took the deal. It was a truly amazing experience!!!
See: http://www.helpothers.org/story.php?sid=18010 and my story was featured in the regions local newspaper.
But oh no that was not the end....it was merely the beginning of my helpothers adventures!
Going back in time....
I grew up in an amazing family who have always been there to help others whenever able. I have two amazing parents and two fantastic sisters!! We have always been taught the lessons of kindness, respect and love for all people. And from doing RAOK it has made me have a love for all people.
“Live everyday as if it were your last. Treat everyone else as if he were you”
Another motivation in me is my parents who have done some amazing things! I have learnt in being kind because no one knows what is around the corner in life and anything could happen.
So in everything I do I try my hardest and best in being kind, going about giving a friendly smile, or saying a happy hello. Love to live life by giving smiles to others and lending a hand where I can.
Helping others in a bigger way was spurred on when in 2001 my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer with 8 Tumors at only 44 years old. My mum had to have many operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There were so many people involved in helping through her kindness to her recovery (doctors, surgens, friends etc).
Friends and strangers would give our family meals for dinner that just had to be heated up..to help our family get through the difficult time. Back then my younger sister was 7, I was 11 and my older sister was 13. So it was a difficult time for us all..but my dad was an amazing support to Mum!
Friends would take turns in driving my mum to the hospital one and a half hours away to get a daily dose of Radiotherapy. And having lots of support and kindness of so many people around us was really unbelievable!
As a young girl I learnt in giving kindness to others each and everyday.
“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there can be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do to a fellow being, let me do it now and do not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again”
Shortly after my mum's diagnosis of breast cancer..she set out on an amazing journey which would change many women’s lives now and in the future!!!
My mum and dad set up The Breast Cancer Action Trust and started a petition to expand the free mammography age in New Zealand to 40-70 (previously 50-64)...This is because so many women are dying from Breast Cancer and we knew something had to be done! As a family we petitioned for a year or so all around New Zealand. Our petition was expanding and expanding before our eyes!
We would get piles of cards, letters and signed petition forms in the mail on a daily occurrence in support of what we were doing to help save women around the country. It was amazing hearing so many women’s stories about how from what we were doing prompted them to go have a mammogram and then something were found early, in time! We were seeing the effects of that early detection saves lives!!
Then after about a year, as a family we took our 125,000 signature petition to the New Zealand Parliament along with a bus load of supporters from all over! We had a meeting with the Health Minister and our petition was tabled in Parliament. Following our petition the free Breast Screening age was expanded from 45-69 years!
The last couple of years have been extremely exciting doing random acts of kindness all the time! Bringing some smiles to someone’s face and seeing people happy! That is what I love in life seeing happy people! And I will continue to try making people happy whenever I can through RAOK we are all able to change someone’s day in such an awesome way!
The smile cards have been awesome fun! It puts an extra exciting element to the giving process with fun and smiles. Thank you to all you amazing volunteers who ship these around the globe! You guys are angels!