In this society of distraction - with smart phones, tablets, etc - it is easy to miss opportunities for acts of kindness. Offering a simple "thank you," opening the door for a peer, or lending a helping hand to an elderly individual who is struggling with their groceries take less time than writing a text, but can have a very positive impact on someone, and yourself. I love to people-watch, I love to place myself in a busy setting such as a mall or coffee shop and observe others around me. I like to watch how people interact with each other. I take notice when that one individual chases after the lady who dropped her scarf and didn't realize or the gentlemen who allows the pregnant lady behind him to go ahead of him in the supermarket queue. I know there are kind people out there...
I am most impressed when acts of kindness are from the younger generation. Over the past several years, I have seen the younger generation take initiative to make a difference in today's society. I have watched several young individuals step up to the plate, and today I would like to share with you an amazing story of one 17-year old who had the courage to make a difference in her small town of Brockville, Ontario.
Nicole Truesdell is making a difference by hosting a baby shower for low income and expectant moms. On Saturday, April 21, 2012 families will be thrown a baby shower where they will receive new or gently used items along with other items such as baby formula, diapers, high chairs, carriers, and gift cards. The shower will also have refreshments, cakes, and games! This was all Nicole's idea, and she has worked very hard to see her dream become a reality.
I was lucky to have the chance to interview Nicole and this is what she had to share with me...
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.
My name is Nicole and I am 17 years old. First and foremost in my day-to-day life I am a mom and a student. In any spare time that I have I run a couponing group, a S.W.A.P (sharing with all people) group, and host a baby shower to top it all off!
What sparked you to throw a baby shower for low-income mothers?
I'm a low income mother myself and I saw a need for something like this in the city. I'm in a much better place financially than I once was, although still considered to be low income and I really think it's the right time to do something like this.
Why do you think an event like this is so important for not just the mother's but the community?
I really think this baby shower brings us together as a community. I see this as a community baby shower more than anything. Without the support of the community, we would not be able to help as many people as we are.
How many families will be taking part in this event?
At least 45 low income families, and at least 15 non-low income families. We are now at maximum capacity for both low income and non-low income families.
What has been the community's reaction? Are you receiving support?
The community's reaction has been really great. I've received many donations, and many offers to help out on the day of the shower. Lots of positive feedback!
Have you done something like this before?
I have never done anything like this before, but it's always been in my heart to help other people. I'm really excited to see how it's going to turn out!
What have you learned by this whole experience?
I have learned that I can accomplish anything, regardless of my age. It's given me the best feeling ever to know that I'm 17 and essentially helping 60+ people in the community. Even for the non-low income families, it's a place to come and hang for the day... Eat cake with us, let the kids run around and have a good time, participate in the games, everything! :)
Thanks, Nicole for taking the time to share your story with us. You are a great inspiration and great leader for the younger generations, and someone who your community should be very proud to call their own. I think it is important to remember that one small act can mean the world to someone else.
If you would like more info regarding the baby shower or you would like to send a few words of encouragement to Nicole, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org