"We set up #TheKindnessPandemic because so many people need acts of kindness right now; and so many others want to hear stories of kindness. Kindness won’t make COVID-19 go away, but it will make our lives easier and more rewarding. We particularly encourage intergenerational kindness, but welcome you sharing all acts of kindness," reads the group's 'About' page on Facebook.
Incredibly, the original group now boasts almost 500,000 members who have joined since it was created just two weeks ago. Plus a number of offshoot groups have taken off, spearheaded by people wishing to provide support in their local areas.
The stories being shared in the group are positively heart-warming:
"Every morning my sweet neighbour has been knocking on my door and leaving me a hot and STRONG coffee to help me through a morning of homeschooling 🙂
I’m so thankful 💕."
"We’ve had a busy morning painting rocks! 🌈 We hope that this will brighten someone’s day in our neighbourhood. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 The amount of joy that this has bought to families walking past our house has been so heartwarming ❤️❤️❤️ The squeals of delight and smiles is just beautiful."
"I just went to our local Coles in Braybrook, to do a little shop. I grabbed a few cans of red bull and a dozen chocolate bars. I went up to the service desk and told the girl behind the counter that I’d like to purchase all this for the staff for their morning breaks.
She was shocked. 'OMG really?' she said. She told her other colleague who said she was just about to cry. ‘That’s so sweet’ she said ‘especially with what’s going on.’ She gestured to her manager who was in the middle of being berated by a customer who was complaining about limited stocks. I told the staff I wanted them to know how appreciated they were and I said as far as I’m concerned you’re our new firefighters.
I’m so glad I did this. It felt great. It felt right and the amount of endorphins released was amazing."
"A few streets over, a neighbour has done this. We took home Howard. ❤"
"Brought coffee for the people waiting at Centrelink this morning. I hope today is a good day."
"About 10 mins before the end of my shift at the supermarket today, a lady came up to me asking when we were expecting toilet rolls in. This was a conversation I’d had with nearly every customer today, and honestly- after so many hours it was wearing thin. As I explained that we didn’t receive any in today, maybe, hopefully, we will get some tomorrow, but you’ll have to come early, tears started to well up in her eyes. She explained she had none left, and maybe she should have been stockpiling some while everyone else was doing the same, because here she was, unable to get any, and being in her 70s it was a challenge to get up and out early. I apologised and she continued her shopping.
I felt so helpless and just wanted to send her on her way with a big pack of toilet paper under her arm, removing all her worries for weeks. Retelling the story to my colleague, I decided this wasn’t good enough. I am so saddened seeing people not get what groceries they need, day after day. I grabbed a small box and sneakily grabbed a couple of rolls from our staff toilet (shhhh! Don’t tell my boss!).
I found her as she was wandering around, looking a little lost. I popped the box into her shopping bag, telling her not to take them out (toilet rolls are such hot property at the moment!). She was simply stunned. She started crying and was embarrassed that she was getting upset about such a thing. I assured her it’s ok, everything is stressful at the moment, and it’s a terrible thing that you can’t get what you need, when you need it most. I’m hoping these will get her through 'til she can find some, but hopefully it also gave her some hope, all will be ok. Dear lady, I’m sorry I couldn’t help you more but I’m more sorry that I couldn’t give you a hug.
Let’s make sure we look to the quiet people, even if they look ok on the outside, some people may not be coping as well as we think x."