Spreading Random Acts of Kindness


Jackie Cannon and Alice Torres, Contributors

Baby Patrick Gaw only lived for a few hours, but he left an impact far greater than anyone could have imagined. He was born September 2nd, 2014, and his mother decided to honor his first birthday in a unique way. She initiated a random-act-of kindness initiative. It began as a five day event but has been extended through the end of September because it has become so popular.

This event is all about how a small action leaves a huge imprint on the world. Over 25,000 people have registered as part of the event on Facebook. These acts of kindness spread from Clinton, where it all began, to California and Florida. Small cards are popping up all over central Massachusetts, with the simple request of paying the act of kindness forward.

People have been very creative in all of the ways that can help others. Some of the things people have done for others include:

  • Bringing cookies to neighbors
  • Leaving gas cards at gas stations
  • Leaving baby baskets and wipes in store restrooms for moms
  • Taping coins and bills to vending machines
  • Bringing food to police stations, fire stations, and the priests at St. John’s Rectory  
  • Leaving money at CVS for the next customer
  • Bringing flowers to the Clinton Senior Center
  • Leaving Charlie cards at the North Station in Boston
  • Donating toys to preschools
  • Leaving clothes at a hospital’s neonatal unit

One person who has actively participated in the event is one of Nashoba’s own, Mrs. Bailey. When asked how she got involved, she said, “I’ve known the mom and dad, Jillian and Patrick, for years, they were students at Clinton when I taught there. They are the nicest, most genuine, kind people. This has made an impact and made people think about the imprint one person can make.”

Some of her own acts of kindness include: breakfast for the custodians and buying coffee for the person behind her in line. She says Nashoba students could get involved by, “Just a little thing. It can be as small as sitting with someone who doesn’t have someone to sit with. It’s about paying it forward.”

The interview ended with the question of if this has changed Mrs. Bailey’s perception of the world. She responded with, “It makes me realize how good people are, and how well intended people are. It just makes people feel good to be nice.