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When Sydney Holmes set out to perform 22 random acts of kindness on her 22nd birthday she didn’t know that number would jump to the hundreds and span continents. Last Wednesday, the birthday girl created an event on Facebook inviting her friends to join her in being kind to strangers.
“I thought it was wonderful,” said Holmes’s 22-year-old University of Windsor schoolmate, Meghan Hines. “Who would do that for their birthday? Who would send out a note on Facebook instead of getting something or having a party for them wanting good to be done on to others. It’s really touching.” More than 300 people signed up for the event and close to 100 posted their random act of kindness.
From buying coffee for the person behind in line, to visiting sick children in hospital or simply writing old acquaintances, hundreds took part in Holmes’s initiative. “It was so fulfilling. I cried all day – good tears,” said Holmes, who spent the day reading posts about people donating groceries, raking a stranger’s leaves and baking post exam cookies for students, while checking off her own list of 22 deeds.
From 10 a.m. to midnight Holmes and a group of eight friends brought poinsettias to the hospital, visited patients, left inspiring notes with chocolates around the city and even handed out breakfast downtown among other gestures. The movement spread as far as Australia, England, Vietnam and the Philippines – places where Holmes, a Guelph native, made friends during her travels.
Holmes has spent most of her time abroad volunteering and works part-time teaching kids with disabilities to ride horses at the Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association. She is in her third year of drama in education in community at the University of Windsor. “I wasn’t surprised that she did this,” said Hines, who gave a homeless man a bus pass to visit his mother for her birthday. “She does things like this all the time. I think we need a lot more Sydneys in the world.”
To read about the Holmes inspired good deeds go to 22 Random Acts of Kindness for my 22nd birthday! on Facebook or on Twitter #22RAK4SYD.
Holmes said her “fulfilling” day wouldn’t have been possible without the help of friends Jade Onufer, Katie Fryscock, Lauren Carey, Kiely Barnett, Angela Piccinato, Ashlee Jamieson, Kayla Schurman and Holly Campbell, who added two more RAK for the birthday girl herself – cleaning Holmes’s room and filling her car with gas.