Inspiring Acts of Kindness – Part One

In mid-July, when Richard saw the poster advertising Hope & Cope’s annual summer BBQ for young families and young adults with cancer, he had an idea.

Without telling a soul, he headed home to rifle through his collection of toys – some of which he had bought previously, others he had obtained by feeding coins into toy vending machines, patiently moving the mechanical arm until he was able to grab the prizes he wanted.

Mission accomplished, he came back to the Wellness Centre later in the afternoon, presenting our surprised and delighted staff with three huge canvas bags filled to the brim with toys. The collection included plush teddy bears with hearts to a soft, cuddly cow to a doll from the smash hit movie, Frozen.

“I want you to give these to families who will appreciate it,” Richard explained. He pulled out a copy of Sushi Go, specifying that this particular game should be reserved for a larger family with four or five children. Sandy Lipkus, Coordinator of En famille, Hope & Cope’s program for families with young children under the age of 18, assured Richard that these gifts will be greatly appreciated, and thanked him for his generosity.

When asked what motivated him to spend his time and money on this act of kindness, Richard said simply that although he has no children of his own, he loves kids and wants to make them happy, especially when they are sad.act of kindness richard - cropped version

What makes this story all the more remarkable is that Richard was new to Lou’s House, having just joined the Centre in early July. He explained that his personal wellness plan is focused primarily on nutrition, admitting that as someone who eats mostly in restaurants, he is trying to change his diet and wants to learn more about cooking simple, healthy meals for himself. In fact, a mere two days after dropping off the toys, Richard came up with a creative way to thank the volunteers with our nutrition program, using origami to tie paper bags filled with healthy foods he had purchased for the cooking classes

“It’s great to be part of the Centre, to meet other people with cancer and to learn how to live better. I am happy to help,” said Richard, adding that ultimately, he would like to give back by becoming a Hope & Cope volunteer.

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