When I taught a course in Denmark on kindness, dreams, play and creativity, I gave each student group an assignment. They had to come up with a project that would positively change the world. They could either create a variation on my kindness kit, or they could come up with an entirely new and unrelated concept.
Birk, Dennis, Mads, David and Mark created a homeless kit, which is what it sounds like: a kit to give to the homeless. What I really liked about their project is that they researched their target group. They didn’t just act upon their assumptions, but tested their assumptions before moving forward. It was a smart move that made their kit more effective. In Denmark, you are better off when you’re homeless than you are in many other countries. Certain facilities are taken care of by the government, at least to a certain extent. That’s why the project group ended up creating a kit with more ‘luxury items’ like toothpaste, deodorant and sweets, in stead of tackling more basic needs like food and shelter. They laughingly explained that ‘many students would be grateful to receive a kit like this one as well’.
Their project got me somewhat teary eyed, because I suddenly became aware of the fact that my attempts to make a positive impact was becoming bigger than what I could do on my own. These students in Denmark were spreading joy and hope, because of the little input I gave them in my lectures. How much more would they be able to accomplish by themselves over the years? These kindred spirits were so full of great ideas. How exciting to know that their influence wouldn’t stop at helping the homeless, sharing coffee with love, inspiring others to follow their dreams, giving strangers compliments, creating joy kits and kindness treasure hunts and playfully cleaning the streets.
I’m so proud of all the students and everything they did that week. I think it also shows that you can make a difference on a small scale. Most of their projects were created in a matter of hours, rather than days (or weeks, for that matter). So why not gather a group of friends and start your own kindness project? What would you want to do or create? How would you want to make a change?
Oh, and of course don’t forget to watch the homeless kit video:
Help A Homeless from Das Bahnhof on Vimeo.
November 14, 2014 at 11:54
What a sweet, caring idea! I love it! Especially now with the cold weather rolling in, the homeless need our help more than ever. Thank you for continuing to spread the love, sharing ideas and changing the world! xoxo
November 17, 2014 at 04:15
I do something similar to this every winter: I put the supplies in hats (using the hats as the container). It’s an overwhelming thing to realize that even though this small effort is beautiful it’s not enough, and what they really need are jobs, etc. But for now we have to keep making small efforts and hope they’re enough for the time being.
November 18, 2014 at 08:25
I love the hat idea! And yes, you raise a good point. I like to think in terms of what I can do though, how I can help. Even if that’s just in a small way.