Not long after I started this project, I came across a Facebook page called “Good News, Good Deeds” – a page that shares news of inspiring people, acts of kindness, and other stories to counteract what seems to be a flood of bad news. Its creator, Desiree Poirier Lessard describes it as: “A place where people can come together to inspire change, to help others, to share good news stories, tips on how to live a happy life, and share ideas on little ways to make our world a better place.” Last week I interviewed Desiree about her project.
Outside of Good News, Good Deeds, who are you? What do you do?
Outside on GNGD’s I am a full time wife and mother of four beautiful children during the day and I am a convenience store clerk part time at night.
How did you come up with the idea for GNGD?
The idea for GNGDs came to me when a friend was looking for clothing donations for a charity called Helping Hands that gives clothing to needy people here in Biddeford Maine. I told her I’d do my best to help and ended up filling my Suburban with trashbags of clothing. I was a stay at home mother during that time with lots of free time on my hands. I thought, I can do this, but I can do more. I was tired of all the negativity on my news feed and in the news and thought, ” Someone should start a “good news, good deeds” page celebrating the “good” in life and bring people together to help others”. Then I thought, well I’m the perfect person to do that and the rest is history.
What do you hope GNGD accomplishes?
I am hoping to eventually take GNGDs to the next level and become an official non-profit organization. Our dream is to open up a “helping house” here in the lakes region of Southern Maine, where people can come for clothing, household items, to get internet access for job hunting/resumes, we’d grow a community garden to help feed our neighbors, we’d have a library, basically a place to bring the community together to help one another. A see a need, fill that need kind of place.
What is the most surprising thing that has come out of GNGD?
The most surprising thing to come out of GNGDs is the amount of friends our family has made and the amount of lives we’ve touched. Our family has received so many messages and thank you notes in the mail, just thanking us for being who we are and for caring about strangers. Well, a stranger is only a friend we haven’t met yet right? Also last year at Christmas, our family was facing foreclosure on our ancestral home, so we didn’t have any money to buy even one gift for any of our four children. The community got together and brought us Christmas, an amazing Christmas and enough food to feed us for a month. It’s very true that kindness comes back to you.
I find that while 500 Kindnesses is a project aimed at getting others to begin thinking about and performing acts of kindness, it’s done as much toward making me do the same by making me much more mindful of the value of kindness, even very small ones, in daily life. What impact has GNGD had on your own life?
GNGDs has literally changed our lives. I am hooked on kindness, I am hooked on helping others. It’s such an incredible feeling to change someone’s life with an act of kindness. It is also awesome to change someone’s mind about being kind, to show them how simple it really is and then to have them send you pictures of their family performing random acts of kindness also. We have sold most of our frivolous belongings or donated them to people in need. We’ve found happiness in the simple things in life. The children help us in every event and it’s instilling amazing values in our children and teaching them compassion and tolerance.
What goals do you have for GNGD going forward?
Our goals for GNGDs in the future are to be able to reach more people with our message, to hopefully become an official non-profit, and to open a helping house here in Maine to benefit those in need in our community. We’ll just keep going …one project at a time, touching one life at a time, spreading kindness and positivity one day at a time. We hope to continue to inspire others.
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
To your readers: There is a Kindness Revolution afoot, and it is going to change everything. We are all one world, one people…it’s time that we stop this looking out for #1 nonsense and start lifting each other up and helping one another to survive. You don’t need to know someone to love them. Ending hunger, homelessness, extreme poverty, war, suffering…it’s all very possible and it begins with you! If we all loved a little more, judged a little less, and gave of ourselves more often, this world could be the wonderful, peaceful place we dream of it being. The power is within each one of us, so what are you waiting for? Start making a difference today! Lots of love from Maine.