November 2016 the staff of uVillage in White River, South Africa felt challenged to practice a week of intentional generosity by doing random acts of kindness. They practiced kindness with themselves, each other, and complete strangers. Their journey led them to the local police station where they delivered a case of sodas. The station commander brought them into her office and was so overcome with gratitude that song broke out. This small act of kindness was a simple way of saying, “We see you. Thank you for all you do.”
That was 3 1/2 years ago. Let’s fast forward to now.
If you’ve followed along, you likely know that, due to COVID-19, South Africa is in strict lockdown in order to contain the virus. With no gatherings of any kind allowed, we had to temporarily close our feeding program there. It forced us, with the uVillage staff, to start talking about what can be done in this moment, in this situation, with what we have.
With the feeding program closed and many families not able to work right now nor get to town since public transportation isn’t running, the idea of delivering food parcels was birthed. In order to do this, the team would need to obtain a permit giving them permission to be out.
They identified the most vulnerable kids in the feeding program and went to the police station to get the permit. The station commander took one look at them and said, “Oh, I remember you. You brought us sodas.” And just like that, instead of giving the usual one day permit, she issued them a 2 week permit.
Permit in hand, they filled 2 vehicles and set out to deliver 27 food parcels. Families were surprised and many of them profusely expressed thanks when they told our team, “We didn’t know what we would eat tonight. We are grateful.”
You never know how one act of kindness can have ripple effects and grow into something so much bigger than you could ever imagine. That one small gesture at the police station established a trust that led to getting a permit to feed 27 families that many of you gave funding to buy food for through our Giving Tuesday campaign last year. The circle of kindness goes round and round. Many people got food and experienced God’s love. Thank you for being a part of that!