Written by Gavin Haines.
It was a quarter to midnight and Bernadette Russell was about to go to bed. But her hopes of an immediate date with the duvet were dashed when her partner asked a question: had she done her daily act of kindness?
Weeks earlier, Russell, an author, had pledged to do something altruistic every day for a year because she didn’t know what else to do in the face of “all these troubles”. It was 2011 and she was referring, among other things, to climate change and the London riots, which had recently happened on her doorstep and left her deeply saddened.
It was a mission that had hitherto seen her slip £5 notes into books in Waterstones, give flowers to checkout assistants in Tesco and write letters to lonely pensioners. But on the day in question, she’d forgotten her act of altruism and the clock was ticking. Russell had to think fast.
“I went to a phone box near to where I live, cleaned it up a bit and left a little pile of money inside with a note that read ‘please phone somebody you haven’t spoken to for a long time, and who you love’,” recalls Russell. “I left some biscuits, too.”
To read the full article, click here.