Ten years ago, I met a lady who needed help. She had been living in a garden shed with her children. When I met her, they had just been placed in proper housing but the floorboards were broken and her toddler was cutting his feet. Between my friends and family, we managed to do some small things to help make their life better. The things we gave them were not particularly grand, but it had a bigger impact on the family than I expected. The lady messaged me later saying we had ‘restored her faith in humanity’. That was when the idea for 52 Lives was born.
I set up a Facebook page, messaged my friends and family and asked them to nominate anyone they knew who needed help. 10 years later, this 52 Lives community has helped more than 15,000 people.
Sharing the story of one person every week is still at the heart of what we do, but we’re able to help more people behind the scenes now and also run special projects during the year to do extra things, like buying school shoes for hundreds of children or Christmas presents for thousands of people.
I’ve received a lot of praise for 52 Lives over the years…I’ve been given lovely awards and been lucky enough to have had a couple of books published, but I am in no doubt that I am not the reason 52 Lives works. I started it, but it is all of you that have carried it forward and made it what it is today – a wonderful community of kind, empathetic people who want to make a difference in someone’s life, and who understand the impact a little bit of kindness can have.
As many of you probably know, we also run free kindness workshops in primary schools. In these workshops, one of the things we teach children about is the contagiousness of kindness…there’s a wonderful statistic that one kind act can positively affect up to 125 people. When I think about those 15,000 people we have helped, about the thousands of people who have donated and even those who have heard about what we do, I realise that the impact of 52 Lives is so much greater than any of us probably realise. In our own little way, we are all helping to create a kinder world.What an incredible thing.
Thank you all so much for being part of this community. 52 Lives would not work without you.
I also wanted to say a very big thank you to Gala Bingo who have supported 52 Lives for more than 6 years (with hopefully many more years to come!)
Happy 10 Year Anniversary everyone.