I watched a documentary this past weekend titled, A Small Act. It’s a story about a woman who donated $15 on a quarterly basis to a young Kenyan boy named Chris Mburu. That money helped to pay for Chris to attend grammar and secondary school, eventually leave his village and attend Harvard Law. His role as a human rights advocate brought him full circle as he began a foundation to help others. Chris named the foundation after his benefactor, Hilda Back.
If you are like me, you see the ads on television that tell you “your money will help” but I often think that my money will never really make it to the village or family or child. It’s all a scam.
Hilda Back, a Holocaust survivor, didn’t think those thoughts and instead she sent money and often wondered if her small act made a difference.
I love when this type of story crosses my path because it makes me understand how one person, one act, a kind word, a touch, a smile – really does matter. That one small act by Hilda helped get Chris and his family out of poverty.
I believe we all do things that cause a ripple. We give, hug, create, write, dance, ask, sing, donate, bake and on and on. It seems ordinary but many times the recipients of our creations benefit in ways we can’t imagine. A kind word can bring sunshine into a dull room. A hug can chase away sadness, a song can bring a smile.
I do nice things all the time. I pick up trash, send cards, make phone calls, volunteer, leave comments, give compliments all in the course of a day, week or month. I’ll bet you do too. We do these things just because… We have no idea if that person was desperate to hear a compliment or if bringing someone soup made them feel more alive. We can only hope the giving continues and as we touch someone, they reach out and touch someone too.
Hilda gave because it was the right thing to do. Chris set up the Hilda Back Education Foundation because he understood that education was the way out of poverty. The Kenyan children who receive scholarship will no doubt reach out and extend their helping hand to their siblings, family and community. A small act. We do it all the time. The circle widens, pulsates and grows. It’s a beautiful thing.
A Small Act