Hello again from everyone at the OM@home blog, a blog about children and young people, written for children and young people . . . . For young people just like you, about young people who inspire us here at OM HQ.
Young people like Samantha Manns . . . .
Samantha and her great-grandmother, Virginia Booth, enjoyed a special relationship . . .
Despite a 71-year age gap, the pair understood each other. Their connection strong, their bond couldn't be broken. But then, last month, Virginia died.
It left, Samantha says, a hole in her heart that she thought she'd never be able to fill.
Samantha grieved her great-grandmother's passing but, having reflected upon Virginia's life and the kindness that characterized a quite remarkable lady, she decided that, despite her obvious sadness, she had a job to do . . .
'Some of her last words were 'I don't want anyone to be upset',' Samantha explains. 'I was really upset for a few days but then I thought 'Maybe I can't be happy right now but I can do things to make other people happy'.'
In the intervening period, Samantha has demonstrated that, when she does things, she doesn't tend to do them by halves!
She set up a Facebook page and posted the following message:
'I am performing 89 acts of kindness to remember the 89 years [that] my great-grandmother spent sharing her kindness'.
The response has been remarkable.
Samantha has attracted almost 9000 followers and, in documenting all the kind acts that she has performed, has begun to encourage others to start following her example.
'I want to stress that, even though I'm gaining a lot of popularity, it's really all about helping people and about what she [Virginia] would have wanted,' she says in a recent post. 'I want people to feel the happiness that comes with giving selflessly, and with caring uncontrollably. While it's a good feeling to be known, it's an even better and more rewarding feeling to know that I'm inspiring other people to commit their own acts of kindness.'
Virginia - a retired schoolteacher - made a huge impression on all who met her and, given her penchant for helping others (including Samantha, whose great-grandmother provided such love and support during a difficult childhood), the 89 Acts project couldn't be more fitting.
'I just want people to realize that there's still some good in the world and to restore some faith in humanity,' she says. 'It's awesome. It feels so good to help other people.'
Details of Samantha's good deeds (and ideas to help YOU to start performing your own) can be found on her excellent Facebook page and her website. Should you decide to visit, be certain to read the scholarship section.
Here at OM®, where we're all about kindness, connection and inspiring others, we'd like to applaud two quite remarkable women . . .
Virginia, for living such an astonishing life, for doing a fine job in inspiring such an amazing great-granddaughter and for leaving such a legacy . . .
Samantha, for honoring her great-grandmother in such a manner, for setting such an example for others and for doing so much to make the world a better place. Virginia couldn't be more proud and, although we've never met, neither could we . . .