Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2014 (NOT the Rich List): Robert Williams, kindness giver
Sunday 25 May 2014
Last Christmas thousands of sick, orphaned and disadvantaged children in London woke to find an unexpected surprise waiting for them: a present donated to them by a stranger through the work of the Kindness Offensive.
The organisation, founded in 2008 by Robert Williams with three of his friends, had mobilised volunteers to donate, wrap and then deliver 38 tonnes of toys across the capital.
Recipients included children in hospitals across London, while the children of prisoners were also supplied with gifts so they could give their parent a present at visiting time.
It was just one of the latest initiatives undertaken by the group as part of its commitment to undertake "random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty".
So far, these acts have included: going round festivals giving out pineapple drinks to revellers; giving spare change to people instead of asking for it, like most charities; cooking free pancakes on Shrove Tuesday; and handing out chocolate bars to random people on streets of London.
They describe themselves not as a charity, but rather "a group of friends and like-minded people" who set out "to see what they, as ordinary people, could do to make the world a better place."
Robert received more nominations than any other individual for this year's Happy List. One of those nominators said that Robert has "a real and significant effect" on Londoners' happiness.
As well as its giveaways, the charity had also staged a number of pop-up events. In one, The Everyday Kindness Awards, actors in public places pretended to need help. When members of the public stepped forward to give a hand they were presented with champagne, flowers and a gold medal to thank them for their kindness.
Read more - Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2014
The full list of people who make life better for others
Tom Dowling, community journalist
Nikandre Kopcke, social entrepreneur
Carmel Allen and Josephine Drew, charity founders
Dolly Saville, legendary barmaid
Martin Griffiths, surgeon/lecturer
Jean Bishop, buzzing fundraiser
Aneeta Prem, anti-slavery campaigner
Finally ... 10 household names who went the extra mile
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 4 Halle Berry takes ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry to court for allegedly trying to make daughter look less African-American
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ferguson decision: Tea Party website mocks Michael Brown's family over T-shirt typo
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Derren Brown on the disappointment of coming out: 'It’s not that people react badly to it – they really don't care'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...
£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...
VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...