The latest kindness guest blog comes from marketing professional, Pamela Ray, who gives us some inspiring stats about kindness and shares examples of how people really do choose kindness by volunteering for causes they care about.
Imagine a world where your first thought is that people are kind, not consumed by power, wealth and status. Instead, a world where people care deeply for one another and the world around us.
Take a look around you. That world is already here.
Contrary to what we are led to believe by advertising, politics and popular culture, people are kind. The Common Cause Foundation found that 74% of people in the UK place greater importance on values like kindness than values such as wealth and status. In spite of this, their research also showed that 77% of us underestimated how widespread ‘compassionate’ values such as kindness are.
This misperception (also known as the ‘perception gap’) is important. When we wrongly believe that other people place greater importance on self-interested values like power, we are less likely to participate in social and environmental change. We hold back from playing our part in addressing society’s big issues such as the climate crisis and inequality.
In short, the story that we tell ourselves about what it means to be human is important. It’s time to #ChangeTheStory.
Volunteering for good causes
Every year at Reach Volunteering, we see thousands of people volunteer their skills to support a good cause. Numbers spiked during the first year of the pandemic with an unprecedented 10,285 volunteers signing up to our platform to offer their expertise to charities who were overwhelmed by the COVID-19 crisis. This figure was more than double the previous year.
People wanted to help and they still do. In the first week of January 2023 alone, over 400 people became volunteers through Reach.
Volunteers are living proof that people are kind, that we care, and it’s important that we recognise and celebrate that. Volunteers like these:
- Ricci Masero, a digital expert who created a new website for a community library so they could deliver much needed services during the pandemic.
- Tom Barker, a marketing and brand consultant who helped a charity with their website and branding so they could promote their services and launch an awareness campaign.
- Or Craig Reid who used his graphic design skills to design a new logo for a climate change charity trying to tackle the climate crisis.
- Not to mention, Fiona Page, a chartered accountant who donated her financial skills to a social enterprise supporting local schools and families.
These are just some of the many stories that we hear about every day at Reach.
Shine a spotlight on kindness
We need to adjust our perception of those around us, to see humanity for what it truly is. Caring, helpful, compassionate – kind. Let’s spotlight the compassionate values that most of us hold and show the humanity that exists in the world.
As a starting point, Reach is running a #ChangeTheStory campaign encouraging people to talk about why they volunteer and create a ripple effect of others doing the same. We want to drown out the negative stories about the ‘darkness of humanity’ with positive messages about people and their motivations for volunteering.
People are better than we think and it’s important that we talk about it. Let’s talk about kindness.
To be part of Reach’s movement for change:
- Get inspired by watching our campaign film, #ChangeTheStory: A tale about humanity.
- Help show the humanity in the world by spreading the word about our campaign.
- If you’re a volunteer, take to social media and share your story by talking about what motivates you to volunteer using the hashtag #ChangeTheStory and tagging Reach Volunteering.
- Last but not least, be kind.
Pamela Ray is Head of Marketing and Communications at Reach Volunteering, a charity that supports and connects volunteers and good causes to work together, sharing skills and expertise to create a better society.