Co Founder of The Kindness Offensive (or TKO for short).
The Kindness Offensive (or TKO for short), 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.
Random Acts of Kindness with Robert Williams #isharehope Episode 78
Summary: Robert’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?
Hope is a bit weak to me. Hope is like what you have when you blow out candles on your birthday and you make a wish. Hope’s got to be coupled with something. Hope’s got to be coupled with positive ideas.
The idea of giving something positive, the opportunity to grow, that it’s there, that it could grow – now that’s hope.
Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?
Everybody. All the people that actually do nice things because if we were standing on our own and saying we need toys for children on Christmas and there wasn’t a big company with an executive who is a human being and a very caring human being ready to write a check, then nothing would happen.
Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?
I remember on one occasion that one of my dreams was to actually come to England. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and all that had quite an effect on us where I’m from. The thing is, someone came along at that point and bought me a ticket to come to England and it really made a difference in my life. I don’t know where I would be now if that person hadn’t done that, but he said he had this thought in his head that he couldn’t get out and would I like to come to England. I said well, I’ve got two friends with me and we’re traveling to Vancouver and he said they can come as well. That changed my life because I fell in love with this country.
I have to say as well that there are lots and lots of people that have made a huge difference to me because of their kindness. They’ve taught me that there’s something more valuable than money in this world and that is the ability to be kind.
Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?
I tend to keep an eye on to see what’s happening around me. I’ve discovered that say if you have a 10 pound note, a 10 pound note can bring you just as much joy giving it away. Some days I buy something and some days I give it away. When I give it away, I try and find someone that, you know, I imagine myself in their shoes and think – that person is sitting there in front of that shop with a little cardboard sign saying ‘please help me’. This guy is out there for a reason. I think to myself, how much would it take to get him up? What would it take?
It’s a way of communicating – love and care to people. They’re all around you. You got opportunities every chance you get to see people all around you that could use a smile, a conversation. Sometimes its money, but I think that if people don’t look out for the good things that they can do in life, then they’re actually missing out on one of the best bits.
We’re all equals in the fact that we’re human beings, but some of us are down on our luck at times. I try and look out for that. I try and see and that’s how we got involved with The Kindness Offensive.
Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?
(1) Go out and do nice things.
(2) Don’t miss the opportunity of doing something good.