This has not been a year for positive news stories. But there is good in this world and, with Christmas just around the corner, we want to share that goodness; the tales of heroes among us.
To do that, we’re launching a celebratory advent calendar (which kicks off tomorrow) as part of our kindness section HuffPost: HumanKind. Every day we’ll be sharing the story of an incredible person, or group of people, whose selflessness has changed lives.
By counting down to Christmas with kindness, you can join readers like the actor Michael Sheen, who expressed his support for the project, saying: “It’s a really lovely idea … and I agree very much needed.”
He puts it better than I ever could. “Because of the way the news works, we can lose sight of the fact that there’s far more generosity and kindness going on in the world than anything else,” he told me.
“Miracles are happening all around us every day in the most unlikely of places. They happen without fanfare and often with little reward or thanks. But they happen, because some people care enough to make sure they do.”
Kindness can come in the smallest of acts – such as giving someone change for a bus – or in the bigger gestures, like running 100 marathons and raising millions for charity. The important thing is that we recognise that people are trying to make the planet we live on a better one. And in times of hardship, it’s vital we all play a part in making a difference.
That’s why we’ll be celebrating the miracles that are unsung acts of kindness, and also trying to inspire you to bring kindness into your life. We invite you to nominate the people doing good deeds you’d like to see recognised for their work, and share those stories you’ve found particularly moving or uplifting.
We’ll also be publishing gift guides which encourage you to give back to important causes, and articles about how you can take action and be kinder – because sometimes, while we have the best intentions, this is the stuff that somehow gets missed.
Sheen explained that it’s only as he’s grown older that he’s come to realise just how hard life can be and, equally, just how important it is that we help one another when the going gets tough.
“The kindest thing anyone did for me was give me a second chance,” he said. “I had lost my way and I needed help and the very person who had least reason to be there for me gave me another chance. And it changed my life.
“I have been very fortunate that since then my eyes have been opened to the possibility for change in the darkest of places and times.”
Please join us and nominate those who deserve to be shouted about, by filling in this form or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.