Manchester Riots Clean Up – Catch The Bug
I had my very first experience of Ilovemygen today while in the Manchester Clean-Up after the riots.
While out cleaning up, we had a lot of community support, myself included, and the community of people that I was out with were a massively motivated bunch. Then the
Ilovemygen guys showed up, and did something that I, nor anyone else, expected.
We all thought that they were there to help with the clean-up, though most of it had been done already, to get their brand involved and so everyone could see that the organisation had helped out in the media. I didn’t mind, though that kind of motive was, in my opinion, the wrong one, but the extra support was greatly appreciated by all.
What happened was greatly different to what I thought. The guys set up a stand giving out free tea and coffee to all who wanted some – and I wanted some!! The great British tradition of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was redefined as ‘Keep Calm and Put The Kettle On’!!!
I ended up asking one of the volunteers what the organisation did, and it was all explained to me. Free Random Acts Of Kindness, spreading some love, care and compassion around a seemingly cold world, and the stories that unfolded were amazingly heart-warming to me. The one that stuck in mind was when I was told that the volunteers sometimes went to a petrol station, paid for someone’s petrol and gave them a card. When I received one of these cards, the message was both intriguing and heart-warming. ‘I made your day today because I love my generation.’ Such a simple statement with so much power truly inspired me, and I proceeded to purchase 4 t-shirts – one for myself and one for three guys who’d left their wallets at home while getting involved in the clean-up. For this, I was given around 10 cards – this then inspired me to go around Manchester offering my help and support, or even just a brew on a dull, dreary and wet Manchester afternoon. My offer was taken by a few people – a homeless fellow, who was extremely grateful for a warm cup of tea, a Café Nero Barista who was enticed by the reasons I gave for continuously going back for more tea, a Manchester Evening News street distributor, who loved black coffee with 2 sugars, and an Amnesty International Street Worker, who never once talked about Amnesty International, preferring to ask me about the clean-up and the Ilovemygen.com tee I was wearing instead.
The absolute profoundness and wonderful feelings that this kind of Random Acts gave me, and the awe-inspiring attitude that people took towards me when I was being kind like this, inspired me to do more for Ilovemygen. I would like to do this as an individual, rather than setting up an organisation however, and would love to get involved in any Manchester/Bury based events if I am not in work at the time.
If you could get back to me with some further information about how I could get more involved as an individual, then I would love to play a part in making people’s days just that little bit brighter.
Absolute fabulous work during the clean-up and a big round of applause from me and every other person who stood there and got a free brew or chatted to a volunteer.
Thank you so much.