They say in a world where you can be anything, be kind.
And that is exactly what Bethany Graham is, the walking embodiment of kindness.
This little earth angel spreads her kindness wings to those in need by sending cards and packages to strangers across the country who are struggling.
Whether someone has a chronic illness, disability, mental health condition, or is going through a hard time, Bethany is on hand to boost their spirits.
She does this by writing uplifting messages to make people feel supported or by sending gifts – including toys, sweet treats and toiletries – to spoil them when the tough gets rough.
Speaking exclusively to InspoDaily, Bethany revealed the inspiration behind her Kindness Cards Project and why she believes everyone deserves to feel valued.
Bethany said: “I always knew I was ‘different’ to everyone else, but I wasn’t sure why.
“I struggled with anxiety when I was younger, from the age of 10, but secondary school was when it got really bad. My anxiety was just getting worse each year, and by the time I was 15, it was so bad that I couldn’t leave the house or go to school anymore.”
Bethany continued: “It was then I was finally diagnosed with autism and everything just made sense as I realised that there was a reason for the way I was, and that I wasn’t ‘weird’, and it explained why I always felt different to everyone else.”
She even credits her experiences with motivating her to kickstart her enterprise, back in 2018.
Bethany said: “I wanted to do something to help others who may be going through similar struggles to what I went through, and I had the idea to send free cards to people.
“I started to send the cards out and I delivered lots to my local hospital. A couple of months after starting the project, I decided to also send out free kindness packages too.
“Now, three years on, I’ve sent hundreds (I’ve lost count how many) of free cards and packages to people all over the UK, and Kindness Cards Project continues to grow.”
So, how does it all work?
People can either nominate a loved one they would like a kindness card or package sent to, or someone can request it themselves.
All Bethany requires is a little info about the recipient, such as their age, interests and hobbies, and crucially, any dislikes or allergies too, so she can personalise the packages.
Each bespoke package or card is then totally unique to the person receiving it.
Members of the public are also invited to donate gifts, which is easily done via Bethany’s Amazon wishlist, with purchased items then making their way into the gift boxes.
The beauty of the initiative is that it not only raises a smile on individuals in the short-term but also leaves a long-lasting impression too.
Bethany explained: “I have received so many lovely messages from people who’ve received cards and packages from me. These messages always make me smile, and it makes me so happy to know I’ve made someone else happy or helped someone who is struggling.
“I received a message a couple of weeks ago from a lovely lady who I gave a card to at my local hospital a few years back, when I’d just started the project.
“She said, ‘I have never forgotten you. It must have been three or four years ago, I was in hospital, totally depressed and lonely, and you showed up on the ward and handed out those cards and it reminded me there is kindness in the world.’
“This message put such a huge smile on my face. It was so nice to read and so lovely that the lady still remembers receiving a card from me years later.”
Bethany says her sole purpose is to let others know they are not alone with their struggles.
She told us: “I want to show people that I care, and I want to help people who are like me. I just love to make people smile. That’s all I want to do, make people smile.”
The altruist also believes that with more education around kindness, in school and in the workplace, we could expect to see a true ripple effect of it in society.
Bethany concluded: “I think there needs to be more education around being kind to others, and everyone needs to be educated about people who are different, such as people who have disabilities, or other conditions, which may make them different or stand out.
“I think schools especially need to teach children about kindness, and being kind to others, and being kind to people who may be ‘different’ to them.”
As they say, no amount of kindness is ever wasted and one small act can make a huge difference.
To apply for a card to be sent, click here: Kindness Cards Project.
To help Bethany create her packages, click here: Kindness Cards Wishlist.