Simple Acts of Kindness
Our family has a 6-month old golden doodle named Tucker. He absolutely loves life! One of his favorite things to do is go on walks around our neighborhood. There is a couple who also regularly walks around the neighborhood. They are older and choose not to have the responsibility of a pet at this stage in life, but she loves animals and enjoys seeing the dogs. In fact, she carries treats in a Ziploc bag whenever she walks to give to the dogs she meets. She even goes so far as to have choices between small, medium, and large treats. We’ve met her so often now, my dog recognizes her and to say he gets excited when she comes over is quite the understatement. Now my young daughter even says, “I wonder if Tucker will meet that nice lady who gives him treats today.” Her simple act of kindness is noticed and appreciated. I also love her example of finding a way to integrate kindness into her daily activities that she would do regardless. I think that sometimes we rack our brains trying to figure out how to fit kindness or volunteering or generosity into our busy lives. Here is an example of a woman who just figured out a way to show kindness every day without taking up any extra time in her routine.
I give that example because sometimes I think that we overlook the impact a simple act of kindness can have. In our fast paced world, a genuine smile or actually stopping when you say “How are you?” can mean more than we may ever know. His Hands Free Clinic strives to show our patients kindness each and every day our doors are open to the public.
Here are just some simple ways that we hope to make an impact through kindness:
-Our staff and volunteers greet patients with a smile
-We offer a tidy lobby and bathroom areas
-Our medical appointments are not just about the patient’s health but if there are other barriers they are facing, we offer to provide resources for those too
-Our prayer support volunteers offer prayer if the patient is interested
-We have toys and books and special goody bags for parents who bring their children along for the appointment
-We do our best to be culturally sensitive to patients who come from other areas of the world
-We offer cold water in the summer and coffee/tea in the winter
These are just simple but intentional ways we hope to make it a more comfortable and welcoming environment for those we serve. We recognize that many of them have not been treated with dignity in the past, and we want to make sure that we are here in the clinic. We also realize that coming to a medical facility can cause patients to be anxious and feel vulnerable. We want to do our absolute best to help this be a positive and calming experience for them.
Recently our patients commented:
“The entire staff is friendly, helpful and does not make me uncomfortable asking for assistance.”
“I have no insurance and am in bad health. When I heard about His Hands they have changed my life.”
“I love His Hands Free Clinic. They take really good care of their patients.”
These simple acts of kindness are not to minimize the impact of the education of the medical staff and volunteers and the assistance they provide our patients in managing their health. That makes a huge impact as well. However, the small acts of kindness throughout the clinic help the patient to be at ease and more comfortable opening up to providers to share medical concerns or questions.
The other night as I was watching Tucker gobble down that treat, I thought to myself, how can I challenge myself each day to integrate kindness into my daily routine. After all, you never know how great an impact a little act of kindness can make in another person’s day!