As a way for families to honor their child and to help themselves heal, MISS Foundation began “The Kindness Project” in 1997. By 2007, more than 750,000 Kindness Project cards have been used around the globe to perform random acts of kindness in memory of a child, parent, friend, or spouse who died before their time.
The idea is to perform random acts of kindness in the community, usually anonymous. A little card is left behind so that the person who benefits from the kindness knows that someone’s life and death continues to matter.
Anyone can participate by ordering Kindness Project cards or just doing nice deeds in the community with your child’s loving memory at heart. I know one parent who sends a note to any names she sees in the newspaper of a person who loses a child. She doesn’t have to know who they are. Her heart goes out to these parents because she too, has lost a child and knows how they feel. She puts her name and phone number on these notes, in case these parents need someone to talk to. She says she gets calls from some of them and a few have become good friends.
The Kindness Project Card is a business sized card that reads:
This Random Act of Kindness…
Done in Loving Memory
Of our beautiful child
____name of child here______
Here you can leave your name if you so desire and any other
piece of information you would like to share.
This card can be used by siblings, grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles or by any person who wants to honor and remember the life of a very special child. The holiday season is a perfect time to honor your child’s memory by thinking of others and their needs.
A little bit about the MISS Foundation…
More than 120,000 children die every year in the United States. After the death, families experience significant trauma and grief that can affect family and individual functioning and an entire community. The MISS foundation helps families through local support groups, camps for grieving kids, indigent funeral funds and funeral planning assistance, counseling, newsletters, web sites and opportunities for volunteerism that allow people, affected by the death of a child, begin to heal.
in May 2006, my 9 1/4 year old daughter became sick and it was diagnosed as AML leukemia. She was hospitalized and put on chemo therapy. The Dr who started the treatment said it was 50/50. We did everything to keep her spirits high while she was there. We live in Malaysia and the 2 hospitals she was in both have an Oncology Department. She was allowed to come home about 1 month into her treatment but was readmitted 2 days later as her fever returned. Until she passed away in August, we did everything humanly possible to keep her spirits high. One of the problems with the chemo therapy was a breakdown of blood vessels and she had 2 operations to stop internal bleeding. I asked a lot of questions looking for answers, reason why this happened. One reason was genetics, that genes could be passed and cells could exist but remain dormant. My mom had breast cancer and was operated on some 40 years ago. She survived and passed away from old age 3 years ago. I have carried a level of guilt because I may have passed these genes to her. My wife’s family has no history of any cancer. The marriage did not survive her death and we divorced in 2008 In 2010, I remarried and this guilt is seriously affecting my marriage. I need to find a way to address this guilt. I remember good times and celebrate her life but then I have periods of time when guilt returns. In her memory, I started the Children’s Wish Society in Malaysia but I did not have the skills to run this and was asked to leave by the Board of Directors. I was not happy but I recognized that I did not have the skills to run the business side of that NGO.