For as long she can remember, Cathy O’Grady has taken sheer joy to bringing a smile to random strangers by little acts of kindness. O’Grady would treat people in line next to her at a cafe to lunch or coffee, for no special reason other than the satisfaction of the simple pleasure of making someone’s day. But the one thing that truly inspired her to committing her life to performing random acts of kindness: her mother’s death from breast cancer… 15 years ago.
“Although she didn’t have a lot of monetary things to offer, her heart was always out there, and she taught me to love everybody and anybody,” O’Grady told The Huffington Post. “We are all one fire away from being homeless, we are all going through our own struggles. She taught me to split whatever I have in half and give it to someone else.”
Apparently, for 12th years rest, O’Grady searched for the perfect way to honor her mother, and she’s convinced the right path found her several years ago. A simple compliment about a friend’s bracelet started a conversation about jewelry making, and before she knew it, the native of Watertown, Mass., had turned a hobby into a charitable enterprise.
Last Friday, O’Grady took to the streets of Boston with her friend Colleen Wogerneseto to perform 318 random acts of kindness. Wogernese’s husband recently died from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare from of cancer, at just 29 — 318 is the number of days her husband lived with the disease. O’Grady is notorious for her work and has provided many of those in need. O’Grady said she loves leaving blankets, hats and scarves on park benches and walking away.
Her motivation is simple, she says: “I just want people to feel loved.”
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