Debra Ferrell turned her birthday into a day of service, asking her friends and family to suggest 53 acts of kindness she could perform in honor of her 53 years of life.
Ferrell, a resident of Roanoke, Virginia, told The Associated Press it’s “one of the hardest times in my history, so I figured why not make other people smile.” Soon, friends and relatives began sending Ferrell their ideas, with one pal asking her to send a gift basket to a doctor working in a COVID-19 unit, and another wondering if she would send a note of encouragement to her daughter as she navigates virtual learning.
Along with her granddaughters, Ferrell also painted signs to leave in people’s yards, reminding them that “The world needs your light” and they should “Let your awesome out.” Ferrell told AP if “one random act of a yard sign can make someone smile at this time, then … it’s more than worth it.”
Ferrell has long enjoyed doing random things to make people happy, including dropping off books at children’s hospitals and leaving teddy bears in public places for people to find. “I just feel that if we live our life trying to make other people smile, I’m the one who gets the most out of it,” she said.