Ninja Baking Drop delivers positive vibes
Delicious deliveries of cupcakes, cookies and chocolate brownies are turning up on people's doorsteps across the country.
The surprise packages are part of the Ninja Baking Drop started by Papakura woman Joyce McDonald.
The non-profit campaign kicked off last year in support of New Zealand Random Acts of Kindness Day.
The event was a huge success with 350 bakers signing up around the country. They delivered around 800 packages of baking to deserving nominees.
Now ovens are warming up once again and bakers are being sought for Pay it Forward Day in April. Volunteers do their best to bake goodies for each nomination.
McDonald, who participated in similar events before starting her own campaign, says it's all about spreading "warm feelings" in the community.
Helping people and delivering delicious treats makes her feel good, she says.
"I was having a horrible year so I wanted something positive to focus on... it motivates me even more to keep paying it forward to others," she says.
McDonald, who is also a mental health worker, says kind gestures can make a big difference.
"When I was growing up I came from a family that had nothing and now I'm in position to do something and use my skills and expertise.
"It makes people feel good and picks the day up for them."
All packages are delivered in "stealth mode" and are left with small poems and information about the campaign.
But sometimes the bakers get caught.
McDonald's favourite story comes from a letter written by a recipient regarding "the lovely ninja... accidentally caught in the act".
"You couldn't have picked a more meaningful moment to turn up. I had just arrived home from visiting my mum in hospital... I had spent the entire car trip home from the hospital crying.
"To turn up at home and have the gift of your delicious baking as a random act of kindness to me, a complete stranger, truly made my day," the recipient writes.
McDonald says the story highlights the impact the project has on people's lives.
* The next Ninja Baking Drop takes place on April 30 as part of Pay it Forward Day. Go to nzninjabakingdrop.co.nz for more information and to register.