Birthday marked by 21 acts of kindness

17:00, Apr 18 2014
Regan Northwood
RANDOM ACTS: Regan Northwood surprised community groups including nurses at Waitakere Hospital with 21 random acts of kindness to mark her 21st birthday.

Regan Northwood's determined to make the world a brighter place.

The Auckland resident celebrated her 21st birthday on April 8 and to mark the milestone, decided to give to others instead of receive.

She initiated 21 random acts of kindness to brighten the day for children, elderly, homeless people, nurses and teachers.

"On your birthday you get lots of special attention and gifts.

"I wanted to give instead of receive and find a creative way to celebrate," she says.

Northwood put $400 her parents gave her as a gift toward others instead of splurging it on herself.


Nurses at Waitakere Hospital were surprised with a single rose each the following day as part of Northwood's project.

She says recognising the work they do is important.

"Nurses are often underpaid and undervalued so I thought it would be nice to recognise them."

Paying for someone's petrol bill without them knowing, making sandwiches for the homeless, picking up rubbish at a park and reading to school children are among some of the other good deeds.

"I want people to hopefully feel motivated to help others," the communications student says.

Waitakere Hospital's charge nurse manager Shelley Vaudrey was "touched" and "inspired" upon receiving a rose.

"There's not much recognition in nursing.

"People do say, ‘thank you' verbally but it's nice to be recognised in other ways.

"I hope Regan's work catches on," she says.


A few of Regan's good deeds include:

Baked goods and clothes to the Auckland City Mission

Leaving $5 and $10 notes around supermarkets

Donating towels and blankets to an animal shelter

Giving soft toys to the Women's Refuge

Reading at rest homes

Planting a garden at Flanshaw Road Primary School

Free hugs. 

Western Leader