Fifty good deeds to mark Bradford on Avon funeral director Paul McDonald's 50th birthday
A 50th birthday can be an excuse for self-indulgence – from big parties through exotic holidays to mid-life motorbikes.
But funeral director Paul McDonald is thinking of others as he marks his milestone. He has pledged to undertake 50 good deeds in 50 days.
He and his colleagues at C S Bowyer in Bradford on Avon are encouraging people to nominate deserving causes or others in need of a helping hand over the next few weeks.
From the nominations, 50 will be chosen for Paul to help in an Anneka Rice-style challenge, which he hopes will bring a greater sense of community spirit to the town.
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Paul said: “The team are all behind me and think it’s a great idea. This can be anything from an elderly neighbour in need of help with their shopping, a local school or church looking for volunteers to help at an event, or a charity or organisation that would benefit from having a bit of extra man power in fundraising.
“While we are not going to be able to rebuild a house or redecorate a whole school in 50 days like they do on the telly, I am hoping there will be certain tasks that can be done which will make life easier for other people.”
The team is now appealing for 49 volunteers to help Paul complete his challenge.
He added: “Not only is the 50-day challenge a great opportunity for everyone in the region to do a little bit of good by donating some of their time towards either all or just one of the 50 projects, it is also a great way to meet new people and find out about all the great causes and organisations we have helping the people of Bradford on Avon.”
Anyone interested in helping Paul as a volunteer can find out more by visiting CS Bowyer at The Bullpit. You can also nominate charities and deserving causes by visiting the branch. The team can be contacted on 01225 863208.
Acts of kindness
Paul is not the first to adopt such a philanthropic approach.
And if the experiences of authors Danny Wallace and Judith O’Reilly are anything to go by, it could have a ripple effect.
Bath-born comedian and journalist Wallace began his journey into good deeds when a book venture made him the leader of a cult without a cause.
Gathering legions of followers after placing a newspaper ad saying “Join Me”, he created his “karma army” to carry out good deeds across the country.
With their help, he went on to write Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways to Make the World a Better Place.
Blogger and best-selling author O’Reilly turned doing good deeds into her day job.
Her journey into acts of kindness began with a New Year’s resolution in January 2011 and led to the book A Year of Doing Good and an ongoing charity project.