Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. Even when we are close to people, we have no idea what’s really going on in their minds, and if you’re having a bad day, something as small as a smile or a compliment about your outfit can really turn it around.
That’s why people who radiate positivity are so loved. They are the human equivalent of candy canes at Christmas and deserve to get rewarded for their efforts.
One kind-hearted soul who got recently got his good karma is Bristol University cleaner Herman Gordon, who is in his mid-60s.
Herman arrived in the United Kingdom as part of the Windrush generation in 1967. It was in England that he met his wife Denise, and the pair are due to celebrate their 23rd anniversary this July. And it will certainly be a summer to remember after Bristol University students did this for the cleaner…
“Considering starting a GoFundMe page for the Jamaican cleaner DON in the med library so that he can see his family this summer in Jamaica. Would anyone donate?” a student wrote on a truth-telling page where students can anonymously submit comments about the university.
Herman has worked at Bristol University for 12 years, and he has become a much-loved member of staff, uplifting everyone with his infectious positivity, including many of the students who are working under pressure in the library.
In fact, in June of last year, Herman was described as an “icon” on the university’s Instagram page.
Another student wrote on the Bristruths page, “[The] Jamaican cleaner in the med library is the jolliest man I have ever met. [He] makes me smile even when I’m in the deepest depths of revision or trying to be. [If] you wanna [sic] reason to smile go talk to him for a min or two.”
Explaining how this incredible story began, an admin from the Bristruths page said, “It all started with this post on the 19th May” – referring to the above confession about how Herman’s personality has a positive effect on the students.
The next day, the same student wrote into the page with the idea of setting up a GoFundMe to send him to Jamacia.
Then, a mere five days later, the students had come together and had almost reached their £1,000 ($1,308) target.
“He is the epitome of happiness,” the donation page read.
Amazingly, however, the students ended up smashing their target and raised more than enough money to give Herman a trip he’d never forget.
“We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this incredible gift. It is truly amazing what we can achieve when we come together. It is thanks to your generosity that we’ve been able to raise £1,577 ($1,960) – meaning both Herman and his wife will be able to visit Jamaica for the first time in 4 years!” the students who started the GoFundMe page wrote.
All that was then left to do was to present the jolly cleaner with his well-deserved reward for his kindness, and his reaction will melt your heart.
To see how Herman reacted to the students’ kindness, check out the video below:
“God bless you man, God bless,” Herman said, welling up. The cleaner then embraces the student who presented him with the money before telling the camera, “I want to say thank you for everything you have done and God bless every one of you.”
The money was accompanied by a touching note from the students which read, “You have brightened many of our days and we want you to know that we love and appreciate you. We have come together to give you a special gift as our way of saying thank you.”
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat about the gift, Herman said he makes a point of keeping away “negative vibes” in the library.
“I know that these students are studying. You don’t want any negative vibes around them,” Herman said. “They speak good things to me, I speak good things to them, and I bless them all.”
After receiving the incredible present, Herman phoned his wife Denise to share the good news.
Recalling the phone call, she said, “He phoned me and he was so excited that he couldn’t get his words out… He was crying down the phone.”
“He said: ‘The students have given me this money for us to go to Jamaica. I can’t believe it! We are going to see my family in Jamaica. I am going home to see my uncle George and all the cousins.'”
“He was in shock, but so happy. Just overwhelmed by the students’ kindness.”
Denise added, “It is amazing, he had no idea. We are both in shock. They are lovely students.”
Denise also made a point of saying that Herman is always happy.
Well, if this story isn’t proof that good things *sometimes* happen to good people, I don’t know what is. So the next time you see an opportunity to be kind to someone, ask yourself ‘What would Herman do?’ and I reckon that the universe will have your back in one way or another.