A few kind words can go a long way. Kimberly Wybenga took that knowledge and ran with it.
No matter where one is in their life, the pandemic has made an impact on everyone’s life. For some people, that impact was felt with more force. Some lost their jobs. Others were forced to juggle professional work and child rearing. Others were isolated for months at a time, only speaking to others via phone or video calls.
Kimberly Wybenga knew many of her friends and family members had struggled throughout the pandemic and wanted to do something to give them a pick-me-up. She easily could have sent them a message via Facebook or made a phone call, but she wanted to do something a bit more significant than that. So, she bought 10 small jars with an idea.
Kimberly Wybenga’s hand-written compliments.
“I know everyone is dealing with some kind of struggle and I just thought it would be nice to support them any way I could,” Wybenga says, “even if I didn’t know what they were going through.”
For those who live further away, Wybenga had the packages mailed with no return address, properly concealing her identity from those who would recognize her address. As friends and family started to receive these anonymous jars, they posted their graciousness on social media.
“Sometimes the universe knows exactly what you need,” one friend posted. “This touched me to the core. The thoughtfulness that went into this is amazing.”
“I hope whoever did give this to me realizes just how much I needed this gift,” shared another. “I’ve opened it and read one when I needed it, but tonight I dumped it all out and read every single nice thing this person said about me.”
Wybenga’s video on compliment jars.
Composing and sharing these kind words did more for Kimberly Wybenga than she expected it to. She ended up buying 40 additional jars to spread even more love, writing a total of 1750 compliments for friends and family she felt needed it.
In spite of her best efforts to remain anonymous, some recipients were sleuths. Those who received packages looked up the zip code from the sender and traced it back to Wybenga. Others didn’t have to do any work at all, as they easily recognized her handwriting.
Upon realizing she was “found out” Wybenga created a YouTube video about her compliment jars. Her idea was to hopefully inspire others to share kindness with those who need it.
“Seeing other people happy brought me so much joy,” she says. “The world is a better place with all my friends and family.”
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