“Few have better captured the new urge to give than The Kindness Offensive.” - Liam Byrne MP, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury
The last man who came to collect the remaining supplies from the mountain of food mentioned that it was his dream to give Christmas hampers to 3,500 people. While we lost touch with him, the idea remained as a huge challenge. Having no idea how we were going to make it happen but sure in the knowledge that we would, phone calls began being made and numerous meetings were attended. Before we knew it, a large volunteering group contacted us wanting to help with the project and other kind companies, like Razor toys and IWantOneOfThose.com, were becoming enthusiastic about providing presents.
Before long, a peek behind the pebble-dashed walls of our little cottage in North London revealed a modern-day Santa’s grotto: 35 tonnes of toys and food stacked to the rafters. Teetering towers of goods covered the floor in every room. Toys were tightly packed into the dilapidated garden shed and there were all manner of expensive gizmos and gadgets in every corner. We had a mini production line of amazing volunteers helping to make our outfits. Soon the coffee table was strewn with customized high-viz jackets, comedy hardhats and homemade badges.
This was all in preparation for the world’s largest ever Random act of Kindness. On December 22nd 2008, a seventy-strong army of Kindness Offensive volunteers distributed 3,500 hampers and gave away tens of thousands of presents across North London housing estates, aided by a custom painted double-decker bus. At the end of the day, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, met the bus to offer his congratulations. TKO had reached a new height.