I heard *Laura Miller, aka Secret Agent L, speak last spring and have been waiting for the right time to write about her random acts of kindness to strangers project. With all of us celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, and with thoughts of gratitude and caring for others forefront in our hearts, this seems like a very good time to introduce everyone to Laura.
Back in July of 2009, Laura, a Pittsburgh resident, started thinking about all of the people who might be suffering quietly because of health or family issues or personal problems. "There are a lot of people out there hurting," Laura said, so she began to think about how she could brighten up their days.
When she asked a friend what she wanted for her birthday, she was told nothing, but would Laura instead do a random act of kindness for someone in place of a present? Laura and a different friend kidded around for a while and came up with the moniker: Secret Agent L, All Around Swell Chick. This character appealed to Laura who is an actor and model so she completed the secret spy mission. She placed a single flower on a car to brighten up the day of the driver, who she didn't know.
Laura remained anonymous till the summer of 2010 when she realized she could accomplish more if people knew the face behind the kindnesses.
Since then Laura has continued to leave small gifts and notes for unsuspecting strangers, and has encouraged others to do the same. Currently there are almost 2,000 "Affiliated Agents" who also have agreed to anonymously help others with small gestures. They complete their kindness "missions," often snapping a photo of the result, and then Laura posts their recounts to her website,
Sometimes simple is best it seems. The unselfish remark from a friend has blossomed into a huge undertaking for Laura and others, publicized by media all over the world.
So the next time you are out and about, drop off a small note wishing the person who picks it up a good day. Add a little something-something to the gift if you want to or can. It's a way to connect with people and make a difference.
To learn more about becoming an Affiliated Agent, or for ideas on small gifts, visit Laura's website, above.
By Teresa K. Flatley