Elise Doyer with Robert Harris owner Rodney Holdaway. Elise spent her Saturday handing out Robert Harris coffee cards as her way of giving a little back. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Spreading random kindness


Rodney Holdaway always thought it strange when Elise Doyer would come in to buy a stack of coffee gift cards.

Then he would notice as random people would come in over the course of several days using those exact same cards.

Turns out that Elise was buying the cards just to give away to strangers on the street.

“I believe in trying to share a bit of happiness and a bit of positivity, I’ve been doing it most of my life,” she says.

So what better way for Rodney and Elise to help out than on Random Act of Kindness Day? On Saturday, Rodney armed Elise with a free stack of the cards, along with some goodies from the café, to give out.

“It’s so easy to fall into thinking negatively about this and that, what hasn’t been done and that has an energy of itself,” Elise says. “There are so many things in the world that you can’t do anything about but if you let that overwhelm you fall into a pit of despondency. The only thing we can control is our own actions and if we try and make those positive then that influences the world around us.”

Elise says she mostly gets surprise from her acts of kindness, but sometimes delight. Others get suspicious, waiting for the sales hook.

But there is none of that. Elise is just doing it because she can. And also it has a positive effect on her too.

“I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make me feel good.”

She hoped her small action might inspire other Nelsonians to get out next year to bestow some kindness of their own.

“Because we all need a little bit of that.”