It began with a bucket list made by a teenager faced with the unthinkable.
What resulted, was a worldwide effort to do more acts of kindness.
And now, a first-time author in New Brunswick has published a book chronicling the acts inspired by Becca Schofield.
“I think this book will help her legacy expand,” said author Jason Tremere. “If people see it in a physical form in 200 pages, just page after page of kindness, it’s going to hit home.”
At just 17, Schofield was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last year. As part of the Riverview, N.B., teen’s list of things she wanted to accomplish, Schofield put out a request on Facebook in December 2016 asking people to do acts of kindness in her name.
The post went viral, to say the least. The hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo was used worldwide by people wanting to spread kindness — whether it be buying coffee for a stranger or donating to a local charity.
Tremere connected with the family in early 2017 after writing a blog post about the trending hashtag. What followed was a close friendship.
Together with the Schofields, Tremere began collecting posts chronicling all the acts of kindness people had done because Becca told them to.
His book was published this week on Amazon.
“I’ve had some good cries reading them,” Tremere said. “It’s restored my faith in humanity.”
Tremere said one of his favourite stories was from a drugstore in Moncton, where a customer overheard a cashier helping someone who had just arrived in Canada and was trying to buy a bus pass.
“They paid for the bus pass, bought the kids treats and then got invited to coffee at [their] house,” he said. “It really captures the Canadian spirit, and in particular, the Maritime spirit.”
Tremere has worked closely with Becca and her family to create the book and says net proceeds from the sale will be given to them.
He says the book is already receiving growing interest, and he knows it’s because Schofield’s story has resonated with so many around the world.
While doing acts of kindness is nothing new, Tremere says Schofield’s hashtag offered something new.
“What she really did was she changed it, in that sharing the kindness is beneficial to everyone. It’s not just the giver or receiver. Reading it inspires,” he said. “She set off a momentum.”
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