Blankets for the homeless. Lottery tickets scattered around. Coffee and meals bought for complete strangers. For the past several years, an unknown person has been sprinkling the city of Boston with random acts of kindness.
The generous soul has been unmasked as Watertown resident Cathy O’Grady. As Boston Magazine reports, this kindhearted woman never did it for the attention. “Somebody squealed on me,” she told the publication after word got out about her philanthropy. “I’m not bummed, but I didn’t put it out there for me to be found. But I’m not bummed about it. If I can motivate other people to help out, that’s the purpose of all this.”
Boston Magazine highlighted a recent project of hers in which she and her friends performed 318 random acts of kindness to honor the number of days in which O’Grady’s friend Colleen Wogernese’s late husband lived with cancer before he passed away. O’Grady and her team helped pay for meals, handed out hundreds of care packages to homeless shelters and hospitals, and even placed quarters in vending machines for kids. According to Huffington Post, O’Grady even helped raise $1,000 to pay for a Disney World trip for the Wogernese family.
O’Grady told HuffPo that she dedicated her life to good deeds after her mother passed away from breast cancer 15 years ago. Her most emotional project yet? The 26 gestures she performed in the memory of the 26 lives that were lost on the day of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. In addition to her kind acts, O’Grady has a day job as an online jeweler where her creations help raise awareness and funds for specific philanthropic causes and non-profit organizations such as Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the Colon Cancer Alliance.
She’s also proof that if one does good, others will follow. After leaving out scarves for the homeless, Boston Magazine informed her that a few dollars had been attached to them. “That wasn’t me that did that,” she said. “So how cool is that?”