It’s not unusual to find Sarah Page-Wells standing at a canvas about to embark on a good deed that has yet to unfold.
“There are so many people helping people out there. And there’s so much good going on that we need to make people aware,” she said.
Page-Wells is the founder of ‘Help a Mere Stranger’.
She calls it “painting for a purpose” and started it three years ago.
“I was diagnosed with a heart condition and honestly wasn’t sure I was gonna make it,” she said. “I spent my whole life helping people. So I had to figure out how I could still help people. Then one morning I woke up and even the title came to me…I thought I could get people to help strangers from my own home and ‘Help a Mere Stranger’ came right to me.”
It was the beginning of a Facebook group that makes a game out of good deeds.
“There’s four rules to the game,” Page-Wells said.
- Help a mere stranger or an animal
- Share your story with Page-Wells
- Allow Page-Wells to share your story with others to encourage others to play
- Private message your address so she can send you a piece of art to validate what you’ve done
It wasn’t long before the posts began pouring in. There were stories of people helping stranded drivers, sharing coffee with their favorite janitor, deliveries of food to ill neighbors, posting inspiring messages and even helping strangers find sentimental jewelry.
“It took quite a while,” member Shawn Rauch said. “It was a really thin gold chain and I ended up finding it and saved the day!”
Weeks later a hand painted piece of artwork found its way to Rauch’s doorstep in Sarasota, Florida.
“It was really cool to be recognized for doing that. For someone to paint all those pictures and take all that time for a complete stranger like me. It was pretty neat,” he said.
‘Help a Mere Stranger’ has now reached 58 countries with over 1200 members. It is enough to keep Page-Wells and the 15 other volunteer artists she recruited busy creating art with heart.
“People are basically good, mankind is good, people don’t want to do wrong or feel like they’re not contributing,” Page-Wells said.
As for her heart, Page-Wells believes her kindness game has been the best medicine out there.
“I help people contribute to helping others so that’s a good feeling inside,” she said.